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ppc interview questions and answers 2016

Surjeet Thakur - Google Adwords Expert Chandigarh India

Surjeet Thakur

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PPC Interview Questions 2016 – Learn the Top ppc interview questions and Answers to crack your next PPC interview.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.

How Does PPC Work?

In a PPC campaign, you pay Google however much you wish to have them list ads for your site at the top and right of the organic search listings. When someone clicks on your add, you pay the current Cost Per Click (CPC) from your budget.

How many ads should I have in every ad group?

I typically take the top 3-5 ad groups by impressions and put 3 ads in those and then do 2 ads in all other ad groups. Then I test the ads, pick winners and add 2 more ads to the top 3-5 ad groups again and 1 ad to the others. I have found that this balances testing enough with it not taking too long to get statistically significant data.

When do you conclude an ad test?

For a search campaign it is typically 1,000-2,000 impressions or 200 clicks within the ad group. Sometimes at that point the ads are still running neck and neck so I let it ride until statistical significance is reached using the Teasley calculator.

How many keywords should I have per ad group?

This may be the most debated question out of all of these. The keywords that drive 80% of my conversions get one keyword per ad group, the keywords that get conversions but not very many go in ad groups of 3-5 keywords and the keywords that get very little impressions, clicks or conversions go in ad groups of 10-15 keywords. Using this method I have seen QS increase drastically over a 60-day period (27% of impressions coming from QS of 10 to 72% of impressions coming from QS of 10) and have found it incredible easy to manage accounts set up like this.

Should I have different match types in different ad groups, campaigns?

I prefer to do different match types in different ad groups and name the ad groups as such, “productx (exact),” “productx (phrase),” “productx (broad).” I have found the greatest benefit from doing this is that the account is easier to manage.

How do I know if conversion tracking is working correctly?

My favorite tool for this is Tag Assistant for Chrome. It’s not perfect but it does quickly alert you to issues that are worth digging in to further.

Does Google display network work?

I have found that the display network can work but that about half of what you try will not (meaning CPA will be too high or volume too low.) The best types of display I have found are contextual mixed with topics. This means that you have a campaign that targets different topics but with keywords so you show on more specific pages.

How often do you add negative keywords to an account?

I typically monitor Search Query Reports on a weekly basis but typically add negative keywords less frequently.  What I am looking for is trends/themes amongst keywords versus worrying about specific queries. Using those themes I then can add negatives at the campaign or even account level. This reduces the total number of negative keywords in an account making it easier to manage them thus insuring you don’t have negatives that are hurting performance.

What tools do you use for keyword research?

I use Google keyword tool, WordStream’s Niche Finder, WordTracker and Search Query Reports.

Do Product Listing Ads work?

Tremendously well. If you’re not utilizing these and you do ecommerce, you are missing out on a lot of revenue every single day.

Should I bid on competitor’s brand names?

CTR and Quality Score will be low on these terms but they do typically convert pretty well, so my answer is yes. Make sure you don’t use dynamic keyword insertion in your ads on these campaigns or else you could violate trademark policies.

Does Quality Score matter?

Sometimes. The best way to know is to see if there is a correlation between Quality Score and CPA in your account. You can do this by simply pulling a keyword report including the Quality Score, doing a pivot table with QS at the right and then a column for calculated CPA. Then do a graph with a trend line. That will show you if generally you see better CPA on keywords with better QS.

How do I increase my Quality Score?

Increase your CTR by writing better ads, keep the number of keywords per ad group down to the ranges mentioned earlier in this post, ensure that the ad has the keywords you are bidding on in it (I am not recommending keyword stuffing, but it has to be in there somewhere to be seen as relevant),

The CPC on my best keywords continues to go up. Why?

This is typically caused by an increase in competition, reduction in search volume or decreasing Quality Scores. To determine if it is competition compare the Auction Insights results to a when CPC’s were lower and see if new competitors are on the list or if your metrics there have dropped. Use Google Trends to see if search volume has dropped and do a Quality Score analysis to see if that is the issue.

What’s the best way to decide what ad wins in a test? (What’s the best metric to use?)

I wrote on PPC Hero a few months ago about my favorite metric and it is still the one I use. It is impressions until conversions. To calculate you simply divide the number of impressions by the number of conversions. You’ll end up with some like 627. The lower the number the better the combined CTR and CR of that ad is.

