Best Practice

Paid Search Marketing (PPC) - Best Practice Guide: Paid Search Optimisation

By Econsultancy,

This section of Econsultancy's newly-updated Paid Search Marketing (PPC) Best Practice Guide covers paid search optimisation

Built on the foundations of our previous report, this document has been created and updated using insight, tips, strategies and tactics from those working every day in the paid search field and generating profits for their clients.

This guide contains actionable, real-world insight with detailed explanations to help you start and improve your performance within paid search.

Topics covered in this section

Topics covered include:

  • Bid management tool strategy
  • Ad extensions
  • Testing and optimising creative
  • Destination or landing page strategy
  • Campaign review and optimisation strategy
  • Click fraud strategy
  • Paid search and web analytics / reporting

As well as this section, the guide is available in its entirety as a 300+ page report, or in six other individual sections. See the main report page for details.

Contributing authors

This guide has been put together and updated by James Gurd, an experienced digital marketing consultant and owner of Digital Juggler, with the assistance of leading agencies and practitioners working at the coal face of paid search. They have kindly contributed their time and effort in producing this guide.

This section includes contributions from:

  • Chris Camacho, Head of Paid Search, SMG Search
  • Peter Whitmarsh, Head of PPC, Search Laboratory
  • Matt Whelan, Head of Search, The Digital House
  • Jonathan Beeston, Director, New Product Innovation, Adobe

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Features of this guide
    2. About Econsultancy
    3. About the contributors
  2. Paid Search Optimisation
    1. Bid management tool strategy
      1. Introduction
      2. Reducing inefficiencies by using portfolios and rules
      3. Setting performance objectives for bid management tools
      4. Issues with bid management systems
      5. Most popular bid management tools
      6. Paid search bid management systems: requirements and features
      7. Bid management rules and targets
      8. The downside of bid management tools
    2. Ad extensions
      1. Sitelinks
      2. Enhanced sitelinks
      3. Location Extensions
      4. Call extensions
      5. Mobile app extensions
      6. Seller ratings
      7. Social Extensions
      8. Product extensions and product listing ads
      9. Dynamic Search Ads
      10. Extensions on limited release
    3. Testing and optimising creative
      1. Warning – what is the impact of changing ad creative?
      2. Improving ad headline creative
      3. Improving description creative
      4. Mobile Ad Creative
      5. Dynamic ad creative
      6. Improving the display URL
      7. Ad rotation and optimisation
      8. What to optimise against – dependent variable
      9. Structured testing programmes
      10. Testing landing pages
      11. Summary - twenty testing ideas
      12. Examples from a structured testing programme
    4. Destination or landing page strategy
      1. Introduction
      2. What is conversion efficiency? Why it matters
      3. What is a landing page?
      4. Defining landing page objectives
      5. Measuring landing page effectiveness
      6. Different types of landing page
      7. Different referrer types
      8. Selecting the relevant landing pages for paid search
      9. Twelve Landing Page Success Factors
      10. Improving the Quality Score of landing pages
    5. Campaign review and optimisation strategy
      1. Account or campaign performance review process
      2. Ad group and keyword performance review and optimisation
      3. Reporting and visualisation approaches
      4. Auditing current performance
      5. Troubleshooting a campaign
    6. Click fraud strategy
      1. Introduction to click fraud
      2. Know your enemy - how are fake clicks generated?
      3. Preventative measures from the search engines
      4. Identify metrics to audit at ad group and individual keyword level
      5. Consider use of specialist software for tracking these metrics
      6. Audit metric values to create a benchmark
      7. Review current metric values against benchmark values
      8. When benchmark thresholds are exceeded present audited data to search engines
      9. Is it really click fraud?
      10. What to watch out for with click fraud
    7. Paid search and web analytics / reporting
      1. Introduction – why web analytics is essential
      2. What analytics tools are available?
      3. How should web analytics tools be used to measure paid search activity?
      4. Attribution modelling – looking at the wider effect of paid search in assisted conversions
      5. Using analytics tools to evaluate retargeting campaigns
      6. How do businesses report on paid search performance?
      7. Useful resources for paid search web analytics
  3. Acknowledgements
    1. Lead author
    2. Expert contributors

free sample of the report is available to those who want to know more.


  • Pdf SAMPLE: Paid Search Marketing (PPC) - Best Practice Guide (1.01 MB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled Paid Search Marketing (PPC) - Best Practice Guide: Paid Search Optimisation (2.13 MB PDF)

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