Are you using Adwords? Do a search on Google for your keywords. See all those adverts?
Can you see your competitors? I bet you can.
Those adverts are there because they make money for your competition. But... and here it is ...
Only if you do it right.
Just like most investments, if you do it wrong, you are gonna loose money. Doing it right means doing it slowly and continuing to tweak your campaign as the data comes in.
If you blow your advertising budget in the wrong newspaper with the wrong audience then you have no do-over. You blew your budget. Game over. Money wasted.
Of course this is not the 1990s, and you can't reach your customers through printed papers anymore. Google's Adwords network and Facebook Ads give you a much better opportunity to reach your customers.
But a well organised campaign should be done slowly.
By carefully measuring you ad spend and seeing where the leads come from. You can focus your budget on the places that provide the best ROI.
Taking this market intelligence, you can then test 2 or more adds against each other to see which ads perform better.
Any digital marketing company that says they can set-up your PPC campaign for a one-time fee is talking bullshit.
PPC is not a set and forget system. It needs weeks or months of feedback and tweaking to get you to an optimal level of ROI.
Not every business needs to worry about ROI from their ad spend. Coca Cola spent 3.5 billion $$$ on advertising in 2014.
But if you are here, then you are not Coca Cola.
I'm on page 1 for "SEO Expert [Insert Area Here]" for all towns and cities that I want (when I turn on my Adwords campaign). This provides me with immediate targeted leads and just wouldn't be possible with organic search. Well not unless I had Coke's budget.
I've optimized my landing pages for cheap clicks and conversions and I'm going to share a few of these tips with you.
Starting a carefully managed and optimized Adwords campaign can be one of the most lucrative investments you can make for your business.
Once you optimize your campaign and find what works for your audience, you can sit back and relax.
Because anytime you need more leads, all you do is turn on your Adwords campaign. When you get too busy, just pause the campaign.
So here are a few things I do for my clients and I can do for you.
For all small to medium sized businesses, there are two main goals for an Adwords campaign. The first is cheap clicks..
Cheap clicks mean that your adspend will reach more potential customers and is an obvious no brainer.
The second isn't rocket science either. You need a landing page that will convert those potential customers.
The first step is finding your keywords. Books have been written about this topic and crappy push button software has made shady people rich. And whilst I use a variety of tools such as AHREFS, SEMRush, MOZ and K-Meta you don't have to.
Open up Google's Keyword Planner and use +broad +match +modifier.
This should give you a large number of keywords that are related to your business. Let's take a look at an example.
If you bid on these keywords...
Then your adds will appear on searches such as...
+broad +match +modifier allows you to reach a larger number of people but...
...without taking the next steps you are burning your budget and pouring money down the drain.
If you go with one of these cheap package deal PPC companies that litter the net, then you risk wasting your ads on searches that are not related to your business and will never convert.
Negative keyword research takes a lot more time than the basic keyword research and is often ignored by pump and dump agencies.
Let me illustrate negative keywords by showing some examples.
If these keywords are not in your negative keyword list then you are wasting money. Any clicks from these searches will be by mistake. Which will lower your quality score.
These wasted clicks mean a higher cost per lead and ultimately mean a crappy campaign with results that you cant rely on.
And don't forget that each Adwords campaign should be reviewed weekly to find the unexpected keywords that need to be put into the negative keyword list.
Just like with SEO anchors, PPC keywords need careful consideration. Regardless of the keywords that you are bidding on, you should always include them in your ads.
Make sure they are in the...
The reason for this is simple. When your keywords show up in your ads they show up in bold. This increases your CTR or click through rate.
A higher click through rate means a lower cost per click.
Yes that's right, cheaper ads.
When you are bidding on a wide range of different ads, you will need to create different groups for closely related keywords. And you'll need new adverts for each group.
Another easy way to improve click through rate is to include eye catching symbols
Using title case in your ads also gives you a slightly better ROI. What's title case?
The number of people who view your advert and the number of people who then click your ad gives you your click through rate or CTR.
The more people that click your advert(your CTR), the higher your Adwords quality score is.
A higher quality score means lower cost per click (CPC) and...
...lower advertising costs for you.
I usually create 3 or 4 different ads per Adgroup. It depends on the clients ad spend. I then split test these ads and there is always a clear winner.
This winning advert has a higher CTR and lower CPC and the other two or three adverts are paused.
This is an essential part of running an Adwords campaign and without this basic step you are wasting money.
You need to include the keywords that you are bidding on in your landing pages a few times. This again will increase your quality score.
You can include it in your....
Dynamic text insertion makes this much easier to do and allows you to use one page for multiple keywords.
Take a look at the examples below. Notice how they page changes depending on the URL.
When Adwords scans my landing page and sees that it is highly relevant to the keywords that I am bidding on it will give me a higher quality score and a lower cost per click.
And you know a lower cost per click means cheaper ads, right?
There are several software solutions to help with this and with landing pages in general but it's really easy to do yourself with a little bit of knowledge of PHP.
Getting cheap targeted traffic is great but that traffic must convert to buying to make the whole process worthwhile.
Getting the most conversions out of your targeted traffic via split testing is the final piece of the puzzle and by no means the easiest.
You must split test different pages to find out what best converts for your audience.
I use a great piece of software to help with this and provide accurate data to help make those design decisions.
I like to create 3 different landing pages for Adwords campaigns and test them against each other. When there is a clear winner. I pause the losers and create 3 slightly different variations of the winner.
The aim here is simple - We want more conversions. More sales. More leads.
Here is a very simple list of things you can change to try and improve conversions.
Split testing is time consuming. And you must have enough visitors or data to make a clear decision. Sometimes it can take days to get enough visitors to make a decision but sometimes it can take weeks.
Patience is a virtue.
It's also a good idea to spy on the competition. Find out the how your competitors ads and landing pages have evolved and take a short cut to better ROI.
Some keywords will provide visitors to your site that convert. Others will not...
It doesn't take a genius to know that the keywords that convert are worth more. But the problem is you need conversion tracking to know which are the good converting keywords.
There are lots of ways of tracking conversions but one way is to install the Adwords Conversion Tracking Code on a thank you page. This will allow you to clearly see where the paying customers are coming from.
Again, without being a rocket scientist...
...you can focus your ad spend on these higher converting keywords.
Retargeting is great! If you are not retargeting your site visitors then you are crazy!
With that said..... What the hell is retargeting?
Retargeting allows you to show advertisements to people who visited your site but left without purchasing. Most people who visit your site will leave and never come back. Very often visitors are interested in your product or service but just need a little reminding to bring them back into the buying cycle. You can do this with retargeting.
So the benefits of retargeting are clear?
Being able to show your audience your advert again and kickstart the buying cycle again greatly reduces costs and increases conversions.
Retargeting is the biggest no brainer for any business, large or small.
Some real quick stats about retargeting for the non believers.
Retargeting works. Plain and simple.
Adwords is not easy to set up correctly and get a positive ROI. There are many small things that add up to big differences in results.
And beware of the sleazy companies that will take your money and apply a one size fits all campaign that flushes your hard earned money down the drain.
Do it properly or don't do it all.
We don't work with just anybody but we are happy to answer any and all questions. Get in touch.