This is a guest post from Kevin Payne.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising remains one of the most effective ways to get new leads and drive sales, so naturally, you want to optimize PPC ads for your company.
For one thing, because a PPC campaign is centered on specific targeted keywords, you end up with more targeted traffic. This lowers the risk of getting the wrong leads and improving your conversion rates in the long run.
And, because paid ads are immediately rolled out, even for a new business, you can easily get results faster than if you’d relied on inbound marketing strategies like SEO.
While you can and should still focus on long-term inbound marketing strategies for your own site—organic leads will help lower cost in the long run—using PPC campaigns alongside these strategies can help you increase sales and justify the cost of running these campaigns in the first place.
Interested to see how you can create a high-converting PPC campaign? Here are our top 10 tips for optimizing your PPC ads to drive conversions and boost sales.
PPC optimization strategies
Update your keywords list regularly.
When you put out your first PPC campaign, you most likely had several keywords to cover. Because you pay a certain amount per keyword, review the performance of each one, then remove those keywords that aren’t performing as well.
You can divert your budget for those under-performing keywords for new keywords or to increase your budget for your better-performing ones.
Also make it a habit to add negative keywords. so you don’t rank for search terms that might get you the wrong kind of visitors. Negative keywords are essentially the keywords you don’t want to rank for—for instance, a wedding photographer wants to rank for terms like “wedding photography” but not “wedding videographer.”
You might also want to experiment with local keywords to get highly targeted traffic from people in your area. So, instead of simply using a keyword like “wedding photography,” you might go the extra mile and try to rank for “wedding photography Denver.”
Improve your website’s performance.
Next, you’ll want a website that loads quickly, as users are more likely to abandon websites that take more than 2 seconds to load.
If you want to check how fast your website loads, use tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, or Google’s Pagespeed Insights.
Ensure your website’s secure and accessible.
An accessible website is one that’s easy for visitors to read through and browse. Most of these have to do with design, such as using the right fonts, breaking up longer paragraphs, and using different content formats like images and videos wherever relevant.
There are some rules of thumb for great website accessibility you might want to look over and, as you’re doing so, be sure to also focus on website security.
Opt for https instead of http—search engines like Google penalize unsecure websites, and this could hurt your PPC campaign performance or lower visitor trust.
Create localized landing pages.
If your business operates within a certain vicinity, you should be making the most of localized landing pages to really hit the right people at the right time and place.
If you have multiple locations, differentiate each with their own landing page, making the experience more personal and relevant to your visitor.
This step is easy to do when you have a reliable website builder. Simply duplicate pages that may be dependent on location and optimize your copy to reflect this.
Use ad extensions.
Ad extensions are a free add-on to use for your paid ad campaigns, so you ought to take advantage if you aren’t already.
Some of the best ad extensions for a PPC campaign are sitelink, callout, and review extensions. These do well to let a user know what your site’s all about, what people think about you, as well as giving them a glimpse of what they can find on your website as a direct link.
You might also opt for extensions that enable users to call or contact your business directly.
Develop a re-marketing strategy.
A re-marketing (sometimes referred to as retargeting) strategy involves tracking site visitors and sending them relevant ads in other sites and platforms like social media.
This is a great strategy to convert leads into paying customers, especially if they weren’t ready to purchase the first time or you weren’t able to capture their email address or contact details.
A/B test everything.
A/B testing your ad campaigns should be a practice you do every time. Since so many factors can affect a customer’s propensity to click or purchase, you should be testing out different elements to see which have the most conversions.
For example, create multiple versions of your landing page and test different designs and headlines.
You can also A/B test your ads right from Google Ads under their Experiments tab. You can instantly link to separate landing pages and experiment constantly.
Capitalize on FOMO.
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, makes a fantastic tactic to drive more sales. There are many different urgency tactics that work well, and many successful campaigns often use a combination at the same time.
Right from your PPC ad, you can already use scarcity to draw people in. Including phrases like “sale ends in 24 hours” or “free X only until Y” or even “X spots/units left” can do great to elicit FOMO feelings in customers.
You can also use FOMO in your landing pages to further drive your limited offer. Here’s an example of a brand that uses multiple scarcity and urgency tactics to encourage sales.
Focus on the channels that deliver the most conversions.
Over time, you’ll see which of your ad channels are making the most conversions.
If you’ve spread out your campaign budget to multiple platforms and channels—for a start, consider search engines and a mix of social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn—then, eventually, it becomes clear which platform brings in the most customers.
This might take a while before you learn which are your best performing channels, but, once you figure out what they are, focus on pushing more budget to drive traffic through these channels to increase conversion rates and maximize ROI.
Brush up on your copywriting skills.
Last but not least, copywriting is one of the most important parts of your PPC ad. Because these ads appear as search engine results, you don’t have much real estate to showcase photos or videos.
Instead, your copy becomes front and center. If this is your first few PPC campaigns, one of the best ways to get a good ROI is hiring experienced copywriters who’ve worked on similar campaigns in the past.
So, if you’re a B2B company, for example, you’ll want to employ the help of experienced B2B copywriters who know exactly how to market your service to your ideal customer.
Image source: Visme
Whether or not you’re about to create your first or even fiftieth PPC campaign, it’s worth knowing strategies and tips that’ll help you optimize your ads, increase conversions, and boost more sales. Use the strategies above to see how you can keep tweaking your PPC campaigns, don’t be afraid to experiment, and find ways to make good ads even better.
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.