12 Tips to Get the Most Out Of Your PPC Advertising Campaign
You may have heard of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, but you might not be aware of the potential it has as a marketing tool. This article will cover some tips to help you improve your PPC efforts and get more from your investment. Let’s go!
1. Use Your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Space Wisely
More and more marketers are learning about the potential of PPC as a marketing tool. A natural result of this increased interest is that there will be more competition on those all-important search terms. It’s very easy for your ads to get lost in the shuffle on some keywords, which means you might not spend as much time, effort, and money as you should.
One way to help your ad stand out from the crowd is to use that valuable SERP (search engine results page) space wisely. For example, many companies choose not to display their toll-free number in their ads. Those who do this often create special landing pages containing nothing but a toll-free phone number and an offer for those who click on it. This allows them to capture leads and track conversions even if people don’t click through or see the rest of their site (which can be especially effective when combined with retargeting). Another option is to put social media links in your PPC ad; we’ve seen success stories where businesses have boosted their Facebook likes by simply adding a link to their ads.
2. Make Sure Your Landing Pages Match the Ad Copy
PPC is often used as a way to drive traffic to your site, and you can use this as an opportunity to test different landing pages against each other. It’s common for businesses to separate PPC traffic from organic search traffic on their website. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they should have different URLs – you can make sure both types of traffic land on optimized pages by using something like URL parameters or tracking code in the source code of your landing page(s). For example, if someone clicks on a specific keyword-influenced ad over another, it should be reflected in the URL that appears when they click through. This will help you track which keywords are working better than others, and help you focus on the ones producing results.
3. Use A/B & Multivariate Testing
If you’re serious about improving your PPC campaigns, it’s a good idea to do some testing on your landing pages. This can be accomplished using either A/B or multivariate testing. The general goal of these tests is to figure out which elements of your landing pages are having the biggest impact on conversions, whether it’s an improvement in CTR or increasing signups for your mailing list. These tests are easy to implement when you have separate ads for various keywords; all you need to do is create different landing page variations with different copy or images. You then measure their performance against each other by seeing which ones produce better conversions.
4. Watch Your Direct Traffic
After you’ve paid for traffic, it’s important to monitor your direct sources of traffic. You can use a tool like Google Analytics (GA) to do this (it automatically monitors your direct traffic if you’re using GA). Just remember that PPC-generated visits should be excluded from the “All Visits” total in the left-hand menu if you want accurate data. If not, your PPC visits will definitely skew your numbers and make them much less useful! Look at both the number and percentage of visitors who come via direct means; these numbers can fluctuate greatly and may signify losing organic search engine rankings or possibly something more serious like an outage with one of your servers.
5. Test Your Mobile Ads
For mobile devices, the rules are different for PPC ads. Bearing that in mind, it’s important to test all of your ads during development stages to make sure they work well on mobile devices. If you’re not 100% certain how to do this or what elements will perform best then try split testing each element of your ad (headline, description line 1 and 2, URL etc.) against each other until you find out which works best on a specific device. This is especially useful if you have separate landing pages for mobile visitors; people who click through from desktop ads may find themselves directed to a page that doesn’t fit their device or isn’t optimized for viewing on mobile screens, resulting in a poor user experience and the potential to drive them away.
6. Monitor Your Ad Position
Position is important for just about any type of advertising, and PPC ads are no different. The top two positions receive almost 70% of clicks, with position #1 receiving roughly 50%. If you’re not getting that coveted first spot then it might be time to adjust your bids or check out some new keywords that can help improve your CTR and get you bumped up the rankings. Also keep an eye on how many times one of your competitors beats you to position #1; it’s happening more often than you might think!
