Many business owners give AdWords pay-per-click marketing a try and quickly throw their hands up in defeat as they deplete their budget quickly and have nothing to show for it.
While throwing together a paid search campaign, funding it, and watching high quality traffic land on your website that converts sounds great it is far from reality. A successful pay-per-click campaign requires extensive knowledge and testing, and even the smallest changes can make a huge impact on the overall performance of a PPC effort.
Imagine if you were averaging a $1.35 CPC (cost per click) but by improving your ad copy and landing page copy you are able to achieve a higher quality score. Aside from a higher ad position, you are able to drop the average CPC for your campaign. For simple math purposes let's assume that you are able to get the average CPC down to $0.85.
If your budget is $100 then you were driving approximately 74 visitors to your website before and that number jumps up to 118, which is a significant increase in visitors. Now, let's assume that your budget is $250, 000. The old CPC would result in 185, 185 visitors, but after dropping the CPC the visitor amount jumps to 294, 118! As your budget scales up you really see the difference these little changes can make!
Use the following five tips to help make sure your AdWords pay-per-click effort produces a solid ROI.
Pay-per-click advertising allows you to see where every penny is going, and it allows you to see exactly how much you are spending and how much revenue is coming in (by utilizing conversion tracking), down to what keywords and ads are producing the best results.
It is important to track everything from the beginning. The biggest mistake business owners make is jumping in blind and not diving into their data to find ways to improve the performance of the campaign. In order to be successful with PPC you need to analyze and adjust constantly.
Little changes over time make huge overall improvements and when you begin to work towards lower CPCs by improving your click through rates and quality scores from the beginning it provides you with a solid base to scale your PPC efforts.
2. Combine PPC With Organic Search Marketing
In order to make your online advertising more effective it is a good idea to combine pay per click advertising with organic search marketing. When PPC and SEO is combined it can result in a business dominating the top of Google search results, both in the organic results as well as the paid ads.
When a consumer sees that a brand has a presence in both areas they are more likely to click through, as they see that brand as influential and the industry leader. This also allows you to cover all areas, as some consumers prefer to trust organic results more (knowing that the position wasn't purchased) and some tend to click on the paid search results more. Cover as much of the Google search results real estate as possible.
Take a look at the example below of a search performed for "american express" and you will see that they have a paid ad on top along, the top listing, and the right sidebar information - they completely dominate the search results for their brand.
3. Optimize Your Landing Page
We assist several companies, from small local businesses to large corporations with their PPC marketing. When we take on a new client under our professional pay-per-click management program we perform a complete PPC audit and after optimizing the campaign we are able to drop the CPCs considerably simply by improving the quality scores.
Google's quality score is a numeric value between 1 and 10 that is assigned to each keyword in the campaign. The quality score rewards advertisers that run high quality ad campaigns and direct their traffic to relevant landing pages.
A basic breakdown of the quality score can be explained as:
- Numeric value between 1 and 10 that indicates the relevancy of your keywords, ad copy, and the destination landing page. The higher the score, the more relevant the keyword (according to Google)
You need to put a lot of emphasis on improving your quality score for several reasons. A high quality score will result in your ads being shown more frequently and having a lower CPC. The following tops can help you improve your quality score:
- It all starts with your ad copy and you need to make sure that it describes the product or service you are advertising. It is a good practice to use your keyword in the ad copy and headline. Creating several ads and customizing each to work with your target keywords can really help to improve the quality score.
- Next you need to look at your landing page and make sure that the content is related to your ad copy and the product or service being advertised. Write content that will engage the user and keep them on your page and also gel well with your ad copy to produce a high quality score.
- Run a Google PageSpeed test to make sure that your landing page load time is acceptable and there isn't anything slowing your load time. A slow loading page provides the user with a bad experience and will result in them leaving your landing page quickly.
- Dive into your Google Analytics and take a look at the bounce rate. If your site has a high bounce rate then the visitor isn't sticking around, so you will want to enhance the user experience in order to keep them on your landing page longer. The longer they stay on your page, the better chance you have of converting that visitor. (see below for an example of a horrible bounce rate - this is a client we just did a complete PPC audit for - we found that their users were landing on their website and immediately leaving)
4. Utilize Site Links and Ad Extensions
Using site links allow you to include several additional calls to action in your ad copy. This really gives you a good way to test different calls to action in order to attract the user and get that click through.