Octiv Digital
Display & Remarketing Ads Management

Stepping Back Into Pay Per Click Advertising

by | Last updated Oct 6, 2023

As the country begins opening up again and businesses get back to work, a lot of business owners ask “how can we get back in to pay per click ads?”

The answer is there are a few different approaches depending on the type of business and the products or services offered. Businesses may want to wait for things to get back to normal or scale up now to take advantage of the lack of competition.

Here are a few options to consider:


As odd as it may sound for an agency that handles PPC management, your best bet may be to wait. Depending on the industry and because customers may be reluctant to convert, it could be best for your business to wait on spending money for new traffic right now. For example, non-contactless businesses like salons, barbershops and gyms likely want to avoid spending money on ads until restrictions are reduced (at least in most of the United States).

With that said, it’s always recommended to run at least one branded ad for your business. If a customer needs to contact you right now, be available with a branded text ad and use call extensions to display your business’s phone number in the ad.

Ease In

Keeping ROAS a priority, slowly bid up on your most important keywords to test where the market stands. While some industries will take months to recover and consumer confidence to rebuild, other industries may see new customers immediately.

For standard text ads, only use exact-match keywords to limit your costs.

Begin with exact-match keywords to keep costs low and remember to leverage all of the settings in Google Ads including device targeting, time of day bidding (ad scheduling) and location targeting. This is a good strategy for businesses with limited contact looking to acquire new customers (i.e., roofers, contractors, electricians, etc.). Additionally, e-commerce businesses selling products online may want to begin using product listing ads (Google Shopping) to help understand the status of their particular niche.

Own Your Category

If you have the ad budget and can benefit from the business, consider owning your category and limit new businesses from seizing the opportunity with the current lack of competition. Make sure you have campaigns built out to cover all of your products or services paying specific attention to your most profitable offerings. Again, remember to use all of Google’s targeting settings to ensure you receive qualified traffic that is ready to convert and instead of easing in with exact-match keywords, use phrase or broad-match modified keywords to expand your reach. Remember to use negatives to keep your search traffic as focused as possible.

Not only is this a good strategy for small businesses looking to make their mark, but also national brands who put paid advertising on hold over the last couple of months. Now is the ideal time to ramp back up to obtain traffic levels seen prior to the lockdown, and set new traffic records due to the lack of competitors in the space.

Ramping Up Again

Before you activate your PPC campaigns and try to ramp up, thoroughly assess your market and budgetary constraints. If you decide to own your category, are you capable of handling a lot of leads right now? And if you are in an e-commerce space, are you confident in your logistics to be able to deliver products to customers? The last thing you want to do is bid on product ads if you can’t deliver products to customers.

Consider digging into competitor data to see who is currently bidding on your keywords in the auction and use tools to have an idea of how much they spend (using the average estimated CPC). With this information, determine a realistic budget for your business, make a long-term plan for success and start running ads again.

About the Author

Tyson Bell

Co-Founder of Octiv Digital. I have an extensive background in the technology sector, working for some of the world's biggest companies. I received my MBA with an emphasis in marketing from the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.


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