Online advertising, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC), sounds quite simple. Pick your keywords, create an ad and wait for the sales to roll in.
But sometimes it doesn’t happen that way. PPC might not perform the way you expected. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your next PPC campaign:
- Start with good keywords. This is basic advice but a lot of advertisers don’t give it enough thought. Think about the words your customers use to find you. It could be completely different than the terms you think they search for. For example, a CPA in San Diego might assume that his keywords should be “CPA San Diego” (a competitive niche for sure), but it could be that his clients are searching for “cheap accountant in Vista” or similar. (Note: Vista is a fast-growing San Diego suburb). By knowing the correct keywords you should use, you will get more correctly targeted hits on your ads, saving you money and reducing worthless clicks.
- If you don’t know your keywords, take the time to do the research. There are a variety of tools available to assist you with this but Google Keyword Planner is the standard basic tool to get you started. There are instructions on the site.
- As important as keywords are, killer ad copy is just as important. Make sure that when an interested, targeted lead lands on your page, your page is ready. Your ad should be tailored, well-written and with a clear call to action. Make it easy for a customer to make a purchase, find out more, or get in touch. Make your call to action a prominent part of your ad.
- Test, test, test. Try an ad and if it doesn’t pull, tweak it and retry. Or try different variations of your ad at the same time (this is known as A/B testing). Carefully track which ads are generating the best results, not necessarily the most hits. You don’t want to be paying for lots of “clicks” from tire kickers or misguided consumers who are not really searching for your services or products. Remember, it is sales that matters. There is automated software you can purchase that can help with your A/B test campaigns.
- Adjust your PPC budget based on results. Let your analytics guide you. After a while, you will know which ad generates your best result, and which day(s) of the week, time of day, etc. produces the most for you.
For example, one e-commerce store selling higher end ladies purses found that the most sales volume occurred on Thursdays and Saturdays. Knowing this, they targeted PPC accordingly. Why were Friday sales low? The theory is that Thursdays were busy because women bought knowing their paycheck was being deposited that night, on Fridays ladies browsed and created shopping carts which they saved (analytics showed a big spike in saved shopping carts on Fridays), and on Saturdays (after paying bills and seeing what’s left), they went back to their “saved” shopping carts and completed their purchases.