7. Watch Your “Avg Position” Metric
This may sound like a strange entry but it’s actually very important, especially for new advertisers. The “Avg Position” metric is a great way to monitor the performance of your ads over time. For example, if you have two ads running and one is always at position #1 while the other is usually in position #10 but occasionally drops as low as #5 or even lower then your average ad position is going to be greater than 5. A good rule of thumb is that an avg position of 5 or higher means that your campaign isn’t performing well enough – you need to either increase bids or find more relevant keywords with better search volume/more specific targeting, which will help improve CTR (quality score). But if your avg positions are consistently above 10, there’s probably something else causing this number to be so high – either a problem with your ads or your landing page, which is also something you need to fix.
8. Narrow Your Keywords
Although the main idea of PPC advertising is that it allows you to get in front of a large number of people very quickly and easily, this isn’t always the best thing for everyone involved. If you’re a small-time ecommerce site trying to increase sales from previous month/quarter then it makes better sense to target specific users with similar interests rather than just casting a wide net and hoping for the best. Narrowing down your keywords can be useful when it comes to improving CTR, conversion rates and ROI – basically every other metric that matters to an advertiser! But try not to go too narrow because this will result in a lower volume of searches, meaning you’re less likely to get noticed for your keywords.
9. Use Negative Keywords
There are many reasons why negative keywords are good to have around even though they can be challenging to work with. These might seem like tiny features but they help improve the relevance of each search query, thus increasing your CTR and conversion rates. They can also help prevent undesirable queries from appearing in your campaigns altogether; using broad match type is often enough but rarely optimal – especially if you’re hoping that someone searching for “dog treats” will also see ads about expensive pet beds or veterinarian services! As mentioned above, there are several types of negative keywords that can be implemented depending on the type of campaign you’re running, and it’s a good idea to use negative keywords in virtually every AdWords-powered PPC campaign.
10. Use Smart Bidding
If you’ve ever spent any time on Google then I’m sure that you’ve seen ads for their own products popping up when doing searches related to these topics. This is mainly because of Google’s “smart bidding” feature which measures what your competitors are doing, so if they suddenly start bidding more on certain keywords then Google will automatically increase your bids in order to ensure that you still get top ad spot or rank. Although this doesn’t always guarantee top results – especially if your competitors have higher quality scores than you – setting smart bids can help prevent fluctuating CPCs and improve your ROI over time.
11. Get to Know Your AdWords Account
One of the biggest problems with AdWords is that it’s often seen as treat like a traditional advertising medium such as newspapers or television, which can’t always be controlled as much as we would like them to be (in most cases). But there are many ways you can use tools such as ad customizers and dynamic search ads in order to gain an edge on your competition; both strategies allow you to directly control your bids while showing users more relevant ads – even if they haven’t actually typed anything into Google yet! The main idea here is that you need to get familiar with how this platform works, because each new feature can help enhance certain aspects of your campaign.
12. Take Advantage of the Knowledge Graph
Although this feature has been around for a few years now, most people haven’t really taken advantage of it – but there are several reasons why you should start doing so right now if you’re serious about making Google’s advertising platform work to your advantage! The main idea here is that these results are presented as an answer to most questions users have, which often includes relevant search queries but also other aspects such as knowledge panels and even featured snippets. But unlike regular ads, these results can’t be targeted with keywords or ad groups; however they still deliver traffic to Google’s SERPs (search engine result pages), which means that you need to work on maximizing CTR in order to get more clicks and conversions!
PPC advertising is the best way to get your business in front of potential prospects, but it can often be a challenge to make this platform work for you. But if you follow the tips outlined above then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t see a positive return on investment!
- Why Do You Need PPC Advertising? – Columbia University. This blog post highlights the benefits of PPC advertising such as tracking, adaptability, audience targeting, integration with other channels, and achieving specific goals.
- Pay Per Click Advertising – Or How Not to Lose Your Shirt on Google – U.S. Small Business Administration. This workshop covers key aspects of advertising on Google, including an introduction to different types of ads and keyword and targeting strategies.
- Digital marketing for entrepreneurs: What you need to know – Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, State.gov. This site discusses various digital marketing strategies, including organic and paid social media, paid advertising, content creation, data analytics, and SEO.