The Early Worm Gets Eaten By the Bird – PPC Campaign Tips from Adwebvertising

Pay Per Click PPC Campaign Tips from Adwebvertising

The Early Worm Gets Eaten by the BirdI chuckled when I first heard someone say, “The early worm get’s eaten by the bird.” But you know, it rings true in the world of PPC (pay per click marketing), especially when it comes to competing in the higher CPC (cost per click) range on Google. I have clients that are bidding in the PPC marketplace with clicks that range from $20 to $40. To keep them from paying through the nose for clicks that they could get for a whole lot less I have employed a strategy that you can learn from as well. When you dig into your PPC campaigns on Google you can really take advantage of some things that your competitors are not doing and really catch your competition off guard while getting your phones ringing with new business.

Knowing Your Competitions PPC Campaing

competetive analysisTo begin with what I like to do is get some competive analysis. I want to know what my clients competitors are doing. More importantly, I want to know when they are active on Google. The fact is that most PPC campaign managers will set up their campaigns and let them go on auto-pilot, hoping that Google will somehow magically display their ads at the exact moment an actively engaged consumer is browsing keywords that they have chosen for their PPC campaigns. I bank on the fact my clients competitors are putting their PPC Campaigns on auto-pilot. This gives me some insight into when their ads are the most competitive. When they are not bidding I know that I can get the ads for my client at a lower price. When they are snoozing, my clients are mopping up at higher positions for less cost.

The High Cost of Low Budgets

And then there is the advertiser that does not have the budget for their PPC campaign to compete. I actually turn down business from clients wishing to compete in high-stakes verticles. The explanation why is simple, and after I educate my clients on the facts, they are generally willing to either back down from employing a PPC campaign as a part of their marketing strategy or they opt to allocate a reasonable budget to take advantage of the short-term, instant gratification strategy that comes with PPC campaign marketing.

In a nutshell here is how it works. Let’s say you are willing to spend $1000 per month as your advertising budget on Google PPC campaign. What this equates to is $33 per day in advertising over the course of the average month (1000/30 days = $33.33/day). If you are willing to bid $11 per clicks this means that you could potentially get (3) clicks on any given day before your ad comes down off of Google. Now, the reality is that even if you bid $11 per click it is not necessarily the case that you will pay the full amount per click and so you could actually get more than (3) clicks. But for the sake of argument, let’s say this is the case and you max out at (3) clicks per day. In competive verticles like Plumbing, or Real Estate, $11 dollars won’t even get you on the first page in most cases! So when I have a client that is limited by budget I always recommend that they use their lower budget by limiting the time they show ads to a shorter month. That same $1000 budget becomes $66 per day and (6) clicks when you cut your month to a (15) day month. Take that same $1000 and apply it to a (5) day month and you start to see more consistent exposure (albeit for a shorter amount of time throughout the month).

I generally employ PPC campaign strategies like this for clients that have lower budgets and are insistent on being in the Google space for PPC. One example would be roofing companies. By running ads during seasonal events, such as heavy rains, having a good budget to work with on days when leaking roofs are more likely is a better use of their advertising dollars. All of this to say, you want to make sure you have a budget that is competitive enough to earn your place at the table, and yet flexible enough to choose the best times to run your ads.

Be the Bird Not the Worm

So, how does this play favorably for my clients who spend a great deal of advertising dollars on their PPC campaign to maintain their seat at the table in the high-stakes reality of Google advertising. Well, in reality it requires us to capitalize on advertisers that are under budgeted. By carefully monitoring the competition, we are able to see those who are on auto-pilot and come pretty close to estimating their daily spend. Because Google is forced to economize delivery of ads through two delivery methods: Standard and Accelerated delivery. With standard delivery Google paces the ad delivery of their clients PPC campaigns throughout the day (placing ads at various times depending on their ad schedule). Client ads will then appear sporadically. This is why clients with lower budgets often ask, “why are my ads not showing up,” when they go on Google to check. One they are underbudgeted, two, their ads are in rotation. This goes on until the advertiser exhausts their daily budget and come down from Google for the day.

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem PPC CampaignThis is where we seize the day for our clients. We watch for competitors who appear early in the day only to have their PPC campaigns come down at some point in the mid-morning or early afternoon. This is a tale-tale sign that they are utilizing the accelerated delivery method. We know now that those particular competitors are vying for the top position for a particular search term and will pay full price to capitalize on any traffic that will trigger their ads. Because of this we advance our pawns and increase our bid during this time-frame, to force our competitors bid to be exhausted early in the game. Google does the work for us by adjusting the actual CPC (cost-per-click) to our favor and forcing our competition to the bench for the balance of the day. The downside to this strategy is that we can get stuck paying the premium for the click, but it is well worth it to start out the day and enjoy less competition throughout the rest of the day.

Enjoy the Friuts of Your Labor

With the competition now out of the way, we are free to go into bid adjustment mode and enjoy less expensive clicks, significantly higher CTR (click through ratios) and better quality scores (which Google rewards with lower CPC).

With your competitor’s PPC campaign budget exhausted in the later hours of the day, the competitive bidding for a particular keyword/keywords thins significantly. If circumstances line up properly, you can lower your bids in the afternoon hours and enjoy far less expensive clicks, and better click-through rates (and, ultimately, higher quality scores). There are two ways to approach lowering your bids in the later part of the day. By this time we can bring out some of our other ad copy that has the lower bid price and watch as our analytical data proves our strategy to be effective.

Don’t Fret If You Have A Low Budget: Maximize What You Have

Of course this is just one approach to being competitive in the now 3rd largest metro in America. But it works well for our clients. There are other tactics that we employ that are all a part of our “secret sauce,” but if I told you about those I’d have to….well you know. But anyways, I hope this is helpful to you. At least if you are limited by your budget you will have a greater strategy to compete against our clients. I would recommend biting the bullet and shortenting your month or your day and just capitalizing on what you can while you can or increase your budget. To get the most for your Google PPC Campaign Ad budget, consistency and knowing your competition is the best way to come out on top. If you have a smaller budget, don’t get discouraged. Find your niche time and keywords and work those until you can build up enough capital to compete in the big-stakes game.  I have had clients that started out spending $5oo per month (against my better judgment) only to have them come back later after several months of success in shortening their game to spend $6-10K per month! It happens all the time.

For more information about how you can get your own Adwebmaster to manage your Pay Per Click advertising on Google, give us a call at 713.397.3833 or contact us via our contact page.



Recommended Posts


  1. Great article Nick. Don’t you think that this tactic is a bit machiavellian though? I know it is a dog-eat-dog world, but this does not seem to give the little guy much of a chance at the game. Don’t get me wrong, I would do the same thing, but my budgets are really low right now.

    • Jason, you said it correctly, it is a “dog-eat-dog” world that we live in. But here is my take on it. I have been made steward over my clients accounts and it is my job to make sure that their campaigns run effectively and I get them the highest ranking at the lowest possible CPC (cost per click). In the Art of War by Sun Tzu, the military strategist speaks about flexibility and knowing how to adapt and understand your competitor. I think it is prudent to know what my clients competitors are doing so that I can cause their businesses to flourish. The fact is, that being on page one of Google at the top of the page is beneficial for business. If you have not read our article on the Google Golden Triangle you should check it out. We understand the plight of the little guy. We encourage them to maximize their dollars on Google by being equally strategic in their approach to advertising online. We can help the little guy compete with the big boys by employing some similar tactics.

      Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *