Pay per click (PPC) advertising has been revolutionizing the marketing scene in recent years. Search engines like Google have been built off the back of PPC ads, and many businesses have seen major successes through running this kind of campaign.
The reason for this is simple: PPC ads can be incredibly effective. They can boost brand awareness by as much as 80%, and for every $1.60 a business spends on Google AdWords, they make an average of $3 in revenue. It’s no surprise that so many companies are using them.
However, if you’re spending time and money on a PPC campaign that isn’t getting results, you might not believe it’s such a powerful tool. This might have more to do with your particular strategy, not PPC itself. If your campaign isn’t properly optimized, you might find it’s ineffective.
Luckily, this can be easily rectified. Usually, changing one or two key things can yield impressive results when it comes to PPC. Here are four ways you can optimize your PPC performance without having to redo the entire thing, providing you with maximum results at minimal cost.
1. Define your goals and KPIs
This is the most important part of any campaign, PPC or otherwise. You need to know exactly what you want to get out of your ads, so you can optimize them accordingly. You might want to raise awareness of your brand, direct customers to a specific landing page or grow your overall revenue, for example.
Bear in mind it’s going to be harder to achieve your goals the more of them you have in a single campaign. You also need to work out your KPIs for each goal. These will help you define what success is, but remember that different industries have different benchmarks.
For example, if you were measuring click-through rates, the average would be 3.4% in the dating and personals industry, but just 1.35% in the legal sector. Therefore, you should potentially expect to see numbers lower than the industry average of 1.91% if you run a law firm.
2. Optimize your keywords
The keywords you use in your campaign play a huge role in determining how successful it is. Thankfully, Google Keyword Planner lets you see how well your keywords are performing, allowing you to get rid of ones that aren’t meeting the KPIs you’d expect.
When choosing them in the first place, you need to think about how likely they’re to show up in a customer search, as well as how effective they would be. A simple example is that for commercial queries - searches that clearly involve an intent to purchase, such as “buy shoes” - ads account for 65% of all clicks, showing that these keywords can be extremely effective.
3. Don’t neglect negative keywords
You need to consider the keywords you don’t want to appear in. For example, if you sell running shoes, you might want to make sure you don’t appear for searches involving the word “formal”, as that search wouldn’t result in a sale but would still cost you if a user looking for smart shoes clicked on your ad.
You can find lists of common negative keywords, but others will be specific to your campaign. It’s important not to neglect this, as every click on your ad that doesn’t result in a sale is essentially wasted money.
4. Adapt and update as needed
Make sure you’re constantly checking your ad performance and updating it as necessary. If certain keywords aren’t performing as well as you’d hoped, remove them and replace them with ones with more potential.
Pay close attention to your ad copy as well. If all the technical SEO elements seem in order, it could simply be that your actual copy isn’t enticing users in. Think about the purpose of your ad and why a user might be motivated to click it, then structure your copy around that.
High-quality, relevant ad copy that uses the appropriate keywords will often result in a higher quality score and impact the success of your PPC campaigns.