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3 Link Building Methods That Helped Pet Keen Grow to 3M Organic Traffic

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3 Link Building Methods That Helped Pet Keen Grow to 3M Organic Traffic

In the past three years, we’ve grown Pet Keen from 0 to nearly 3 million organic visits per month.
Estimated organic search traffic to petkeen.com, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

A big part of this success comes from backlinks. So in this guide, I will show you the link building methods that we used to achieve this massive growth.

Method 1. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

HARO is a free service that connects journalists and sources. Just sign up, choose the topics that interest you, and you’ll get daily emails with questions from journalists.

Here’s an example of a HARO request:

A HARO email pitch sent to Walkin' Pets

Having our veterinarian reply to this request earned us a link from handicappedpets.com (DR 69):

Earned link in an article

Let me share a few tips that I think are responsible for our success on this platform.

Tip 1. Hire industry experts to answer

Journalists have a reputation to uphold, so they’re rarely interested in what a regular Joe has to say. They want expert insights.

That’s why we hire veterinarians to respond to HARO requests. 

I don’t think we’d have half as much success with this tactic if we didn’t do this.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to find industry experts:

  • Publish a hiring page for experts We get over 10 emails a week from ours.
  • Ask existing team members for referrals – This works well because industry experts often know other experts within their fields.
  • Post on job boards ProBlogger has worked quite well for us, as has UpWork

Tip 2. Publish author pages for your experts

Your expert may have authority in the industry. But if you’re not showing their expertise, the journalist won’t know, and this will decrease your chances of success.

To solve this, we publish expert author pages and link to them when replying to HARO queries. 

Here’s one of ours:

An author page on petkeen.com that shows the expertise of veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Roberts

Here are the most important things to include in my opinion:

  • Photo – This gives the expert personality.
  • Bio – This explains who they are and where they got their education.
  • Experience – This expands on their bio to further establish their expertise.
  • Publications – This links to notable publications where the expert has been featured. 
  • LinkedIn profile link – We always make sure this is up to date, has a proper profile picture, and has an overview of their education.

Tip 3. Use HARO alternatives too

HARO is pretty saturated these days, so I highly recommend looking for alternative places to find journalists who are looking for sources.

We’ve had great success on JournoLink and on Twitter with the #journorequest hashtag.

Think about your industry: Where do journalists go to find sources and experts to speak with?

Method 2. Industry statistics posts

Journalists often search for statistics to back up their sources and claims. So if you can rank for the terms they use to find these statistics in Google, you’ll often be able to earn backlinks passively over time.

For example, our post about pet industry statistics has attracted links from 164 referring domains and counting: 

The estimated number of referring domains linking to petkeen.com's statistics page, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Many of these are from highly reputable sources like chubb.com and EcoWatch too: 

Overview of highly reputable domains that link to petkeen.com's statistics page, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This is (at least in part) because the page ranks in the top five for keywords like pet industry statistics:

Top keywords that petkeen.com's statistics page ranks for in Google Search, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Here’s how we found this keyword:

  1. Enter a broad industry topic into Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
  2. Go to the Matching terms report
  3. Filter for keywords with a Keyword Difficulty (KD) score of 50 or more
  4. Add terms like statistics, stats, facts, figures to the Include filter
Pet statistics keywords that have a lot of search volume, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

For example, one keyword we found was pet industry statistics. It has an estimated monthly search volume of 100 per month in the U.S. and a Keyword Difficulty (KD) score of 77: 

The search volume and Keyword Difficulty of the keyword "pet industry statistics," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Because the KD score is high, we know the top-ranking pages have lots of backlinks. This indicates that journalists are probably searching for the keyword and using the top pages as sources, which is exactly what we were looking for.

Method 3. Guest blogging and case studies

Guest blogging is where you write a one-off post for another website.

It’s a tactic that has been around for decades, but it still works very well if done correctly—and that means writing a good pitch.

