Paid search campaigns have proven themselves highly effective for marketers over time. In fact, the average return on investment (ROI) for paid search ads is 200%. However, when optimized effectively, paid ads can do much more than simply boost your profit. They can also greatly increase your brand visibility, bring in more qualified leads, and arm you with invaluable marketing data.
Still, many marketers make the mistake of believing that paid search marketing with a big enough budget will bring them results. As a result, they see little progress and waste finances. Instead, to achieve valuable paid search campaigns, you must perform the right research, reevaluate your pay-per-click (PPC) strategies, and craft compelling copy where needed. Combining these tactics will ensure your paid ad spending is well worth the effort.
Paid Search Campaigns: When Should You Use Them?
Many marketers wonder where to focus their online advertising. There’s often discussion of paid search versus organic search, which incorporates search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. Organic search is useful in building your website’s credibility and authority. However, it takes much longer than paid search to implement and requires thorough SEO knowledge.
You should use a PPC campaign, then, if you’d like to save time and quickly rank highly on search engines. Moreover, paid ads give you instant access to user data that can help you identify your buyer personas. You’ll know who your ideal customer is based on who’s clicking on your ads. From there, you can refine your advertising efforts to craft more targeted campaigns.
How to Optimize Your PPC Strategies
No matter the PPC platform you choose, the following strategies will help to enhance your ad performance.
Shift Focus to High Performing Relevant Keywords
Using relevant keywords often makes the difference between a successful paid search campaign and an unsuccessful one. You want to utilize keywords that are popular but not overly competitive. Competitive keywords can make it difficult for your ad to stand out. Secondly, consider keyword match types, including broad, phrase, or exact matches. This tells search engines how closely keywords need to match with search queries.
To ensure you are employing keywords that users are actually searching, take a look at Google or Bing’s autocomplete feature. Type in a word and see what words or phrases are suggested in the search bar. These suggestions offer real-time insight into what users have been looking up. In addition, look at the paid ads from competitors to see what keywords they’re targeting and bidding on. This helps you understand users’ search intent (the purpose of a user’s search), whether informational, navigational, or transactional.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a particularly advantageous keyword tool. Using the resource, you can view the search volume, impressions, and keyword difficulty. Armed with this information, you can sort through your keywords and eliminate those that likely won’t yield high results.
Compile a List of Negative Keywords
Just as imperative as relevant keywords are negative keywords. You can use negative keywords in your search marketing to prevent your ad from appearing after users search specific words or phrases. This process helps you avoid wasting your ad budget on words that bring you little value. You lessen the risk of wasted search clicks or impressions by users who are not applicable to your business.
If you’re using Google Ads, you can use the Search Terms Report feature to compile a list of negative keywords. The Search Terms Report presents you with searches people typed into Google who then clicked on your paid ads. You can sort through the searches and see which words yielded you the lowest amount of impressions. From there, you can add these words to the “add as negative keyword” list on the Search Terms Report.
Halt All Campaigns For Any Keyword Phrase That Isn’t Performing
After completing keyword research, you’ll have a much better understanding of what’s working for your campaigns. Any digital marketing campaigns that are not bringing you impressions, clicks, and conversions should be terminated. All future PPC campaigns you create should incorporate keywords that have brought you a positive historical performance.
Re-evaluate Your Bidding Strategy
The bidding strategy for your paid search campaign should revolve around your overall advertising goals. Is it to increase views, traffic, or conversions? Different bidding strategies focus on varying goals. However, some of the most effective bidding strategies include:
- Maximize Conversions: One of the simplest strategies. Here, you set a maximum budget you’d like to bid on each day. Search engine algorithms then achieve as many conversions as possible without going over your budget.
- Maximize Clicks: Like the maximize conversions strategy, you’ll set up a daily budget that search engines will use to maximize the number of clicks you receive. This strategy is preferable for increasing website traffic.
- Enhanced CPC (Cost-Per-Click): The Enhanced CPC strategy allows search engines to increase or decrease your bid based on the probability of conversion. In doing so, you could benefit from higher-quality conversions, though you risk increasing your max CPC spending.
- Target Cost per Action (Target CPA): Here, you set an average cost you’d prefer to pay for every conversion received. This is a good strategy if you are set in your acquisition costs for your products or services.
- Target Return on Ad Spend (Target ROAS): Target ROAS is focused on achieving a high ROI for your ad spending. Many marketers use this strategy if their conversions have a direct value on their spending.
Optimize Landing Pages
While compelling PPC campaigns get more clicks, they don’t always lead to conversions. The factor that often does influence the likelihood of conversions is your landing pages.
Landing pages are frequently a weak point for marketers. Oftentimes, marketers clutter their landing pages with distracting graphics, marketing tactics, or unnecessary information. Such muddled pages usually lead to high bounce rates, leaving visitors to find a solution elsewhere.
Instead, you can optimize your landing page by making it concise, clean, and easy to follow. Include standout content that gives visitors the information they need without giving too many details. If visitors would like to read more, you can include internal links to other web pages that explore topics more in-depth.
Lastly, ensure your CTA is easy to spot right away. Include contact information near the CTA in case visitors would like to reach out before taking any action. If you have any, you can also display certificates to instill a sense of trust and credibility in your organization.
Fine-Tune Your Current Search Ads
Before launching any new search campaigns, you can reexamine your current ads to see if any adjustments are needed.
Enable Sitelink Extensions
Sitelink extensions give users more options when your ad appears in their search results. You can have sitelink extensions to different pages of your site. These could include product or service pages, contact pages, or about pages. Having these extensions enabled can improve your click-through rate (CTR) as you can target users at various stages of the sales funnel. Moreover, sitelink extensions use more ad space, which helps make your ad more noticeable to users.
Revisit Your Ad Copy
The best ad copy is customer-oriented, speaks to emotions, and clearly shows how a business can solve a problem. In addition, the copy uses active voice and actionable words to inspire action. To test your ad copy, read it from a customer’s perspective. Do you feel that the copy directly addresses a specific problem? Is the language engaging, or do you feel it’s written with too much focus on your brand? These questions can help you redirect your focus on your copy.
Monitor Performance of Your Search Advertising Campaigns
As you rework current paid search campaigns and launch new ones, you’ll need to continuously monitor your performance. Fortunately, plenty of advanced analytics programs can assist you with the process, including Google Analytics for your Google Ads. With this resource, you can gain insight into the success of your campaign, including:
- Real-time traffic
- Source of traffic
- User behavior on site
- Click-through rate
After you’ve collected this data, you can continue to tweak your search campaigns to match user interests and needs. You can further use the data collected from your search campaigns to maximize the effectiveness of your other types of marketing as well.
What Results Should You Expect From Your Search Marketing Strategy
When optimized properly, you can see a variety of positive results from your search marketing strategy. Aside from conversions, you can increase your brand visibility across search engines. This cements your place as a recognizable, trustworthy, and credible brand to engage with. In turn, you’ll see more traffic, more regular visitors, and more effective marketing overall.
Where to Find Help With Search Marketing Campaign Optimization
Optimizing your paid search campaigns requires an investment in time, resources, and research. Fortunately, you don’t have to take on the task completely on your own. AUDIENCEX provides search and social services to undertake paid search optimization for you, while considering how it fits within your overall marketing strategies as part of our holistic, omnichannel approach. Every imperative element of the search campaign process, including keywords, copy, and analytics, can be researched and surveyed by our team of expert strategists. Reach out touch today to see how we can help drive true performance outcomes for any campaign.