Are you wasting money on PPC?

It’s not uncommon for many business owners and marketers to enter into a pay per click (PPC) campaign armed with a little knowledge and an attitude of just “hope for the best”. This can be a costly approach to lead generation. Not only does it result in potential money being wasted on your ads, but it compromises potential sales.

Before we get into the components of a successful PPC campaign, lets take a quick look at what Google views as a good ad campaign vs. a bad one. Google focuses on ad presentation. Here’s what they’re looking for:

• Ads that will give the user a positive experience.
• Ads that are safe so that users have no apprehensions about clicking on them.
• Content of the ads has to be truthful and not built around misleading hype.
• Ads have to be clear about what they are offering so it doesn’t hoodwink the user into believing something false or infringe in any way on their privacy.
• All of the appropriate laws have to be adhered to.
• The ad has to conform to Google’s form of presentation or in other words their brand.

These are the guidelines that you’re expected to build your PPC ads on. Then there are four components of your campaign that should all be done right in order to be successful. Let’s take a look at each:

1. Keywords
Every successful PPC campaign starts with proper keyword selection. It’s important to keep in mind that while short keywords (short-tail) are worth going after, such as SEO or SEO Company, a lot of traffic can be driven by longer keywords (mid and long-tail) such as SEO Company Toronto. While the traffic per keyword may be greater for the short-tail keywords, the combined volume of mid and long-tail keywords can drive a lot of traffic.

2. Ad Group Development
The next component of your PPC campaign that significantly impacts results is the way that you group your keywords. To get the best possible result, you want to place only one keyword into each ad group. Why? Because it enables you to present ads to your prospect that are exactly what they’re looking for. For example, imagine if you searched for SEO Company Toronto, and the headline of the ad that appeared read “Top SEO Company Toronto”. I would imagine that you’d be highly inclined to click on the ad because it’s exactly what you’re looking for. This is the reason that you want to set up one ad per ad group. Yes, it does take more time, but it’s worth doing because it will improve your click through rate and quality score, which reduces your cost per click.

3. Ad Development
We briefly discussed the importance of matching your headline to your keyword, but your ad includes four lines in total. The first is the title. The second is the URL. And the third and fourth lines are descriptions. So, where do you start? The first place is with your headline. Your headline is the most important component of any ad. It’s what pulls your prospect into the rest of your ad text. The key is that you want to appeal to their desires, fears, or frustrations.

In your URL, the extension should be the exact word that they’re searching for to show them how relevant your ad is. Not only are you showing them that the keyword they are searching for is right in your headline, but it’s also in your URL.

In terms of the description lines, the first line should appeal to their desires, fears, or frustrations as well. For example, in SEO, prospects want to rank higher. A great description line should start by telling them that you will enable them to rank higher. And the second description line should make an offer to drive them to your landing page.

4. Landing Page Development
The last component of your PPC campaign is your landing page. This is one of the areas that we see so much money lost in. Over and over, we see people link their ads to the home page of their Website. This is one of the worst things you can do. You are providing too many options for your prospects to consider. Instead, link each ad to a relevant Web page. For example, if someone was looking for SEO Company Toronto, it would be best to link them to a Web page that specifically talks about SEO. And the Web page should contain an relevant SEO offer (such as an ebook) and Web form to capture leads to monetize your advertising investment. To take it a step further, you can improve results even more if you create a squeeze page for each ad that minimizes the number of choices that are available to maximize the number of leads generated.

We’ve covered quite a bit here. Feel free to comment if you have any questions. We’d be happy to help.