Google Ads PPC for Recruitment Agencies - 6 Tips to Enhance Results

Google Ads PPC for Recruitment Agencies – 6 Tips to Enhance Results

Google Ads can be a useful way for recruitment agencies to receive job applications and B2B enquiries. With that being said, it’s easy for recruitment agencies to waste a lot of marketing budget on clicks that don’t convert into business.

Fortunately, we’ve had plenty of experience managing PPC accounts for recruitment agencies so understand what it takes to get the best return on investment from your PPC ad spend. 

In this post we look at seven actionable tips that ensure you cut away wasted spend, save money and generate more high-quality leads. 

We also offer a FREE PPC Account Review for recruitment agencies.


Tip 1 – Account Structure

Good account structure in Google Ads help significantly when it comes to regular management and optimisation. We recommend having your campaigns and ad groups clearly labelled for quick navigation and understanding when comparing analytics.

For example, if you have a campaign targeting a specific job industry, make sure the campaign name is clear and the ad groups are labelled based on keyword match type:

Recruitment Agency Ad Groups

Clearly labelled campaigns will help you quickly identify campaigns that you want to tweak, or even pause if you have filled job positions for that specific industry.

Get more tips on your account structure with our Free PPC Account Review. 


Tip 2 – Split Ad Groups by Keyword Match Type

As covered briefly in Tip 1, having your ad groups labelled by match type will help not only from an organisation point of view but also from a bidding perspective. 

After creating a set of campaigns, you want to utilise the keyword match types provided by Google Ads to show for specific user searches that will generate more conversions.

There are four keyword match types currently available within Google Ads:

[Exact Match] – Exact match of the term or close variants.

“Phrase Match” – The exact phrase with any other text before or after.

+Broad +Match +Modified – These keywords can be used in any order and can contain other words. 

Broad Match – This will trigger misspellings, synonyms and related searches.

Consider the match types as levels of confidence – you should be more confident in the exact match keywords you’re using, and less confident in phrase and broad match keywords. 

Top Tip – Adjust your keywords bids based on how much ‘confidence’ you hold in each keyword. For example, you could bid higher on exact match keywords then reduce the bids for your phrase and broad match keywords.

We recommend using broad match modified and exact match keywords for recruitment agencies – this will ultimately help you reduce wasted spend on irrelevant searches that the broad and phrase match keywords would generate. Generally speaking, you will also be able to cover a wide variety of relevant searches by just using broad match modified and exact match keywords.

Get a full review of all your keywords in our FREE PPC Account Review.


Tip 3 – Location Targeting 

Location targeting in Google Ads is a basic, yet very useful tool. It allows you to not only choose where you want your ads to show but allows you to see analytics for each location so you can optimise each individual campaign.

Recruitment agencies should take full advantage of this setting within Google Ads. It can be particularly useful if you have job positions available in specific locations and want to target your ads to local residents. Alternatively, if you wish to target nationally, or even internationally, you can.

See how you can optimise your location targeting with our FREE PPC Account Review.


Tip 4 – Expanded Text Ads & Ad Extensions

Google ads can vary in size depending on their placement in search results. Here is an example of both a small and large search ad for two different recruitment agencies:

Small recruitment agency search ad:

Small recruitment agency search ad

Large recruitment agency search ad:

Large recruitment agency search ad

As you can imagine, the larger your ads are the more visibility you have in search results – this will result in more clicks.

To achieve the most visibility in search results, use expanded text ads and a range of ad extensions.

Expanded text ads allow you to have up to three headlines and two 90-character descriptions, compared to the 2 headlines and one 90-character description that standard search ads offer. 

Top tip – Offer an incentive in your ad headline (e.g. ‘Apply To Your Dream Job Now’)

Ultimately, your ad headlines give you an opportunity to showcase your USP (Unique Selling Points) and why a user should visit your website over other recruitment agencies.

