If you want to be cost efficient in your pay per click advertising, make sure you’ve got a handle on the basics. Here are ten tips that highlight necessary places you should focus on if you’re running PPC advertising campaigns.
10. Negative Keywords
By running a search query report, you can see what visitors are searching for in the search box when they click on your ad. If you are showing up for search keywords you don’t want to bid on, you can insert these keywords as “negative” keywords. In MSN adCenter and Yahoo Search Marketing your negative filtering capabilities are limited, but in Google AdWords, you can add an infinite amount of negative keywords (so take advantage of that!).
9. Install Google Analytics Tracking
See the whole picture for your online business. Google Analytics (which is available to install across your entire site at no cost) shows data from your website that you will not see through your PPC Dashboard. You can see traffic flows and quickly find web pages that are not converting visitors well. High “bounce rate” and low average time on page indicate places your site needs attention. By fixing these pages, your cost per conversion can dramatically decrease.
8. Use Broad Match Keywords Carefully
If you’re not going to take the time to find a proper set of negative keywords to filter broad match traffic, then broad match could cost you, and you might be better off sticking to more conservative match types. Broad match keywords should be used to mine out the exact match keywords that are creating conversions. Once you find the exact search query inside the broad keyword, you should be bidding for that keyword in the exact match.
7. Use Ad Scheduling
It’s common sense, but not many beginning advertisers don’t utilize ad scheduling. If you know what time of the day is the most profitable for you, increase your bids in this time period. Decrease your bids during the times where you see a drop off in conversions.
6. Use Local Search
If you are a local advertiser, you should be marketing your services only in the area in which you service. By using Local Search, you eliminate the cost of bidding on keywords in locations in which you do not do business with. Set your geotargeting very consciously. Know that in AdWords if you set it my metro, city, or state, you also get a fifth line stating your geographic scope in your ad, so weigh that when considering custom map or zip code & radius geotargeting which don’t offer that advantage.
5. Use Specific Ad Text
Create specific ads that represent the keywords you are bidding on. This will allow the searcher to better understand your product and reduce unwanted clicks. In addition, unique ad text should increase the click through rate, raise your Quality Score, and lower the cost per click. Logically group keywords together into ad groups by how ads should read.
4. Use Specific Landing Pages
The more targeted your landing page is to the keyword your bidding on, the better your conversion rate. If someone is looking to purchase bananas, would they be more likely to purchase if they visited a fruit page or a banana page? Match your ads to proper landing pages.
3. Install Google Website Optimizer
You should always be trying to improve the quality of your landing pages to increase conversions. By using Google Optimizer (another free tool from Google), you can test landing pages and see the results of which test landing page converted the best.
2. Target Niche Markets If Your Budget Is Limited
If you have a limited budget, focus on your most profitable niche within the market. This will allow you to bid on keywords that may not be as competitive and will cost less per click. Although traffic may be low, when someone does click on your ad, you will have a better chance of converting the visitor. You can always expand into more general, high traffic or competitive words once you’ve sharpened your skills and your message.
1. Monitor Your Account on a Regular Basis
Just setting up Pay per Click and letting it run without evaluating the progress everyday could cost you good money. Log in to your account and make sure the cost per conversion is appropriate and that your total costs are not running you out of business. Ideally set a schedule to make sure you do some basic maintenance regularly, especially in the areas of bid management, ad copy split testing, and traffic processing (for new keywords, new negative keywords for search, and negative placements for content).
By Dan Zuzanski
Paid Search Analyst