How to make your PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising campaigns more effective

4 Mins read

Are you thinking about running your first PPC advertising campaign, or have all your ad campaigns so far been unsuccessful? Are you afraid that you’re just throwing money at increased traffic that doesn’t convert to sales?

In this article we’re going to talk about how to make your PPC advertising campaigns more effective, because everyone needs a little help from time to time, and that’s okay. You can lean on me. I’ll be a friend.

Optimize your Call to Action (CTA)

Your advertising needs a call to action, or else what’s the point? How the heck do people know you’re trying to sell them something, if they don’t know you’re trying to sell them something? That’s ridiculous. You’re not guerrilla marketing, you’re spending money on ad campaigns.

A great advertisement is thus:

  • Compelling copy.
  • Main body offers value and speaks directly to the customer.
  • Provides an actionable step at the end.

An actionable step can be really simple, you don’t need to overthink your CTA. “Click here to find out more”. Your goal is getting their eyes to travel to your “Click here to find out more” and actually click on it, and that means captivating their attention with a compelling copy.

Always monitor your PPC ads’ performance

Creating a PPC ad campaign isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing. It’s not enough to know that it’s working (or isn’t), but why it’s working (or isn’t). You want to know why you’re succeeding, so you can keep doing more of that! And you want to know why you’re failing, so you can stop doing that.

Monitoring your PPC ads’ performance gives you valuable insight into the hows and whys, so that you can figure out what you need to tweak and optimize. Are people clicking on your ad, but clicking off your landing page? Your landing page probably sucks. Fix that.

Is your ad being clicked on by one demographic, but not another? Well, figure out what you’re doing right with the one demographic, and figure out what you’re doing wrong with the other demographic. This isn’t difficult stuff, it just takes patience, studying statistics and charts, and a bit of logical problem-solving. There’s a lot of great PPC monitoring tools that can make this process easier for you, and you can read more here on how.

Define the measurements of your success

Throwing money at advertising campaigns without a clear goal beyond “acquire traffic” is a rather short-sighted position to take, and you’ll likely just end up throwing money away. An ad campaign may get traffic through the door, but what are your metrics of success afterwards?

Of course, you want to convert leads into sales. An advertising campaign helps in two ways here. Number one, it generates leads, but your website optimization and user experience is going to play a large role into whether those leads become customers, or just immediately click off your website.

You need a road map to follow, so you should clearly establish a few goals prior to your PPC ad campaign. These goals can and should be:

  • Using the PPC traffic to figure out site optimizations.
  • Funneling your traffic into sales.
  • Experimenting with different target audiences.

Let me give you a personal story. I ran a marketing campaign for an online video game company several years ago. They produced MMORPG games in a niche category. Using purely organic strategies, I was able to get thousands of clicks to the company’s website per month. Thousands. For a company that was previously getting maybe 20 hits per month.

But none of that traffic actually stuck around to play the company’s games. Why? Because their products weren’t user-friendly at all. Their interface and beginner tutorials were horrible. I was getting them tons of traffic, but their product itself was unappealing. And of course, my suggestions for optimizing their product fell on deaf ears, because I was just the marketing gal.

If an advertisement campaign is getting traffic through the doors, but not generating any sales, that’s not a problem with your advertisement campaigns, that’s a problem with your product.

What an advertisement campaign can help you do is figure out where you need to optimize your product to better appeal to the consumers, and so throwing money at advertisement campaigns is a worthless endeavor if you aren’t willing to admit your product might actually kind of suck.

Focus on high-performance and long-tail keywords

There are two approaches to choosing the best keywords to target in an ad campaign. First of all, you want high-performance keywords. These are keywords that have a high CTR and ranking for them will likely be pretty competitive.

Typically, businesses like sticking to short-tail keywords with only ~3 words, such as “best tasting coffee”. But obviously you’re going to be competing with a lot of other businesses targeting consumers searching for “best tasting coffee”.

And this is where you whip out the long-tail keywords, which are longer specific phrases. “Best tasting coffee in Grand Rapids”, or “where to buy the best tasting coffee for cheap”. See how long that is? It’s practically a sentence. But guaranteed people are searching it in Google.

So, you have to target average people who use search engines with fewest words possible, and typically those will be the highest performing keywords, but also people who use longer phrases to find exactly what they’re searching for. Because then you’re advertising to people who know exactly what they want, and giving them a better chance of finding you, rather than taking potshots in the dark.

Experiment with target audiences

So, you spend a bunch of money on an advertising campaign. Who is it actually targeting? Did you really just spend a bunch of money on an ad campaign that you have no idea who it will actually be displayed to? That’s ridiculous, why would you do that? You literally just spent money on having your ad displayed to people who might not even be interested in your product.

Condense, condense, condense. Who is your target audience? What is the age demographic? What is the locality demographic? What other things would your target audience probably be interested in? Are there patterns of interest your target demographic might have?

You have to answer these questions, or else you’re just spraying-and-praying into the dark. Don’t be that person. Targeting everybody ages 18-75 in an area, with no other filter, is a great way to sell nothing to nobody. Casting a wider net does not mean catching more fish.

Figuring out where the fish actually swim means catching more fish. Because then you can just spear them out of the water, with precision.

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