6 Tips for a Successful PPC Campaign
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a cost-effective way for businesses to promote their products and services. It’s characterized by a unique format in which the advertiser only pays when someone searches for one of their specified keywords and clicks their ad. To maximize your return on investment (ROI), however, you should follow these tips.
Separate Search and Display Campaigns
It’s a good idea to create two separate campaigns when promoting your product and/or business on Google’s PPC network AdWords: one campaign for Search network traffic, and another campaign for Display network traffic. You can read more about the different campaign types supported by AdWords here. Basically, though, Search network consists of Google Search and a few other closely affiliated partner sites, whereas the Display network consists of thousands of loosely affiliated websites.
Click-through rates (CTR) and conversions are typically higher on the Search network; therefore, creating two separate campaigns — one for each network — allows advertisers to adjust their bids for a maximum ROI.
Ask any seasoned PPC advertiser and he or she will agree: split testing is essential for achieving a positive ROI. Split testing involves running two or more creatives side-by-side to see which one works best. You can split test both ads and landing pages, making small changes to each. After allowing them to run, analyze each creatives’ performance to determine which one is most effective. You can then delete the losing creative and add a new one.
Say No to Bidding Wars
Bidding wars aren’t limited strictly to online auction website; this phenomenon happens in PPC marketing, as well. Multiple bidders may bid high in hopes of achieving the #1 Ad Rank while eliminating the competition in the process. Bidding wars drive up PPC keyword bid prices so high, however, that advertisers are not able to turn a profit.
Conversion tracking is critical when running a PPC campaign. Without a proper tracking system in place, you won’t know which keywords are driving sales and which ones aren’t. So before launching a new PPC campaign, set up conversion tracking.
There are several different ways to track conversions in a PPC campaign, including sub-ids and conversion pixels. The goal, however, remains the same: to identify a user’s actions after he or she clicks your ad. Most importantly, conversion tracking reveals the conversion rate of each keyword on which you are bidding. So if you’re overpaying for a keyword that’s not generating any sales, you can either lower your bid or remove it from your campaign altogether. Consequently, you can raise your bids on keywords that are driving conversions.
Include Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are an invaluable asset to a business’s PPC campaign. When a search contains one of your specified keywords, your ad will not display. Assuming you run a business that sells credit reports, for instance, you don’t want people finding and clicking your ad if they search for “free credit reports.” To overcome this obstacle, simply add “free” to your list of negative keywords. Any search query containing the word “free” will prevent your ad from displaying.
Monitor Your Site’s Uptime
One of the biggest killers of PPC conversions and ROI is website downtime. Of course, this isn’t limited strictly to PPC. If your website goes down while you are paying for traffic, visitors will encounter a 404 error page instead of your actual site. This is particularly relevant for PPC marketing, as companies invest huge sums of cash for targeted search traffic.
Choosing a reputable web host is one step to reducing the risk of downtime, but if you’re paying for traffic you should also set up a website monitoring service. There are dozens of tools designed specifically for monitoring website uptime, one of which is Uptime Robot. The free version will check your website every five minutes, sending you an email notification if it’s offline.
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