Google Ads gives you the ability to add a range of manual ad extensions however for recruitment agencies we recommend using the sitelink and call extensions in particular.

Sitelink extensions can be used to encourage the user to visit multiple pages on your website, not just your ad’s landing page. We’ve found this extension to be useful when showcasing the different job sectors that an agency has listings for. For example, if you have job listings for the retail industry, you could create this as a sitelink to attract potential applicants.

Sitelink extensions on recruitment agency search ad:

sitelink extension on recruitment agency search ad

Call extensions add a small phone icon to your ads (mobile devices only). This offers the user the ability to contact you quickly without having to first visit your website. It may not be a suitable solution for all users, but it’s worth having in place just in case.

Mobile call extension on recruitment agency search ad (in mobile search results):

Mobile call extension on recruitment agency search ad

Find out how you could improve your ads with our FREE PPC Account Review.


Tip 5 – Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is a vital part of any Google Ads campaign. It allows you to see which keywords convert which makes it easier when optimising your account. 

Tracking can be set up relatively easily too – either through Google Ads or Google Tag Manager

For precise conversion tracking that is easily editable, we recommend using Google Tag Manager to setup conversion tags. You can then create ‘Goals’ in Google Analytics with the same variables as the tags you’ve set up in Google Tag Manager – this will allow conversion data to show in Google Analytics. Once you’ve created your Goals in Google Analytics, simply link your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account and you’re all set!

Conversion data in Google Ads enables easy optimisation – you can easily see which areas of your campaigns are working and allocate budget accordingly.

Review your analytics with our FREE PPC Account Review.


Tip 6 – User-Friendly Landing Pages

When a user lands on your website, they need to feel encouraged to convert. There are a few basic things you can include on your landing pages to achieve more conversions:

Clear Headline

Your landing pages need to have clear headlines that relate to the page content and your PPC ads. For example, if you are running ads for current Finance job positions in London, your landing page would need to have a relatable headline (e.g. ‘Finance Jobs in London’). This will help from a Google Ads Quality Score perspective, as well as an SEO keyword point of view.

Detailed Contact Form

Having a basic contact form in place on your landing pages is a necessity, but a more detailed contact form is extremely useful to have for recruitment agencies. 

This form from Robert Half is a good example:

Robert Half contact from

Job Listings

A recruitment agency can’t succeed without filling job positions, right?

Having job listings on your landing pages is vital. A small section dedicated to your job listings is an easy way to provide visibility to the current job positions you have available. You don’t need to include much info to begin with either, just a simple job title, salary, location and one-line description will do. If a user is interested, they can then click-through on a job listing and view more information. 

Clear CTA’s

Multiple clear Call-to-actions provide the user with different reasons to convert. Recruitment agencies have plenty of call-to-actions at their disposable too – here are some ideas:

‘Apply Now’ – Useful for attracting job applications.

‘Upload CV’ – Useful for attracting job applications and being able to contact individuals for future positions.

‘Create Job Alert’ – Useful for filling job positions quickly in the future.

‘Send Your Vacancy’ – Useful for businesses looking to fill new positions.

Don’t forget, it’s also important to have ‘Get in touch’ call-to-actions for general user contact.


Testimonials are a great way to fill the user with confidence in your services and provide insight into the satisfaction of previous customers/clients. For best practise, aim to have a least 3 testimonials on your landing page.

Industries You Cover

Most recruitment agencies only work in specific industries. On your landing page, dedicate a small section to the industries that you operate in – this can help a user easily navigate.

Get landing page recommendations with our FREE PPC Account Review.

Enhance your PPC results today!

Follow these tips and we guarantee you will save money and increase results from your Google Ads. Want to find out more about how you can improve your PPC account? Request a FREE PPC Account Review.


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Negative Keywords in Google Ads_ How and Why Should You Use Them

Negative Keywords in Google Ads: How and Why Should You Use Them

If you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re probably familiar with PPC and how it works. If not, check out our article that explains what PPC is and how it works

So, what are negative keywords and how should you use them?

