Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) can be a time consuming and daunting task for an advertiser. There is no sure fire way to guarantee success, but keeping in mind these essential principals will get you a lot closer to that ever elusive goal.
1. Select the right keywords – When creating a PPC Marketing campaign, keyword selection is often the first task at hand and is all too often not given the proper consideration by advertisers who target only the obvious high volume keywords. Complex keyword combinations of three, four, or more words often receive the highest click through rates and have the highest site conversion rates. These precisely targeted search terms may have lower search volumes than some of the more generic search phrases for your product or service, but lack of competition on these not so obvious terms not only means fewer competing sites for your potential visitor to click on, but often means lower pay per click costs as well. Also, don’t forget the common misspellings of those keywords, as the same benefits apply.
2. Choose the best search engines - Not all search engines are created alike. Depending on your market, some search engines may work better than others. For example, some studies have suggested that Google Adwords commands the lion’s share of volume for B2B search. Although this may be true, one must be careful not to ignore the lower volume, but high quality traffic that may be obtained through other engines such as Yahoo in this case. Second tier engines, although often disdained, may also be a source of high quality, low cost traffic. One should take the time to carefully test and monitor a variety of these secondary engines to find that “diamond in the rough". Blogs and message boards are full of opinions as to which engines work, and which do not. Although they can be a good source of information, one should always exercise prudence and carefully test these engines for one’s self. You may be surprised at what you find.
3. Write effective ad copy – Although obvious, it cannot be overstated enough, write good ad copy. Beyond improving your writing skills, a technique that is often over looked is the evaluation of the effectiveness of the ad copy once published. After carefully adhering to every known proper copy writing technique, advertisers too often will proudly submit their ads, never to look at them again. Take the time to evaluate the click through rates of each of your ads. You may be able to identify offers, buzz words, or descriptions that seem to work better than others. You may find that the gem of an ad you spent so much time creating may not be attracting the attention of that tried and true ad you scrapped for it.
4. Select the proper landing pages – Okay, this is an obvious as well, but how many times have you clicked on a paid ad only to be left wondering why in the world you were sent to the page you find yourself on. Searchers are an impatient bunch, and if they can’t immediately find what they are looking for, you’ve lost them. Your website may change often, so when it does, don’t forget to think about where you are sending that paid traffic.
5. Establish success metrics – Whatever the desired action is for your site visitor, make sure you establish a success metric for it. Whether it is to generate email registrations, produce leads, or sell widgets, each action must have a metric established to determine success. What are you willing to pay for that lead? What is your target ROI for the sale of that widget? Without precise metrics, you have no way to evaluate the success of your Pay Per Click (PPC)campaigns at large, down to the effectiveness of the particular search engines they are running on, or the keywords you are using.
6. Track and measure everything – This is really a compilation of all the previous principals mentioned. Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing success is a combination of a variety of complex factors. Without diligent measurement and tracking of each measurable, identifying what is working and what is not amounts to nothing more than guess work. Test, measure, evaluate, and repeat is the mantra of the day in the online marketing world.
It sounds like a lot of work you say? Well it is, but spending the time to carefully test, measure, and evaluate your campaigns will be well worth your time. If you simply do not have the time, inclination, or expertise to tackle the process, then your best bet is to hire a Pay Per Click Marketing professional to do it for you. Either way, the returns will be well worth it.
Brad Snedden is the founder and President of Sawtooth Marketing http://www.SawtoothMarketing.com - a provider of paid search engine marketing solutions.