Crafting the perfect search PPC campaign requires initial research, understanding what your customers want, using effective techniques, testing, optimizing, and measuring. The process may seem overwhelming, but a strong marketer will have a system in place to build, execute, and optimize PPC ads that produce strong ROI. Creating effective ads isn’t an exact science, and new techniques may make the current ideas null tomorrow. The world of Internet advertising is constantly evolving; an effective ad today might not be worth anything next month. Here are some important PPC best practices that will help you stay abreast of the latest changes and strategies when it comes to creating a successful PPC campaign.
1. Craft an Effective Ad
- Keywords: The ad copy should have keywords in it. For example, “Book Your Hawaii Vacation Rental” is likely more effective than “Book Your Much-Needed Vacation” because it includes the key phrase “Hawaii vacation rental” which is probably similar to what the user searched.
- Dynamic Phrases: Building an ad that dynamically changes depending on the user’s search query can be effective. An ad could display “10% Off Lake Tahoe Hotels” or “10% Off San Diego Hotels” depending on what the user searched for.
- Show Value: Why should the user click one ad and not the other? An ad needs to differentiate itself by expressing greater value than the ads that surround it. Better discounts, warranties, and free shipping are all easy to say in the ad copy.
- Call to Action: An ad that simply states what you offer won’t have the same performance as an ad that states the offer and asks the user to take a specific action. “Book Now,” “Buy Before Apr 1,” and “Download Your Guide Today” are just a few examples of calls to action. Be specific; you’ll never make the sale if you don’t ask for it.
- Language: Speak in the customer’s language, not the marketing lingo and abbreviations that are used around the office. Simply type into Google search your keyword or part of it and instantly a drop down list of suggested phrases will pop up. That is a list based on what people are actually typing into the search box.
- Read our 10 winning tips on writing great PPC ads.
2. Choose the Right Keywords
- Sales Cycle: It is vital that the marketer understands how certain keywords fall into the sales cycle. Someone searching specific product names, destinations, or use words similar to “buy” are much further along in the sales cycle. Know what keywords mean in the sales cycle and target the PPC ads accordingly.
- Long-Tail: Often, long-tail keywords (specific phrases, usually consisting of three or more words) are equated to further along in the buying process and have a higher conversion rate. Google Analytics shows what specific keywords lead to conversions organically and those should be incorporated into the targeted PPC keywords.
- Broad/Phrase/Exact Match Type: For initial low-budget campaigns, exact match is a safer strategy to ensure a flood of traffic doesn’t come from low-converting keywords. But using broad match will help you find more, and especially long-tail, keywords that can then be put back into your PPC campaign. For testing purposes, set aside a larger budget and let broad match run its course for at least a week to determine what keywords are effective, new keywords, negative keywords, and CPC. Then optimize the match type and focus the budget on only the effective keywords.
3. Optimize your Landing Page
- Content: The landing page needs to be an exact match to the ad copy. If the offer promises 10% off a Hawaiian vacation, the first thing the user should see on the landing page is how they are going to get that 10%. Other secondary content that should be present includes security logos like the BBB, a way to get in contact, imagery, supplemental information about the product/service, warranty information, and cross-promotional items.
- Sign-up Form: Depending on where the user is in the sales cycle, they might not be ready to purchase but would like more information. It is important to have a simple sign-up-for-more-information form that requires very little effort from the user (don’t ask for too much information) and is visible on the top fold of the page.
- Read our 11 quick tips for a better landing page.
BONUS: TEST! There’s always room for improvement so test new ads, keywords and landing pages. Even the slightest change can result in huge results. Good luck!