You can only get so specific with the keywords you use in your keywords, and as a result, it’s inevitable that your ads will show for irrelevant searches. Obviously, this is not a good thing and is something you will want to reduce as much as possible to save costs. This is where negative keywords come into play. 


What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are the keywords you add into your campaigns that you don’t want your ads to show for – essentially the opposite of what normal search keywords are. There are a number of different ways to find negative keywords, as well as ways to put them into use. 


Finding Negatives

When finding negative keywords to use, sometimes the keywords worth adding won’t be obvious so will require a little research. These are the tools we recommend using:

Google Keyword Planner

We suggest starting with Google’s Keyword Planner tool. This tool is commonly used for finding keywords worth bidding on in your campaigns, however, it can also be useful for finding negative keywords that you don’t want your ads to show for. A good place to start is by searching the current keywords that you’re bidding on. For example, if you’re an Accountant, you may bid on the keyword ‘accountant’ – you would then put this keyword into Keyword Planner to find any irrelevant keywords that may trigger your ads to show.

Keyword Sheeter

Keyword Sheeter is another great tool for finding negative keywords for your campaigns. As the name suggests, the tool gives you multiple potential search queries that could trigger your ads to show, based on the keywords you input. 

This tool is simple to use and offers extensive useful keyword data that will have you picking out negative keywords for days. You can also download your keywords as a CSV file in Google Ads and import the file directly into Keyword Sheeter.

Search Term Report

Another way to find potential negatives is to check your Search Term Report within Google Ads. With this, you can see the search terms that triggered your ads to show, and from there, find negative keywords worth adding into your campaign. This is a task you should be completing regularly as part of your Google Ads management.


Negative Keyword Match Types

The first choice you have when adding negative keywords is which match type you want to exclude as. If you want to exclude just one term completely, you can use exact match. If you want to exclude a term only in a certain context, then you can exclude it as phrase match. If you want to exclude a certain term in any context with any combination of words, then you would choose broad match. It’s best practice to keep your negatives tight so we don’t recommend using broad match often when adding negative keywords. 


How To Use Negative Keywords

After you have found negative keywords worth adding, you then have to decide how you want to add these into your campaigns. You can choose to add negative keywords in two different ways:

Add to a negative keyword list

Google Ads gives you the ability to create negative keyword lists which can be added to multiple campaigns. For smaller PPC accounts, you may consider using an account-wide negative list whereby all negative keywords in the list apply to the campaigns you choose. Negative keyword lists make your campaigns well-organised and allow you to easily view and add new negative keywords as and when you please.

Add to specific campaigns or ad groups 

You can add negative keywords to individual campaigns or ad groups for more granular control. This can be useful in an account that offers multiple services or products, or businesses that serve in multiple locations. For example, you may wish to add the negative keyword ‘UK’ to your USA targeted campaign.

Negative keywords can help reduce wasted spend and prevent your ads from showing in irrelevant searches – it’s important you have these in your PPC account if you haven’t already. If you require any additional support, check out our Free PPC Account Review.


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The Benefits of Google Ads for Small Businesses

The Benefits of Google Ads for Small Businesses

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) has many benefits for Small Businesses. Many small businesses fail to use Google Ads effectively, or even at all. This article will explain the benefits of using Google Ads for small businesses and how it can help scale your business.


What is PPC advertising?

PPC stands for pay-per-click, and it’s a paid way of marketing on search engines. As it states in the name, you literally pay-per-click. Essentially, PPC is a quick way to generate conversions by showing your ads to users that are searching for what you offer. A conversion may be a sale, enquiry, sign-up, etc.

There are many PPC platforms available to use, however the most popular is Google Ads.


The Benefits of Google Ads for Small Businesses


Reach customers that are searching for what you have to offer

With Google search ads, you can get in front of people that are searching for what you offer. 

