So you’ve successfully launched a beautiful website that’s got everything you ever wished for – impeccable website design, lots of quality detailed and precise content, and of course, all of your products and services laid out at their very best for all web users to see – problem is, no one’s really buying, because no one seems to be seeing them. When it comes down to this, the real problem could lie with your online marketing, specifically your paid search ads.
There are many factors that affect the effectivity of a paid search or PPC ad, but as Search Engine Watch writer Miranda Miller puts it, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What could prove effective for one ad may not be as effective for another. Fortunately, there are best practices and a few good tricks to optimising PPC ads that have been tried and tested by various experts who were generous enough to share these tips and tricks with us. Online ad management and optimisation companies Marin Software and BoostCTR both conducted studies on these best practices and following are some of their top recommendations:
BoostCTR reveals that this allows you to test multiple perspectives simultaneously, and see which ones work best for your brand.
Keyword insertion is a vital feature which must be used in your Google Adwords management. Using dynamic keyword insertion in your headline will allow you to dynamically insert a keyword from your Ad Group directly into your ad copy if triggered by a searcher's query. So if someone makes a search for any of your keywords, you will be able to show those keywords on your headline and catch the attention of the searcher who sees the direct relevance of your ad to his/her search through your keyword.
This can be varied depending on your product or service- maybe stress the importance of your product or service, limited stocks, speed of delivery, etc.
When writing the ad copy, figuring out whether to give more emphasis on the features or benefits of your products or services has always been a delicate balancing act. The combination always differs for everyone, but there are ways to figure out the perfect combination for you. BoostCTR suggests constantly asking the question, “what’s in it for me?” with the users’ perspective in mind to arrive at the best benefits to include on your ad copy. Online marketing expert Mona Elesseily suggests talking to the people closest to your target customers (i.e. salespeople, customer service people, etc.) to figure out what the biggest customer concerns are and address these first when making your ad copy. Conducting a focus group to find out what these concerns are could also work really well.
Alternatively, BoostCTR Director of Marketing Noran El-Shinnawy points out that ad copies need not be only one or the other, solely focusing on either benefits or features. It is possible to have a benefit-laden headline with a feature-rich body copy or vice versa. Just as it would be worthwhile to test both feature-focused and benefit-laden copy, it would also be beneficial to test a combination of both.
Ad copies should be specific to a product or service or to a certain group of buyers. The more specific it is, the bigger the chances it will convert. “A big reason for this,” notes Elesseily, “is that it’s easier to hone in on relevant keyword terms and include them in ad copy headlines and descriptions.”
Ad group optimisers help you evaluate the relationship between creative and keywords within ad groups. Marin states, “This will provide you with a workflow to do things like clustering keywords by quality score, moving keywords with low CTR and quality to new groups, etc.”
Marin notes that this will allow you to “maximize performance objectives, such as cost per lead, return on advertising spending, margin, or custom targets.”
This will help you manage large scale campaigns by exception, identify high-impact keywords and creative for analysis, and get alerted when performance drops or spikes in order to address issues proactively.
Elesseily suggests a few other tactics to try to boost PPC ad performance, including:
If there are specific geographic areas performing better than others, think about ways to increase volume in those regions, such as adding a geographic qualifier to any of your search terms.
This is similar to geographic targeting but focuses on time rather than location. If there are times when your traffic converts best, relocate your budget from the poor converting times to those good converting times to make the most of your company’s ad spend.
According to Elesseily, call tracking gauges the true impact of a campaign, both in online and offline conversions. You can do this by assigning unique phone numbers on PPC landing pages and seeing which ones make your phones ring most often, or assigning codes to landing pages and asking callers for the code when they call. Elesseily notes that you will need to sync up codes to your ads on your back end and optimise accordingly when doing this.
Conducting Adwords campaign experiments is another way by which you can test theories with a system that lets you easily revert an unsuccessful test group back to the original. You can test various hypotheses, split traffic evenly between a control group and experiment group and see results at both the ad group level and the keyword level. Elesseily notes that this will also allow you to solve internal or agency-client debates about “best” practices.
Once you’ve followed through these steps and improved your PPC ad’s visibility, conversion and overall success, your beautiful site, products and services will surely get the recognition- and purchases – they deserve.
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