Here’s an example of a successful pitch I sent to Flippa (DR 82):

Hi [name],

Nice to e-meet you. 🙂

My friend [FriendsName] who has been writing for Flippa recommended that I get in touch with you.

I’m Simon Treulle, and I have been operating online content sites since 2014, and now I run a portfolio of sites that has a total readership of around 48 million users per year.

Our biggest sites are Hepper.com (an eCommerce company making and selling cat furniture), and PetKeen.com.

I had a cool idea for something that I would love to write, and that I think would be really interesting for your audience. An article about launching a blog (with Display Ads and Affiliate partnerships) on an eCommerce store.

We’ve seen a lot of success by doing this, and initially we had a lot of resistance towards rolling out display ads on our eCommerce site’s blog. Because conventional wisdom says that ‘ads are annoying, and ruin your brand value.’

Having rolled out this blog has allowed us to generate a solid stream of cashflow that we can reinvest into product development. This has been especially helpful since we acquired Hepper in 2021: Right in the middle of the eCommerce supply chain crisis.

This made it hard to get our products manufactured and shipped to our customers. It also took time to build the relationships with manufacturers, and other partners, etc.

It would be exciting to write about our learnings, wins, and reflections on this topic. Here are some of the subtopics I could go over inside the article:

  • Using our display ads and affiliate earnings as a diversified revenue stream to reinvest into product development
  • Conventional wisdom says that you should not put display ads on your eCommerce store’s blog. But why did we end up doing it?
  • A look at other eCommerce stores that have had success with launching a blog

And you can decide not to publish it if you don’t like what I write.

Btw here’s an article I wrote for Amazon: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/resource-center/meet-an-amazon-associate-simon-treulle. 

Interested in hearing what you think!

Also, my Flippa profile is: https://flippa.com/users/2807017. (I haven’t bought a site on Flippa YET, but have a call scheduled with a Seller this week. Have bought multiple sites on other marketplaces in the last 2 years.)

Kind regards,

Simon Treulle
CEO at Pangolia

And here’s the resulting guest post:

Guest post published on Flippa

Let me share a few more tips for achieving success with guest posting.

Tip 1. Pitch websites you already have relationships with

People tend to do business with those they already know, so a good starting point is to pitch posts to those you have existing relationships with.

I’m not just talking about people or companies you have deep relationships with either. This isn’t always necessary. Believe it or not, just being a customer is often enough to get their attention and interest. 

Here are a few questions I recommend asking yourself to find places to pitch:

  • Which software and apps do you use? These companies are often interested in hearing about how their software is helping your business succeed.
  • Which online publications do you love? This will help you personalize your pitch.
  • Who do you know in the industry? Maybe they can introduce you to the editor at their company?

You’ll see in my pitch to Flippa that I highlighted how I had been a Flippa user for many years and that I was looking to acquire a site through it. This likely helped make it clear to the editor of Flippa an existing relationship between us.

Tip 2. Pitch medium to high DR sites

You should spend your time where you can make the biggest impact and get in front of most readers.

Therefore, you should be picky about who you pitch. We use Ahrefs’ Domain Rating (DR) as a filter, as it’s an indicator of a site’s authority.

I find that pitching to companies that have a DR higher than 50 is the sweet spot.

Editor’s Note

I’d recommend looking at traffic estimates over DR here. It’s a better judge of the number of eyeballs a site is getting than DR. You can see this number in Site Explorer.

Organic traffic estimate and DR of ahrefs.com, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer
Joshua Hardwick

Tip 3. Consider pitching a case study or podcast episode instead of a guest post

Guest posting has unfortunately earned a bad reputation over the years, which is why some publications will reject all pitches without question. So I recommend thinking about other types of content you can create that will provide value to their audience.

We’ve had a lot of success with case studies. Here are a few we’ve published: 

Case studies work well because companies love seeing how they are enabling your success. These reflect positively on the companies and serve as great education for their readers. Also, these make great content for their future marketing efforts.

