Rob Henry is the Director at Online Presence. Digital marketing agency, specializing in search engine optimization, pay per click and social media marketing. Follow Rob on Google +.
You don’t have to be an online marketing genius to know the basics of PPC – the name itself, ‘Pay Per Click’, sums up the concept fairly effectively.
But probe a little deeper into the process, and there are nuances that are worth considering if you want to take your PPC campaign to the next level – here are just a few of the elements that go into crafting a successful campaign.
Just because you’re paying for each click, it doesn’t mean that all ads – and all clicks, for that matter – should cost the same.
Don’t confuse ‘optimising’ your ad spend with cost-cutting; Pay per click marketing is a process driven by expenditure, and it could be that the optimal move in terms of raising ROI is to bid more money on a more competitive keyword.
Equally, it could be that the maximum ROI is achieved by cutting your total bids and focusing on niche terms with low levels of competition.
The secret is to know which approach works in your industry – and if you’re not sure, to allocate some budget to testing the different options and finding out which is best.
Ad Text Optimisation
PPC ads might not be as prone to the vagaries of SEO as ordinary page text is, but they can be optimised in other ways.
You only have a very limited character count, so make sure every word is working for you – grabbing the reader’s attention, portraying your product or service in a positive light, and urging them to act on any purchase intention they may be feeling.
In a very small space, you have to make your pitch and seal the deal, so eliminate any wasted words and make sure yours is the ad they act upon.
Landing Page Optimisation
Remember, once somebody clicks on your ad, you have to pay the relevant bid amount whether or not they then make a purchase – so make sure you’re not missing out on potential revenue once they arrive at your site.
Dedicated landing pages are a good way to deliver relevant sales content to your new arrival, rather than simply sending them to your homepage along with all of your organic search traffic.
Optimise your landing pages like you would any other content – there’s no reason why they shouldn’t show up in organic search results too – but definitely make sure you’re doing everything you can to make a sale, with persuasive copy and a clear call to action that makes it as easy as possible for your prospect to convert into being a paying customer.
Test, Test, Test
Finally, recognise that the PPC landscape, like the search landscape as a whole, is ever-changing. A keyword that is competitive today might not be tomorrow, and vice versa.
Don’t find yourself, in a year’s time, driving PPC traffic to a page whose text was only ever going to be relevant for six months.
Keep running tests, comparing ad copy and landing pages, and tweaking your bids to maximise ROI, and you can keep your PPC campaign profitable indefinitely.