You’ve clicked on an ad when perusing the internet—you know you have.
Maybe it was a great product you’ve been looking for (but haven’t decided to buy), or a webinar you thought looked interesting. Maybe it was something for your kids.
Anyway, we know you clicked on something, and that means you’re more familiar with pay-per-click digital advertising (PPC) than you thought you were.
What’s the Big Deal with Paid Advertising?
PPC marketing gets your brand in front of people looking for products and services like yours. Through a structured system of keyword research, content and image decisions, and targeted distribution, your company’s name and logo end up on the websites of consumers who are most likely to visit and purchase.
While that might seem simple, though, PPC best practices can be tricky. It’s a lot of work. Check out this article if you don’t believe us.
That said, we have a list of things you can be doing right now to make your PPC marketing efforts more effective.
Effective PPC Best Practices in a Nutshell
1. Goals are key.
A clearly-defined goal makes all the difference. It can be increased sales, lead generation or impressions, but you need to know why you are spending money on PPC in the first place.
Surprisingly, a lot of advertisers go into PPC without measurable goals for their campaigns, and that can lead to numerous mistakes down the line. You know, mistakes like not paying attention to the right stats (and therefore not knowing if the campaign is even working) or sending out the wrong messaging entirely (and throwing money out the door on inefficient ad spend).
2. You should know your audience.
That’s the meat of any campaign (and a key to PPC best practices)—knowing the people to whom you are selling. If you are already in business, then you know the demographic you target. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Build a profile of the people who are buying your product or using your services, including age, gender, location, occupation, interests and more.
- Each can be useful for targeting options and choosing the right ad platform.
- If you are just starting out, or if you’re building an online business from the ground up, you’ll need to do research on your industry.
- Understanding your market can make or break your campaign.
- Just imagine what would happen if you were trying to sell sparkly phone accessories for teens, but were targeting businessmen on LinkedIn!
3. The right vehicle or platform for your campaign is important.
There are several strong PPC marketing platforms out there, and it’s important to choose one the one that best fits your goals. If you want to re-target your site visitors, for example, there are amazing platforms out there (AdWords, AdRoll, Meteora, and Criteo, to name a few) each with their own advantages. Some are great at geotargeting (location-based targeting), some have access to more inventory, and some allow for more precise targeting then others.
Do your research and choose the digital advertising platform that will best help you further your aforementioned PPC marketing goal.
4. Track everything.
We mean everything. Yep. All advertising platforms offer tracking options and codes to add to the backend of your website (your developer can help you implement them)—use them. It might initially seem like a little bit of a hassle, but down the road, you might be throwing money away without proper tracking to gauge effectiveness.
Also, it’s rarely enough to track your PPC efforts strictly from your digital advertising platform. Pay close attention to your website’s Google Analytics and try to pull in some other tools like a heatmap software.
The bottom line here: You should always know where your money is going and what it is bringing back.
5. Experiment constantly.
Keep trying new things until your ads bring in the metrics you want to see.
- Perform A/B testing on your ad to see which combinations of messaging, keywords, images, targeting and other attributes are most effective.
- Test ad variants, landing page variants, messaging, colors, audiences, time periods when users are most active, bid amounts, devices, length of a phone number—everything.
- You never know until you try.
You might lose a little here and there, but the gains from employing PPC best practices can be huge if you trust the process. Experimenting is often the difference between a failed campaign and a resounding success.
6. Be involved.
PPC marketing doesn’t end when you are happy with the return on investment (ROI), or when you start seeing positive stats. PPC is a dynamic art—it’s a living thing, and new advertisers are always popping up with ever-improving messaging and strategies.
Your platform is changing daily with upgrades to technical options and new ways to reach (and keep) potential customers. In fact, there have been changes to ad formats and the advertising landscape while you were reading this. Don’t rest on your laurels and keep up with your work.
If you have questions about how to get the most from your PPC marketing, get in touch with us! We want to talk you though best practices and help in any way we can. Extra tips you want to share on what worked for your company? Add a comment below.