Below is a look at which best practices we think are made to be broken.
Never direct ads to your homepage.
The only thing I care about when it comes to landing pages is, does it convert. I don’t care if my ads are going to a homepage, a page specifically tailored to a single keyword, or a page only containing videos of bulldogs rolling down hills, as long as it converts.
Take full advantage of character limits.
I have spent years perfecting the 25 character headline and 35 character description line. When Google released Expanded Text Ads last year, account managers around the world celebrated the increased character limits, but is more always better? You want your ads to efficiently get information to searchers, and sometimes short and simple ads perform better. One of my top performing ads right now uses 32 out of the available 80 character description line.
Use all available ad extensions to take up more space on the SERP.
This ties into the last point, that more isn’t always better. Sometimes, providing too much information can distract from the main message. If you haven’t already, check out this blog post on how overloading ad extensions can negatively impact performance.
Split match types up/keep match types together.
This is one of the questions I’m asked most often by people who are just getting started with building campaigns – should I split up match types? My answer to that question is always, do what you want. I’ve had success with both methods. A lot of it depends on specifics of the account you’re working on and your own personal management preferences.
Title case in ad copy.
I was a huge proponent of writing text ads this way for years until I started testing other options. I was surprised to find that the ads that didn’t utilize title case sometimes outperformed those that did; once I saw success in one account I started testing it in others and have been continually surprised when the non-title case ads out-perform those using title case.
Manual CPC bidding.
I, like many of you, am a control freak when it comes to PPC management. This was a hard one to let go of, but over time I’ve seen some really good results with automated bidding tests. I’ve been especially happy with the Target CPA option in AdWords for some lead gen clients with hard target CPA goals. I highly encourage testing out different automated bidding options and letting the data drive your decisions instead of the need to control.
LinkedIn’s suggestion of audience sizes that are 100,000+.
I have had killer luck with audience sizes way smaller than this, so if you have developed a great audience and it’s smaller than that, I say go for it. My experience says this is absolutely not necessary.
Ad Group Level A/B Testing.
Aggregate level ad testing is where it’s at. In a perfect world, there would be all the time and traffic needed to make this dream a reality for every account. But it’s not realistic for every account, so I say look to aggregate ad copy testing instead.