Deep Baiting Approach: Boost Your PPC Traffic Quality

In most cases, when you want to boost your quality traffic, the first thing that comes into mind is keyword targeting and match types. But what if we told you there was another way? 

You may not have heard of the term “deep baiting.” Still, it’s a way to boost your paid advertising campaigns by focusing exclusively on broad targeting in Search campaigns. 

Sure there may come some repercussions, such as bringing irrelevant terms to your audiences, but this way, you’re able to capture a wider audience the deeper you throw the bait and get all your leftover search traffic. 

Here in Diligent, we have a saying: We dig deep to help you make more money, and we will take you on a little journey through finding all that tedious but valuable search traffic.

What is the Deep Baiting Approach?

We can describe the Deep Baiting approach through this Steve Jobs quote: 

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

The same goes for the Deep Baiting approach. It’s a way to reach new customers with Google Ads using ‘Observation’ and Broad Match keyword targeting, which allows you to grab the attention of the search term audiences your keyword-focused PPC ads have missed out on. 

By deep bating your audiences, you’re reaching new people you probably weren’t looking for in the first place and who weren’t looking for you but are still relevant for your campaigns.

This can be a lucrative way to boost your traffic volume without messing up the quality by throwing the bait on the bottom of the river and waiting to see how big is the fish that takes the bait. 

So, let’s dive deeper into it…

How Can the Deep Baiting Approach Work Best for Increasing Traffic Quality

We mentioned munching on the leftover traffic earlier, so the question you probably have is: How can the deep Baiting approach get my business that sweet quality traffic?

Match Types

An exact match is when an advertiser selects keywords that will only trigger their ad to show if the search query is an exact match of the keyword. It is what you add as a PPC manager.

A broad match is when an advertiser selects keywords that will trigger their ad to show when any word in the search query is similar to the keyword, regardless of order. This is the default type for all your keywords.

How to Use Audiences With Broad Match Types

Even if you have a good conversion rate, it doesn’t mean you’re reaching your full potential and targeting all relevant users. 

Now, regarding which audience you should utilize, we have good news for you: Add them all!

But isn’t that going to affect my quality score? – you’re probably asking. The answer is no because it can help you increase your traffic quality.

By adding all audiences, you can look into their many layers while also examining how they interact with keywords in your current campaigns and capitalizing on new keywords relevant to your brand. But that you wouldn’t find with regular keyword targeting!

In short, the goal here is to bait deeper to find rare, quality fish. 

Utilize Observation Setting

Before we explain further, let’s start with the basics: firstly, there are two audience settings – Observation and Targeting. In the deep baiting approach, we are going to bait from both. 

Let’s get one misconception out of the way: Turning on Observation won’t affect traffic quality but gives us the freedom to add all audiences and audience layers. We must observe them and learn how they interact with all the keywords we’re bidding on in our campaigns. 

Here’s a structure for an ongoing client for the Deep Baiting approach. We have an ad group with a mix of audiences, all on Observation bidding on the same keyword on broad Match. The name of the ad group is the keyword we’re bidding on.

One Google Ads ad group is named by keyword, with a mix of audiences set on Observation.

After about 30-60 days, we set the bait and then choose audiences who are converting most, adding them to Targeting setting. 

This way, we have a wider audience and are prepared to start observing the correlations between those we deep-bait. 

Now, from where do these audiences come?

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Observation + Targeting Settings 

Adding all audiences sounds like a big crowd, but that crowd can bring a lot. When doing this, we want Google to track micro-metrics over time, clear the space from irrelevant audiences and leave about 10-15% of those worthwhile.

Here’s the gist: take these audiences from search campaigns and migrate them to Targeting setting: our ads will now show up for all searches that include the full broad keyword

We are using the Targeting setting because it requires the audience to search for one of the keywords that trigger our ads and fit into the audience relevant to the client’s business.

Conversely, the Observation setting doesn’t require them to search for a specific keyword, and it’s just adding audiences to this campaign and feeding more. 

Simply put, the main task is to combine the audiences from both Targeting and Observation settings and add them into the campaign mix.

Client's Google Ads ad group within a non-brand campaign with a mix of audiences set on Targeting.

Here is the same campaign with mixed audiences in one ad group bidding on the same keyword and Broad Match type.

This way, we are taking our time in collecting & creating an entirely new spectrum of keywords we wouldn’t get to using match types. 

They are eating as much as they can from the bait thrown. There are tons of synonyms, an infinite amount! And tons of searches relevant to your business come from throwing the bait into the deep.

The Challenge: Solving the Iceberg Effect

The Iceberg effect is when keywords don’t match your search terms, and you aren’t able to control them.

The Iceberg effect happens when your PPC account doesn’t match what is visible (above the surface) with what you cannot control (beneath the surface).

