How have your ongoing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns been performing? Are you satisfied with the results or have they failed to meet the mark? Usually, the chances are high that there is room for improvement. However, some business owners don’t take full advantage of PPC. This can be a serious mistake.
Did you know that PPC campaigns result in up to 65 per cent of the total amount of global inbound website traffic? Not only are these strategies great ways to improve conversion rates, but they can help to establish a solid brand identity.
If you have grown tired of constantly feeling as if you are playing a game of catch-up, the suggestions found below will come in handy. Let’s look at how to start in the right direction by highlighting some key expert suggestions.
Focus on the Customer from the Beginning
As this article notes, many businesses automatically assume that a PPC campaign is primarily meant to promote what it is a business offers. Although this is true to an extent, we need to remember that the ultimate strategy should focus more on the needs of the customer. Clients tend to already know what they are looking for. Instead of trying to glorify your services, place a greater emphasis on how you can help the average consumer.
Use the Price to Filter Your Prospects
One of the benefits of a PPC campaign is that you have a good deal of latitude about how the ads themselves are created. Why not use this factor to your advantage? While creating generic ads may attract the most attention, how many of these prospects will follow through with a purchase? One way to avoid high clickthrough rates with low conversions is to mention the price within the title. Simply stated, you are essentially pre-qualifying those who can afford what it is that you have to offer. An example would be useful here.
Imagine a new car sales business. What if there were no price stickers placed on the vehicles? While many visitors would browse through the sales floor, many would subsequently walk away if their vehicles were out of their financial means. Clearly illustrating how much each cost helps to ensure that only those who can afford a certain make or model will show interest. This same principle can be applied to the world of PPC marketing.
Long-Tail Versus Primary Keywords
Discussing keywords in terms of SEO for pay-per-click advertising. You can choose from two primary categories:
- Primary keywords
- Long-tail keywords
However, what is the difference between these two options? Most experts will argue that primary keywords may be too generic if you hope to target a discrete audience. They can be rather expensive; not the best scenario if you are dealing with a limited budget.
Long-tail keywords are more specific, and they can be used to narrow down the type of consumer you are hoping to attract. Although these might result in a massive amount of traffic, they can be used in conjunction with a handful of primary keywords to increase your digital “footprint”. When we point out that Google alone experiences more than 84,000 searches every second, it pays to appreciate what type of audience you are catering to. Never underestimate the importance of choosing the right keywords.
What would happen if you clicked on a PPC ad in the hopes to be taken to a page displaying fitness products only to be redirected to a portal associated with the latest fitness trends? Not only is this extremely frustrating, but it could very well cost you a sale. Another common mistake to avoid involves sending visitors to another page. Industry experts define this scenario as “user friction“.
If we think about it for a moment, the observations above make perfect sense. The ultimate goal of any PPC campaign is to send your visitors to a page that immediately displays what you have to offer. Expecting them to “jump through hoops” before making a purchase is downright unrealistic. Unless absolutely necessary, redirects should not be present within any successful PPC strategy. You could otherwise be wasting time as well as money. Furthermore, a potential conversion may quickly look elsewhere for a similar service (perhaps to one of your closest competitors).
Not All Search Engines Have Been Created Equally
Many articles devoted to the art of PPC focus on Google. Considering that this search engine is the most recognized in the world, this makes sense…to an extent. We need to remember that some users prefer other engines and this may partially depend on their location. Other portals to highlight include:
- Microsoft Bing
- Baidu (very popular throughout Asia)
So, you will need to consider how these additional search engines group their demographics to what it is that you happen to be offering.
To take the guesswork out of the equation, it is a good idea to use third-party PPC management tools. These will help to illustrate how you are performing across multiple SERPs (search engine results pages).
Never Downplay the Role of Analytics
One of the reasons why smaller businesses have begun to employ PPC campaigns involves how easy they are to create with the right tools. Still, let’s remember that the ability to interpret the results of your efforts is just as important. This is why using powerful analytical programs should always represent a portion of your overall approach. Here are some worthwhile platforms to examine in more detail:
- Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner
- Microsoft Bing Ads Editor
Each of these offers its own unique set of utilities, so be sure to determine which one(s) are the most appropriate for your ongoing PPC campaign.
Dark Posting on Social Media
This is a rather new concept and while it may sound like a “black hat” tactic, it is perfectly valid. The act of dark posting involves tagging the same advertisement ID across multiple different social media publications. Why is this beneficial?
The main takeaway point here is user engagement. As all ads will be essentially linked to one another in the form of an identical ID, you can enjoy more likes and shares. Some even state that users may witness an inbound traffic boost by as much as 20 per cent. If one of your advertisements is shared, you will not be required to pay any type of surcharge; a nice bonus in terms of return-on-investment (ROI).
The process is also straightforward. First, click on the advertisement and copy the string of numbers found at the end of its URL. You can then create new publicity and before finishing, choose the “Use Existing Post” option. Copy and paste the ID in the appropriate field. You have essentially spawned a clone of the original advertisement.
Deactivate the Auto-Application Option Within Google Settings
While Google is a very useful tool, we also need to remember that it is a business. So, it will often provide you with suggestions that are based on its parameters. The issue here is that these might not be suited for what you are trying to ultimately achieve. Unfortunately, many PPC articles fail to touch on this important point.
The auto-attribution feature does not provide you with full control over your account. So, the changes you make might not behaving as much of an impact as they should be. The good news is that deactivating this option is simple. Navigate to your account settings and click on the “ad suggestions” box. You can turn off this feature with a single click. Many users will be pleasantly surprised to see that they can generate more money than was possible in the past. After, it makes little sense to pay for a service if you are not reaping its full potential!
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we have looked at some of the most basic PPC principles, it is a good idea to quickly address some frequently asked questions. Let’s see what the experts have to say.
Why are my advertisements not at the top spot?
It will take some time before your listing ascends to the top. Many of these are based on the reasons explained throughout this article. Budget, keywords, formatting, and demographics can all play important roles. Therefore analytics are important.
Why am I paying more in terms of cost-per-click?
If your quality score decreases, this can result in a cost increase. Your competitors may also be using your keywords to bid for your clients. Either way, CPC rates may rise.
Is it a good idea to advertise on sites other than Google?
Experts recommend including Bing within your PPC campaign. While this site experiences a lower search volume, it may provide a more cost-effective return on investment.
Can any business use PPC advertising?
The good news is that all businesses can employ this method to generate additional income. Even brick-and-mortar organizations have leveraged the power of PPC.
One Step at a Time
Although witnessing the success of PPC advertising will require time and patience, there is no doubt that it is well worth the effort. Feel free to refer to this article for guidance or inspiration in the future.
Paula O Gorman is the marketing manager at Promotive, a marketing agency that provides digital marketing services such as web design, PPC, content marketing and social media marketing. Paula manages accounts for many E-Commerce brands, mostly through PPC campaigns.