PPC 102: Seven tips to improve your paid search campaigns

Once you’ve got the basics of PPC down, how can you improve on those efforts further? Here are seven tips to take your campaign to the next level.

We recently gave eight tips to help beginner search marketers get their first campaigns off the ground, with our article ‘PPC 101: Eight tips to get started‘. This is the sequel to that course, PPC 102, with seven more tips to help you improve on what you’re already doing.

You don’t have to be a PPC expert to create a successful campaign with strong ROI. All you need is the time to understand how PPC works and to improve your efforts in a series of small but effective steps.

Set up conversion tracking

It’s really important to be able to measure your PPC efforts and this can be achieved by setting up the tracking pixels on your pages. Right before you start with PPC ads, you can add a conversion code to your site to be more prepared for the analysis of your campaigns.

This will allow you to understand which ads work better for your audience, bringing you closer to conversions. It can be extremely useful for PPC beginners to learn what counts as an effective PPC ad and whether their first attempts can bring them closer to ROI.

Conversion pixels make analysis of your campaigns more specific by offering the right insights on the ads that make leads and sales easier.

Focus on quality keywords

Keyword research is among the first steps to take when planning a PPC campaign. The end result of this can be a long list of keywords to explore, but do you really need to test them all? It’s tempting to try all of them until you find the most successful ones for your business, but it’s usually more effective to focus on the most important ones for your goals.

Quality keywords are not the same for every business or even every campaign, and this depends on what you want to achieve. These may not even be the most popular, but they will probably have more chances of converting than the rest.

Focus on what you define as quality keywords, even this is quite a limited pool. This will save you both time and budget.

Learn more about your audience

As we mentioned in PPC 101, it’s important to find your audience before you set up a PPC campaign. This tip is helping you take the understanding to the next level. Once you do find the ideal audience for your ads, it’s good to spend the right time to learn as many things as possible about them.

It might be useful to develop personas that help you understand your audience’s habits to be able to create more effective ads that lead to higher conversion rates.

Once you understand your audience, it’s time to analyse how they function in all the stages of your funnel. Where does your target audience sit as part of your sales cycle? How does that affect your ads and your set goals?

For example, it’s different targeting new prospect leads comparing to past customers you want to retarget and this can be reflected in your planning for your next PPC ads.

Set a landing page that matches your ads

Every PPC ad should lead to a relevant landing page to ensure that the audience is exposed to the right details after clicking on an ad. This may include more information about the product, answering questions, offering options for the next steps and most of all, speaking the same language as the ad.

It’s not just about creating effective PPC copy for your ad – it’s equally important to maintain consistency between the ad and the landing page your audience visits. This increases the chances for more conversions, as users can feel that the message resonates throughout all the pages.

Focus on the image of your ad

A successful PPC ad consists of compelling copy, but also an appealing and relevant image. As the internet becomes more visual year by year and people become accustomed to visual content, an image can significantly aid the effectiveness of your search ads.

Pick carefully the image you’ll use in every ad, aiming for:

  • visual appeal
  • relevance
  • high quality

It would be ideal if an image could create an association with a product or a company, as this could increase the chances for a long-term experience.

Be careful though, as the image still has to be relevant to the ad. Visual appeal on its own cannot increase conversions if the image is irrelevant to the ad.

Optimize your ads for mobile

As more and more users increase the time they spend on mobile devices, they are exposed to more advertising on mobile. We often talk and think of mobile optimization in terms of optimizing mobile websites, but optimizing your mobile ads is just as important.

According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2017, internet advertising saw a growth of 22% the last year, with mobile advertising contributing significantly to this increase.

This serves as a good reminder of why all PPC campaigns should be mobile-optimized to target a growing audience.

The process of mobile optimization for a PPC ad includes paying special attention to:

  • ad copy
  • ad image
  • habits of mobile users
  • landing page

Once your campaign is underway, an analysis of the conversions can tell whether mobile users found the ad interesting enough to click on it. 

Explore PPC ads holistically

PPC advertising can be very useful by itself, but it’s still more effective to consider as a component part of your entire digital marketing strategy.

It’s not just about launching a successful PPC campaign to reach the desired results, as these will still be aligned with your broader marketing and sales goals.

For example, a PPC campaign can lead to more improved results when it’s aligned with SEO strategy, social media marketing and email marketing.

A multi-channel approach is more popular among marketers these days, as it is more reflective the way people consume content and sees ads through multiple channels and devices.

The acquired data from a holistic approach to your marketing allows you to see how other channels interact with your PPC ads. It also helps you to understand your audience and create even more effective PPC ads in the next campaign.

Overview

Here are some tips to keep in mind when improving your PPC campaign:

  • Install a conversion pixel before you start your campaign
  • Only focus on quality keywords
  • Learn as much as possible about your audience
  • Make sure your landing page matches the expectations that your PPC ad sets
  • Pick the right visual for your ad
  • Create mobile optimized PPC ads
  • Think of PPC holistically.
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