14 Feb 2012

Getting Your PPC Ducks in a Row

February 14, 2012PPC Advertising

When advertising online, how can you be sure you’re making the best decisions for your business? It is very easy to make mistakes when launching a PPC campaign, especially if you’re new to this kind of marketing. You can avoid those typical rookie faux pas simply by educating yourself. There are some key things to be aware of in order to ensure you are setting yourself up to attain healthy click-through rates and a high return on investment (ROI).
First, you should consider how to utilize your match type options. “Broad Match” is the default keyword type in AdWords. Unless you choose to be more specific (by using Phrase Matches, Exact Matches, or Broad Match Modifiers) then you will automatically be setting your keywords up as a “Broad Match” type on the Search Network. If this seems overwhelming to you, have no fear! Google currently offers a free keyword analysis tool that helps you measure the level of effectiveness of your keywords.
While many queries may be fine, you should take note of how vast a “broad match” can be. Because Google ultimately decides whether your ad should appear based on a user’s query, you want to ensure that your ads are showing up on only the most relevant searches. For example if you are advertising a traditional bike store, you might choose a keyword like “cycle shop”. Unfortunately, this is not specific enough and your ad may appear when a user enters a query for a motorcycle store. This would be an example where being more specific is key.
If you still decide to stick with using “Broad Match” keywords, you should be closely monitoring your AdWords query reports to see if irrelevant queries are in fact spurring your ad. By analyzing your results, you can find better ways to ensure that your ad appears to users who actually have a need or desire for your product or service. Making your ad accessible to potential customers will ultimately improve your click-through and conversion rates.
Second, if you think your CTR is low for a campaign, you should reevaluate your ads to determine if they are interesting enough to stand out against the competition. Make the text appealing and informative. If a user enters the words “Discount Tickets” and you are a concert and entertainment ticket vendor, make sure that your ad copy matches the search query. Use the exact words, “Discount Tickets”, in the ad and Google will bold them for you, making the ad stand out.
Another simple way to make your ad stand out is to use the ad extensions features that AdWords has made available. As we have covered before, an extension can be anything from a picture to a price tag or even location information (address, phone numbers) that appears in addition to the text in a text ad. For products, the addition of a picture can be a huge selling point. Customers want to be able to see what they are purchasing, especially when they are shopping online. By giving someone the chance to see a price and photo of the product they desire, you are giving them two more reasons to click on your link. If they already have this basic information, they are more likely to click-through in order to learn more. Ultimately, they are then closer to making a purchase on your website.
If you are advertising something like a restaurant or house cleaning service, then you definitely want to include contact information in your ad as a phone number or an address. You want to give customers a simple way to reach out to you. Because you are providing the information in your ad, it will also help for overall exposure, even if they don’t click on your link. Google has given you access to these features, so you should at least give them a shot, if applicable, to see how it affects your campaigns.
You should be ambitious when setting up your PPC campaigns, but always remember to be cautious with your launch. Taking the extra time to select effective keywords, evaluate analytics and investigate prices for extensions can go a long way.