We may have SEO in our name, but we are now much more than just SEO. We now have a dedicated PPC manager (and a social media manager!) which are both a fantastic addition to our digital marketing team. PPC is sometimes ignored by small businesses, and worse than that, it is often done badly. You can blow a lot of marketing budget on a poorly managed PPC campaign, so we thought we’d share our top 10 PPC tips. We use these in our campaigns, so you should too. Of course, if you need any help setting up and running an online advertising campaign, speak to our PPC consultant today. Now to the tips:
Develop a Clear Objective
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people just create a few catchy ads and try to target all the suggested keywords for their business. It is far better to focus on getting searchers to fulfil a single objective, such as make a phone call, complete a form or read a product review, than trying to get everybody who searches for your business services to land on your homepage.
Spend Time On Keyword Research
Google provides an excellent keyword tool, but this is not always the best way to choose keywords for your campaign. Think about what your buying customers may be searching for, rather than generic search terms – if your keywords are not targeting the right type of search, you will find that you have a high bounce rate, which can be very costly. More traffic does not always equal more business.
Use tools such as SEMRush to discover what keywords your competitors are bidding on, and then try to beat their positions.
Set A Fixed Budget
Set yourself a strict monthly budget and do not be alarmed if the first month yields fewer results than hoped – so long as you continuously improve your campaign, it will eventually pay off.
Know When To Turn It Off
Some businesses will find that referrals from PPC are more likely to convert on specific days. Weekend searchers may just be looking for information, whereas searchers during the first working days of the week may be more geared up for doing business. Also, if your business is really busy, it’s OK to pause the ads – there is no point in paying for PPC referrals if you are too busy to pick up the phone. And with the summer holidays fast approaching, don’t forget to pause your campaign when you are sunning yourself in Spain.
Put Mobile First
Mobile search traffic overtook desktop last year, so if you are not already creating a mobile PPC campaign, you really need to start now. Mobile is driving PPC advertising, especially AdWords for Google search.
Make sure all of your adverts include a “click-to-call”, which allows searchers to call your business direct without visiting your site. This is one of the best ways to get leads – just make sure you are ready to sell on the phone.
You also need to make sure that your PPC landing pages are optimised for smartphones and tablets (if you are not using PPC landing pages, get in touch and we’ll explain why you need them). Even if the rest of your site is not optimised for mobile, make sure your PPC landing pages are – they need to be fast, clear and responsive. Keep text to a minimum and ensure that there are multiple call-to-actions to convert searches into sales.
Targeting and Remarketing
PPC is not all about keywords, in fact, taking a shot gun approach and trying to rank number one on all the most popular keywords is a sure fire way to burn through your budget before getting a single sale.
AdWords introduced its Customer Match feature in 2015, which allows you to target adverts direct to customers on your email lists, whenever they are online. This becomes even more effective when paired with mobile advertising – you can capture a customer on desktop and use remarketing to show them a mobile optimised advert when they are later using their phone. This can greatly increase the chances of a conversion, because people tend to browse less on mobiles and click the first inviting advert they see.
Use Ad Extensions
AdWords adverts that appear in the top three results can now have additional information added – this is a relatively new Google feature. Add extensions include adding a map centred on your business; including ratings and price information; adding “sitelinks” that take readers to internal pages of your website; review extensions, and special deals extensions, which are usually used for seasonal promotions. Ad extensions increase click-through rates and, so far at least, they are underutilised by many SMEs, which means taking advantage now can help you to leap ahead of your competitors.
Write a Great Ad!
You want people to engage with your advert, so make sure you write a great ad. Advertising copy is a hard skill to learn, so if your ads are not generating traffic, speak to our PPC managers who will work with the copywriting team to help create some new adverts for your campaign.
Track Your Customer’s Journey
Use tracking tags to analyse where your customers go after clicking through to your site. Sometimes sales opportunities are lost simply because a customer’s gets distracted by something else on a website, or struggles to find contact details. Understand where your customers go, and why – and then optimise the sales funnel to ensure that they go exactly where you need them to.
You can also track conversions. For example, you can monitor which PPC keywords are used when a customer completes an email form. This allows you to further optimise your campaign, and also gives data to start an SEO campaign, as you will already know which keywords are most likely to result in an enquiry or sale.
Don’t Bid Too Low
Don’t be tempted to bid low in the hope that you still get a few queries. This rarely brings in engaged visitors. Always aim for the top spots and make sure your landing pages are ready. The top spots will almost always get more clicks, even if the ad copy is not well optimised. Google provides you with a “top of page bid estimate” and “first position bid estimate”, so if you follow the suggestions you will stand a good chance of getting the top spots. Speak to us to learn how to use this feature.
Monitor your average click price and conversion rate to ensure that you are getting a good return. It may be better to maintain a steady third or fourth position across a wide range of keywords, with fewer clicks but larger profit margins, than trying to stay in the top position for the most commonly typed phrases. Bidding too high is the fastest way to blow your campaign budget on the first day.
Getting good results from AdWords does require continuous analysis and optimisation. You should always be striving to increase your margins while also keeping your business in good health. New competitors will come and go, and old competitors will also adjust their campaigns when you start to steal their traffic, so do not be surprised if you have some early successes followed by more difficult times.
Be aware that some industries will always find it much harder to succeed with AdWords than others – but if you are providing a product or service that many people want, but relatively few people are providing, PPC can provide you with all the leads you need to run a very successful business. PPC can also be very effective at driving leads locally.
The bottom line is that even with a great advert and the right budget, without an effective landing page and sales funnel, you will still struggle to turn a good profit. Call Freelance today to learn how we can help your business grow.