AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4


This is the fourth in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:

This week’s interview is with David Semprun. David is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Priority Pass, the world’s largest airport VIP lounge access program. Follow him on Twitter at @semprund or visit his website,

Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an Agency or an Advertiser?

I’ve been managing PPC accounts for about two years now. I’m Google AdWords certified and a Microsoft adExcellence Certified Professional. At Priority Pass, I’m responsible for the USA/Canada and Latin America markets in both English and Spanish. Since working here, I’ve been able to improve overall PPC performance while increasing ROI to more than 900%.

What is your primary goal for AdWords marketing?

My primary goal is to generate income for the company, so I focus on maximizing conversions while reducing costs. My goal is to make PPC profitable enough to justify the amount spent on advertising, creating an excellent return on investment.

There are tons of metrics in AdWords – what are your top three key performance metrics in AdWords and why?

Conversions: I have a goal conversion amount for each month and I focus on doing my best to exceed that amount by making any necessary adjustments during the month.

CPA: In order to make PPC profitable, I have a maximum CPA amount which is 25% of our lowest product price, that way I make sure I maintain an ROI of at least 400%.

CTR: I always keep an eye on click-through rate, because that allows me to gauge the relevancy of my ad groups, ad copy and keywords. It will also help me to identify areas of improvement in terms of Quality Scores and CPC.

Can you describe your AdWords management strategy? How do you set your campaign objectives, and how do you know what’s realistic or not?

My objectives are based on the client/company’s expectations; I set up my campaigns to be as targeted as possible and wait a couple of months to have enough data to start optimizing. Based on the historical data, I try to come up with a strategy for improving the performance, always focusing on lowering the amount spent and increasing conversions.

My campaigns are always geo targeted and the ad groups only have a handful of keywords. This allows me to create highly targeted ad copy and improve Quality Scores.

Describe your AdWords management workflow. When you’re doing your account optimization work, how do you decide what to do next in your account? How do you prioritize your work? 

I’m always testing new strategies, creating new ad copy, changing landing pages, creating a special seasonal offer, etc. So basically I plan to implement a new strategy at least a month ahead and I usually begin on the first day of the month and that will help me to assess the results more accurately. 

Any other advice or tips for AdWords marketers that didn’t score as well as you? 

Forget about broad match keywords (unless your goal is to create brand awareness), these are where search networks make a lot of money and they’re going to deplete your budget in no time. Always try to use phrase and exact match but if you really need to use broad, please use modified broad match so you can have more control over your traffic.


Hannah Yarrow
Oct 25, 2011

Interesting thoughts. I like your focus on keeping 'PPC profitable enough to justify the amount spent on advertising, creating an excellent return on investment.'I think it's really important to remember this, rather than getting carried away with other factors, which while important are not as crucial as the bottom line ROI to the client.Thanks!

Elisa Gabbert
Oct 25, 2011

Thanks for your comment, Hannah! Yes, CTR, CPA, etc. can tell you all about what's going on in your account -- but in the end, it all comes down to ROI.

Feb 27, 2013

You say when you start campaigns you make them as targeted as possible and then wait a couple of months to look at the data and start optimizing.  So you don't touch it at all?  What about adding negative keywords in from search querries that may be unrelated?

Jul 03, 2013

Interesting points, however I would like to slightly disagree with your point of view about Braod Match keywords, Broad match keywords are very good, incase you are working in an industry where CPC of main keywords are very high. Broad match allow you to find very good long tail keywords with low CPC. However, very close monitoring is required while using Broad Match Keywords.

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