by Johnathan Dane September 17, 2014

27 Sweet Ways to Get More Traffic from AdWords

What if you got candy instead of more traffic from AdWords? How sweet would that be?!

Have you ever set a goal where you focus so hard on the end result that you never really knew what to do in the first place?

I’ve had the redundant goal of gaining more muscle by lifting weights with a number of pounds I want to gain. But I always get bored and lose interest quickly. Why is that?

I think it has something to do with me not setting micro-goals. The same thing goes with AdWords and PPC.

[Tweet “Stop focusing on the end PPC result. Set micro-goals to hit along the way. #NoBurnout”]

As PPC marketers, we get super anxious to get results super quick. This means that we focus on getting conversions before we even have the traffic to get those conversions.

It’s kinda like being super horny on your first date. No one wants to share those fries with you.

The micro-goal in this scenario would be to getting 20 clicks/day on average for example.

So let’s take it back to basics and talk about the 27 ways to get more traffic from AdWords. Even if you’re doing great with your current campaigns, use some of these ideas to help increase volume of conversions too!

#1 – Focus On Shorter Root Keywords To Begin With

Don’t waste time on building out super long-tail keywords to begin with. Focus on shorter root keywords and let the search term report tell you which new keywords to add to your list.

Your competitors’ short tail keywords will still trigger ads alongside your long tail keywords because of phrase, broad match modifier, and broad match.

#2 – Bid On High Intent Keywords

With a tight PPC budget, be careful bidding on vague keywords that aren’t easily clear to understand the intention behind.

#3 – Have Keywords In Headlines And Display URLs

You only have a split second to capture the ADHD attention of your potential customers. What’s the easiest way to do that?

Without spending too much time on creating amazing ad copy and second guess yourself to the moon, keep it easy and simple. Add your keyword to the headline and the display URL. Which ad stands out the most to you?

I’m not having a bachelor party. I just need a party limo. 2nd ad wins!

#4 – Use All Ad Extensions Possible

This is a no brainer. Free ways to increase the real estate of your ads. Use sitelinks, call-out extensions, call extensions, and if possible, location extensions.

[Tweet “There’s no excuse for not using ad extensions #PPC”]

#5 – Increase Bids On Keywords With Low Positions

If your average ad position is 5 or lower, there’s a good chance that your ads aren’t getting a fighting chance to capture your visitors’ attention.

#6 – Add New Keywords That Are Relevant, But Not Direct Intent

You may be bidding on keywords that are very obvious, but have you tried bidding on keywords that don’t have the direct intent but could still show interest in your offerings?

Provo plumber = high intent vs. broken pipes = lower intent

DUI lawyer = high intent vs. i just got a dui = lower intent

artificial grass install = high intent vs. my grass is dying = lower intent

Bora Bora vacation packages = high intent vs. exotic vacation destinations = lower intent

sell my car = high intent vs. what’s my car worth = lower intent

Think of where your potential customers might be in the buying funnel/cycle. For this, start with keeping your bids lower than your higher intent keywords.

#7 – Test DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) Headlines Ads For Higher CTR

Use the DKI feature to allow Google to swap out your ad headlines with exactly what the visitors are typing in. Read more here >>

This will lead to more relevancy and higher click-through-rates sometimes. But be careful if you DKI your entire headline and the search terms you’re getting are very short. It would not make a ton of sense to have an ad headline say “Used Cars” because the visitor typed “used cars” into Google.

#8 – Use Spy Tools To See Which Keywords You’re Not Bidding On, But Your Competitors Are

Online tools like iSpionage, SpyFu, SEMrush are great to use to see what keywords your competitors are bidding on. Reduces the learning curve quickly and allows you to get more traffic, faster.

ppc spy

#9 – Increase Budgets If Budgets Are Being Hit

This is an obvious one. Are your budgets being hit and your goal is to get more traffic? Increase your budgets!

#10 – Expand Geographic Targeting

Did you already saturate your current geographic area? Are you able to expand a little or set up a new location? If so, a quick way of getting more traffic is by increasing impressions through geographic expansion.

