How To Optimise Your Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns

This post extends my introduction to Pay Per Click advertising by providing simple tips for optimising your PPC campaigns.

So what can you do to improve the performance of PPC advertising? How can you make Pay Per Click a success?


5 Ways To Optimise Your PPC Adverts

Before you begin, think carefully about what needs optimising.

Is it your PPC campaigns? …

Your website? …

… Or both?

PPC and your website go hand-in-hand. Optimising your PPC campaigns will be ineffective if you send traffic to a website fraught with obvious flaws.

Address your website by reading my post: 10 Ways To Improve Your Sales Conversions

Now that you have all bases covered, let’s move onto PPC campaign optimisation…

1. Bid on Long-tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are three and four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you are selling. Since they’re not broad, they’re less in demand, and cheaper to bid on.

For example, if you want to bid on “SEO” then you’d have to spend a fortune per click. However, if you bid on “SEO tips for small companies“, or more specifically “SEO tips for small companies London”, then that’s going to work out a lot cheaper.

The long-tail searches are also highly motivated. When someone searches “SEO” are they looking to learn some SEO techniques, or to invest in marketing services? Is it for a company or a blog? It’s so broad. However, with the long-tail search there is no ambiguity as to what someone is looking for (SEO tips for their small company, in this case).

How To Optimise Your Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns (PPC Optimisation Tips, Help, Guide, Basics)
Longtail keywords aim at a smaller subset of searches. They’re highly targeted.

The only downside to long-tail keywords is that volume isn’t on your side. So you need add as many relevant long-tail keywords to your PPC campaign as possible.

I’ve ran Adwords campaigns with over 700 long-tail keywords included. I was able to reduce costs and drive better quality traffic than I did with an equal spend on “broad” searches.

2. Target the Right Audience in Your Campaign Settings

Long-tail keywords help in reaching the right audience. But there’s still more you can do to improve your PPC targeting.

For starters, PPC usually includes options such as country/location and hobbies/interests. If you use those options correctly — and keep your audience fairly narrow — then you’re more likely to hit the target demographic.

The content in your adverts is also part of your targeting. You have to make sure that the advert itself accurately represents what you do. It’s never about enticing someone to your site with false promises, to then have to spin them around. Be clear about what you’ll offer PPC visitors — or they’ll almost certainly leave your site immediately!

Remember that it’s far too expensive to fire out multiple adverts, to as many people as possible, and hope it hits on the right people. Quality over quantity is key.

3. Make Your Adverts Look Clean

Leading on from the previous point about presentation, is the visual appearance of your ads.

If you adverts include images, make sure they’re correctly cropped, look professional and represent your product or service. When it comes to the text, ensure that you use correct spellings and grammar at all times. Your ad is the very first impression you give of your company — so make it a good one.

A lot of the same writing principles apply to both PPC and SEO. You might benefit by learning how to write SEO-friendly content.

4. Lead Clickers to the Right Place

The clicker has to understand what’s happening after they click your ad. Where’s it taking them?

If the clicker expects to find information on a particular subject, then ensure that the post immediately delves into that from the outset. If the clicker expects to learn about a product, then you need to consider whether to show the website’s home page, a specific product listing, or an article (or video) about the product.

Make it easy for visitors to go from A (the ad) to B (the promised information). Visitors won’t give you much time to impress them.

One strategy that a lot of web marketers use is to refer PPC traffic straight to a blog post — either on or off the target website. This post is used to promote the product, highlight its advantages over competitors — and generally boast about it.

Don’t try to make the sale right away. Let the customer convince themselves based on your ‘presentation’.

5. Use Negative Keywords to Eliminate Unwanted Searches

In Google’s own words:

Negative Keywords: A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. This is also known as a negative match.  

For example, if you’re selling a product but don’t want to show up when searchers are looking for reviews, then you could add “reviews” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group. This tells your campaign not to show your ad for any searches containing the term “reviews”.

I’ve used negative keywords to ensure that my product doesn’t show in searches where I’m already highly ranked for organic traffic. If I’m showing on a search page organically, I don’t want to end up paying for that traffic!


Analyse Your PPC Campaigns

You’ll need to assess your PPC traffic using both the PPC dashboard as well as Google Analytics. Look to answer the following:

  • What are the bounce rates from PPC?
  • How long does PPC traffic spend on the website?
  • Has there been an increase in sales since using PPC?
  • How cost-effective are the ads?

Importantly, you want to know whether PPC is achieving your intended goals. This can’t be answered immediately — but with enough traffic you’ll get the picture.

How To Optimise Your Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns (PPC Optimisation Tips, Help, Guide, Basics)
Use Google Analytics as well as your PPC campaign manager (e.g. Google Adwords) to measure performance. Always ensure you have enough data to make reasonable assumptions from.

If you’ve followed all the above 5 steps to optimise your campaigns, and have worked extensively on improving your sales conversions, then you might conclude that PPC isn’t working for your business. That is in fact the conclusion I’ve reached on more than one occasion.

However, it isn’t the end of the line. You can still approach PPC from a different angle.


Time To Change Your Approach To PPC?

Here’s some of the options you have:

1. Switch to Social Media Ads

I’ve found that Facebook ads are quite competitively priced for some industries. And as we know — Facebook has a lot of data to work with. Therefore it’s very easy to select a scarily-perfect demographic.

Facebook ads are also very good for engagement. When you run an advert on Facebook, people can share that ad, join your fan page, contact you, tag their friends in, comment/like it. It has the effect of generating extra leads at no additional cost.

2. Retarget Your Ads

Have you ever noticed those ads which keep on showing you products that you looked at, but didn’t actually buy? That’s retargeting.

The definition:

Retargeting is a form of online advertising targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions.  

Again, you can use our spy-like friend, Facebook for this. Learn how to set it up here.

3. Invest in SEO or Advertising Space Instead

If you’ve still not found a way to improve your PPC, then why not just invest in SEO or advertising space?

There’s plenty of marketing companies out there who focus on outreach in order to improve the exposure of your website. This might involve establishing back-links to your site (which improves SEO), or placing your ads strategically on relevant websites. It’s an option worth thinking about.

But if you’d prefer to tackle SEO yourself, then be sure to take a close look at my Search Engine Optimisation Guide.


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