Rather than traditional marketing or advertising, whereby you’re using brand awareness techniques to get your business name out there, PPC gives you the ability to show your ad to people that are directly looking for what you offer – this may be a product, service, etc. Brand awareness ads can be great to do if you have the budget, however if not, they will burn your marketing spend without any real return on investment to show for it. We will talk about using Google Ads for brand awareness further on in this article.

The intent is very different with PPC – anyone searching on Google using keywords you choose is likely looking for what you offer at that moment in time. This means they are more likely to visit your site and result in a conversion.

Get results fast (don’t wait around for SEO)

Optimising your site for search engines can result in a long wait before you see and real ranking improvements. While SEO is critical for any business to thrive online in the long-term, Google Ads will get you results faster short-term.

With SEO, there’s no guarantee you will make the first page for certain keywords you wish to rank for, no matter how much effort you put into search optimisation. With PPC, if you have the budget to be able to afford the keyword click prices, you can reach the top of search results pages in no time. 

As with many small businesses, it’s impossible to compete with big competitors – they have more advertising budget & more resources to help them rank in organic search results. With Google Ads, it’s essentially a keyword auction which allows you to get the number 1 spot. You may not be able to compete with them organically just yet, however you can by using paid ads.

Top tip – Extensive keyword research will help you find affordable keywords to bid on that will, in turn, help you achieve conversions.

Target specific customers

With Google search ads, you have the flexibility to target a wide range of potential customers using different keyword match types. Using different keyword match types allows you to target the keyword terms that your audience will be most likely to be searching for. You can choose to bid on vague/broad keywords, or exact match keywords to target people specifically looking for what you offer. 

Using broad & vague keywords is useful for what we like to call ‘keyword fishing’ – whereby you review search terms from those broad keywords on a regular basis in order to find potential exact match keywords that convert and are worth adding to the current list of keywords you bid on. For example, an estate agent may bid on the broad keyword ‘property’ to begin with. They will then be able to review the search terms of this keyword to find more specific keyword terms to bid on, such as ‘properties for sale near me’. 

You can also choose to show ads at certain times, in certain locations, for certain devices, and much more.

If you run a Display Network campaign, you can also choose certain websites where you want your ads to be shown on (providing they support Google Ads).

Measurable results

One great benefit to PPC advertising is that all your results are measurable. 

You can easily monitor and optimise your campaigns in Google Ads, and if you have conversion tracking set up, you have the ability to measure and optimise further. Google Ads offers a user-friendly interface that makes data analysis super easy. You can easily view your spend, clicks, impressions, conversions and much more.

It’s simple to see which campaigns are working well, and where to allocate your budget for improved performance, however, the real skill comes in optimising your performing campaigns to improve your ROI whilst still generating plenty of conversions. We offer expert PPC management for small businesses and our primary focus is to bring small businesses a fantastic ROI with the click budget they’re using.

Data-driven marketing is a must for any small business that wants their digital marketing to bring a positive ROI.

Suitable for any budget

Depending on your business industry and how competitive your keywords are, PPC offers plenty of flexibility in terms of budget.

Whether you are looking to spend hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands, you can spend as much as you like, or don’t like. Google Ads offers the flexibility to trial whatever click budget you like, however, it’s worth noting that click prices for each industry vary widely – we’ve seen click prices from as little as £0.40p per click, all the way to £25+ per click.

You can limit your spend in a variety of ways within Google Ads. We recommend either setting a daily or monthly budget for each campaign and using Cliteq’s budget tracker script for ultimate budget monitoring.

Beat the competition

Google Ads allow you to directly compete with your competitors – whether they advertise for the same keywords you do or have first-page organic rankings, PPC allows you to compete against your competitors. 

