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Personalization is becoming more important in all aspects of online marketing. No longer are internet users surprised to see products following them around the web in the form of ads, and personalized emails are the norm.  And people want this. They want companies to serve up content that is related to their own interests.

As a marketer, you should embrace this to become more competitive. But while personalizing emails is simple, how does personalization translate to PPC, and AdWords in particular?  One of the reasons why email is so successful as a marketing technique is because you can target individuals and make it feel like you are writing to them personally. With some of the newer features of PPC advertising, you can start to personalize your ads in a similar way.

RLSAs: Refine Your AdWords Targeting

Using RLSAs (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) is one of the first strategies I recommend for marketers who want to personalize their PPC ads.  Don’t let the word “remarketing” confuse you.  Although this is similar, it does not involve following your targets around the Google Display Network (GDN).  Instead, it involves taking a remarketing list (such as visitors to a particular product page on your website) and personalizing the search experience around this.  One of the best ways to make use of this is by targeting much broader search terms but serving up very specific ads.

For example, let’s say that someone visits your page for “black permanent marker pens,” but they leave without making a purchase. If they then search for “pens” in Google, you could target them with an ad specific to the page they visited on your site to remind them of their interest in a specific product.

Use Customer Match to Target Your Lists

Customer Match is another excellent way to personalize your AdWords campaign. This is different from RLSAs in that rather than targeting people who have visited a page on your website, you can target people who are already on your lists.  There’s a good guide to the differences between the two on Search Engine Land, so you might want to have a read through that.

Customer match is a newer option, and it allows you to only show your ads to a particular group of people (in the same way you can use Custom Audiences in Facebook or Targeted Audiences in Twitter).  You can reach out to your existing contacts in search or on YouTube ads, allowing you to deliver highly personalized ads to them, perhaps ads that are relevant to the content they recently consumed in your emails or in the ebook they downloaded from your site.

Use AdWords Extensions

You can also personalize your ads to a certain extent by using AdWords extensions. Extensions have long been a favorite strategy of ours (read about how we use them here), and they are even more important now that Google has changed how AdWords ads display in the search results.

So how do you personalize with extensions? Showing your location in a map for local searchers is one such way. You could also target a location if you have a location-specific product or special offer running. Or you could display a Callout Extension to mobile searchers to customize it to the type of device the searcher is using.

Even without considering personalization, I always recommend using as many extensions as you can—not only do they make the ad stand out more, but they take up as much as 20% more real estate in the SERPs, which can help boost your impact in the top four results.

Personalize Your Ads on the Google Display Network

As well as improving your targeting in search, you can also personalize your ads in the GDN. The options available may not be quite up there with Facebook’s choices, but you can still target people based on their interests and demographics, as well as reaching out to people who have already visited your website in a remarketing campaign.  In-Market targeting can be particularly effective here.

This is where Google picks out people who are actively searching for particular services or products on the GDN, defining them as being “in-market.” It does this by analyzing the pages they visit, the ads they click on, and the frequency of their visits to certain pages.  The idea is that these people are already in the buying mindset, providing you with a better chance of converting them when you reach out to them with your perfect offer at the perfect moment.

Perfect the Power of Using Personalized PPC

There are more options to personalize your PPC marketing than ever before, and this is a trend that is only going to increase. You can take advantage of it by incorporating these strategies into your PPC campaigns.

Your prospects prefer personalized marketing, and none of these techniques are difficult to use. In fact, personalization is one of the first topics we discuss when we start working with a new client, so let us help you take full advantage of it.

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About the Author: Jason Corgiat

I started building websites in 1999. Through the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses in various verticals and have built, implemented and managed digital strategies for companies of all sizes. My education is not formal and neither are my methods. Chances are, I can add value to your organization from day 1 but I'll let you be the judge. I'm a proud father of 4, luckiest husband in the world, and enjoy the occasional gym session. How was that for a bio?

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