Five Ways to Increase Returns on Pay-Per-Click Spending

With the impact that technology has had on consumer behavior, digital marketing is a necessity for those who want to survive and compete in the global landscape. Perhaps this is why so many small businesses are investing in online advertising today.

Pay-per-click (or PPC) advertising is a popular marketing strategy today because it is relatively easy to generate quick results and measure return on investment. However, many companies see their competitors making headway in customer acquisition while they are left behind. What are these companies doing that they are not? Here are some ways to increase returns on PPC spend.

Think Mobile First

A significant amount of web traffic is coming from mobile devices and this percentage is only going up. Therefore, businesses need to think about using mobile-specific ads to capitalize on this web traffic. Research has demonstrated that mobile-specific ads result in a better return on investment due to an increased click-through rate. Most advertisements look a little different on mobile devices than they do on desktop computers. For this reason, it is important for businesses to take the time to optimize their ads for mobile.

Pick the Right Keywords

PPC advertising is built on consumer search queries. People use search engines like Google to find things they want to buy or services they need. In order to reach these potential customers, the content of your PPC ads and on your website need to match the keywords people are using in their search queries.

Developing a keyword strategy will set your business apart from the competition. Keep in mind that broader keywords tend to be more expensive because more people are using those terms and more companies are bidding to use them in their ads. For example, someone who is looking for a doctor is going to use the word “doctor” or “physician.” Targeting this keyword as part of a PPC strategy is going to quickly use up your entire budget. Instead of using the general terms, target a specific type of doctor in a specific location to create a long-tail keyword. This will help to narrow down the type of people searching for your specific product or service, leading to increased returns on PPC spend.

Create Several Ad Groups

When businesses create online ads, they often load them up with many common keywords. They hope that out of the many people that view these common keywords, they will get a few people to click on the ad. The reality is that this will hurt your campaign because there will be a significant amount of uninterested visitors who will see that ad but won’t click on it. When this is the case, your quality score goes down while your cost per click goes up.

Google uses a quality score based on the keywords, relevance, and landing page content that is associated with your PPC ads. Instead of common keywords, create several different ad groups using variations of long-tail keywords and link your ads to strong landing pages. This will attract targeted visitors and lead to a higher quality score, improved ad positioning, and a higher conversion rate.

Don’t Be Afraid to Test

Experimenting with your PPC ads is a savvy way to yield a good return on investment. A/B (or split testing) ads helps you understand your target audience and learn what triggers them to engage with your business.

When creating paid search ads try out different headlines, descriptions, and taglines. For example, try headlines that ask a question versus statement headlines. You can also test out various calls to action to see which ones work best to generate clicks and test different landing pages to see which ones prompt visitors to contact your business.

Keep in mind that people tend to use their mobile devices more during the day than they do during non-business hours when they’re at home. In addition to creating different ads for mobile devices, consider decreasing mobile bids during evenings and weekends. There is less mobile traffic during these times anyway and it can help to maximize the return on every dollar spent.

Don’t Forget the Landing Page

When businesses are thinking about a PPC campaign they may be so focused reaching the number one ad slot for all of their keywords that they inadvertently overlook where the ads take visitors.

Most website landing pages are filled with informational content that passively engages visitors. PPC landing pages must be designed for conversion —  meaning they must get visitors to take a desired action. Think about the content on the landing pages linked to your paid search ads.

  • – Are the features and benefits of your product up front and above the fold?
  • – Does the page have clear calls to action that prompt visitors to take the next step and contact your business?
  • – Is the phone number and contact form easy to see and use?

Including these elements in your PPC campaign will ensure that your ads are effective and your landing page generates leads.

In the end, these are only a few of the many tips and tricks to optimizing the return on investment of a PPC advertising campaign. While these pieces of advice are good to get a company started, it is vital for every business to stop and reassess the effectiveness of their ad campaign periodically. Depending on the results, you may also want to call in a paid search marketing agency to help you discover how different facets of the campaign can be adjusted to optimize results or create a new campaign altogether. The benefits of taking each of these steps will be reflected in the increased profits of your bottom line.