To get immediate search engine visibility, there is no better advertising opportunity than Google AdWords. While this may not be news to you, it is news to some, as it’s rare to see people get the most out of their pay per click (PPC) advertising efforts, which is why I thought I’d bring it up today.
If you know how to bid on keyword terms and customize a PPC campaign for your website, visits to your website will start rolling in. I could write about this all day long, but instead, I’m just going to highlight a few of my tips below to help you get the most out of your PPC advertising.
If you only pay attention to one thing I ever write, my comments on keyword research should be it. Keyword research is important for numerous aspects of a marketing campaign, but for this post, you need to know it as your secret weapon to a successful PPC campaign.
To start, become familiar with the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Once you have your AdWords account set up, these are some of the steps I follow for keyword research:
1. In the Keyword Planner, select “search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.”
2. From there, select “targeting” and select your geographic area.
3. In the box, type in some raw keyword ideas and click “get ideas.”
4. When the report gets generated, focus on:
- Ad groups
- Average monthly searches
- Suggested bid
- Ad impression share
Take note of the averages in the ad groups and select the ad groups that you would like to include in your keyword list. Scrub the list of keywords and remove any that aren’t relevant to your business. This will give you a shorter list of keywords that you can use to target in your initial PPC campaigns.
Aside from just running your ads, there is a lot that you can do with PPC advertising which I’ll discuss below.
Proof of Concept testing
Consider building a simple and effective landing page and develop an AdWords campaign driving traffic to it for a couple of months. If it generates qualified leads and sales then you know you can use it for a long-term SEO strategy.
Can you believe most websites don’t use conversion tracking? It’s true! When you have conversion data tied to keywords, you can easily target your top keywords for SEO success. Phone conversion tracking is an awesome AdWords feature that I don’t believe is taken advantage of nearly enough. Do your business a favor and set that up today if you haven’t already done so.
Click-through rate testing
With Google AdWords, you can experiment with your PPC ad copy to optimize your ads click-through rate (CTR)? The higher your CTR, the higher your rankings results will be on Google.
AdWords is a great way to test CTAs on your website. You can see which perform best to get you optimal results.
Going after your competition
AdWords can be used to go after and crush your competition online. While you can’t put a competitor’s name in your copy without their consent, you can bid on their trademark to use as one of your keywords. When people search for your competitor online, your name will then appear at the top of the search results.
Going back to the basics
When you set up your AdWords account, Google guides you to overspend (it is how they make money after all), so you need to make adjustments to get the most ROI. I won’t lie, setting up your AdWords account can be extremely intimidating if you’re setting it up for the first time. Consider hiring a professional that can help show you the way.
If, however, you want to go it alone, here are some of my tips to get started:
- If you’re a local business, select your geographic territory so that ads only show up for people in your area. Be sure to select “people in your targeted location” otherwise you may get people who show interest in your location but aren’t actually there.
- Be selective with your keywords and keyword phrases
- Use the “negative keywords” feature
- Use free ad extensions to expand your copy
- Link your account to your Google My Business page to have access to additional information for your business. If you do not have a Google My Business, learn more about setting it up here.
- Use AdWords retargeting features
Use SEO and AdWords together
While AdWords is typically a better investment than other forms of traditional advertising, your dollars will go much further if you combine PPC with an SEO strategy.
Nothing is better than top organic Google rankings in terms of ROI. However, even with the best SEO campaign in place, it is impossible to rank on the first page of Google for every variation of a targeted keyword phrase. AdWords is extremely useful for getting clicks on difficult keywords that you’re unable to attain through SEO efforts. Additionally, while SEO is essential for a strong online presence, it can often be a marathon, not a sprint. PPC can help you get clicks quickly until your SEO rankings improve.
The best way to get the most out of your PPC efforts is to continue to optimize against the results. You’ll be able to see what’s working and put more of your efforts in that direction, as well as what’s not working so that you can either improve upon these efforts or drop them.
Optimizing is the key to success for your PPC advertising. What other tips would you add to the points above?