How much money have you thrown away on PPC ads?
If you’re like most companies, unfortunately, the answer is probably more than you’d like to admit.
Here’s the thing: PPC advertising can be one of the most effective ways to drive highly qualified leads to your site…but only if you do it right. Far too many companies try their hand at PPC without the expert guidance they need to make it work for them – and as a result, the money they spend on it is wasted.
Luckily, Zen Media is here to help! We’ve got years of experience helping our clients maximize the marketing ROI they get from PPC advertising, so we know exactly what it takes to run a successful PPC campaign. We also know the most common mistakes that companies make when going it alone. So to help you avoid those same mistakes, and make the most of your PPC advertising, we’ve put together this guide to avoiding the two top issues we see most often.
MISTAKE #1: Not Targeting Your Audience Correctly
One of the main benefits of PPC advertising is the fact that it allows you to put your ad in front of the right people at the right time – your target audience, right as they’re searching for your product or service online. And even if they don’t click, they’re still seeing your name and your offers, which raises brand awareness, and may very well result in a sale sometime down the road.
But if a company isn’t targeting their specific audience correctly, then not only are the wrong people seeing your ad – they might also be clicking on it, costing you money without leading to any sales.
So how can you make sure that you’re reaching the right audience, and only paying when a truly qualified lead clicks on your ad?
By taking advantage of all of the Google Adwords tools and options available to you to narrow down your audience to the exact demographics you’re looking for, and developing a smart targeting strategy.
With PPC advertising, you can set your ads to only appear for people in certain locations, or on certain devices. You can set up a retargeting campaign, which shows your ads to people who have recently visited your website. You can even use the new Adwords tool “Customer Match” to upload your own custom list of email addresses to target.
But all of these options will be mostly ineffective if you don’t couple them with a keyword and ad copy strategy that guarantees you’re reaching the right audience.
Here’s how to decide on the right keywords and the right ad copy for your audience:
- Decide on a campaign plan. What specifically do you want to gain from this particular ad campaign? This will determine who your audience will be, and what your call to action should be. An ad promoting a free download will naturally be targeting a different audience than an ad offering a discount – one is aimed at gathering qualified leads, and one is aimed at making sales. Decide where your target customer is in the sales funnel right now, and how you’ll grab their attention.
- Come up with a list of words and phrases that particular consumer might use to search for your product or service online. Now that you know who you’re targeting, think of what they might search for in order to find you. Someone who is still comparing products or services will phrase their searches differently from someone who is ready to buy. Keep that difference in mind.
- Get to know Google’s Keyword Planner tool. This free tool on the Adwords site provides you with a wealth of data as to which keywords are actually being searched for, by how many people, and how much competition you’ll have with each one – in other words, how many other companies are targeting the same keywords with their PPC ads.
Type each of your ideas into the Keyword Planner, and then take a close look at the results generated. You’ll be given suggestions for variations on your original ideas, along with the necessary data to choose between them.
In this example, we typed in the search keyword “which business software is best.” Take a look at the results:
Based on these results, we now know that it would be better to get more specific with our keywords, and to use “accounting software” or “business management software” instead. This kind of information is crucial, as it can make or break your campaign to use keywords that no one is searching for. Choose a few keywords that fit your business, your campaign, and your target audience, and are popular in search, but if possible, try to avoid those with too much competition, so the cost won’t be as high.
- Write a compelling headline for your ad. This is your attention-grabber, so make it relevant to your target audience, and make it clear what you’re offering or asking. Don’t make the mistake of simply listing keywords or putting your company name as the headline – give them a reason to click.
- Write solid ad copy. Make sure that both your headline and the body of your ad are clear enough in their appeal and call to action that only your target audience would click on it, and no one else. You don’t want to pay for the clicks of people who are actually looking for something else, or who aren’t in quite the right spot in the sales funnel. Craft your copy to speak specifically and clearly to your target audience alone.
By following this strategy, you’ll be targeting your ideal audience correctly, and will be able to realize a real ROI from your PPC advertising.
MISTAKE #2: Not sending PPC traffic to a dedicated landing page.
But what if your strategy is sound, you’re targeting the right people, your ad is getting clicks…but you’re still not seeing any conversions?
It may be because of where you’re sending that traffic when they click.
So many companies make the mistake of sending PPC traffic to their homepage – where those visitors, unsure of what direction to take on a page with so many options and links, click around aimlessly for a little while, and then leave.
It’s vital to keep the momentum going once you get that initial click from the consumer, and the only way to do that is with a dedicated landing page. This page should match the message conveyed in your PPC ad, and provide a single, clear call to action in order to lead visitors to convert.
In the below example, we searched for “try accounting software.” Only one out of the top four ads really spoke to what we were looking for – a free trial of accounting software with Netsuite:
Clicking on that ad brought us to this landing page – clear, concise, and perfectly coordinated:
This page makes it easy for visitors to find what they came for. But what if this ad had instead sent us to the Netsuite homepage?
While the “Free Product Tour” button is vibrant and visible at the top, there are still so many other options and distractions on the page that it would be very easy for someone to get sidetracked, and end up leaving without signing up for the free trial.
A dedicated landing page is vital for the success of any PPC campaign.
With these two issues fixed, any PPC campaign can be a success. However, it does take a significant commitment of resources and expertise to create the perfect ad and the perfect landing page, and tweak them both throughout the run of the campaign to maximize their effectiveness. If you want to realize the full potential of what a PPC ad campaign can do for your business, fill out the form above to contact us here at Zen Media today. We’d be happy to discuss your goals with you, and show you just how we can help you reach them.