If your competitors are running PPC ads, you can use this as an advantage to find what keywords they’re bidding on. From there, you can begin to bid on the same/similar keywords in an attempt to steal their paid traffic. Granted, you may not have the budget to compete with some of your larger competitors all of the time, however, you will still be able to show your PPC ads against theirs in search results some of the time.

You can also beat your competitors in Google Ads by creating a competitor campaign – this is essentially a campaign where you base all your keywords on competitor brand names. For example, Asda may bid on keywords such as ‘Tesco’, ‘Sainsbury’s’ and ‘Aldi’ to try and steal their website traffic. Generally speaking, company brand names can be relatively cheap too so a competitor campaign is worth considering.

Brand awareness

Google Ads can be used to target terms related to your industry, products or services in order to get your brand name out there.

Whilst brand awareness isn’t the primary reason many small businesses use Google Ads, if you have the budget to do so, it’s worth testing. Targeting broad keyword terms around your brand name can ensure your ads get in front of anyone searching for terms related to your business or industry. Having a brand awareness campaign can also help fight off competitors bidding on your brand name. 


One powerful and very popular feature of Google Ads is the ability to remarket to your previous website visitors.

Once someone has been on your site (whether this is off the back of an organic search click or PPC ad click) you can remarket to these users. 

Why would you do this? In short, sometimes the user journey requires more than one website visit in order for them to become a converting user. You need to remain in front of previous website visitors to encourage them to visit your website again and convert. Generally speaking, for a user to visit your website in the first place, it means they’re somewhat interested in what you have to offer. The goal is to continue growing the interest until the user converts.

You need to act while their needs are still fresh, and your product or service is still something they are thinking about. We recommend setting a 30-day remarketing audience up in Google Ads as this is a good time frame to remarket to recent website visitors.


Google Ads has many benefits for small businesses, and can play an important role in your digital marketing strategy.

If you’re looking to achieve short-term results then PPC is a no-brainer. We can help with everything from new PPC account setups, right through to regular management and optimisation to make sure you’re getting the best ROI from your PPC account as possible – get in touch today!


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The Ultimate PPC Management Task Checklist

The Ultimate PPC Management Task Checklist

The key to good PPC campaign success in Google Ads is down to regular management and optimisation. It’s important to be proactive in your PPC account and have a good understanding of what you should be checking weekly, monthly and quarterly. There are a number of things you could check when completing weekly and monthly PPC maintenance – our task checklist details the most important things you should be keeping tabs on.

Weekly PPC Task Checklist

  • Ad Positions

This is where you review where your paid search ads are placing. As with organic search, as an advertiser, you want to be hitting those top ad spots on the first page as much as possible.

To check what positions your ads are showing in search results, check the Search top IS & Search abs. top IS metrics within each ad group and adjust keyword bids accordingly.

  • Display Network Placements

Placement refers to the specific apps, websites, YouTube videos, etc. where your Display Network ads are being displayed. Check your Display Network ad placements and exclude any placements that spend a lot but don’t convert, or placements that look like spam sites. 

The best way to make sure your display ads only show on placements that are related to your business is to add a list of placements for your ads to show on. By doing this, it should prevent your ads from showing on unrelated placements.

  • Budgets

You want to keep a watchful eye on your overall budgets and tweak individual campaign budgets once a week where necessary. 

For best practice, we recommend checking budgets every Monday morning using the Adwords budget script by Clicteq

  • Keyword Bids

Review your keyword bids and adjust where necessary. When adjusting bids, look for keywords that convert well and raise them to see if they perform even better. You will also want to adjust the bids for low performing keywords to prevent them from sucking your budget dry. We’ll explain more about keyword performance in our next task on the checklist.

  • Keyword Performance

Next, you will want to look at keywords in your campaigns that spend a lot but have low conversion/click-through rates. The bids for these poor performing keywords could be reduced, or if you feel necessary, pause them. 

It’s also worth checking your campaigns search term report as you may find search terms that have converted previously but you don’t bid on as a keyword currently. This could present good opportunities to add new keywords that may convert often for you in the future.