So try to pitch the creation of a case study if your guest posting pitch is rejected.

We’ve also achieved success with guest appearances on podcasts. This way, you can provide value to their audience, and your site will often receive a link from the podcast notes.

Valuable link building realizations

Here are a few tips I’ve learned from my link building experiences so far:

Tip 1. Link building gets easier when your website is trustworthy and professional

Journalists and webmasters typically quality-check sources before linking to them. So if your site looks to be of low quality and is filled with display ads and pop-ups, there’s likely a good chance that they will just link to another website instead.

For this reason, I highly recommend looking at your site objectively and asking yourself these questions:

  • Does my site have a beautiful, intuitive web design that follows industry best practices for user experience?
  • Does my site have too many intrusive elements like display ads and pop-ups?
  • Do we have a page that shows our editorial guidelines and content integrity?
  • Are our articles the most helpful resources out there for readers?
  • Do we showcase our company’s industry expertise (E-E-A-T)?

Here’s an example of one way we demonstrate our industry expertise on Pet Keen’s “About Us” page—by showing our veterinary review board:

About page on petkeen.com, which shows the expertise of its veterinarian team

Tip 2. Having a great service or product can help you attract a lot of links

People love writing about the things that they like. So if your company has a service or product people rave about, it’s likely to attract links. This often happens in the form of top 10 lists, reviews, and recommendations.

An example of this is our other site, hepper.com, which sells modern cat furniture products. These products are loved by pet families and received coverage from big media sites such as NYTimes, Latimes, and BuzzFeed.

Tip

Don’t expect a lot of media coverage if you’re just selling a generic product that doesn’t excite people. Instead, ask yourself: What product or service can I create that people will rave about?

Tip 3. Your site may attract more passive links as its traffic increases

There’s a theory that as your site’s traffic increases, the chances of someone discovering and linking to it will also increase.

This is what Ahrefs CMO Tim Soulo calls the “vicious cycle of SEO”:

Vicious cycle of SEO

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this other than to focus on building a brand that people love and that ranks in organic search.

Tip 4. It’s better to focus on a handful of link building tactics than to try to do them all

Let’s face it: There are probably hundreds of link building methods to choose from. Now imagine trying to master all of them. You’d get overwhelmed quickly and look like this:

How it feels trying to master too many link building tactics

I’ve come to realize that it’s best to laser-focus on three to five “golden” link building methods than try to do them all. 

This is because if you try to use 100 link building methods at the same time, you’ll probably achieve mediocre results. But if you specialize in a small number of “golden” methods, you’ll likely become a master and get much better results.

However, it’s impossible to say what link building methods work best for you. Some methods work well in certain industries, while others don’t.

To find your “golden” link building methods, I recommend trying as many proven-to-work methods as possible and then evaluating what worked best for you.

Final thoughts

Growing your traffic and attracting links in a competitive industry takes a lot of time, elbow grease, and persistence.

It can seem intimidating at first. But the process often gets easier after you get your first couple of wins and have found the link building methods that work best for your site.

Once you’ve achieved that early momentum, it’s all about continuing to put in the work, scaling up your operations by hiring team members, and documenting processes.

Remember: It’s meant to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would be successful with it!



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What Is It & How To Write It

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What Is It & How To Write It

In this guide, you will learn about alternative text (known as alt text): what it is, why it is important for on-page SEO, how to use it correctly, and more.

It’s often overlooked, but every image on your website should have alt text. More information is better, and translating visual information into text is important for search engine bots attempting to understand your website and users with screen readers.

Alt text is one more source of information that relates ideas and content together on your website.

This practical and to-the-point guide contains tips and advice you can immediately use to improve your website’s image SEO and accessibility.

What Is Alt Text?

Alternative text (or alt text) – also known as the alt attribute or the alt tag (which is not technically correct because it is not a tag) – is simply a piece of text that describes the image in the HTML code.

