Last-Minute PPC Ad Tips

- Name drop as if your (PPC) life depends on it. It is always a good idea to take full advantage of built-in brand value whenever you can. Mentioning a well-known brand in your copy adds an additional layer of relevance in the eyes of your potential customer. Even if the brand you are promoting is not as well known as major competitors, utilizing the brand name in your copy, compared to a broader term, can improve performance.

- Don't fight the science! Experiment with A/B testing. A/B testing is a methodology in advertising of using randomized experiments with two variants, A and B, which are the control and treatment in the controlled experiment - at least that's how Wikipedia describes it. Put plainly, craft two versions of your ad copy and run them for a specified period. Since these are last-minute tips for your holiday campaigns, time is of the essence. Run for 3-5 days, at most, in order to accrue enough data to pick a winner. With your winning ad identified, create a new ad, testing additional elements and repeat the experiment. Your goal should be to take the best aspects of the winning ad and continue growing them through additional trials.

- Make the connection between their search and your offer. Use the keyword or a Dynamic Keyword Insert (DKI) in your ad title and/or description. Most ad platforms offer some sort of DKI to ensure that the searched keyword appears in the ad title or description (see image B). A surfer is more likely to click on your ad if their search query appears in it, due to a perceived greater relevance to the query. Use this to your advantage to drive higher CTRs.

- Consider the mobile dilemma. Is your website optimized to capitalize on mobile visitors? While this may be less of an issue for newer landing pages, older sites may not display properly on the small screen. Not sure if this applies to you? Then it likely does. Exclude mobile traffic sources to make sure more of your advertising dollars are targeted toward sources that have traditionally worked for you.

Remember the words of Mark Twain, "Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."Following these best practices is sure to get those cash registers, or in this case payment processors, ringing this holiday season.

About the Author: Cleofe Betancourt is a business development strategist at online advertising network 7Search, and shares his eight-plus years of expertise in the PPC world every day at

BONUS: Major League Bidding

Major League Bidding sells Chicago Cubs merchandise, making its Online Marketing Manager Eric Castellucci all too familiar with competing against large enterprises, like MLB Shop. For him, and others, PPC is becoming more competitive.

A few years ago, the big companies would bid on a few keywords. Now, he says, it's obvious they have put more efforts into PPC and bid on more specific, long-tailed keywords, as well. It forces Castellucci and his team to be more creative in their strategies and more aggressive in their bidding.

One way Wrigleyville Sports stands out from the digital crowd is by using its brick-and-mortar location to its advantage. By pointing out it has a store directly across from Wrigley Field, it is able to build credibility among Web surfers. Castellucci shares more PPC tips and insights in Website Magazine's 'Net Advertising Channel.