Pay Per Click advertisers only pay when an advertisement they placed on a Search Engine, Web Site or Blog is clicked to access the advertised content.
PPC is effective when properly managed. However, there are pitfalls which must be considered before initiating any Pay Per Click programs. These include:
- If not properly managed Pay Per Click can be expensive
- It’s possible to get involved in a bidding war drastically increasing PPC costs
- Advertisements placed on inappropriate web sites or content networks deliver un-targeted traffic, increase cost and lower campaign ROI
- As traffic increases so does the cost
Effective Pay Per Click Strategies
Prepare PPC Budget
It is imperative at the outset of your PPC campaign to prepare a budget for the advertising campaign based on profit driven campaign goals such as; increased sales, leads for the sales department or other objectives identified through business Strategic Planning.
Decide on PPC Providers
There are many Pay Per Click providers available with the leaders being Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Although there are other PPC providers I prefer to work with the “Big 3” as I have personally experienced “Click Fraud” and poorly targeted traffic when using other PPC providers. However, even when using the primary Pay Per Click providers, you must pay attention to where you ads will be displayed. The use of Google’s content network does have the potential to deliver poorly targeted traffic which is unlikely to convert into your company’s identified goals.
The selection of keywords is critical to the success of your PPC campaign. The keywords are used to develop your ad title, ad content and landing page content, and therefore must capture your target audience’s attention immediately.
Investigating potential keywords is essential to obtain a reasonable ROI from your PPC investment. Cost per click varies depending on how popular the keywords are, and how much traffic they are likely to generate.
Paying for the #1 position is not always necessary, often the best strategy is to pay for positions 3 or 4 which are still highly visible and less expensive.
To learn more about the keyword selection process visit Keyword Research. Two very good services for keyword suggestion tools are Wordtracker and Trillium’s Keyword Discovery, both use different processes providing varying results. Another tool which should not be overlooked is Google’s Keyword Tool.
The key to effective Ad creation is writing ad title and copy that uses the keyword / keyword phrase in an attention grabbing manner using very few characters. You only have seconds to grab your target audience’s attention, thus the importance of writing attention grabbing ad copy.
The use of action verbs, limited time offers, specials and identifying the benefits of your service or product are important factors in developing your PPC advertisements to encourage the “click”.
Landing Page Development
For each ad campaign you can greatly improve your conversion rates by developing landing pages specific to the ad content.
There are two types of landing pages: Reference pages and Action pages.
Reference pages provide the visitor with detailed information about the ad offers and should be relevant and include the keywords and phrases used in the advertisement. Action pages should include motivation to encourage your visitor to complete the transaction or conversion identified in the Pay Per Click planning process.
Key items in a Landing Page Include:
- Headline – Relevant call to action
- Prices, bonuses and special offers appropriate to advertisement
- Page Body Copy – Easy to scan copy detailing product or service benefits
- Sub Headers and Tag lines – action orientated, problem solving
- Buttons and Links – Easily accessible and identifiable to encourage conversion
It is important to test the effectiveness of your ad and your landing pages. Typically A –B testing is the most informative, enabling you to compare results from advertisements and landing pages which are similar but different while targeting the same keywords and keyword phrases. However, it must be remembered that without significant traffic volumes A-B testing results can provide inaccurate results.
It is now time to try out your Pay Per Click strategies, one final comment is; Start your bids low and build, that is one key factor to keeping within your Pay Per Click budget and obtaining maximum ROI.