We all want the holy grail of digital marketing: a website that organically shows up on the first page of Google or Bing search results for our primary keywords. However, this isn’t realistic for every business — there are simply too many businesses going after the same target market. What’s a third-page-ranked business to do? Fortunately, there are some pretty amazing ways you can leverage these same search engines to easily share your message with interested contacts: using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. There are a few caveats to keep in mind, as PPC could quickly get out of control if you get into a bidding war with a competitor. Keep these guidelines in mind as you’re getting started to maximize your ROI for PPC.
Whew. So many acronyms!
Whether you’re a PPC novice or you’ve been working with AdWords for ages, it’s important to note that you should always be tweaking your campaigns. Marketers have to constantly be in attack mode — looking for new and different words or messages that will entice users to click and start heading down your sales funnel. Marketers who become complacent and think that their campaign is “fully optimized” (as if!) may put things on cruise control only to come back to out-of-control costs for keywords or quality scores that have dropped painfully low, which also drives up costs and causes ads not to be shown. There really aren’t any shortcuts. Staying diligent on reviewing and updating your ad campaigns is the only true path to PPC success. Or you could work with our brilliant marketers, and we’ll sweat the small stuff for ya.
Ignore Google’s Advice
Hmmmm . . . isn’t Google supposed to be the PPC expert? Well, it turns out that sometimes Google’s advice isn’t always in your best interests when it comes to PPC. Google loves to preach that you should use multiple keywords per ad group. While this sounds like a great deal and certainly would make campaigns easier to manage, in real life campaigns you’re more likely to drive down your quality score and drive up your costs when following this recommendation from the search giant. Instead, look at single word ad groups. Or at the very most only a few keywords for your ad groups and not the **15** that Google recommends. Can you think of any 15 keywords that are similar enough they could drive to the same ad group, landing page, CTA?!? Yeah, we couldn’t either. Stick to much lower numbers to maintain a targeted and consistent experience for your users.
Link It Up
Digital marketing is all about connections, making it important to have all your tech toys playing well together. From ensuring that your Google Merchant Center is fully linked to the ad account to setting up eCommerce tracking on your website to track revenue that can be attributed to specific campaigns, it’s impossible to get a true picture of PPC effectiveness unless you have insight into metrics for the full sales funnel.
SEM: Meet SEO
Sure, there’s differences between SEO and SEM (and they’re biggies!), but these digital marketing tactics work together to form the best on-page experience for your customers. Your landing page needs to follow SEO best practices to become as enticing as possible to digital eyes as well as physical ones — meaning, search engines should find your landing pages every bit as wonderful as your homepage. Match up the messaging between your ad group, keywords and landing page and you’re well on your way to PPC success.
Want a bonus suggestion? Add negative keywords to your campaign. There are almost always a few words that you simply don’t want to target. Get smart, figure them out, and exclude them!