  • Negative Keywords

Not adding negative keywords into your campaigns can cause serious budget wastage. You can find potential negative keywords to add to your campaigns by regularly checking the search term reports. The search term reports will help you find potential keywords that are irrelevant to your campaigns, and from there you can add these as negative keywords to prevent them from showing in the future.

  • Impression Share  

Impression metrics are some of the most important optimisation metrics available to Google Ads marketers. It’s important to view impression share metrics weekly, so you can determine what percentage of the time your ads are being shown in search results, and what percentage of the time they’re not due to budget restrictions. You’ll want to keep tabs on the following impression metrics within your campaigns:

Search impr. shareThe impressions that you’ve received on the Search Network divided by the estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive

Search lost IS (budget) – An estimate of how often your ad didn’t show on the Search Network due to low budget.

Monthly PPC Task Checklist

  • Review Ads

Once a month you should be checking all enabled search ads and pausing those that aren’t performing. It’s also worth testing new ads every month to see if you can achieve better click-through rates, thus helping get more clicks through to your website. You don’t necessarily need to write new ads all the time either – try testing different headlines and descriptions to begin with. 

Top tip – Always aim to have 3 ads in each ad group.

  • Keyword Expansion

Once a month you should be taking a longer look at your search term report to not only look for negative keywords, but to use find possible keywords to add into your campaigns. Look out for converting keywords that appear in your search term reports as these could be worth adding as keywords to achieve more conversions for a cheaper cost. 

  • CTR  

As part of your monthly checks, you will want to be checking the click-through rate of your keywords. If a keyword’s CTR is low but the ROI is high, you will want to stop testing ad variations for a month or so as it is not uncommon to have a CTR of less than 1% for high-volume search terms.

Top Tip – If you’re budget is limited, a good way to optimise your current budget is to pause keywords with low CTR, leaving Google Ads to allocate your budgets to keywords that perform well and have a high CTR.

  • Campaign Settings  

Checking and reviewing the settings of each of your campaigns is good practise to ensure the basic structure of your campaigns are correct and setup to achieve the campaign goal. Double check the following in each campaigns settings:

  • Location targeting
  • Device targeting
  • Language targeting
  • Bid strategy
  • Campaign start & end dates
  • Networks 
  • Budget
  • Sitelinks

Ensure that the pages linked to your ads are still working and relevant to the sitelink text. It’s also worth testing new sitelinks every month. 

This link checker script is a necessity in any Google Ads account.

  • Landing Pages

To check the performance of landing pages, look for those ads with high CTRs but low conversions – these ads indicate a poor landing page. If you have Google Analytics linked with your Google Ads account, you called also look at bounce rate and session duration metrics. If you don’t have the facilities to trial new landing pages every month, it’s worth trialling different variations of your current landing pages. Start by testing different headlines, imagery and main text areas. 

  • Location Targeting 

Review your location targeting every month to see which locations perform the best. This will help you determine which locations are underperforming and which are performing better. Depending on how you have your campaigns setup, you can either remove certain locations from your targeting, or add bid adjustments based on their performance. 

  • Ad Schedules

Every month you should be reviewing any ad schedules you have setup in your campaigns to make sure they’re showing your ads at the right times. Check any existing ad schedules to see if they could be adjusted to further prevent wasted spend in times of the day that don’t convert.


Quarterly Review

Finally, we recommend reviewing your entire PPC account strategy every year quarter (Q1 – 4). This is a good point to review the overarching PPC strategy that you have in place and find areas to focus & improve on. You will also be able to determine where you’ve found success in the quarter, and from there, design a strategy for the next quarter.

There you have it, follow this task checklist for your PPC campaigns and you’ll stay on top of everything you need to be monitoring, whilst finding key opportunities to improve your ROI. If you have any questions, or wish to find out more about our PPC Management services, please get in touch.


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