Are you one of the many people that have tried Google search advertising, and felt you were throwing money away?  If so, did you do any analysis to determine why your Pay-Per-Click campaign didn’t perform well? Keep in mind, businesses using PPC usually achieve good returns on their investment, but rarely right out of the gate.

So if you put some thought and know-how into your online advertising, it’ll pay off.  Think of a print advertising campaign…If you ran an ad in a local magazine or newspaper, and it failed to get much response, where would you look for the problem? Was it the wrong publication? Was the language and specific wording used appropriate? Was there a compelling offer? Was I targeting the wrong audience? Was the timing of the ad good?

These are the exact same questions to ask when it comes to an online ad campaign, too!

Elements of a Successful Pay Per Click Campaign

So let’s take a look at some important elements necessary for a solid PPC campaign – and how to make sure you get your money’s worth.

The language in PPC-search advertising, of course, focuses on keywords. Keyword selection isn’t always as straightforward as most people think. Try an exact keyword match in specifying your product. That means your “landing page”—where searchers will enter your website–will show up as a choice when those exact words are searched. You want those who see your landing page to be the most likely to buy. So precisely what are you offering? Service on weekends? Then, the words might be “24/7 plumbing service” or “weekend emergency HVAC repair.” You will get (and pay for) fewer clicks, but get more searchers who know what they want. The more you can precisely target your ads, the less money wasted. So don’t use a shotgun approach and just spray your ads over a wide area and hope that you hit your target – use a sharp-shooters rifle to make the most of your money. Here are some other ways you can more precisely target your ads:

  1. Select negative keywords, too. Let’s say you run a pest control company, but you don’t do any critter removal. You don’t want any people searching for the term “raccoon removal company,” to click on your ad – that costs you money. So you would set “Raccoon” as a negative keyword to conserve your budget for those folks who are doing relevant searches for your company.  Another example: If you sell products for men only, your negative keyword might be “women’s.”
  2. How’s your timing? You can specify the days and times your PPC ad should be active. If you’re always booked solid at the beginning of the week, but could use more business at the end of the week – you can schedule your ads to run on Thursdays and Fridays.  But remember, it’s not all about you…it’s about your customers. How do they think?  A key to success is painstakingly characterizing your potential customers, their needs, and their habits.
  3. Are you customizing the experience for your audience? Keep in mind that you can develop different ads targeting different types of people within one Google Ad campaign. So don’t use just one set of search terms and one landing page for every ad. For example, if you sell women’s and men’s hats, you should run one “Hat” campaign but with two search specifications and two landing pages, one for women’s hats and one for men’s hats. This will produce a better return than one ad and one website page experience for everyone.
  4. And make sure your “landing pages” are built to convert visitors into customers…  Now, you’ve come this far by targeting the right person, with the right message, at the right time – don’t lose the customer at this point because the web page they land on stinks!  Make sure your keywords are easily found when they get to the page, so they know they’re in the right spot to get the info they’re looking for.  If the keywords were “Golf Tee-Times in Clarkston, Michigan” then the landing page should say something like “Select your Tee Time below” at the very top.

Test Your Ad Campaigns

A consideration applying to any PPC campaign is the need to test. If you run multiple ads, you should track each one and compare them. And track different ad campaigns over time to discover ideas for refinements and improvements.

You can speed-up refinement of your campaigns by studying competitors—broadly, in terms of brand, or more specifically, by geographical location—who use PPC. Study the content of their search specifications and landing pages. Use a tool like Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix or SemRush to enter the names of competitors to see what keywords they are targeting. You can use Alexa, too, to check keywords you select for your brand, topic, or another ad element. You will find a “keyword popularity score” and much more.

Please remember, you don’t have to figure this all out on your own. We’re here to help.  Smart Link Solutions can help at any stage of your campaign: customer profiling, keyword choice, landing-page content, and tracking and analyzing results to “win” the next campaign.

Get Online Advertising Help If Necessary

We can work with you to create your campaign with multiple targeted ads and landing pages. Or we can take the lead in the end-to-end process designed to accelerate return on investment. Get in touch to talk over your options and what you plan to spend.