Pay-per-click advertising is an art and science until to itself. Arguably one of the most competitive advertising arenas in today’s marketplace, it has the power to pay dividends—if properly executed and managed. For e-commerce sites, every penny spent on PPC ads is vital and needs be earned back.
The best PPC strategies include a holistic approach of plan, execute, collect, review and repeat. Following are some of the most important things you can due to ensure top-notch PPC management and results.
1. Take care with keywords
Keywords are some of your most valuable assets but they should be used with care. Overstuffing ads with too many top keywords can actually diminish their effectiveness. Instead, try adding a lesser-performing keyword in with a stronger one and you are likely to see both of them perform better. PPC ads should not try to appeal to a broad audience but, rather, be targeted to a smaller group. This will deliver better results by ensuring people that click on your ad really are interested in what you have to offer.
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Additionally, you can utilize the modified broad match approach to multiple keywords which increases your ability to capture long-tail keyword searchers without losing single keyword searchers. For example, if you select +women’s +wetsuits +triathlons, you will be seen by people searching for “women’s wetsuits” as well as “short-sleeved women’s wetsuits for triathlons”. The broad match keyword function allows the perfect blend of targeting one audience yet reaching broadly within that.
Employing negative keywords is another highly effective way of focusing your ad on a specific market. As noted above, the more closely you match your ad, including keywords, to an audience, the better chance you have of getting people to click—and ultimately to buy.
2. Craft killer copy
Content is king and that means both for your ad and your landing page. Your ad should always include a clear offer, value proposition and call to action. You should think of your landing page as an extension of your ad in a way, ensuring that the copy on it continues the message and the process that was started with the ad. Remember, the point of both of these elements is to move people through the buying process, all the way through checkout.
The value of split testing with your ad copy cannot be underestimated and you should once again to focused your copy on the intended audience and avoid the temptation to get distracted by trying to appeal to everyone.
3. Integrate analytics
A marketing campaign without a clearly defined metric capture and review component is a waste of your money. Make sure that you design your PPC campaign to integrate with key analytics programs.
Google Analytics is an obvious tool that should be used but there are others as well. KissMetrics, for example, is a fabulous addition to Google Analytics as it provides robust people tracking not provided by GA. CrazyEgg provides a heat-map view of select pages on your website, including your landing pages, and can create funnels to view continuation or exit points at key stages along the buying process. Ensure that you set up ongoing reporting so that you are able to dynamically respond to the information provided.
Together, this grouping of powerful analytic tools can give you the information you need to monitor and make real-time adjustments to your PPC ads as well as your website. With such tools, you can track customers from initial click to conversion, which is what you ultimately want.
While this is not an extensive list of everything that you must do in your PPC campaign, it is an accurate reflection of some things that, if not done, will dramatically reduce your campaign’s ability to produce results, which means it will not adequately drive sales for your e-commerce site.