Search advertising, whether it’s a cost-per-click (CPC) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, isn’t the easiest marketing task to accomplish successfully. However, here are six things you can do to revolutionize your ad campaign’s effectiveness.
Monthly Ad Campaign
Creating and spending a monthly ad budget for search advertising is a great way to increase your brand’s awareness online, as well as to generate traffic to your website’s landing pages. According to SEO Tribunal, “Paid search ads increase brand awareness by 80%. Plus, 46% of clicks go to the top three paid ads on the [search engine results page] SERP.”
When to Increase/Decrease the Budget
Timing impacts everything. As you ramp up for busy seasons throughout the year adjust your ad spending as well. For example, increase your ad budget on high-profile months, e.g., Dec/Jan (tax season), May (summer taxes or audits), Sept (extensions), and any other high-profile time for clients’ industry peaks and valleys.
Also, take into consideration the pain points of your target market. When might they be looking for help from you?
Finally, lower the budget in the off months to keep the ads running. To help keep your annual marketing budget in check, consider reducing the number of days per week or hours per day the ads are running.
As the ad campaigns gain traction, pause the ads, keywords, and even campaigns that are underperforming. This will help reduce the number of ads your firm is showing and will decrease the cost-per-click because the poor performers won’t be dragging down your overall ad score. Here’s the reasoning.
What goes into ad quality? It’s a rating scale applied to your ad’s relevance, as well as to the relevance of your keywords.
The actual cost per click in Google or Bing’s AdWords tools is (competitor rank / your quality score) + .01.
According to WordStream, “Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:
- Your click-through rate (CTR).
- The relevance of each keyword to its ad group.
- Landing page quality and relevance.
- The relevance of your ad text.
- Your historical AdWords account performance.”
Therefore, the better your ad quality, the less you’ll pay for clicks and for the campaign overall.
Choosing the Right Keywords
This might be the hardest part of PPC campaigns. Begin by creating a list of relevant terms for your buyer, for example individual tax returns, corporate tax returns, employee benefit plan audits, international tax, wealth management, etc. A common best practice is to have between 5 and 20 keywords per topic. Then group those terms by a common topic, such as tax, audit, financial planning, estate planning, etc.
Next, validate the terms you’ve chosen and find new, related keywords that might work better. Tools such as Google’s or Bing’s Keyword Planner, Longtail Pro, and KeywordSpy are helpful.
If the keywords you’ve chosen are in high demand, you’ll pay more for them. Consider mid- or low-competitive terms to narrow your target market and to fit within your budget.
Combine Text and Display Ads
Search engines offer search/text and display ads across their platforms. If you’re running a campaign for the first time, consider using both efforts; then, narrow it down from there. To help you determine which is the better platform before spending any money, review your website analytics. Consider referral sources and channels driving traffic to your site organically.
Direct traffic means the visitor had a full URL to your site, such as that offered in bookmarks or text messages. Organic search means they found your site through a search engine without an ad. Paid search is clicking on a search engine ad. Referral traffic is when they found your site through another source, such as an article with a link to your website. Email links are just that, links to your site from an email campaign you’ve sent.
Display ads are offered on other search engine platforms and target your ad campaigns on websites chosen by the search engine host, or they could be part of their complementary services, such as Google’s Gmail.
9 Ads to Start
Often, starting with more ads than you need will help you define the best performing ads for your target market. Consider starting with nine ads and narrow it down over period of two to three weeks to the three, best performing ads.
How do you write a great PPC ad?
Look at what your competition is doing; then add your own unique selling proposition or spin to it. Use a writing template to help you keep within the ad length guidelines. You could create one in Excel using a length formula. Below are the ad’s field lengths:
URL: link to the landing page
Headline 1: 30 characters
Headline 2: 30 characters
Headline 3: 30 characters
Description 1: 90 characters
Description 2: 90 characters
Path (2): 15 characters each
Remember to include a call to action in the description field. Also, include ad extensions, such as phone number, additional services, or awards your firm has won.
Creating a great PPC campaign takes time and effort. Now that you have these six tips, how will you revolutionize your PPC campaigns?