  • What is PPC marketing?
    • PPC means Pay Per Click. It’s a marketing strategy to drive traffic to our website via search engines and partner sites. Advertiser will only pay if he receives the visit click on his ads.
  • What is meant by Campaign Management?
    • Campaign management is a process of creating and managing an advertising campaign for a company on Google AdWords. In this we have to divide the campaign based on AdGroups and select relevant keywords for each adgroups. Manage the ad formats and bidding for keywords etc. Campaign manager overall responsibility is to manage the campaign and provide a Positive ROI.
  • What is DFA ?
    • Double Click for Advertisers. DFA is an ad server which is used to track impressions and clicks for your creatives on various networks. You can’t buy inventory through DFA. You can only track the performance of your campaigns. Main functions of DFA is ad trafficking and reporting.
  • What is DFP ?
    • DFP stands for Double Click for Publishers. If the publisher prefers to manage themselves the ads which will be broadcasted on their websites, they use DFP. For example most of the public sites like way2sms.com, w3schools.com etc use DFP for ads.
  • What is DBM?
    • DBM (DoubleClick Bid Manager) is a demand-side platform (DSP) from Google. This helps in buying display media ads using programmatic strategy.
  • What is Ad Trafficking?
    • Ad trafficking is a process of setting up an ad campaign from a technical aspect. Which means Setting up the campaign, tracking links, the creatives etc… It is usually performed using an ad server or an advertising platform. For example Ad Trafficking is used in DFA/DFP.
  • Do you think DFA is an ad exchange?
    • No DFA is a not an ad exchange. The purpose of DFA is to track and analyze the impressions/clicks received on the ad creatives.
  • What is Click Tag?
    • Click tags are used to track the number of clicks on the link from different sources.
  • What is Google Publisher Tags?
    • GPT is an ad tagging library to dynamically build ad requests. GPT takes key details from you such as ad unit code, ad size, and key-values, builds the request, and displays the ad on web pages or mobile apps. Its is used for tracking purpose.
  • What is difference between direct marketing and branding ? 
    • In a direct marketing campaign the advertiser is interested to target the audience who are most relevant to the business. The major metric to consider in this type is conversion rate, which explains about ROI. Most common campaign types are Search Network Only, Shopping Campaigns, Dynamic Search Ads etc.
    • In Branding campaign an advertiser needs exposure of his brand on major sites and applications. The most popular methods are Display Ads, Remarketing, Youtube Ads and custom ads target.
  • Which settings cannot be changed after the AdWords account is created ?
    • Time Zone and Currency cannot be changed after account creation.
  • What is Google AdWords Double Serving policy?
    • It means that an advertiser cannot advertise for same keywords/websites from multiple accounts. The purpose of this policy is to avoid showing ads of same companies or companies with common ownership. So the users can see the the ads from different providers. Read more about this here
  • What do understand by Quality Score? 
    • Quality Score is a metric which is calculated for each keyword between 1 to 10. The QS defines the quality of keyword compared with Ads and Landing Page. This metric is used to calculate the AdRank, which is used to calculate the ad position.
  • What is the impact of Quality score on CPC and Ad Position ?
    • Quality Score is inversely proportional to CPC and Directly proportional to Ad Position. That means higher QS means lower cost and higher position.
  • What is Actual CPC ?
    • The actual cost of a click for an advertiser in an auction. The actual CPC is calculated in realtime and we cannot know the Actual CPC, but we can see Avg. CPC.
    • Actual CPC = (AdRank to Beat/QS)+$0.01
  • What Kind of Quality Score you can achieve for keywords ? 
    • In my past campaigns I achieved the QS of 7 – 10. I can improve the quality score by using optimization techniques in campaign.
  • What are the Factors which affect Quality Score ?
    • Quality Score depends on the following metrics
    • CTR of the Keyword
    • Relevance of Keywords and Ads
    • Landing Page Quality
    • Historic Account Data
  • How can you Improve Conversion Rates ? 
    • By creating ads which match perfectly with keywords and creating tightly themed ad groups so we can get targeted users to best landing page. Also by improving the Landing Page quality we can improve the conversions.
  •  Is PPC Advertisement effect ranking of websites on search engines ? 
    • Never, Search Engine don’t mix them. Google and other search engines rank both organic and ppc results separately
  • Can you tell me limit of character used for PPC Ads ?
    • Different Search Engines have different Limit on ads character as for Google you can put maximum 25 for headline and 70 for description 1 and 2 combined.
  • What is Invalid Click and How Google determines the invalid clicks
    • Invalid clicks are the fake clicks, unintentional and malicious software clicks. Google has a sophisticated mechanism and algorithms to automatically detect and filter the invalid clicks from user account. Invalid clicks in AdWords
  • What are PLA Ads?
    • PLA stands for product listing ads. This ad strategy is used to advertise products ads on Google search and partners. This campaign is also called as Shopping campaign mostly used by E-commerce websites.

