While there are plenty of SEO strategies a business can implement for free, sooner or later you’ll likely have to spend at least something on advertising. If you don’t, you risk losing both potential customers and search rank position.
Pay-per-click is almost always the best move for most businesses. PPC is cost-effective, suitable for any budget and easily scalable.
Most businesses understand the power of PPC. But understanding PPC and using it correctly are two different skills. A study from Unbounce revealed that 98% of internet marketers are wasting their money on PPC. They’re failing to properly buy the right kind of PPC ads at the right price.
Here are four easy but effective PPC management improvements:
1. Refine Your Ads with A/B Testing
Once your ads are up and running, management is usually fairly straight-forward. The problem is determining which ads are most effective.
Split-testing is the best way to zero in on the most effective ad. You create two variations of the same ad, run them simultaneously and measure the results.
Headlines, products descriptions and Calls-to-Action are the three major areas you’ll want to split test. But really any aspect of your ad can be tested. In order to ensure accurate results, you’ll want to only change one aspect of your ad at a time.
2. Focus Your Ads with Negative Keywords
Keyword research tends to disproportionally focus on the keywords you want to match. But just as important are the keywords you want to avoid. Identifying these “negative keywords” helps your PPC stay relevant. By listing negative keywords you’re helping to avoid searches which are unlikely to lead to conversions.
Negative keywords are phrases related to your ads by language but not user intent. For instance, if you sell clothing, your negative keywords would include “article” and “cleaning.” This would eliminate searches for magazine articles about fashion as well as searches for the nearest dry cleaner. You’re directed your ads instead to people looking to purchase clothing online.
3. Add Energy to Your Ads with Images
The written copy in your ad is the steak. That’s where consumers will read information about what your product does and what problem it solves. But you need to add a little sizzle to your ads in the form of images.
Images help your ads stand out in a user’s social media news feed and elsewhere. Plus, you can use images to create a long-lasting impression. Ads with images have a 65% higher retention rate than ads which are text-only.
4. Keep Your Ads On-Target with an Organized Account Structure
You’re not marketing to “everybody.” Instead, you’ll want to create a number of different ads to target specific customer groups. Unfortunately, this can quickly become complicated.
You’ll want to organize your ad campaign. While this is a lot of work initially, clear organization is vital as your campaigns are underway. Your campaign should be divided into smaller ad groups. Typically, ad groups contain one product page or one category. Smaller groups mean more focused keywords, which helps increase ad relevance.
These four PPC management improvements help ensure your ads stay relevant. You’ll be able to target customers more accurately while also gaining more precise control over your ad spending.