Want to drive more qualified leads to your website? Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a great way to just that.
A well-executed PPC campaign can be an excellent way to increase conversions and revenue. Your products or services will appear at the top of the first page of Google (or Bing) on relevant searches.
However, because you pay for every click you get from your ads, a poorly managed PPC campaign can cost more than it brings in.
While your target audience and messaging will be unique to your business, there are some basic tactics that work consistently in PPC campaigns, regardless of industry.
Here are eight of the most important, but often overlooked, elements when optimizing PPC campaigns. Some of these are more advanced than others, but if you implement these elements into your PPC campaigns you should see a big improvement and make your business more money!
1. Make Your Landing Page Relevant
The ultimate goal of a PPC marketing is to make a sale, not just to get a click.
A successful PPC ad drives qualified leads to a landing page. It is then the job of that landing page to convert that prospect into a paying customer. You should optimize your landing pages for PPC conversions by making the message of your ads align with your landing page message.
Maintaining consistency between your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages should improve your click-through and conversion rates while lowering your CPC. This means you should be able to make more money while also conserving your budget.
Repeat whatever you say in your ad on your landing page. Since you know your customers are interested in your offer and message in your ad, you can increase the conversions by presenting the same message and CTA on your landing page.
By following this basic rule, you will be able to craft more compelling ads that will help your customers understand your value and drive more conversions.
2. Optimize Negative Keywords
One of the most powerful tools at your disposal to ensure the integrity of your AdWords campaign is to optimize for negative keywords. AdWords allows you to specify what keywords are not a good fit for your product or service.
By telling Google what your product is not, you can prevent your ads from showing on keyword searches that don’t match with the intent of your customers. Focusing on the needs of qualified customers helps you save a lot of money.
For example, one of my clients is an apartment management company in Virginia that owns several off-campus student apartment complexes. These apartments are made for students and are not conducive to the needs of traditional families. To ensure they only receive qualified traffic, I excluded general terms like “family” along with “cheap” and other qualifiers to negate traffic from people who were not in their demographic.
It is just as important to tell Google what your product and service is not just as much as it is to tell them what you are. Negative keywords can be added to the campaign level, but you can hone in by adding unique keywords to specific ad groups when needed.
3. Use the Right Keyword Match Types
PPC advertising is a direct attribution marketing channel, and AdWords relies on user intent through keywords. Whenever someone types in a search query into Google, AdWords shows ads based on how relevant the auction system considers the search term and displays an ad accordingly.
The most important piece of a PPC campaign is the keywords you use and the type of modifiers you use for those words. There are four types of keyword matches, including:
- Broad: This is the widest net you can cast and will match searches with any words in any order (including synonyms) that include the target keyword.
- Broad Match Modified: This match type is the second widest net you can cast and is signified by a (+) sign in front of your keywords. This modifier will show your ad that shows the target keyword in the order you specify.
- Phrase Match: Keyword phrases are a string of words contained in quotation marks. This modifier will show your ad only when searchers use the exact phrase you specify.
- Exact Match: This keyword modifier is similar to phrase match, but your ads will only show with the exact search query. This modifier is signified by putting your keyword(s) in brackets.
Each match type is a tradeoff between impressions and relevancy from one another.
If you want the most impressions, then you should choose Broad Match (but don’t do that) for your AdWords marketing campaign. On the other hand, Exact Match will have the lowest impressions but should have higher relevancy and click-through rate.
4. Alter Keyword Match Type Over Time
Whenever I launch an AdWords campaign, I usually start out with several ad groups with strong themes of similar keywords. For the first 30 days of a campaign, I often use Broad Modified match types because they offer a good level of control to qualify when my ads show, but also enough opportunities for the ads to show so I can gather data.
Even though I do a lot of research to understand my competition and the market before I launch an ad, I find that the first month is a great time to learn first-hand what people are searching as it relates to the products and services of my clients.
