Optimise Returns and Avoid Pitfalls to Get the Most From Your PPC

Pay-per-click is an effective way to drive additional traffic to your website. Follow some simple rules and avoid the mistakes that undermine many campaigns.

There is no doubt that an effective pay-per-click campaign can make a big difference to your company’s SEO. However, the operative word here is often “effective.”

The idea of putting together a paid search campaign and standing back to watch high quality traffic land on your website with great conversion rates sounds terrific, but is often a long way from reality. Many business owners give AdWords pay-per-click marketing a quick try and soon admit defeat, achieving nothing but a depleted marketing budget.

A successful pay-per-click campaign requires the extensive knowledge and expertise that an experienced marketing agency can bring. Even the smallest change can have a significant effect on the overall performance of your PPC campaign and bring an improved return on your investment.

Keyword research

A key part to ensuring your PPC campaign starts on on the right foot and generates you more customers and not just more costs is careful keyword selection.

Google’s own Keyword Planner Tool is the perfect resource for this. You start by inputting a set of seed keywords and Google will return related terms which you can choose to add to your plan. Don’t always be seduced by terms with the highest search volume. Likely they will have the highest Cost Per Click (CPC) too! Instead choose terms based on their relevance to your product or service. The lower search volume terms will be cheaper to target and often have more “buyer intent”, meaning that the click is more likely to result in an enquiry or sale.

PPC Campaign Strategy Management

Keep track of everything

PPC advertising gives you the power to see how every penny is being spent, how much you are spending and what revenue is being generated, so you can understand which keywords are producing the best results.

Tracking all these results from day one is key to success. Some business owners dive in to PPC, but ignore the follow up step of analysing their data to enhance the performance of the campaign. In order to make PPC work, constant analysis and adjustment is needed.

By increasing bids on the better performing keywords, reducing bids on less successful ones and pausing those that are completely unsuccessful, you can make continuous overall improvements and work towards lower CPCs.

Use PPC in combination with organic search marketing

PPC is a powerful tool, but is only one aspect of a successful digital marketing campaign. When combined with organic SEO, it can result in your business featuring high in both the organic results as well and the sponsored ads. This gives a real air of influence and makes visitors more likely to click through.

It also ensures all bases are covered, as a significant segment of consumers have a certain distrust of sponsored listings and go straight to the organic results.

As well as appearing in Google’s search listings, AdWords can also be shown across the publisher network, and this is a great way to help develop a brand as well as drive relevant traffic – PPC helps your business grow beyond the realms of Google search.

Search Engine Marketing

Get your landing page right

Google assigns a numerical quality between 1 and 10 to each keyword in the campaign. This is designed to reward high quality campaigns and to direct traffic to the most relevant landing pages.

Improving your quality score will increase the frequency with which your ads are shown and will reduce your CPC. Key to this is making sure the content in your landing page is related to your ad copy and to whatever product or service you are advertising. It is important that content will attract visitors and will keep them on your page.

It is also a good idea to run a speed-test to make sure that your load time is acceptable. Nothing turns visitors away faster than a page that takes too long to load, particularly on mobile devices. It is also worth looking into your Google Analytics to analyse bounce rates. If visitors are arriving on your landing page but not hanging around, you need to know why.

Other search engines

Google might have become synonymous with search, but it is not the only search engine out there, and it is definitely worth expanding your top performing keywords into other engines, such as Bing.

Volume is certainly lower than Google, but each engine has a dedicated set of users and you will invariably gain additional conversions quickly.

Increase your budget

By following the above steps and keeping to them, you should see a good return on your investment. So finally, when it is working well, why not scale it?

The idea of increasing the budget might sound scary, but when it is done properly, a successful PPC campaign can really help a business to achieve rapid growth.