What Are The Uses Of Alt Text?

The original function of alt text was simply to describe an image that could not be loaded.

Many years ago, when the internet was much slower, alt text would help you know the content of an image that was too heavy to be loaded in your browser.

Today, images rarely fail to load – but if they do, then it is the alt text you will see in place of an image.

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal, May 2024

Alt text also helps search engine bots understand the image’s content and context.

More importantly, alt text is critical for accessibility and for people using screen readers:

  • Alt text helps people with disabilities (for example, using screen readers) learn about the image’s content.

Of course, like every element of SEO, it is often misused or, in some cases, even abused.

Let’s now take a closer look at why alt text is important.

Why Alt Text Is Important

The web and websites are a very visual experience. It is hard to find a website without images or graphic elements.

That’s why alt text is very important.

Alt text helps translate the image’s content into words, thus making the image accessible to a wider audience, including people with disabilities and search engine bots that are not clever enough yet to fully understand every image, its context, and its meaning.

Why Alt Text Is Important For SEO

Alt text is an important element of on-page SEO optimization.

Proper alt text optimization makes your website stand a better chance of ranking in Google image searches.

Yes, alt text is a ranking factor for Google image search.

Depending on your website’s niche and specificity, Google image search traffic may play a huge role in your website’s overall success.

For example, in the case of ecommerce websites, users very often start their search for products with a Google image search instead of typing the product name into the standard Google search.

Screenshot from search for [Garmin forerunner]Screenshot from search for [Garmin forerunner], May 2024

Google and other search engines may display fewer product images (or not display them at all) if you fail to take care of their alt text optimization.

Without proper image optimization, you may lose a lot of potential traffic and customers.

Why Alt Text Is Important For Accessibility

Visibility in Google image search is very important, but there is an even more important consideration: Accessibility.

Fortunately, in recent years, more focus has been placed on accessibility (i.e., making the web accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and/or using screen readers).

Suppose the alt text of your images actually describes their content instead of, for example, stuffing keywords. In that case, you are helping people who cannot see this image better understand it and the content of the entire web page.

Let’s say one of your web pages is an SEO audit guide that contains screenshots from various crawling tools.

Would it not be better to describe the content of each screenshot instead of placing the same alt text of “SEO audit” into every image?

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Alt Text Examples

Finding many good and bad examples of alt text is not difficult. Let me show you a few, sticking to the above example with an SEO audit guide.

Good Alt Text Examples

So, our example SEO guide contains screenshots from tools such as Google Search Console and Screaming Frog.

Some good examples of alt text may include:

”The
”Google
”List
”Screaming

Tip: It is also a good idea to take care of the name of your file. Using descriptive file names is not a ranking factor, but I recommend this as a good SEO practice.

Bad And/Or Spammy Alt Text Examples

I’ve also seen many examples of bad alt text use, including keyword stuffing or spamming.

Here is how you can turn the above good examples into bad examples:

”google search console coverage report
”google
”seo
”seo

As you can see, the above examples do not provide any information on what these images actually show.

You can also find examples and even more image SEO tips on Google Search Central.

Common Alt Text Mistakes

Stuffing keywords in the alt text is not the only mistake you can make.

Here are a few examples of common alt text mistakes:

  • Failure to use the alt text or using empty alt text.
  • Using the same alt text for different images.
  • Using very general alt text that does not actually describe the image. For example, using the alt text of “dog” on the photo of a dog instead of describing the dog in more detail, its color, what it is doing, what breed it is, etc.
  • Automatically using the name of the file as the alt text – which may lead to very unfriendly alt text, such as “googlesearchconsole,” “google-search-console,” or “photo2323,” depending on the name of the file.

