What if pay per click was just throwing money away each month?
Truly optimized PPC campaigns can help give your marketing a real shot in the arm. But underperforming PPC is a waste of company time and resources.
Fortunately, you give underperforming campaigns a quick boost and breathe new life into your SEO. Keep reading to learn about our favorite tips!
Optimization may be a very long journey for you and your company. Nonetheless, optimization begins with a single step, and that step is your overall goals.
On paper, this is really simple. Your goal creates a benchmark against which we measure the success or failure of your PPC advertising.
However, companies are typically very slow to adjust those goals. Even if the products and other marketing have gotten a makeover, many companies are still operating using outdated goals.
Now is the time to figure out if you should change your focus. Are you still happy with a campaign goal of "more leads?" Or is the time right to shift gears to improving site traffic?
As always, make sure your PPC goals are in alignment with your overall marketing plan. Only then can you begin to truly optimize.
The heart of PPV optimization is your quality score. If you can improve that score, your campaign will be more effective.
However, improving your quality score is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it is a complex process that you can break into 3 different parts.
First, you'll need to improve the Click Through Rate (CTR). This involves increasing bids, improving keyword relevance, and using techniques such as negative keywords (more on this below).
Next, you'll need to improve Ad Relevance. You can do this by creating single keyword ad groups and doing constant checks to ensure that your ad text and keywords have special relevance and significance to your demographic.
Finally, you'll need to boost the Landing Page Relevance. You can do so by improving loading speed, site navigation, adding images and video and using engaging calls to action.
Frankly, improving in every area is easier said than done. But every improvement potentially improves your quality score and campaign optimization.
Some elements of optimization are easier to start than others. For example, you can instantly improve optimization by focusing on your high-performance keywords.
The overriding philosophy here is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." You already know what your highest-performing keywords are, so you can (and should) focus on them rather than focusing on others.
Remember that consistency is key. Check these words each month and make sure that their quality score has not dipped down.
Use this as an opportunity to experiment with your bidding. By playing around with different bidding strategies from week to week, you can discover what the optimal bid for each keyword is.
This leads to one of your key optimization goals: maximizing your PPC Return on Investment with each campaign. You will get a boost in your bottom line and your overall effectiveness.
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of focusing on high-performance keywords. On a related note, you should phase out the use of low-performance keywords.
Isolate the low-performing keywords. Anything that is generating little to nothing in the way of impressions or clicks is a keyword you should pause immediately.
Next, you can wait a short span of time (such as between 2-4 weeks). If these keywords continue to underwhelm, you can go ahead and delete them.
Looking for an easy tool to boost your underperforming PPC? In that case, your best friend may be the negative keywords.
Negative keywords help reduce the odds of your ads being triggered by search queries that have nothing to do with your product. Fortunately, it's easy to tell if this is happening with your current PPC campaign.
Normally, the impression rate and click rate are roughly in synch. However, you may have keywords that are generating many impressions but very few clicks.
This is an indication that users are visiting the site but do not find anything of interest once they arrive. With the help of negative keywords, you can make sure that your sites are only visited by genuinely interested parties.
A great many companies consider their ad text to be a "one and done" affair. However, if you're interested in optimizing your PPC campaign, you must be willing to tweak your ad text on a regular basis.
One basic way to do this is to have your ad text emphasize the current season or holiday. When someone is about to go Christmas shopping and they see your Christmas advertisement, for example, they will be likelier to visit the site and make a purchase.
New ad text is also the perfect time to emphasize special deals or seasonal sales. The prospect of saving money and getting a great deal is a powerful incentive for someone to click on the ad.
A rookie PPC mistake is to treat your ads and your landing pages as completely separate entities. For an optimal PPC campaign, these 2 elements should be very closely related.
You must first have a specific idea for the landing page and its contents. This helps to direct the user to a specific area and not just a generic homepage.
Accordingly, your PPC ads should not be generic. They should instead highlight your product's benefits and its unique selling points as a CTA and give the consumer a relevant and specific link at the peak of their interest.
Now you know the key to unlocking better PPC campaigns. But do you know how else you can begin to improve traffic to your site?
We specialize in helping small businesses achieve their full potential with robust SEO and savvy marketing. To see how we can help your business begin to grow, check out our wide variety of SEO tools today!
Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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