1) Explain what is Adwords?

Adwords is the system that Google has designed to assist in marketing product or services in Google search engine and its affiliated sites.  It will place a text ad that appears when people search for phrases associated to your offering.

2) Explain how Adwords work?

Adwords work on bidding system if the bidding price is higher your ad will appear on top of the Google page.  Adwords works on “pay per click” that means you only pay the amount you have bid if someone taps on your ad as a result of a web search.

3) Explain why to use Google Adwords?

Google Adwords behave differently to traffic that comes from Google Adwords or “Pay Per Click”. The traffic that comes through surfing often visits the website for information, whereas the traffic via pay per click knows what they are clicking on and what they want to buy.  So few visitors through Adwords might be more valuable than million visitors.

4) Explain what is Ad rank?

Ad rank determines your ad position on Google page, and it is determined by your bid for that keyword and quality score.

5) Explain how does Ad rank impact Cost-Per-Click?

Ad rank plays a huge role in defining the actual cost-per-click that your opponents pay, when someone clicks on their ads.  Your CPC can be calculated by following way

Your Price = The ad rank of the person below you/ your quality score + $0.01

6) Explain how does a Google auction work?

Each month auction gets run billion of times, and the result are such that users find ads that are relevant to what they are looking for.  The search engine processes the request and runs the auction that determines the ad positions and each advertisers CPC.

7) Explain what gets entered into a Google Account?

Once the advertisers determine the keywords that they want to bid on, Google will enter a keyword from your account which is most related into the auction with the maximum bid specified as well as the associated ad.

8) Explain what is Google Quality Score?

Google’s quality score determines how beneficial and relevant your ad is to the user, based primarily on your ad’s CTR, quality of your landing page and keyword relevance.  Higher quality score keywords will save your money and earn better ad ranking.

9) Explain what is an ad group in Google Adwords?

Ad group is a container of your keywords, advertisements, and landing pages.  Google rewards advertisers who prepare Adword campaigns with tightly structured ad groups. Its not advisable to include all your keywords into the single ad group, but to organize keywords into themes.

10) Explain what is conversion optimizer in Adwords?

Conversion Optimizer is a tool used by Google Adwords for bid manipulation and decides which clicks on the ad will be valuable.  It can help you to return maximum on your investment.

11) Mention some of the Google Adword Ad Extensions?

Different ad extension can enhance the increase in traffic.  Some of the common Ad extensions used in adwords are

  • Sitelinks
  • Call Extensions
  • Location Extensions
  • Social Annotations
  • Seller ratings
  • Mobile app extensions
  • Offer ads
  • Communication Ad
  • Review extension
  • Image and drop down navigation Ad extension

12) Mention in google Adwords that options can’t be changed after creating an account?

After creating account Currency and Time Zone, cannot be changed.

13) Explain how you can improve conversion rates?

By creating ads that match properly with keywords and create tightly themed ad groups, you can target users to the campaign that helps in conversions.

14) Mention what is the limit set for the number or characters for Adwords ad?

Limit for Adword is

  • Description line 1st : 25 characters
  • Description line 2nd: 35 characters
  • Destination URL: 1024 characters

No images are allowed in URL.

15) Explain what is the meaning of CTR and how you can calculate?

CTR stands for Click through rate that tells the number of visitors visited on your ad on the web page. The formula for calculating CTR is

Number of click / Number of impressions X 100

These will give you an answer in percentage like what percentage of customers have viewed your ad.

16) Mention what are the type of Keywords?

There are no specific types for Keywords however they are classified on the basis of how likely is going to be clicked by visitors

  • Research Keywords: It tends to contain one or two words – Tea
  • Consideration: It tends to contain two or three words – Green Tea
  • Purchase: It must have more than three words – buy loose green tea
  • Loyalty: This must be shorter- Starbucks

17) Explain what is Google Ad API?

