Small Business PPC - How to Compete with Bullies in PPC !!!?Posted on 11 Feb by

Small Business PPC - How to Compete with Bullies in PPC !!!?

PPC is a platform where even newborn babies can compete with big daddies of the field. We know, the factors affecting small business PPC campaigns depend on the quality of the approach and the budget allocated. Quality can be achieved by any campaigner’s good strategies.  The difference comes in the size of the budget. More the budget, more we can bid on keywords resulting in more ad displays and more results. Giants in the field may have big budget size and may target thousands of keywords.

Tricks for your Small Business PPC Campaign to Compete with Giant Competitors : 

  • Target high-volume keywords, within limits

Usually, we look firstly at keywords with high search volume (head keywords). More search means more traffic - simple logic. But, small businesses could face a big problem here regarding budget as high volume keywords are always costly.  

Assume the scenario where we are competing in high stakes PPC market with bids in $25-$50 range. But we have a low budget size to compete with these bullies. Being high volume keywords, we can’t simply drop these keywords.  So bid the maximum that we could offer. It may not be sufficient enough to show our ads on first position but it may help us to reach 15th-20th position. If we present our ad copy in an impressive way, even at this position it can bring traffic to our page. So target the high volume keywords within our limits and it will help us to carve a slice a conversion away from the big brands.

  • Target long-tail keywords with high conversion probability

We all know are zero competition keywords are practically unavailable. What we have to find is keywords with less competition. We could go with medium-tail' keywords - slightly longer than head keywords. Or we could use 'long-tail' keywords. These are considerably longer search terms and may have comparatively low search volume. But, if we choose the right niche, we could drive targeted traffic at little expense.

  • Make our ad stand out to our niche

When we are competing against big brands, we will need strong ad copies to make up for our lack of brand recognition. Creating ad copies that will make search engine users pause and take notice, is going to help us in boosting our business.

 With high competition keywords, there is going to be a lot of repetitive ad copy between companies. This is where we can stand out and impress our audience with catchy titles and ad copies. We should write creative but focused ad copies targeting our audience. Here we may use Dynamic Keyword Insertion. We could make use of display URL option to make a feel that the ad is most relevant to our audience.  

Let us look into an example. Below shows the PPC results for the keyword ‘digital marketing courses.'


These ads say a lot of the same thing about Digital Marketing Courses. This is the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd. We may create different ad copies with different location names so that audience from the specific location finds our ad more relevant. Again, if our demographic was business owners who want to study more about digital marketing, we should write an ad that would stand out to them. This can work with our small business name as well. If we don’t get a click we are still getting impressions to help out with our branding.

  • Target Competitor’s soft spots

If we could find competitor’s soft spots and target them, we could gain a lot of traffic and more business in cheap cost. But, it takes much effort to make this happen. Given below some ideas to hack competitor’s campaign strategy.

  • Identify Competitor's Ad Schedule

We all know that Adwords has a scheduling feature that allows us to run ads during particular times of the day. We could even adjust bids of the keywords (positively or negatively) based on times of the day. It is noticeable that, Adwords only allows the scheduling to be made in increments of 15 minutes.


So, if our PPC competitor is employing the ad scheduler, it becomes fairly easy to identify when they stop running ads by running test searches throughout the day at 15-minute intervals. Once we have identified a competitor using the ad scheduler, we have just found a soft spot. Our bid competition will be lower during the times of the day when that competitor isn't bidding on ads. If we can identify more than one competitor, then we have to put much more effort in testing and observations to find most favorable environment.

  • Identifying Competitor’s Under-Budgeted Campaigns

Here comes another method that could help us - identifying and making use of competitor’s under budgeted campaigns. We could easily identify our competition's under-budgeted campaigns by frequent testing. Now, what is an under budgeted campaign? It is nothing but a campaign whose daily budget will not supply the maximum number of clicks available to that advertiser. Say, someone is paying an average of $20 per click for a particular keyword; assume further that their daily budget is only $60. In other words, the advertiser has a budget to purchase only three clicks. Campaign may have more keywords that are capable of bringing more number of clicks but they doesn’t have enough budget to achieve more clicks for the day. This is a clear case of under budgeted campaign.

In this scenario, Google is forced to economize ad delivery and it gives advertisers only two choices: standard delivery and accelerated delivery. In standard delivery method, Google will spread the ads throughout the day. In accelerated delivery method, Google will show ad every time they are triggered by a search query until the advertiser's daily budget gets exhausted.

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Here lies our opportunity. If our competitor is employing the accelerated delivery method and if they have an under budgeted campaign, their ads won’t be running all the day. Ads will stop running at that point when the daily budget of the campaign gets exhausted. We can find whether our competitors are employing accelerated delivery and have under budgeted campaign by frequent. If their ads are showing consistently in the morning but not in the afternoon, they may be facing this issue.

So with these tricks in hand, we could easily carve our share from PPC market and could easily grow our business. What we have to do is stay alerted and act according to market changes.

Hope you find the blog useful. Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

This resource was published by
11 February 2016
  • Akhil is a Search Engine Marketing specialist at Webdura Technologies. He is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional with AdWords, Analytics and Hubspot certification.


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