How to use RLSA campaigns correctly

How to set up RLSA campaigns

Remarketing lists for search ads or short RLSA are a great opportunity when the PPC budget is tight, this is particularly the case for PPC budgets in small businesses. In short, RLSA, like the Google Display Network, can serve an ad to a user who previously visited your site. The main difference here is that the ad is served as a traditional search ad and does not differ from other competitor ads on the search network – besides the ad copy of course. The creative PPC practitioners spot endless opportunities using RLSA and indeed, this is a great technique which you should include in your PPC strategy when pitching to your boss when the time comes round where money talks.

How to set up RLSA campaigns

Keep it flat

If you read our posts about the perfect Adwords account structure, you know by now that we like things flat. A flat hierarchy in a company means mostly great agility and flexibility and avoids mutli-layered power struggle going through the different management levels. Similar to this, we always advise to split RLSA from search campaigns. We don’t want to go into detail how to set up a RLSA campaign which you can read directly on Google’s website, but would like to point out some key features which simplify the monitoring and control process.

RLSA bid only or target and bid – which one?

RLSA is an audience you can attach on adgroup level. Seperating the campaigns between search ads and RLSA ads will give you greater budget control. When setting up RLSA campaigns with the Google Adwords Editor, the default RLSA is bid only – make sure you’re changing this setting in the audience tab on the Google interface to target and bid. Changing the bidding option means that the ad will only be served if the remarketing tag fires up. If the user hasn’t visited your site or a specific part on your site, the ad will not show. And this is ultimately what we want, serve the user with the normal search ad in a search campaign and be more aggressive by raising your CPC bids within the RLSA campaigns.

Why should I use RLSA campaigns?

Competition is fierce and you might not be able to afford to be on first position. If you however work with RLSA and select the target and bid option, you can guarantee that the ad will only show to users who previously visited your website and by now familiar with your brand or have at least seen the logo. The second time round, it is worth being much more aggressive. Yes, CPCs will be expensive but the conversion rate tends to be much better as the customer already indicated to be partly interested in your brand or your products. Raise up your CPCs and get top positions and improve your CTRs, you can even bid on keywords which you otherwise would not dare to bid on.


Group keyword sets correctly and get better PPC results

Grouping tight sets of keywords will bring better results in your PPC campaigns. I was once given a good piece of advice to reverse the process when creating new adgroups and rather starting with the keywords, actually come up with the ad copy first. Afterwards, you allocate a tightly set of keywords to your ad copy and continue the process until you end up with a bunch of highly relevant adgroups. Your efforts will be rewarded with good quality scores. Writing catchy and punchy ads is one of the key success factors for good click through rates. However, once you have written qualitative highly relevant ads, you still have to overcome the challenge on deciding in which keyword sets you should group them.

PPC categories

The buying decision and conversion funnels

Let’s assume you sell a physical product. It makes sense to look into the different searches made specifically for this product on its own or in conjunction with a high intend-keyword such as buy, book or order. Straight away you can split the generic terms from the buy-intend keywords and group them separately. Is your brand known and searches appear with your company name, make sure they are separated and sit in its own adgroup. Searches with brand related terms tend to convert higher as they come from users already familiar with your services and products. This however can dilute your performance results as it does not show the true value you would have achieved without support from your own brand terms. Exclude these terms as negatives in your generic adgroups. And already we have three adgroups about the same product, but let’s go a step further.

If you see clear patters in specific keywords and you want to be the ultimate champion of CTR optimisation, split your action terms even further. Create a new adgroup for terms like buy and order. You’ll definitely see an uplift in click through rates. People no longer go through the traditional purchasing funnel but drop out at any stage and come back in again. Comparing products on different websites means that users will probably visit your website more than once or compare different deals whilst having multiple windows open. By trying to overlay the buying process onto your adgroups, you’ll gain more insight in what type of searches are conducted and you can therefore amend or optimise your sets of keywords. Setting up your remarketing on search (RLSA) as well as display will additionally help to bring back the visitor.