Google Ad API is designed for representing large, tech savvy advertisers and third parties. It allows developers build an application that directly interacts with Google Adwords server.

18) Mention what all things can be done using Google Ad API?

With Google Ad API, you can build an application that can do following things

  • You can automatically generate keywords, ad text, custom reports and landing pages
  • Develop additional applications and tools to help you manage accounts
  • Synchronize Adwords data with your inventory system to manage campaigns based on stock

19) Explain how you can track conversions in Google Adwords?

In Google Adwords, conversion tracking can be done in following ways

  • Tracking purchases by involving basic tracking code provided by Adwords and modifying it with additional code unique to your particular e-commerce platform
  • View-through conversion window options tracks when a person sees your ad but does not click it (impression)
  • By enabling your ad rotation setting to optimize for clicks, meaning that Adwords will serve the ads it feels are likely to be clicked
  • By accessing search funnels inside tools and analysis, you can also know when customers clicked on your ad for the first time and how frequently they saw your ad before converting.

20) Explain what are the other two options for bidding other than C-P-C?

Other than CPC the other two options are CPM (Cost per Thousand Impression) and CPA ( Cost Per Action ).

Q21: What is the payment model for a YouTube homepage masthead advertisement?
Ans: These are sold on a fixed cost per day model.

Q22: How can you optimize your CPC-based campaign?
Ans: Focus on a high CTR, ad rank, and Quality Score.

Q23: What will Frequency Capping do?
Ans: It will limit the number of times an ad appears to the same unique user on the Display Network.

Q24: True or False: You can set individual bids for sites you select for Managed Placements advertisements.
Ans: True

Q25: Can you use Frequency Capping on the Search Network?
Ans: No, this feature is available only for ads on the Display Network.

Q26: Can you track the Mouseover Rate on ads built with the Display Ad Builder?
Ans: Yes

Q27: True or False: Topic Targeting is likely to ensure ads are contextually relevant to the sites they appear on.
Ans: True

Q28: Will all of your performance metrics be lost if you edit an ad with an ad extension, if you are using Enhanced Campaigns?
Ans: No.

Q29: True or False: Using a color scheme that complements the image and branding on your site is recommended when using the Display Ad Builder.
Ans: True.

Q30: Where are ads using images and videos shown?
Ans: They would only be shown on the Google Display Network.

Q31: For direct response marketing, which is the ideal bidding model?
Ans: Cost per click

Q32: True or False: YouTube homepage ads are available through AdWords.
Ans: False

Q33: True or False: YouTube watch page ads are available through AdWords.
Ans: True

Q34: True or False: YouTube search page ads are available through AdWords.
Ans: True

Q35: Why should you include a text ad in your Display Network campaign, even if you want to focus on image/video?
Ans: Not all publishers accept image/video ads, so having a text ad will ensure maximum coverage.

Q36: True or False, you can use a strobe background in your Display Network ads.
Ans: False, this will get your ad disapproved.

Q37: Which bidding model allows advertisers to pay by the conversion?
Ans: Cost per acquisition (CPA)

Q38: What is the best bidding model to increase reach and visibility?
Ans: Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

Q39: What type of bidding model do reservation ads use?
Ans: They are a fixed price, so no bidding is used.

Q40: True or False: You can use Pop-Up ads on the Google Display Network.
Ans: False

Q41: True or False: You can use Print Ads through a Display Network campaign.
Ans: False

Q42: What is one reason to consider different messages in your video ads than in your text/search ads?
Ans: Video search behavior is different than search behavior on a traditional search engine like Google.

Q43: True or False: You can utilize pre-existing design templates with the Google Display Ad Builder tool.
Ans: True

Q44: Should you use a Call to Action in the opening image of a click-to-play video?
Ans: Yes, this is considered a best practice for this type of advertisement.

Q45: When would you pay for a TrueView in-search advertisement?
Ans: Only if a viewer chooses to watch the video.

Q46: What aspect of an ad would help set expectations for users in different stages of the buying cycle?
Ans: A clear Call to Action in the text portion of a text, video, or image advertisement.

Q47: True or False: You can incorporate an error message or warning box in your image ad.
Ans: False, this will get your ad disapproved.

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