If you are like most businesses, you’ve turned to PPC advertising as an online strategy to build brand awareness or generate more leads. If you saw your campaign budget disappear with little results to show for it, you’re not alone. PPC ad platforms like AdWords and Bing Ads are in it to make money. Lots of it! And if you don’t know exactly what you are doing, you’ll unfortunately learn that the hard way.
On the other hand, PPC advertising can quickly give your business a bump if managed correctly. Over the years PPC has changed dramatically, and unless you are constantly in the loop, chances are you may be mismanaging your campaigns.
Here are a few important PPC management tips that can help control spend and increase conversions.
Start running your ads solely on Google and Bing Ads Search Network (not search partner or display websites). When the time comes, you can opt-in to search partner networks and even manage select display network sites for testing. Never opt-in to the Google Display Network or Bing Ads Partner network without managing your placements. I’ve seen many budgets depleted quickly with unfavorable results (and by unfavorable I pretty much mean no results).
With any keyword match type you choose to bid with, consistently reviewing actual search terms used to trigger your ads is extremely important. Adding negative keywords to your account will reduce unwanted impressions and clicks, helping to increase CTR’s (an important determining factor used in calculating Quality Scores) and potentially reduce costs. Reviewing search term reports also provides insight on what keywords historically convert well for you. Take advantage of search term reports provided by Google AdWords and Bing Ads. It’s a tedious task, but well worth the time.
If you are getting a lot of clicks to your ads but your conversion rates just aren’t cutting it, take another look at your landing pages. Having keyword relevant, conversion-optimized landing pages will help seal the deal. The first few seconds of a visit to your landing page is literally a make it or break it situation. If you are sending visitors to a page that does not have clear communication regarding the search term used by the visitor, chances are they will leave quickly. Another advertising dollar (or perhaps $10) bites the dust! So, implementing a campaign-specific landing page with optimized copy and a clear, concise call-to-action is key in maximizing your campaigns CPA (cost-per-acquisition). And if you didn’t already know, your landing pages are also a determining factor in your ad’s Quality Score.
Of course there are many more tips and best practices for PPC management. But starting with these fundamental suggestions can quickly make a significant impact.