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5 AdWords Tips to Improve Your Pay-Per-Click Advertising

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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.

1. Track Everything

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.

2014-05-06-PPCandorganicsearch.png

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)

2014-05-06-GoogleAnalyticbouncerate.png

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.

As you scale your PPC campaign every little improvement you make has a greater impact on your overall spend. Take a look at the example ads below to see two really good examples of site links being used to attract clicks. Imagine the ads without those site links and you can really see how those additional calls to action provide the user with so many additional choices to entice them. Simply adding site links can help improve your click through rate dramatically.

2014-05-06-sitelinksexample.png

5. Increase Your PPC Budget & Grow

If your PPC advertising campaign is producing a ROI why not scale it? You can do it gradually until you have it down to a science and then really turn up the budget. PPC is so attractive because it is measurable and easy to scale.

Some companies get scared when we discuss increasing the PPC budget, but when you look at numbers and examples it is easy to see how a successful PPC campaign can really help a business grow fast.

Let's take a look at this imaginary PPC campaign example:

  • $1,000 monthly AdWords budget
  • Average cost per click (CPC) of1.50
  • Number of monthly visits = 667
  • Conversion rate = 1%
  • Revenue per conversion =500
  • Total conversions = 6.67
  • Total revenue =3,335
  • ROI = 235.5%

Now, after running the campaign for a few months, let's imagine that we are able to optimize the ads and landing page even more to achieve a higher quality score, leading to a lower CPC and a higher conversion rate. Now, we increase that monthly spend as well. See below to see the kind of impact this can have on your business:

  • $10,000 monthly AdWords budget
  • Average cost per click (CPC) of1.00
  • Number of monthly visits = 10,000
  • Conversion rate = 1.5%
  • Revenue per conversion =500
  • Total conversions = 150
  • Total revenue =75,000
  • ROI = 650%

Looking at the figures above you can see how quickly you can boost your revenue and ROI simply by scaling your PPC budget and making slight changes to get the ads performing better. This is one of the reasons many businesses chose to work with a professional PPC company in order to get their campaign performing at the highest level. As the budget is increased these changes make an incredible difference. Our professional PPC management service is responsible for producing amazing results for some of the largest brands in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, and Canada.

It is important that you think long-term with PPC, and in the beginning you need to expect to spend some money in order to test copy and landing pages, but once a winning formula is detected it can be scaled and really help your business revenue and ROI grow at staggering rates.

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