Misspelling adgroups

Create a misspelling adgroup capturing all the searches which are too far away to be captured with close-match variants. Experiment with different ad copies. I saw some decent results using dynamic keyword insertion which then actually shows the misspelling of the product in your ad. Despite the fact that mistakes in PPC ads are off-putting, this very user is still in believe to have written the name of the product correctly and therefore sees exactly what he/she is looking for in bold letters.

Substitute names and searches

Make sure that you also capture queries of people who do not exactly know the name of the product or your brand. This might take time and requires you to analyse the search query reports. Think of how you would describe your product, its functions, its unique selling points, its purpose and so on. As multilingual PPC agency, we work with international clients whose target audience speaks various languages. Think of name of products in different languages and check the search volume.

Bidding on competitor terms

This non-ethical PPC strategy is very cheeky and in some countries even forbidden. Before you even think of bidding on your competitor brand names, see whether you get the results with the above adgroups. Otherwise, make sure that you understand the advertising regulations in that particular country, set up your keywords in a clever way or get a good laywer.

The right PPC structure

The above are only some guidelines and by all means, the list is non-exhaustive and your thoughts and comments are welcome. The process of creating relevant adgroups with tightly themed sets of keywords requires sufficient traffic. The real expansion and deep dive into adgroups happens best when there is already sufficient data available.

How and when to use ad schedule

Depending on the nature of your business, your target audience might not search for your product or sevice every hour of every day of the week. If you are a small business and provide a service which depends on opening hours, it makes sense to only show ads accordingly. Or you offer your products exclusively to B2B clients, it might be a good idea to keep advertising switched off during weekends. Global companies with multilingual PPC advertising might want to take different time zones into account.

ad scheduling in Google Adwords

Google Adwords lets you fintetune your scheduling very precisely. Once your business accumulated a bit of data, the dimensions tab in Adwords is a helpful tool to assess when your campaigns are most successful. Add the segment day of the week and your time range is filtered into the 7 days of the week. If you track conversions on your website, this data might be quite revealing. You might find that your customers don’t convert at weekends or individual days of the week. You also have the option to filter the data more granular and switch the segmentation to hours of the day. All this insight can help your small business to understand when your customers are most active, get cheaper clicks and save some serious bucks with ad scheduling.

How to set up ad scheduling in Adwords?

Choose the campaign to which you want to add ad scheduling. Click on settings and then the ad schedule tab. Now add an ad schedule and choose first the days and hours whereby you want to apply bid adjustments. Choose individual days or Monday-Friday, selecting the hours of your business or for competitive reasons. Save the changes, your ad schedule is now visible. Tick the days/hours you want to amend and change the bids by either increasing or decreasing them.

How to copy ad schedule to all my campaigns?

If you use Google Adwords Editor, you can download your ad schedule which is unfortunately not visible, however you can still copy it. Click on the Edit tab and copy campaign shell from “copy special”. Afterwards, select the campaigns whereby you want to apply the same bid adjustments and “paste special” the campaign shell. Upload everything and once you check the campaign settings of the chosen campaigns, you’ll now see the ad schedule attached.

Monitor your ad schedule and have a close eye on conversions and costs. If you’re not getting the results you were hoping for, you might have to further test various bid adjustments. Campaign experiments might be another interesting tool which we will cover in another blog.

How Google Adwords can help my small business first, it might be daunting being an owner of a small business to set up a Google Adwords account or start a relationship with a digital marketing agency. After all, it is your hard earned cash which you invest into paid advertising like PPC and hope to get something in return, such as more traffic to your website, more sales, more leads or just in general, more brand exposure. Whether you decide to work with an PPC agency who will set up your Google Adwords account or you already have the basic skills to set up your campaigns yourself, there are a number of guidelines you can follow to make sure to get the best out of Google Adwords which can really help your small business and bring it potentially to the next level.

Use “Crouch End” as promo code and get 6 months 50% off

Whilst we do not want to go into too specific detail, we would like to explain some basics how pay-per-click can help your small business and where you have to be careful not to waste your money. Too often, a digital agency will approach you and try to convince that your campaigns could be run more efficiently – and quite often they have a point. However, with the following guidelines, you can make sure to minimise spend whilst get the most out of your paid clicks.

