Google Adword’s Pay Per Click campaigns can be a nifty way to drive highly targeted traffic to your site, and it makes much swifter work of bringing in conversions than many other digital marketing strategies. But there are pitfalls aplenty, and none of them are clearly marked.
Here’s our guide to navigating the stormy PPC seas.
• DO put in the work on keyword research before planning your ads. Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner will do this for free, and will considerably increase your chances of bringing in the right results for your brand.
• DO map out a series of targeted audiences and assign relevant keywords to each group. The closer you are to providing what users are searching for, the higher your CTR (click-through rates) will be, which will mean better quality scores and more bang for your buck.
• DO prep the basics in advance. It goes without saying that you’d make your ad spend worth it by producing high quality copy for the advert itself, but it’s a good idea to ensure your website and landing page are in good nick before you send queues of users rushing to take a look. It’s professionalism and engaging content that will deliver encouraging conversion rates.
• DO monitor and measure how your campaign fares once it’s up and running. You can use Conversion Tracking to ensure you receive conversion feedback to you Adwords, which will show you what works with who, and paint a more accurate picture of your ROI (return on investment).
• DO re-optimise and retarget your ads to secure interest from visitors who have paid cursory attention on previous occasions, and so who might be persuaded to stay longer on your page. Conversions from users of this kind have a higher than average chance of translating into sales.
• DO target based on location, which will help with accuracy and relevance.
• DO familiarise yourself with the technical side of the CPC (cost per click) per targeted keyword, what your competitors are spending on their corresponding campaigns (and how your budget compares).
And here’s what to avoid…
• DON’T waste money on generic keywords. Users these days are experienced enough to search for exactly what they want, so don’t try a one size fits (and catches) all approach. It could take you down an expensive road to nowhere.
• DON’T select keywords just because they reflect sizeable monthly search volumes. You’ll find yourself in a bigger pool contending with a wider range of competitors, and often your wares will be on display to lots of people, none of whom care enough to make your ad spend worth it. The same applies to attracting as many website visitors as possible. Targeted campaigns to engage specific audiences who are more likely to be interested in your brand or product is a more effective way to cash in your chips.
• DON’T be negative – about negative key words. They may not be obviously connected with the promotion in question, but you’ll find that users do employ negative phrasing to find what they want, so bearing that in mind could help with your quality scores.
• DON’T send all interested parties to your home page. You’ll want to give a decent proportion of click-throughs the opportunity to explore your website themselves, but you should also jump on the chance to lead users to the ‘ask’ or ‘action’ page, where you’ll do better at developing meaningful relationships.
• DON’T set up a PPC campaign and then leave it to do its thing. Keep a close eye on progress, and refresh your approach when it’s turning in disappointing results.
PPC campaigns are not for the work shy, or for those without a budget for any media spend at all, but if you do them right they can deliver exciting results for surprisingly affordable investment.