Pay per click (PPC) marketing is a great way to start driving targeted traffic to an offer right away. When done correctly it can result in instant revenue and ROI, but when done the wrong way it can result in depleted budgets and a big goose egg in the revenue department.
Here are ten paid search marketing tips to help make sure your PPC efforts get off the ground correctly. Just like anything, PPC requires a lot of testing and optimizing to get it turning a nice profit. If it were easy everyone would be doing it, but if you are serious about giving it a shot or trying to improve your campaign performance take the following pay per click tips into consideration.
1. Think Quality Score Prior to Building Campaigns
The quality score is important from the beginning. Sure, you can improve an optimize the campaign as you go to improve the quality score but if you think about it before you even start it can help you start off with a lot of impressions and a lower cost per click (CPC). Every ad that you create within a PPC campaign should be targeting a specific page on your website and the content present on that page should be highly relevant (and include the same keywords) as your ad(s) will be targeting. If you are targeting the keyword “New York dentist” then that keyword should be in the page title, the content, the ad title, and the ad copy. This will help you achieve the greatest quality score. A high QS results in lower CPC’s and more impressions because it is thought to be more relevant in terms of what the searcher is looking for.
2. Limit Keywords Per Ad
It is a good idea to only target one or two keywords per ad. This allows you to create very specific ads that are done in a way to provide you with the highest quality score. As mentioned above, the quality score helps you to have your ads shown more and achieve a lower cost per click. It will also give you much better data as you will see what keywords work the best and result in the most conversions. Many people will create an ad an load hundreds of keywords thinking that is the best option. This results in outrageous CPC’s a very low exposure for the ad as it is not shown due to the low QS. Build several optimized ads. It will seem tedious ta first, but when it delivers you the kind of data that allows you to make your campaign more profitable you will be glad you did.
3. Long Tail Keywords + High QS = Success
Just like with SEO, keyword research plays a huge role in PPC. When you can find nice long tail versions of your keywords and create ads and destination URL’s that result in a high quality score you can capture traffic at bottom prices. This is where the extra hard work and research pays off. Sticking to just the obvious main keywords is fine, but if you are looking to maximize your budget and ROI then spend the time to uncover some long tail gems.
4. Split Test
Split test different landing pages and destination URL’s. Something as simple as the location of an opt-in box or the color of your call to action can dramatically change your conversion rate. If you do not split test multiple options then you have nothing to build on. Nobody said PPC was easy, as it requires a lot of time to set up and get rolling. This initial testing and data is the foundation of the PPC campaign and provides the information needed to build and scale the effort. Don’t be afraid to test multiple pages and layouts. Test as much as you can afford to, because it can result in much more attractive ROI’s.
5. Cut the Under Performers
If an ad isn’t performing well then get rid of it! Keeping a poorly performing ad in your campaign hurts your overall performance. Sometimes it doesn’t take long to realize that an ad just isn’t going to do well. Sometimes it will be an ad that you believed would perform very well, but don’t take that into consideration. With PPC the numbers don’t lie. You will know what ads are receiving the highest click through rate and which ones are delivering the highest conversion rate. Cut the ones holding you back and concentrate on improving the solid performers and make them even better.
6. Schedule Your Ads Correctly
Think logically when scheduling when you want your ads to run. Some e-commerce websites can have the ads run around the clock, but some local businesses may only want their ads to be displayed during business hours in the event that they are trying to generate real time leads via an online submission or a phone call. The last thing you want to do is let the ads run around the clock and deplete the budget. Leads and phone calls when the staff is not working are virtually useless. Schedule smart in an effort to maximize each website visitor.
7. Use Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are a great way to add site links, an address, a phone number, and other elements to the add. When done correctly this can direct visitors to a specific page of your site or result in an instant phone call. This is something that many people skip over because they are simply too lazy to do it. Don’t be one of those people. They are very effective and can help drive traffic. Some examples of these ad extensions are:
8. Monitor Closely
Pay attention to your campaign. One of the reason many business owners hire a professional agency to handle their PPC is because of the constant attention the campaign requires in order to be successful. Constant optimization is required and you can gather data from a specific time period and address it, but if you are able to watch is closely then you can make changes as you go. If you notice a particular keyword generating a lot of clicks but few conversions then you may want to test a different layout on the destination page. There are so many different scenarios that can play out and the more attention you can devote to the PPC campaign the better it will perform.
PPC is not a cookie cutter marketing method, and it takes testing to get it right. Every industry, business, and location will have different goals, needs, and budgets. This is when little tips like these can come into play and help get the pay per click off the ground correctly. Analyze as much data as possible and always remember: the numbers DON’T lie!
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