Reach and targeting

Imagine you own a take-away restaurant, it makes sense to limit the reach of your PPC ads to a radius of your delivery zone. If your small business is based in Crouch End and you deliver pizzas to households within a 1 mile radius from your location, you want to make sure that your ad does not show up to people searching for a take away who live further away. Google Adwords has various possibilities to target. The most common one for small businesses will be a specific area in e.g. London like North-London or post code areas, a x-mile radius from your location or if you deliver nationwide, you can target the entire country. Besides geographic targeting, Adwords also offers language targeting. This might be helpful if you own an Italian deli and sell traditional Italian specialities, you might want to target Italian speaking customers in North-London. By limiting your reach and a relevant targeting, your business can ensure that only people within your reach are targeted. If your business sells coffee, it might sense to stop your advertising and schedule your ads depending on the time of the day.

Negative keywords

Google Adwords works with keywords. If you own a hair salon in Finsbury Park, the keyword “haircut in Finsbury Park” might be a relevant keyword to add into your adgroup. A common mistake is that the negative keywords get forgotten. They can be a bit of a life-safer when it comes to spending money on irrelevant keywords. Taking our example of the hair salon in Finsbury Park. If this hair Salon is for Gentlemen only, it would make sense to add “woman” or “female” or any other related terms as negative keywords. By doing this, if the search query states “woman’s hairdresser in Finsbury Park”, the ad would be surpressed as “woman” would stop the ad from showing. In many accounts, the negative keyword lists are very long. Use keyword suggestion tools such as Google or Ubersuggest. It makes sense to add generic terms which are not related to the business. Generic negative lists are available on the Internet and are beneficial to avoid the Miley Cyrus effect, however it might sense to develop your very own negative keyword list specified to your business. Reviewing your negative keywords on a regular basis will help you to cut down costs. If you work with an agency together, insist on seeing the search query reports and review the keywords which potentially should be excluded.

Relevant ad copy

Writing ads seems at first an easy task. It can be a challenge though as the character limit is very short. The headline is limited to 25 characters and the two description lines are 35 characters only. Once you start to write ad copy, you will soon realise that it is not as easy as you might had thought and you require a innovative brain to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In order to highlight what your business offers and to stand out, the keyword of the search query should ideally be within the headline of the ad. If Google sees that the keyword in the search qurey matches with a keyword within your ad, the keyword will be displayed bold which captures the reader’s attention. That’s exactly where camaigns benefit from multiple adgroups with tightly grouped sets of keywords. So, ultimately, all adgroups are very specific to the search query and the ads are very specific with the keywords search for showing up.

User experience and Quality score

Quality score is given to each keyword in your account. The Quality score is a combination of various algorithms, not all known by the specialists. The range is from 1-10 where a 6 is a good score. In order to improve your quality score, you have to make sure to improve the user experience. Google rewards an account when the user can find easily find what he/she is looking for. If the search query typed into Google matches the keyword and the ad, additionally, the landing page matches exactly what the user was searching and the website has an overall clear navigation, Google perceives this as a good user experience. Ultimately, this raises quality scores and can make your overall cost per clicks (CPC) cheaper and potentailly improve your ad positons whilst paying the same price per click. There are numerous algorithms how Google calculates quality scores, onsite optimisation and improving click-through-rates will support the overall score.


There are many factors one has to take into account in order to run a successful Adwords account. How Google Adwords can help my small business depends on you. Whilst Google Adwords is not rocket science, it is mainly time-consuming. If you happen to be in charge of your small business or are responsible for any marketing activities, you will be well aware that time is exactly tight in small businesses. When you start a Google Adwords account, it is of utmost importance to monitor it on a daily basis. Limit your costs by having campaign budgets if sudden increase in traffic occurs or put your remarketing of your site  in place. We will be happy to discuss any opportunity to set up Google Adwords on behalf of you. It is really not as expensive as you might think. There is no limit you spend on Google Adwords and the more precise, relevant and specific you are, the more qualitiatve traffic you get onto your website. It might just be little return to begin with but can make a real difference if it is made correctly. Contact us today for a free Quote whether you have Adwords already set up or you just would like to have a Chat with one of our experts.