#11 – Look At Competitor Ads And Make Yours Better

When looking at the search engine results page (SERP), are your ads blending in, or sticking out? Be careful of having the same offer and same lingo as everyone else.

#12 – Make Crazy/Weird Ads That Stand Out

Are you a dare devil? You should be 🙂 Don’t be afraid of making your ads crazy/weird to stand out.

[Tweet “Make your #PPC ads stand out like crazy. Add that funny word. #DontBeBoring”]

#13 – Increase Mobile Bid Modifiers

Some of your desktop competitors are not on mobile. Because of that, you have an opportunity to get more traffic from mobile than you did before.

Make sure you’re bidding to be at least in the top 2 positions for your mobile ads. Otherwise you’d be at the bottom of the Google SERP page.

#14 – Set The Campaign Ad Rotation Setting To “Rotate Evenly”

I’ve heard mixed reviews on the ad rotation settings AdWords provides. To be safe, set your setting to “rotate evenly” and manually pause and change your ads depending on performance.

rotate evenly adwords

#15 – Pause Underperforming Ads Based On Lower CTR

And allow your better ads to run more often. But don’t do it if your ads have great conversion rates. Keep both stats in mind!

#16 – 2 Ads Per Ad Proup

You’re already struggling with getting enough traffic. And if you have more than 2 ads per ad group, then you’re spreading your data collection too thin across too many ads.

#17 – City Geo Targeting + Geo Ads

You may be targeting entire states or even the entire country. Have you tried making individual campaigns that target individual cities with city specific ads?

[Tweet “When your competitors are national, go local with your ad copy. #PPC”]

#18 –  Use Single Keyword Ad Groups

This goes hand in hand with having your keywords in your headlines. With single keyword ad groups, you’re now able to dictate that there’s a 1 to 1 relationship between keyword and ad, and then also improve your relevancy with higher CTR and more traffic.


#19 – Use Action Verbs In Ads

Use verbs that describe benefits about your offer. Some of these include call to actions like: Learn How, See How, Watch How.

#20 – Introduce Special Offers In Ads

Use discount codes or coupon codes. You can even make these up, but make sure you’re ready for people using them.

adwords coupon
Give people what they want. Savings!

 #21 – Introduce Broad Match Keywords

This works, but be careful! The broad match keywords act like keyword mining tools. Helping you discover new variants of your keywords as well.

Watch that search term report like a hawk!

#22 – Launch A Targeted Display Campaign

Use a tool like to look up where your competitors are advertising on the display network. Then, make sure you have a new offer for that traffic since people aren’t directly searching for what you offer.

#23 – Change Your Sitelinks & Call-Out Extensions To Include…

New characters like these: +    *     –
Your ad extensions could then look like this:

+ Contact Us Today           +Read Our Reviews
+ Get Your Free Quote      + Amazing News

#24 – Use Symbols In Your Ads

Use ®egistered trademarks, ©opyright, (parentheses), exclamation marks!, and dollar $ign$ in your ad copy (make sure you don’t overdo it and get disapproved).

#25 – Add Period At The End Of Description Line 1

This will allow your ad headline to extend when it’s in spots 1-3. Therefore giving you more real estate space and also giving you a higher chance of clicks.

#26 – Use Title Case Throughout All Your Ads

Write Your Ads Like This.

Do not write your ads like this.

Capitalize the first letter of every word in your ad if you want to get that first click and to get more traffic.

Read the reason behind the thinking here >>

#27 – Have CTAs (Call To Actions) That Stand Out

Instead of that “Free Consultation”, how about a “Free Cup of Coffee?”. Or instead of that “14 Day Free Trial”, how about “2 Weeks of Unpaid Slavery”? Start getting creative!

[Tweet “Does your ad CTA match your landing page CTA? It needs to. #PPC”]

Have any other ideas to get more traffic from AdWords? Share them in the comments! My life long goal is to create a complete bucket list of places I want to visi… oh wait. That’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

  • AdWords

Johnathan Dane

Johnathan Dane is the co-founder and head of operations at, a creative digital ad agency specializing in pay-per-click marketing with search and display networks. When he's not working hard on increasing client success, you can find him playing pick-up basketball at the local gym with the elders or schooling Jacob at ping pong.

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