But don’t worry, your campaign efforts won’t sink like poor ol’ Jack (from the Titanic) because there is a granular solution.

Since we’re taking audiences from Search campaigns, let’s look at how the Iceberg effect can cause trouble there. 

Why Does Every Keyword Match Type Have an Iceberg?

Think of your keyword as the top part of the iceberg you can see, just like the Titanic crew saw the ice and thought it was nothing. But, as in the story – there’s trouble you can’t predict lurking underneath.

When you hit the iceberg as the Titanic did, it causes a significant disparity between search terms and keywords when you get thousands of search terms unrelated to your keywords. That’s why it’s called the iceberg.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. If we’re already throwing the bait deep, doesn’t it makes sense to pick up the traffic from the iceberg effect? Surprisingly no, that’s not the solution.

Each keyword match type can hit a bigger or smaller iceberg for your keyword, which means it shows your ad to a smaller layer of the audience gradually:

  • Broad Match has the broadest keyword-to-search term ratio and therefore has the most irrelevant search terms triggering ads to show.
  • Exact Match shows your ads to people who type this keyword only into the search bar, which gives it the lowest keyword: search ratio. 

The quality of your ads depends on the relevance of search terms related to your keywords. The more relevant they are, the higher your CTR is, a metric all platforms use to give you a cheaper CPC (cost per click). 

But your focus is on increasing performance quality so that you can make more money, and this is where STAGs now take the primate.

The Solution in Granularity

Recently, Google Ads changed its definitions of close variants. And Google confirmed that people are changing how they use to search, so STAGs (Single Themed Ad Groups) overtook SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Groups).

STAGs are ad groups with keywords grouped by a specific theme, representing a shift of focus from syntax to themes, ensuring there are three to five similar themed keyword concepts per ad group. 

The flexibility of the STAG keyword is unmatched, with no limit on how many keywords you can use. You are only limited by your creativity and imagination! For example:

  • services
  • company
  • firms
  • agencies

The above words are the foundation of your STAG. You can add variations like this:

  • accounting services
  • cleaning services
  • housing services

This is how we set up STAGs on one client account:

STAGs are named after main keyword in Converting campaign. Keywords in STAG combined by theme set on exact match type.

These are all the keywords for the ad group called ‘Delete Messages’ you can see they are all Exact Match, but not all contain the same keyword structure.

Here is one more example from the same campaign.

All keywords in 'How to Tag' STAG are set on the exact match type. Ad group named by the main keyword.

As you can see, we added keywords that aren’t all the same – but are synonyms for ‘how to tag’ and thematically the same.

Benefits of STAGs

Using STAGs as your Google Ads campaign strategy ensures higher ROAS, impression share, and conversion rates. More specifically, they:

  • Let you allocate your budget more effectively by choosing exactly where you want to place your budget;
  • Better Quality Score by increasing CTR with better ad groups (in comparison to SKAGs);
  • Better ad copy – because of the heterogeneity of STAGs, you can create more authentic and specific copy and increase QS even more;
  • More effortless organization than SKAGs (which were robust and never-ending) – STAGs can be managed easily;

Here is another example of our client’s account using STAG in the campaign structure. This one is for cloud archiving solutions, and we decided to group keywords in the following way:

Example of STAG in a non-brand campaign named after keyword. All keywords in the STAG 'Cloud Archiving - Service' are set on phrase match.

When Does Your Account Qualify for the Deep Baiting Approach? 

In instances like this one, it’s good to be greedy. Where you can swim deep, you can bait deep. 

So, if you have an account with over 100 conversions that can afford 30-60 days learning period, you should do it. Your go-to plan should be setting up target CPA as the bidding strategy with full Broad Match types but no audiences. Don’t do it if you’re a PPC newbie, or (carefully) test your luck on smaller accounts that you’re still working on to increase conversions and set it up properly. This approach will get you lower quality leads and probably won’t work because you don’t have enough information about the account.

Prepare for the Next Evolution of Google Advertising

Google’s fast evolution is fueling success with the Deep Bating approach. 

With GA4 up and running, Google is becoming better and faster at discovering the right users from our campaigns from scratch. Google’s observation algorithms will make it easier to personalize your audiences to your client so that keyword targeting won’t play a significant role soon.

So, what does the future hold?

Many industry experts have their crystal balls out and see the future with no more audiences, just broad targeting.

This seems like a statement that’s too ambitious because all we’ve done so far was take an individualistic approach to advertising, creating and targeting audiences with a specific lifestyle to sell to them, but that’s going to end soon. 

Maybe, in the future, people will be attracted by killer copy and creative. With all the changes coming, the copy and creative side of advertising might spark a more extensive interest in users, erasing the need for bid management. 

Are you ready for the change?

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