7 Creative Ways to Use Paid Search That Google Won’t Tell You

Author Emma Knightley
Topic Search

A common mistake many marketers make is to get lost in convention. We hear there are certain ways to do things and choose to follow these rules to the letter, instead of forging our own paths. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, these conventional approaches are proven to work, aren’t they?

Google is famous for its algorithms and keeping things fair in the best interest of its users. However, as a business fighting for rankings, all is not fair in a digital war. Here are a few creative ways to separate yourself from the crowd using less conventional methods on Google Ads.

1. Piggyback on other Brands

Piggyback on other Brands

It might seem mad to suggest you include your competitor’s name in your keywords, but is it really? Most searchers include a brand name because their search has a little more purpose. They know what they want and might be at the end of the research phase and closer to the buying stage. Get away from the habit of focusing on bids for industry keywords, and instead, use brand names of your most successful competitors.

Why it works:

What happens when you opt to bid for brand names is that you are inserting your business into the search whether they like it or not. That is a specific search, and you will probably be one of the only competitors to be so brazen.

Although you might figure the people searching for a specific brand have already made up their minds, there will still be those who are doing a final search to make a decision. They are the fence sitters who might still be enticed to come your way.

How to do it:

You can place an ad that will pop up and give a little food for thought for customers about to click on your competitor’s link. It can ask a question, it can plant a seed of doubt, or it can even make them laugh to encourage curiosity. The important thing here is to attract them away from the obvious link and choose yours instead. Get them to a landing page where you can make a point-for-point argument against your competitor, and you might just gain a conversion.

The downside:

You could find it more expensive than you thought if other companies are taking the same sneaky approach. 

2. Leverage Typos

This one is along the same lines of diverting rankings from your opponents. This tactic depends on the old fat finger fumble a.k.a. typos. You bid on potential misspellings of a brand or product to capture the attention of people who are making typos in their search.

Why it works:

It is kind of self-explanatory, but you will get to the top of the search and spend less money doing so.

How to do it:

There is a free tool that allows you to enter keywords to generate the most common typos.

The downside:

Although you will probably get top rankings, search engines do know typos are made and will provide an alternative search to click.

3. Go for the Top of the Funnel

The sales funnel provides opportunities at both ends when it comes to searches. The majority of people bidding on keywords are looking for words that focus on buyer intent. These higher commercial intent keywords can also be quite expensive. However, you can also use keywords to get people to visit your site even though they are less likely to be conversions right off the bat.

Why it works:

It still provides an opportunity to introduce your brand and services to new customers. It works well as long as you have a way of capturing these visitors so they can be nurtured along the funnel.

How to do it:

You have to use broader term keywords to capture this end of the funnel.

The downside:

You have to have a robust nurturing process in place to get them to convert.

4. Take Advantage of Negative Keywords

Search engines do their best to provide the best matches for each inquiry. Unfortunately, that can often include imperfect matches. If you are paying per click, you really want to avoid being thrown into the rankings when the person doing the search does not actually suit your needs. If they choose to click your ad, you still pay.

How to do it:

If you specialize in running shoes for adults, for example, you don't want parents coming to your site looking for runners for their kids. In this case, you can choose negative keywords such as “kids," “children,” or even “small sizes.”

Why it works:

You will avoid showing your links to people who will never use your services. That saves money as it will reduce the number of dead-end clicks. As an added bonus, Google appreciates it when you use negative keywords and will give you a better score for your ads. This tactic gives you higher rankings, and not only you are avoiding paying for dead-end clicks, but you will also pay less for your PPC cost.

The downside:

Other than taking a little longer to set up your keywords, there really isn’t a pitfall to using negative keywords. 

5. Don’t Give Up on Organic SEO

 Don’t Give Up on Organic SEO

Organic results are basically unpaid rankings. You have to maintain a strong SEO strategy to help you get organic rankings using high-quality content. You also have to make sure you are choosing the right keywords to help you rise up in the rankings. Working in hand with your PPC ads, you can slowly build momentum as Google starts to see value in the content you provide between your organic content and your ads.

How to do it:

Create relevant, high-quality content, fully optimized with the right keywords. You can use Google Ads to find the best keywords to include in your content and use it to try to generate free clicks as you rise in the rankings. Use results from your ads to pinpoint the winning keywords and phrases and incorporate them into your content.

Why it works:

According to Zero Limit Web data in 2017, 85% of clicks go to organic results.

The downside:

It can take months or longer to get up in rankings this way, and writing content takes time and costs money. 

6. Try to Go Viral

Your ads on Google don’t have to be boring. You can get creative and develop ads that can go viral.

How to do it: 

You either use hyper-targeted and longer-tail keywords that are seeing less search volume or do your research and look for something going on in the industry like an event or conference. You will get the right audience and have your opportunity to wow and amaze them with your creativity.

Why it works:

Going viral helps raise brand awareness and also provides more ROI for your PPC ads.

The downside:

This feat is not easy. You will be competing with ads that are more relevant to the very high-volume keywords you might end up using. Due to the high-volume, you will more than likely be missed in the search with Google giving you a low-quality score.  

7. Use Ad Extensions

 Use Ad Extensions

Google offers a number of ad extensions that help you to provide more information for your text ads. Many marketers overlook these extensions, but they are worth using as they don’t take long to set up and can take your ads to the next level. They appear directly below your description and don’t cost extra.

How to do it:

First, you can use price extensions to highlight certain products or services with their costs. They link to the products on your site while also providing a quick view of what you sell. You can also use price extensions to highlight a free offer or giveaway.

Next, message extensions can be added to provide a quick way to text you with a question. This method costs the same as a click when someone chooses to use it, but it’s worth far more as it is immediate contact.

Finally, use the scheduling option for your callout extensions. It works well if you are running a limited promotion or even want to test out different wording for your callout extensions. Also, you can set it up to suit messages such as estimated delivery dates based on the day of the week the searcher sees your ad. If you mention a live chat that is only open during the week, you can have this extension disappear on the weekends.

Why it works:

They provide additional information at a glance without any additional costs. They fine-tune your ads while making it easy to contact you.

The downside:

You might not want to show pricing, which is fine. You have no tracking device to see how many people are using the messaging option within Google Analytics. Not everyone will have applications for the scheduling option in callouts.

Introducing a few less conventional methods as part of your Google Ads tactics can help you get an edge over the competition without necessarily costing too much. 

Emma Knightley