Alt Text Writing Tips

And finally, here are the tips on how to write correct alt text so that it actually fulfills its purpose:

  • Do not stuff keywords into the alt text. Doing so will not help your web page rank for these keywords.
  • Describe the image in detail, but still keep it relatively short. Avoid adding multiple sentences to the alt text.
  • Use your target keywords, but in a natural way, as part of the image’s description. If your target keyword does not fit into the image’s description, don’t use it.
  • Don’t use text on images. All text should be added in the form of HTML code.
  • Don’t write, “this is an image of.” Google and users know that this is an image. Just describe its content.
  • Make sure you can visualize the image’s content by just reading its alt text. That is the best exercise to make sure your alt text is OK.

How To Troubleshoot Image Alt Text

Now you know all the best practices and common mistakes of alt text. But how do you check what’s in the alt text of the images of a website?

You can analyze the alt text in the following ways:

Inspecting an element (right-click and select Inspect when hovering over an image) is a good way to check if a given image has alt text.

However, if you want to check that in bulk, I recommend one of the below two methods.

Install Web Developer Chrome extension.

Screenshot of Web Developer Extension in Chrome by authorScreenshot from Web Developer Extension, Chrome by author, May 2024

Next, open the page whose images you want to audit.

Click on Web Developer and navigate to Images > Display Alt Attributes. This way, you can see the content of the alt text of all images on a given web page.

The alt text of images is shown on the page.Screenshot from Web Developer Extension, Chrome by author, May 2024

How To Find And Fix Missing Alt Text

To check the alt text of the images of the entire website, use a crawler like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb.

Crawl the site, navigate to the image report, and review the alt text of all website images, as shown in the video guide below.

You can also export only images that have missing alt text and start fixing those issues.

Alt Text May Not Seem Like A Priority, But It’s Important

Every source of information about your content has value. Whether it’s for vision-impaired users or bots, alt text helps contextualize the images on your website.

While it’s only a ranking factor for image search, everything you do to help search engines understand your website can potentially help deliver more accurate results. Demonstrating a commitment to accessibility is also a critical component of modern digital marketing.

FAQ

What is the purpose of alt text in HTML?

Alternative text, or alt text, serves two main purposes in HTML. Its primary function is to provide a textual description of an image if it cannot be displayed. This text can help users understand the image content when technical issues prevent it from loading or if they use a screen reader due to visual impairments. Additionally, alt text aids search engine bots in understanding the image’s subject matter, which is critical for SEO, as indexing images correctly can enhance a website’s visibility in search results.

Can alt text improve website accessibility?

Yes, alt text is vital for website accessibility. It translates visual information into descriptive text that can be read by screen readers used by users with visual impairments. By accurately describing images, alt text ensures that all users, regardless of disability, can understand the content of a web page, making the web more inclusive and accessible to everyone.

More resources: 


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Google Dials Back AI Overviews In Search Results, Study Finds

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Photo of a mobile device in mans hand with generative google AI Overview on the screen.

According to new research, Google’s AI-generated overviews have undergone significant adjustments since the initial rollout.

The study from SE Ranking analyzed 100,000 keywords and found Google has greatly reduced the frequency of AI overviews.

However, when they appear, they’re more detailed than they were previously.

The study digs into which topics and industries are more likely to get an AI overview. It also looks at how the AI snippets interact with other search features like featured snippets and ads.

Here’s an overview of the findings and what they mean for your SEO efforts.

Declining Frequency Of AI Overviews

In contrast to pre-rollout figures, 8% of the examined searches now trigger an AI Overview.

This represents a 52% drop compared to January levels.

Yevheniia Khromova, the study’s author, believes this means Google is taking a more measured approach, stating:

“The sharp decrease in AI Overview presence likely reflects Google’s efforts to boost the accuracy and trustworthiness of AI-generated answers.”

Longer AI Overviews

Although the frequency of AI overviews has decreased, the ones that do appear provide more detailed information.

The average length of the text has grown by nearly 25% to around 4,342 characters.

In another notable change, AI overviews now link to fewer sources on average – usually just four links after expanding the snippet.