Small Business Saturday

Saturday the 7th December is an important day for all small businesses in the UK. It is the official Small Business Day which actually originates from America. The purpose of this day is to put a spotlight on all freelancers, small and medium enterprises in the UK. It is a chance for lots of businesses to promote themselves through numerous events and various activities which are held across the country.


The Small Business Saturday is a so-called grassroots campaign. This means that businesses individually organise special deals for customers, showcase their products or couple together with other small businesses. It is a great chance to create awareness of small business this country depends on.

Special offer for Small Business Saturday

Like many others, cheapclicks is doing its bits to support the local businesses and introduces its services to young entrepreneurs. Our service is focused on paid search marketing. Wouldn’t it be great to see your products on the Google top positions? It is a great opportunity to market products and services through an additional marketing channel. However, expertise and time is required to gain the most out of Google Adwords. PPC is not rocket-science, managing it and get the most out of your hard-earned cash is however not a walk through the park.

That’s why cheapclicks offers a special deal for all small and medium businesses, freelancers or young entrepreneurs who get involved with the Small Business Saturday on the 7th December. Contact us now using the promo code “Small Business” and get a free consultation for your small business. And it doesn’t stop there, we offer our services half price for the first six months. You’re in capable hands and you’ll get on of our designated account managers who is fully Google certified. Google currently offers a voucher scheme for new businesses signing up to Google Adwords. If you spend £25 in the first 30 days, Google gives you additional £75 for free.

It doesn’t get much better than that. Contact us before the 31st December 2013 using the promo code “Small Business” and make the most out of Small Business Saturday.

Top 3 tips how to increase your click-through-rate CTR

Creating the best ad copy is a never ending mission and even we won’t be able to have the secret recipe. However, below you can get the best practise and a few clever tips how to increase your click-through-rate (CTR).


1. Get more real estate for your ad

Adding a full stop after your first description line will result in taking it onto the same height like the headline. Normally, your ad would look like the one below.


Adding the full stop after the first description line will take your description line onto the same height like your headline – displayed in high visible blue colour. See the example below. This unfortuantely only works when you have top three position, above the organice search results.



Other common best practises for more real estate are of course all various sitelinks. If your business has a physical location, location extension can show your address. Google Plus has increasingly become important for SEO rankings and Adwords displays your followers and +1 automatically once you verified your business page with G+. Once you have over 100 followers, Google will potentially display this in your ad. Furthermore, seller ratings, call extensions and ad extensions can additionally increase your CTRs which we will cover in a different post about sitelinks only.

 2. Using keywords in your headline

By using the keyword or the most relevant search term in the headline, if your keywords are triggered, the search terms typed into Google by a user will appear bold. This works throughout the ad, not only the headline, but using it there, will drastically improve your CTR.

 3. Ad rotation

Make sure you always have two ads running at the same time having the campaign settings changed to “Rotate evenly: Show ads more evenly at least 90 days, then optimise”. This will give you an even distribution of your ads and the lower-performing ad will become visible and can be paused and replaced with an optimised one.

Check out our guide PPC in 5 minutes per day which gives you valuable tips how to use filters and how to structure adgroups correctly.

How Miley Cyrus wastes your PPC budget

Well, we’ve seen it all even if we are not slightest interested in pop music. Miley Cyrus did it again. She knows how to shock. The graph below basically sums up her career in the pop industry. It is an excerpt from the Google Trends website Google provides. The peak last week had to do with the news headline of Miley smoking a joint at the EMA awards.

google trendsWhat does that mean for managers of SMEs? Well, running PPC camapgins, you better make sure that you have a generic naughty words list. Cover all popular terms such as pop stars, swearing words and other words of any naughty kind. By doing this, you can make sure that you won’t have a shocking surprise the next morning after Miley was naughty again.