As you probably know, PPC campaigns are a highly cost-effective and overall great form of advertising. Their performance-driven and precise nature allows advertisers to reach specific targeted users who have expressed interest in a service or product, with great ease and efficiency. If you choose to hire someone to manage your PPC campaign, be prepared to invest quite a lot of money and time in it. Bear in mind that you may not be able to immediately justify the expense, so extra dedication and patience may be required. On the other hand, handling your PPC campaign on your own is not necessarily as simple as may seem. There are quite a few pitfalls that one may easily fall into when dealing with PPC campaigns, as well as several ways to elegantly walk around them. Try to keep these in mind whenever dealing with pay-per-click advertising – whether if by yourself, or by using the services of designated PPC experts.
Clearly Defined Goals
Many advertisers actually begin running their campaign without having specific goals, and simply set them as they go. This approach might work in certain cases, but not so much with this one. Before fully diving into your PPC campaign, it is important to set specific and measurable goals. Upon starting any online advertising campaign, it would be wise to know exactly what you aim to achieve and how to make it happen. In PPC it is even more so: The payment is made per click, so everything is accurately measured and performance-oriented. This means you need to watch your step even closer whenever dealing with this.
You can define short-term goals, such as increasing revenue or boosting the number of site visitors, and/or long-term goals, such as improving brand recognition or strategic profit growth. Whatever goals you define, be sure to make them realistic, and to set clear measurement parameters. This will provide you with a clear and empiric overview of your campaign’s performance, and allow you to optimize and adjust accordingly.
It’s All About Conversion
One of the most basic building blocks in online marketing is the conversion itself. Eventually, it all boils down to a simple question: Will a user respond to the call-to-action and make the click? As you can imagine, in most cases “yes” means success and “no” means failure. We like to go for success. Dedicate plenty of thought to Keyword Research, to Ad Groups, to Creatives and to Landing Pages – but always keep in mind the Conversion factor. It almost goes without saying, but still needs to be said. Focus on conversion: Create clear call-to-action buttons, implement tracking codes and make each and every conversion count. Measurement is key for successful optimization, so make sure the codes are implemented properly and that all data is accurate. Insights based on inaccurate data may lead to inaccurate conclusions.
Smart Optimization and Patience
Optimize wisely, be patient and thorough. It is rather easy to jump to conclusions based on partial data. Begin with monitoring the more granular terms, see how they perform, and continue fine-tuning on the go. Gradually zoom out and move on to the broader keywords and adgroups, avoid skimming through and remaining at surface level. Take the time needed, as long as you go over each and every keyword. It is better to wait a little longer and base your conclusions on solid and reliable data than jump to hasty conclusions that might result in costing more money than returning the investment. As soon as you get a full grasp of your campaign and begin “feeling” what things work better than others, you will be able to make smart decisions faster. However, even then, always keep your finger on the pulse and remain level-headed and calculated.
Plan Your Budget for Success
A sensible game plan for budget allocation is always good to have, for all types of campaigns, including Search. This game plan becomes even more significant when setting up a Display campaign, where budgets can easily go out of hand without even noticing. Display networks are a vast space, and one could easily get lost in them without a well-thought-out game plan. Always aim to begin with a relatively small amount of money that you are comfortable testing with. If you see that a certain list of managed placements is performing better than others, allocate more of your budget to its direction. Work in an organized manner, and separate the different placements into their own ad groups. This way it becomes rather easy to shift more money towards the groups that give you the best ROI. Once you clearly identify those successful groups, gradually feed more money into them, and you should continue seeing better and better ROI. Unlike the world of Search, the reach in Display is almost endless, and once you start riding the right wave, you are bound to see great results.
Use Multiple Ad Formats
Another bit of advice regarding Display campaigns: Many advertisers believe that creating ads in as many formats possible is a waste of time and resources. Image ads, for example, indeed tend to perform better than text ads. So why bother and go for something else? Quite simply, because some websites support only one specific kind of format, and you don’t want to find yourself unprepared. Be ready for any scenario: Other than the core format that you think performs best, create as many formats as you possibly can, just to have that extra edge whenever necessary. If you reach a certain placement in which you are the only advertiser with a specific format, you will score extra and get more exposure for less spend.
PPC Goes Mobile
A rather common mistake, which could be easily avoided, occurs by failing to optimize PPC campaigns for mobile. In this time and age, more and more searches are being carried out on mobile devices and tablets. Be sure to keep this in mind and make your landing pages responsive and fully mobile-compatible. Businesses that don’t have effective mobile landing pages tend to suffer from significantly reduced conversion rates. In order to avoid this, ensure that all your pages are mobile-optimized and that you use mobile call-to-actions, such as “Call Now!”, wherever possible.
Google vs. Google Partners: The Cost of Conversion
When an advertiser creates a new search campaign, the default is set to “all features”. What does this mean? In this case, it means that your ads will appear both on Google Search and on Google Search Partners. The benefit here is pretty obvious, as you will get more exposure. So where is the catch? Right here: More exposure is not always a profitable thing, as you may end up paying more for every conversion without even knowing about it. Google doesn’t show you exactly how profitable your ads on Google Search Partners are; such data is not easily displayed for you to make decisions based on it.In order to know exactly how profitable this option really is, simply download the campaign report and compare the conversion costs on the Google Search Network vs. the Google Search Partners Network. It may sometimes be worth it, and other times – not so much. So bear this in mind, and make your decisions based on knowledge more than on default settings.
Mars Media Group always keeps its finger on the pulse regarding all online marketing models, including PPC. We seek to find the latest industry trends and best practices, implement them and look for ways to push the limits further. Leveraging our technology and advanced optimization systems, with access to 95% of the worldwide traffic via our RTB platform, we can offer efficient PPC solutions for various needs. To hear how our experts can help you, please contact us at [email protected]