However, 84% still include at least one domain from that query’s top 10 organic search results.

Niche Dynamics & Ranking Factors

The chances of getting an AI overview vary across different industries.

Searches related to relationships, food and beverages, and technology were most likely to trigger AI overviews.

Sensitive areas like healthcare, legal, and news had a low rate of showing AI summaries, less than 1%.

Longer search queries with ten words were more likely to generate an AI overview, with a 19% rate indicating that AI summaries are more useful for complex information needs.

Search terms with lower search volumes and lower cost-per-click were more likely to display AI summaries.

Other Characteristics Of AI Overviews

The research reveals that 45% of AI overviews appear alongside featured snippets, often sourced from the exact domains.

Around 87% of AI overviews now coexist with ads, compared to 73% previously, a statistic that could increase competition for advertising space.

What Does This Mean?

SE Ranking’s research on AI overviews has several implications:

  1. Reduced Risk Of Traffic Losses: Fewer searches trigger AI Overviews that directly answer queries, making organic listings less likely to be demoted or receive less traffic.
  2. Most Impacted Niches: AI overviews appear more in relationships, food, and technology niches. Publishers in these sectors should pay closer attention to Google’s AI overview strategy.
  3. Long-form & In-Depth Content Essential: As AI snippets become longer, companies may need to create more comprehensive content beyond what the overviews cover.

Looking Ahead

While the number of AI overviews has decreased recently, we can’t assume this trend will continue.

AI overviews will undoubtedly continue to transform over time.

It’s crucial to monitor developments closely, try different methods of dealing with them, and adjust game plans as needed.


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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

Many advertisers have a tight budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, making it challenging to maximize results.

One of the first questions that often looms large is, “How much should we spend?” It’s a pivotal question, one that sets the stage for the entire PPC strategy.

Read on for tips to get started or further optimize budgets for your PPC program to maximize every dollar spent.

1. Set Expectations For The Account

With a smaller budget, managing expectations for the size and scope of the account will allow you to keep focus.

A very common question is: How much should our company spend on PPC?

To start, you must balance your company’s PPC budget with the cost, volume, and competition of keyword searches in your industry.

You’ll also want to implement a well-balanced PPC strategy with display and video formats to engage consumers.

First, determine your daily budget. For example, if the monthly budget is $2,000, the daily budget would be set at $66 per day for the entire account.

The daily budget will also determine how many campaigns you can run at the same time in the account because that $66 will be divided up among all campaigns.

Be aware that Google Ads and Microsoft Ads may occasionally exceed the daily budget to maximize results. The overall monthly budget, however, should not exceed the Daily x Number of Days in the Month.

Now that we know our daily budget, we can focus on prioritizing our goals.

2. Prioritize Goals

Advertisers often have multiple goals per account. A limited budget will also limit the number of campaigns – and the number of goals – you should focus on.

Some common goals include:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Leads.
  • Sales.
  • Repeat sales.

In the example below, the advertiser uses a small budget to promote a scholarship program.

They are using a combination of leads (search campaign) and awareness (display campaign) to divide up a daily budget of $82.

Screenshot from author, May 2024

The next several features can help you laser-focus campaigns to allocate your budget to where you need it most.

Remember, these settings will restrict traffic to the campaign. If you aren’t getting enough traffic, loosen up/expand the settings.

3. Location Targeting

Location targeting is a core consideration in reaching the right audience and helps manage a small ad budget.

To maximize a limited budget, you should focus on only the essential target locations where your customers are located.

While that seems obvious, you should also consider how to refine that to direct the limited budget to core locations. For example:

  • You can refine location targeting by states, cities, ZIP codes, or even a radius around your business.
  • Choosing locations to target should be focused on results.
  • The smaller the geographic area, the less traffic you will get, so balance relevance with budget.
  • Consider adding negative locations where you do not do business to prevent irrelevant clicks that use up precious budget.

