Most digital marketing marketing experts agree that the best way to attract traffic, leads and ultimately sales is to implement digital marketing campaigns that include both paid and organic strategies. When recommending investments in pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, we want to make sure that our clients receive the best possible returns for their advertising spend. Here are our top 10 tips for getting the most out of paid advertisements on the most popular search engines.
#1 Craft a Sales-Oriented Landing Page
Obtaining website clicks and social media likes are great. However, we never lose sight of the main objectives of paid advertising, which is to make sales. One of the most effective ways to create a sales-oriented environment for our clients’ websites is to optimize their landing pages for lead generation. We suggest using streamlined contact forms that collect relevant information that is needed to convert website visitors into customers. Every website visitor’s time is valuable. Subsequently, we suggest that contact forms utilize auto-fill functions and landing pages are optimized for fast loading and responsiveness especially on mobile devices.
#2 Refine Keywords to Reach Ideal Customer
Paid advertisements that use general keywords can potentially help our clients to reach large numbers of people. However, you can increase conversion opportunities by using more specific keywords in your PPC campaigns. Deep research about our clients’ unique strengths, their targeted customers and opportunities in the markets in which they serve help to define appropriate keywords for paid search engine advertising.
#3 Identify and Eliminate Keywords That Do Not Generate Leads
We favor targeted keywords because they often eliminate ambiguities that cost our clients money. We quickly eliminate irrelevant keywords, which are also called negative keywords, during periodic purges to improve click through rates, increase conversions, reduce spend, raise quality score and avoid the cost overruns that are associated with accidental clicks. Major search engines such as Google and Bing have the ability to create negative keyword lists that can be easily applied to any campaign. This will help eliminate triggering of irrelevant keywords that ultimately drain your paid advertising budget.
#4 Generate Compelling Extended Ad-Text
Content remains king. We suggest catchy ad-text headlines that are enhanced by eye-grabbing call-to-action and summarize the benefits of the products or services that are offered by our clients. In Addition, make sure to create effective call-to-action buttons for sales or incentive offers feature contrasting colors and unique content to make actionable messages stand out on landing pages.
#5 Improve Quality Scores
A paid advertisement’s quality score is the measure of relevance of a particular landing page to an auctioned keyword term. If our clients’ landing pages depict product or service offerings that directly pertain to specified keyword search terms, then they should receive a higher quality score for those search terms. Companies that have higher quality scores usually gain higher search engine rankings than those that have lower quality scores but are willing to spend more for advertisements. In addition, higher quality scores help us reduce cost-per-click fees as well.
#6 Employ Geo-Targeting
We improve our clients’ return on investment by only targeting customers with PPC advertisements who are located in areas in which the clients operate. Search engine advertising tools allow us to choose a specific city and surrounding areas that are within a specified radius for PPC campaigns.
#7 Use Bid Management Tools and Human Analytical Expertise
Bid management is necessary to ensure that our clients do not waste money on advertisements that do not give good returns. Gauging a bid for a PPC advertisement depends on the PPC conversion rate and the client’s profit margin. While it is important for us to understand how the calculations are done, we recommend using time-saving, free and paid bid management tools such as AdWords Scripts, Automated Bidding and Budget Optimizer by Custom AdWords Scripts. We provide our clients with analytical expertise that allow us to suggest lowering bids at the right time, eliminating specific keywords and shifting funds to keywords that get results.
#8 Implement IP Exclusions to Avoid Click Fraud Costs
Excessive clicking on PPC advertisements by disgruntled viewers can lead to cost overruns. We suggest using third-party click fraud monitoring services to identify the offending IP addresses and blocking those addresses in Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Bing advertising accounts. Google and Bing have even been known to proactively filter out sometimes called fraudulent (invalid) clicks.
#9 Reduce Cost-per-Click Rates with Remarketing List for Search Ads
We recommend using the Remarketing List for Search Ads (RLSA) feature in Google AdWords to modify bids for keywords based upon searches used by repeat visitors to our clients’ websites. For example, the remarketing list allows an advertiser to connect to prospects who may have visited their site, put items in shopping carts but failed to buy anything during that visit. Since repeat visitors are already familiar with clients’ offerings, click through rates and quality scores are higher for those selected advertisements. This results in reduced cost-per-clicks. Microsoft’s Bing has a similar capability within its Universal Event Tracking tool.
#10 Master PPC Tracking and Monitoring
Setting conversion goals and tracking actual progress are critical steps in achieving success with Google, Bing and Yahoo PPC campaigns. Google Analytics provides insight about visitor activities on websites. For example, an advertiser may consider eliminating a suspected negative keyword that has zero conversions but rethinks that decision after checking Google Analytics data. A report from the tool could indicate that the identified keyword is attracting visitors, but prospects are not finding what they need on the landing page. Also, other tracking systems are available to track mouse movement and phone calls that are generated by paid media ads. These tools allow marketers to gain better insight about the effectiveness of specific PPC campaigns.
By utilizing these field-tested, best practices, we are able to reduce wasteful advertising spend, redirect daily ad funds to campaigns/ad-groups that achieve results.