A pay-per-click search engine campaign can be one of the best marketing strategies for a business to use, if done effectively. Too many businesses “try” PPC advertising without the proper knowledge or goals, and the campaign ends up in failure. Here I will provide you with 15 basic setup and tracking strategies to employ in order to create the best return on investment.
1 – Create a targeted keyword list - The first step in any successful PPC campaign is to create the proper keyword list. Start by brainstorming with your company for terms you want to show up for. Ask friends not associated with your industry as well to avoid industry lingo.
Next consult with some free keyword tools, the most popular being Google’s Keyword Tool. Keep in mind though, that all of your competitors are probably using this tool as well, which means bid prices for the words are probably higher for some of these words. After you start making some revenue from your PPC campaign, you probably should invest in a paid keyword tool such as Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery
2 – Find your niche - With internet marketing as with most of life, t’s better to be really really good at one thing than mediocre at a lot of things. Find your niche for what fits inside your budget and be the best at it. From there, you can expand to other niches.Â Niche keywords also cost way less to buy and convert way higher than general keywords. Which means more $$ for you!
3 – Create keyword rich text ads – You want your text ad that the consumer sees to be as relevant to their search as possible. Repeat your keywords in your text ads and you will see a jump in your click-through-rate.
4 – Setup multiple ad groups – Adwords allows advertisers to setup multiple ad groups for different types of products or services. You will want to have different text ads displayed to the user depending on the keywords that they are searching for. ex. if you provide limo service, you will want to have different ad groups for Airport shuttle, proms, holidays, business etc and have a different text ad for each.
5 – Create a separate landing page (not homepage) – I’m amazed at how many adwords campaigns I look at that direct a searcher to the businesses homepage. This practice should be avoided at all costs. These general overview pages will not convert the clicks into customers as using targeted landing pages.
Instead, create a separate landing page for each ad group that you use in order to bring the person to a page that is highly relevant to what they were searching for. Once you change this, you will see conversions go through the roof!
6 – Use multiple campaigns – Most businesses provide a variety of different products and services to their potential customers. Each product or service should be treated as a completely different campaign. The pricing, click through rates, conversions, and everything about the different products will be unique and separate, and they campaigns will run independently of one another. ex an air conditioning company that does AC service, duct cleaning, heat pumps, etc should have different campaigns for each service.
7 – Utilize all the different match types – Most campaigns set up by business owners that I’ve seen are Broad Matching all of their keywords. When your PPC campaign is set up to broad match, your ad will show up even if a variation of your keyword is typed in. Synonyms, singular/plurals, or variations of your words.
This can be good to generate traffic to your site, but can use up a lot of your budget for terms you didn’t want to be found for. Use broad match sparingly and in conjunction with phrase and exact match types, which will generate you higher conversion results.
8 – Split test your text ads – PPC campaigns will allow you to test your ads against one another in order to find out which ad performs better. Test multiple ads and see which generates the highest click-through-rates for you.
9 – Track your online conversions – Without tracking results, you are missing the key factor of what sets search engine marketing apart from other types of advertising. The campaign can get better as time goes along if you are tracking and testing your results. You can then tweak whatever the problem areas are to increase results.
10 – Setup a tracking phone number – You should be using tracking phone numbers to track phone conversions from your advertising. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to track phone numbers such as ReachLocal’s TotalTrack system. Use a different phone number for each landing page and you can see which pages are performing better than others.
11 – Lower your bids for the display networks – When you start your search campaign, Google will automatically opt-in your campaign to the display network. This will show your text ads when people are surfing around the internet, not on the actual search engine. You should go into the bids and lower your bids for the display network, or if budget is a major issue, opt-out completely. The click-through-rates and competition is way lower on the display network, so lower bidding will still deliver results.
12 – Use negative keywords – Every campaign should use negative keywords. These are words in the search phrase where you don’t want your ad to show up. I always recommend several negative keywords for every campaign, such as free, classes, jobs etc. This way you won’t waste clicks on someone looking for information, not paying, or looking for employment in your industry.
13 – Target “buy” words, not “information” words – There are 3 types of searches that people make: Looking, shopping, buying. You don’t want to waste your clicks on people who are in the process of finding information, but you want to focus your attention on people who are in the process of shopping and buying. Use longer tail keywords that will reach out to people who are in buy mode. Implement this tip and you will see your total clicks decrease while your converted customers will increase… so in essence you are decreasing your expenses while increasing profit.
14 – Work to increase your Quality Score – The major way that Google will rank the ads it displays (aside from bid price) is Quality Score. You should be consistently checking your quality score for each keyword to help your rankings. Google calculated this score by looking at your click-through-rates, and relevant content on your landing pages.
A good quality score is a 7/10. If you are below that level, you should change text ads and text on landing pages until you get there. Otherwise your competitors will be outranking you with less bid price.
15 – Change your keyword bids relative to results - Put your money where your results are! Through time you will be able to find out which keywords and ad groups are driving the most conversions, phone calls, forms submitted, and ultimately customers. Use this data to raise your bid prices on the keywords that are working, and lower bid pricing on words that are generating little results.
Now you should be a pay-per-click expert with these strategies. Use them wisely and beat your competition! If you have any questions about the information provided, or would like me to go over an adwords campaign to see what can be improved, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.