By Eric Leuenberger
Pay per click (PPC) advertising should be a staple in any serious effort to grow a business. When set up correctly, PPC can increase traffic, revenue, and profits for any business in any industry. When set up incorrectly, efforts usually end up costing more money than they are worth, and become a liability rather than an asset to the business. Running a successful PPC campaign requires careful research, planning, and implementation of proper strategies to ensure positive ROI. The following are seven tips to help you master the world of PPC.
Use targeted keyword lists
Large lists of non-targeted keywords generally attract non-targeted visitors. Rather than focusing on these lists, sometimes referred to as keyword dumps, focus on smaller targeted lists. Refrain from using “broad match” keyword types without any offsetting negative keywords. The use of alternative match options will likely yield less traffic, but that traffic should be more qualified.
Look for paid search conversion
Click through rate (CTR) means nothing if that traffic does not produce actions, like sales. CTR is one factor used in calculating quality scores. Focusing on only CTR as an indicator of paid search success usually ends up resulting in wasted spending and lower ROI. Instead, pay more attention to paid search conversion rate to get a better idea of whether or not a campaign is moving in the right direction.
Compare value per visitor to Avg. CPC
Value per visitor represents the amount of revenue earned for each visitor arriving at a website through a paid search click. Average cost per click (Avg. CPC) is the amount spent on average to get one visitor. Comparing the two indicates whether you are making money or not. If Avg. CPC is less than value per visitor, then the investment is generating profits. The further the two numbers are apart, the more profit there is being made. It goes without saying that when Avg. CPC is more than value per visitor, then money is being lost.
Set up multiple ad groups
Setting up only one ad group and loading it with multiple sets of non-related keywords does a number of bad things. It hinders the ability to more accurately target visitors based on ad copy, can cause quality scores to suffer, costs more money, and can cost ad position. Using one ad group will often result in non-targeted traffic at a higher cost, with a lower ad position in the results. Be sure to set up multiple ad groups.
Use variations of ad copy
To be successful and find out what really converts, use at least two variations of ad copy per ad group. Three to four approaches are even better. Running different ads against each other across one ad group helps understand what triggers the market to act, as well as what triggers them to buy. Testing this helps determine what works and what does not, so higher conversion rates can be targeted.
Set a daily budget
The easiest way to set a budget is to determine the amount willing to be invested per month, and then take that amount divided by 30 or 31, representing days in a month. Next, allocate that across the number of campaigns. This does not ensure the most visible campaign or positive results, but it will ensure the advertising budget is rarely exceeded. Failure to set a daily budget invites unexpected charges and possible wasted advertising dollars.
Drive traffic to specific URLs
Set the destination URL at the individual keyword or ad group level, if campaign structure warrants, allowing more control over where traffic is routed. Brand campaigns might be the only type of traffic that could be considered when using the home page as the destination for the click.
Pay per click advertising is a great way to drive traffic to your web store and grow your business. Making these seven strategies part of your marketing plan can help ensure a positive outcome to your campaigns.