If the reporting reveals targeted locations where campaigns are ineffective, consider removing targeting to those areas. You can also try a location bid modifier to reduce ad serving in those areas.

managing ppc budget by location interactionScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

4. Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling also helps to control budget by only running ads on certain days and at certain hours of the day.

With a smaller budget, it can help to limit ads to serve only during hours of business operation. You can choose to expand that a bit to accommodate time zones and for searchers doing research outside of business hours.

If you sell online, you are always open, but review reporting for hourly results over time to determine if there are hours of the day with a negative return on investment (ROI).

Limit running PPC ads if the reporting reveals hours of the day when campaigns are ineffective.

Manage a small ppc budget by hour of dayScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

5. Set Negative Keywords

A well-planned negative keyword list is a golden tactic for controlling budgets.

The purpose is to prevent your ad from showing on keyword searches and websites that are not a good match for your business.

  • Generate negative keywords proactively by brainstorming keyword concepts that may trigger ads erroneously.
  • Review query reports to find irrelevant searches that have already led to clicks.
  • Create lists and apply to the campaign.
  • Repeat on a regular basis because ad trends are always evolving!

6. Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding is a game-changer for efficient ad campaigns. Powered by Google AI, it automatically adjusts bids to serve ads to the right audience within budget.

The AI optimizes the bid for each auction, ideally maximizing conversions while staying within your budget constraints.

Smart bidding strategies available include:

  • Maximize Conversions: Automatically adjust bids to generate as many conversions as possible for the budget.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): This method predicts the value of potential conversions and adjusts bids in real time to maximize return.
  • Target Cost Per Action (CPA): Advertisers set a target cost-per-action (CPA), and Google optimizes bids to get the most conversions within budget and the desired cost per action.

7. Try Display Only Campaigns

display ads for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

For branding and awareness, a display campaign can expand your reach to a wider audience affordably.

Audience targeting is an art in itself, so review the best options for your budget, including topics, placements, demographics, and more.

Remarketing to your website visitors is a smart targeting strategy to include in your display campaigns to re-engage your audience based on their behavior on your website.

Let your ad performance reporting by placements, audiences, and more guide your optimizations toward the best fit for your business.

audience targeting options for small ppc budgetScreenshot by Lisa Raehsler from Google Ads, May 2024

8. Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max (PMax) campaigns are available in Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.

In short, automation is used to maximize conversion results by serving ads across channels and with automated ad formats.

This campaign type can be useful for limited budgets in that it uses AI to create assets, select channels, and audiences in a single campaign rather than you dividing the budget among multiple campaign types.

Since the success of the PMax campaign depends on the use of conversion data, that data will need to be available and reliable.

9. Target Less Competitive Keywords

Some keywords can have very high cost-per-click (CPC) in a competitive market. Research keywords to compete effectively on a smaller budget.

Use your analytics account to discover organic searches leading to your website, Google autocomplete, and tools like Google Keyword Planner in the Google Ads account to compare and get estimates.

In this example, a keyword such as “business accounting software” potentially has a lower CPC but also lower volume.

Ideally, you would test both keywords to see how they perform in a live campaign scenario.

comparing keywords for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

10. Manage Costly Keywords

High volume and competitive keywords can get expensive and put a real dent in the budget.

In addition to the tip above, if the keyword is a high volume/high cost, consider restructuring these keywords into their own campaign to monitor and possibly set more restrictive targeting and budget.

Levers that can impact costs on this include experimenting with match types and any of the tips in this article. Explore the opportunity to write more relevant ad copy to these costly keywords to improve quality.

Every Click Counts

As you navigate these strategies, you will see that managing a PPC account with a limited budget isn’t just about monetary constraints.

Rocking your small PPC budgets involves strategic campaign management, data-driven decisions, and ongoing optimizations.

In the dynamic landscape of paid search advertising, every click counts, and with the right approach, every click can translate into meaningful results.

More resources: 


Featured Image: bluefish_ds/Shutterstock

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