3 Ideas For Personalized PPC Ads

by Mike Tyler | January 4, 2016

What’s the single worst thing that anyone can do in the advertising industry with PPC ads?

A) Create overly-complicated copy

B) Not worry about their quality score

C) Underestimate display ad retargeting

D) Create ads that look like…ads

E) All of the above

So sure, they’re all pretty bad thing, to be honest–but let’s ask this: Which one would rank the highest in terms of detest from customers?

Whether you’re in advertising, marketing or business, we’re all customers of some kind. The one thing that every customer–including you reading this–can agree on, it’s that you never want to feel like you’re directly being advertised to with a cheap ad.

Everyone hates the feeling of an ad that comes off as…well…an ad! Great advertising communicates the effectiveness of a product or service for improving quality of life in some way, shape, or form.

Think about your favorite companies: Nike, BMW, Starbucks–there’s rarely an approach that just focuses on the features of a product or attempts to blatantly advertise to you; on the other hand, these companies approach advertising and branding from an intuitive perspective, using all of their advertising to illustrate the benefits that their products have to your quality of life.

In short, we pose this question: How do you take a commonly blown-off advertising form–let’s say PPC advertising–and turn it into the vehicle of huge ROI and engagement that it once was?

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Make. It. Personal.

Think again: when a company like JackThreads (who, by the way, always have killer subject lines) emails you, does it feel like they’ve sent that to 1000+ people, or to you? With a conversational tone, you know it’s the latter.

Across the massive spectrum of marketing and advertising, whether we’re talking email marketing campaigns, PPC ads, native advertising, social advertising and more, the best approach is the personal one.

That being said, here’s 5 ways that you can personalize your PPC advertisements to achieve maximum click-throughs, engagement and overall ROI.

Customer Match

What if you could target a PPC ad to a customer when they’re the most receptive, based on services they’ve already engaged through pre-existing interests and accounts?

Customer match does just that, as a service offered through Google that allows you to target ads to customers on Google Search, YouTube, Gmail and more.

How it works: customer match takes advantage of an uploaded list of email addresses which can then be matched to a list of users on Google in a secure way (ones that are already signed-in to Google’s services). Accordingly, this lets you build your PPC ads and target them towards the customers that want to see them.

For example, if you are a clothing brand like Adidas — you can effectively target customers with personalized ads if they have signed up with your email newsletter service; when these members search Google for a sneaker like the Yeezy Boost 350, other relevant ads to their interests can be set to appear on the top ranked page–such as clothes from Yeezy Season II.

Customer match has added benefit for personalizing PPC ads; you can also generate similar audiences to reach potential customers via YouTube and Gmail to display PPC ads to customers with similar interests to the one they saw or clicked on.

Customer Segmenting

In past articles we’ve covered the importance of segmenting your analytics by date, time, geography and other factors to maximize your PPC ad reach and success–resulting in a better quality score, which is uber important.

But what about segmenting your actual customers, based on their personal interests and preferences?

In-Market targeting is a brilliant option for personalizing PPC ads; if customers are actively searching for products or services across the Google Display Network, this method allows you to target users who are “in-market,” or actively browsing related products, services, etc.

The likelihood of these PPC ads generating conversions and having a better ROI is much higher, due to the fact that customers are already in the mindset to buy, already being in-market.


We’ve touched on the importance of dynamic remarketing to recapture users who have left your page with other PPC ads based on prior interests, but RLSA is a different ball game entirely for personalized PPC ads.

RLSA or “remarketing lists for search ads” does just that with Google Analytics; placing customers into remarketing lists for other ads. Based on previous site visits and preferences, Google Analytics helps retarget ads based on interest and related searches.

Essentially, remarketing is designed the same way as retargeting; engaging audiences that have been previously targeted with other customized ads and are more likely to convert!

Within Google Analytics itself, ensure that “Advertising Features” is enabled, and that the right permissions are granted in the privacy section.

 Think of RLSA and remarketing as your ally for targeting customers that are likely to convert, based on previous user behaviour. Users that abandon items in their shopping cart, searched through multiple pages within your site or even customers that have previously converted are better audiences for remarketing based on previous interests, thus improving conversion rates for your service(s)!

**Keep in mind: When enabling RLSA, in-marketing features discussed before are unavailable for remarketing audience listings.

Overall, no one ever wants to feel like they are being blatantly advertised to, especially with PPC ads. By identifying your customers by interest and behaviour–specifically with RLSA, customer match or direct segmenting–you have the ability to add a personal touch to your PPC ads that will further engage viewers and improve conversion rates, as opposed to generic display ads.

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