Running a pay per click campaign is probably the best way for a business to improve visibility and drive new customers. By setting your budget and carefully choosing your keywords, you can make big money in no time at all.
Well, that’s the theory… In fact, the reality is a whole other matter as setting up a pay per click campaign on Google or any other advertising network is hard work. You can spend hours researching, setting up your ads and putting everything together only to have a fairly meagre return on investment.
And, if you’re in an industry with a high CPC (cost per click), it can be even worse. After all, you don’t want to be paying $10 or more for hundreds of clicks, only for a handful of customers.
So, what can you do to increase your ROI? Google Ads, Bing and Facebook all offer lots of opportunity to savvy marketers, but if you want to improve your chances of consistent and big sales, this is what you need to pay attention to.
Improve your ad copy
OK, before we start anything, your copy needs to be solid. But actually this is harder than you might think. Writing ad copy needs to take into consideration your target audience, the language they use and the way they use it.
You might think you know how to speak the language of your target audience, but it’s often only when you do demographic research that you find out how out of the loop you are. And then translating this to ad copy is a whole other ball game.
This can be especially true if you’re creating ads in a language that isn’t in your mother tongue. For example, a buyer in the US or Europe might be put off buying a product if the copy is thought to come from Asia or elsewhere. Make sure your PPC ad’s content is optimised for your local audience.
Tweak your keyword targeting
Often one of the biggest problems for marketers using pay per click is that they target to broad a sphere of keywords. For example, if you’re selling running shoes, don’t just target the keyword ‘running shoes’ or ‘sneakers’. You’ll have a huge amount of competition and probably pay more per click than if you niche down.
So, the best thing to do is focus on a demographic who are most likely ready to commit. Using the running shoes example, you might find some more specific interest if you target terms such as ‘running shoes for marathons’, or ‘best sneakers to take on vacation’.
The point is you’re not looking for the general interest crowd who might just be browsing, but aiming for people looking for a solution to an immediate problem.
While we’re on the subject of keyword tweaking, don’t be afraid to use negative keywords. These ensure you don’t show up whenever the negative keyword is searched for. In our example, I would actually make sure that ‘running shoes’ or ‘sneakers’ on their own are negative keywords. I want to be sure that every searcher falling on my landing page is actively looking for something right now, not window shopping.
Make your landing page simple
Now here is a big problem. Have you ever landed on a website and just had no idea what’s going on? Crazy colour schemes, funny fonts, hidden shopping baskets, annoying pop ups and intrusive music or video. If you’re like me you probably just click ‘back’ and try again, right?
Don’t give your site visitors a reason to click back. If in doubt, follow the view that simple is best. Your landing page should relate to whatever link was clicked and give your visitors clear and simple instructions about how to check out.
The best landing pages use nice and simple imagery, an eye catching headline and a short and skim-readable text box. If you need to use bullet points or a list, no problem. Make everything easy to digest in moments, with no spelling mistakes and as little jargon as possible.
Another problem is that people often make checking out complicated and annoying. What you really want is to make it so easy to check out that your customer does it without even thinking… Can you offer PayPal? Google or Apple Pay? If you can commit to your product at the one click of a mouse then you’ll see a lot more conversions.
For myself, if I have to get my bank card out, or register before checking out, I’ll often lose interest and change my mind. But I have made plenty of purchases just because they have a PayPal button and I don’t have to go and find my wallet to get my bank card out.
People are lazy (not just me, honest), so make it so easy to checkout that they’ll happily do so without even moving a muscle.
Take security seriously
Your site should be secure, but you already know that. Don’t already have a https URL? You’ll need to sort that out ASAP. With so many security flaws in cyberspace, people are incredibly sensitive when it comes to expired or missing certificates.
As well as this, offering some kind of secure shopping basket is also going to help. And, if you do offer a sign in/account, make sure you use methods to protect your customers details. You don’t want to fall victim to hackers or other vulnerabilities online.
If you don’t think this applies to your ROI with PPC ads, you’d be wrong. If someone clicks your PPC ad and sees your page isn’t secure , they’ll click off. You’ll have paid for that click and they will have gone somewhere else…
Understand the fraud that is out there
When it comes to maximising your ROI on Google, Facebook or any other ads, you’ll need to understand that click fraud is still a thing. For those who don’t know, click fraud is when your paid ad gets clicked on by some malicious party, sometimes bots or click farms, but also often competitors.
Don’t think this is a big deal? Some sources put the annual cost of click fraud at around $25 billion each year. And a lot of sources say that around 1 in 4 clicks on paid ad campaigns are fraudulent. That’s a quarter of your pay per click budget going to fraud? Crazy!
There are several tools to protect against this, with the best known being ClickCease. The software is cloud based and prevents clicks from known suspicious sources, and even helps you keep an eye on your competitors to make sure they’re not clicking your ads.
Adjust your PPC ads timing
When you’re running PPC ads, it can be tempting to leave them running all the time. After all, people are always shopping right?
To get the best chances of a good return on investment, identify peak times and target these for your ads instead. For most businesses, this is probably in the evening after work and on weekends. However, if you’re a plumber or locksmith, you might find that your on-demand services are indeed needed around the clock.
If that’s the case, try and work out your optimum time for the bulk of your ads targeting. You can then play with other timing options for the rest of the campaign.
Use a CTA
Ah the good ol’ CTA – often overused and then mis-used when it is used. Anyway, yes, you should be using a call to action. But, here’s a trick… Keep it simple.
Here’s an example of a bad CTA:
Try Free Today for Guaranteed Satisfaction
What? Way too many words… The best thing is to simply tell people what you want them today.
- Get your free copy now
- Buy now
- Click here
All of those CTA’s tell you exactly what you want the customer to do, and that’s what you should do.
While we’re on the subject, it’s always worth understanding a few power words. These are words that we, as humans, react to instinctively. Words such as ‘free’, ‘you’, ‘now’, ‘best’.
There are long lists of power words, and they can be deadly effective when used correctly in a pay per click campaign. Play around and see how it works for you.
Don’t make unsubstantiated promises
The modern consumer is wise to hollow promises. ‘The best ever…??’ Yeah really? ‘Guaranteed satisfaction!’- hmmmm I don’t know how you can guarantee that.
Be careful with telling people how amazing your product or service is and let them make their own minds up. Instead of telling them that they will love your service, tell them how other people love it.
Instead of saying how it will change their lives, tell them how many satisfied customers, 5 star reviews or awards you have. That’s much more believable (and provable) than hollow claims of being the best…
Maximising Return on Investment for PPC: The Final Word
All of these tips are for nothing if you haven’t done your research. But you’re already doing that right? What do I mean by research?
Understand your products optimum price point. Where do you stand in relation to your competitors?
Do you have a unique selling point over your competitors? Competing on price might not alway be the best option for many, so how else can you get one over the other links around you in the SERPs?
Understanding the market is one of the most important steps in successful Google Ads campaigns, so make sure you’re not spending money un-necessariy.
Another key facet is to understand how your organic content strategy can help you with your PPC. You should always be building an organic solution alongside your paid marketing, even if it’s just a little on the side.
Remember, you get out of pay per click ads what you put in. So make sure you’ve done your homework!