Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is not a trend or fad. It’s a marketing tactic that has proven exceptionally rewarding to thousands of businesses. PPC campaigns make a brand visible to target consumers who might otherwise have never encountered its content. An optimized PPC ad can funnel users directly to a relevant page on a website, sealing conversions and turning leads into customers. PPC ads are here to stay. Use them to their fullest advantage with these five tried-and-true PPC optimization tips.
- Master PPC Budget Management
Nothing can make a PPC campaign fail like blowing the lid off the budget. Pay-per-click advertising requires an investment. With the right strategy, however, you can achieve budget management and campaign success. Prevent spending more than you want to by using your platform’s budget settings. If you use Google AdWords, for example, there are tools available to help you master budget management. Type in the amount of money you want to spend over a period of time. AdWords will automatically stop running your ads once you’ve met your maximum. Choose to set monthly or daily budgets.
- Use the Right Keywords
Keywords are the lifeblood of any PPC ad campaign. You want to pay for the keywords that will garner real results with your target audience. There are plenty of resources that can help you select the ideal keywords for your brand and purposes. The Google Keyword Planner, WordTracker, and Keyword Discovery are top choices. Type in a keyword or phrase you want to target. Use the list of search terms the tool gives you to select your PPC keywords.
Track keyword performance regularly by using the tools included in your platform. If you use Google AdWords, the search query report will help you measure keyword performance and discover keyword variations to boost conversions. Don’t ignore negative keywords, as these help you prevent your ad from appearing where it should not. Designate negative keywords to keep your advertising as relevant as possible. Add negative keywords as often as possible to help control your ad spending.
- Track the Customer Experience
Investing in a PPC campaign takes more than bidding on the right keywords. Your ad requires optimization of every component for the users’ benefit. The customer experience must be at the heart of your PPC efforts. From the moment your audience sees your ad to the click on the call to action, your PPC campaign needs to grab user attention and push them through the sales funnel. Track your campaign carefully to see where you’re losing customers and missing sales. Make changes and optimize these elements to fill in the gaps. Conduct regular PPC performance reviews for consistent positive performance and conversions.
- Optimize Landing Pages
Your landing page needs to push the sales process forward, not disrupt it. To optimize your landing page, check your Google quality score. Google will assign your landing page a score between one and 10. The higher the score, the more relevant your page is to searchers. Improve your quality score to increase how often Google shows your ads. Your ad copy must describe the item your PPC ad mentions. Use your keyword in the page’s headline and content. Landing page load time should obey acceptable standards, and your bounce rate should reflect a positive user experience.
Your landing page should provide exactly what your target user is seeking. It should be hyper-relevant to the search term or keyword. For example, a search for “tap dancing shoes” should link to your landing page with dancing shoes, not leotards. An irrelevant landing page will increase bounce rates and drain your PPC budget without returns. Irrelevancy can also hurt your Google quality score, increasing the price of your PPC bids while decreasing ad exposure. Play around with the elements on your landing page to see if your quality score increases. A better quality score generally translates into more conversions.
- Tailor Calls to Action
The call to action on your landing page can make or break your PPC campaign. Not all users will visit your PPC landing page with the same intent. Those who come to the page through a social media PPC campaign, for example, may be colder leads than those who found it with a direct search. Track where your visitors came from, and use this information to tailor your calls to action.
Test out different CTAs with placement in your ad creative to see which match the best with leads. You may be surprised to find that a small CTA tweak makes all the difference in how users react. Each landing page may need a slightly different call to action – a different phrase, larger/smaller button size, varied placement, etc. Play around with your CTAs to see which garner the best results. More CTA clicks equal more conversions – and a better return on your PPC campaign investment.
The health of your PPC campaign depends on the steps you take to ensure its daily and long-term success. Follow these five tips for PPC optimization that lasts.