After 30 days I will usually change my focus to more Phrase and Exact Match words, allowing for the higher performing Broad Modifiers to remain. This means I typically have 12-14 keywords in each ad group, consisting of six Exact, six Phrase, and two Broad Modified.
5. Fill Out All Available Ad Content
Since their release in July 2016, Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) have made a substantial impact on the world of AdWords. By offering additional space for relevant content, ETAs provide PPC managers an excellent way to tell a story about a product or service.
If you want your ads to perform better, make sure you fill out all available information fields.
- Final URL: Make this a unique, highly relevant landing page.
- Headline 1: Include the brand name or the primary value proposition in this field.
- Headline 2: Include a supporting value proposition here, or use this area to establish the context for the Description.
- Path 1: Put the location (city or state depending on the situation) or general category of product/service.
- Path 2: Try to include more accurate information in this field to provide context.
- Description: This is the money-maker section that connects the needs of your customer with the solution of your product or service. Include a strong CTA at the end of the Description to help frame the ad and engage your reader.
6. Use Every Relevant Ad Extension
Many AdWords PPC managers think the value of PPC ends with the Headlines, Paths, and Description of the main AdWords ad. However, ad extensions are an essential part of the customer experience and can give your ads a considerable performance boost.
Ad extensions can help tell your brand’s story better while offering valuable information to your customers.
There are several ad extensions to choose from, but the most significant ad extensions are:
- Sitelinks Extensions: These are additional links your customers might find valuable that direct to unique landing pages.
- Callout Extensions: Use these to build trust with readers by including entries like “Fast Professional Service” or “Peace of Mind Guarantee.”
- Structured Snippets: Include these to provide more information about features offered. These are based on specific categories, so be sure to choose a relevant category as you build out your ad extensions.
- Review Extensions: Adding this powerful type of extensions can significantly increase engagement. Tip: use reviews from your site so when your audience clicks on the extension, they will be directed to your website.
7. Adjust Bids for Geotargeting
No matter your market or industry, you can benefit by focusing your marketing dollars on specific geographic locations.
Even if you provide digital products and services, you can benefit by reviewing where your engagement comes from to prioritize media spend in those areas. However, industries like apartments, hotels, and lawyers often qualify their ideal customer by how close they live to their physical offices.
If your products and services do not depend on your customers’ physical location, you can still optimize your PPC campaigns with geotargeted bids based on seasonality, weather, and user needs.
For example, if you sell snow shovels then you should negative bid in warmer areas like Florida and Alabama since people in those states likely won’t need your product and you will be wasting money on each click from those states. However, you should increase geotargeted bids for cities that will experience increased snowfall from an incoming cold front.
Many AdWords beginners forget to consider the needs of their customers and other qualifiers based on the physical location of their audience. You can save a lot of money by preventing ads from showing in some areas while increasing the likelihood of a conversion and increased bid adjustment in other geolocations.
8. Break Out Mobile-Optimized Campaigns
Many of your future customers use mobile devices. That means you should have campaigns optimized for mobile users.
Mobile-optimized campaigns give you the best chance to engage your mobile customers in the right format on their preferred device. Separating campaigns is an easy way to drive more qualified clicks.
How do you determine if a campaign should have a mobile-only component? Look at the conversions.
If mobile drives a significant portion of conversions, then I will usually copy an existing campaign and simply negative bid mobile for the original campaign. In the same way, I will negative bid desktop in the new mobile-only campaign.
CPC for mobile ads can be 25 percent lower compared to desktop-only campaigns. You can also take advantage of mobile-only campaigns by focusing on click-to-call extensions.
Google AdWords Is an Investment
A properly maintained PPC campaign can help make business owners a lot of money. Since Google charges you for each click on your ads, you need to ensure you take all available steps to optimize the entire experience and drive conversions.
Test out the above suggestions for your PPC campaigns and you should be able to make your business more money with qualified traffic and increased sales.
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Author: Chris Giarratana
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