Paid search, also called pay-per-click (PPC) or search engine marketing (SEM), is a top-performing channel to generate quality prospects. Managed correctly, PPC could efficiently place your brand in front of prospects and assist with driving traffic to your site. But there are no shortcuts in paid search. To achieve optimal results, you should take the time to build out campaigns that are designed to beat the competition.
Here are four shortcuts you should avoid to help increase your PPC conversions.
1. Stop sending traffic anywhere but a PPC-optimized landing page
Landing pages are pages on your website that are built with two things in mind — a specific campaign and a precise goal or action you want your visitors to take. Landing pages, if designed correctly, can be very effective in achieving your business goals. Unlike other website pages, every element of a landing page should work towards a definite and measurable conversion, whether it’s signing up for something, providing an email address or buying your product. When you send people to a special page that was designed with an end goal in mind, things become much more streamlined and organized. As a result, your campaign should be more effective. Be sure to examine your landing pages for clear calls to action (CTA), strong messaging and few distractions.
2. Stop using location extensions
Appearing directly below your paid search ad, Google location extensions display physical addresses. Once you’ve spent time, money and effort creating an effective PPC campaign, the last thing you should want is to implement any action that will drive paid traffic anywhere but your landing page. That is exactly what a Google location extension will do. The address linked below your ad will go to the specified address on Google Maps. Therefore, with Google location extensions on, it means you may pay for someone to visit another Google service while simultaneously keeping them further from your CTA and preventing them from becoming a lead in the most streamlined way.
3. Stop spending on Bing until you’ve exhausted all paid search avenues on Google
When you are examining leads as a marketer you should analyze the number of clicks, the cost per conversion and the cost per start to find the highest quality and performing traffic for your dollars. Currently, based on our data, both Google and Google Mobile are outshining Bing in these areas. So squeeze every performing dollar out of Google. Then proceed to determine which other engines may also be useful (and practical) to scale your campaign.
4. Stop examining only one data point when analyzing ad copy tests
To make PPC really work for you, you should be constantly looking for ways to improve the click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CVR) of your ad copy. Most marketers make the mistake of analyzing CTR or CVR individually, but often do not blend the two measurements for a more holistic analysis. Our team here at Sparkroom has years of experience resulting in strong knowledge of best practices for PPC campaigns. Because the only way a paid search lead can convert is by clicking on an ad, our team recommends using the blended formula of conversions divided by impressions, equating to conversion per impression (CPI) to evaluate ad performance. This can get extremely granular, possibly looking at differences in the hundredth, thousandth or ten-thousandth percentages, but the CPI metric can go a long way in helping you optimize ad copy.
Always room to improve, optimize and maximize
There’s no doubt that great PPC strategy takes time and campaign management is a complex and evolving task. But there is always room to improve. As a new member of the DMS team, I am constantly amazed at the depth of knowledge of our paid search team. They have seen it all, and they never allow their methods to go stale. Our team here is brave enough to constantly question whether a tactic is still as effective and efficient as it once was, and they are courageous enough to go against the grain and stop partaking in others’ “best practices” that may not really deliver.
If you want to learn how you can optimize your PPC campaigns and maximize your efforts further, contact the DMS team.
About the Author
Ross Bucholc is the Director of Paid Media at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Ross oversees search, display, social, programmatic, mobile and affiliate programs servicing DMS clients across industries. The DMS Paid Media team focuses on customer-centric, real-time marketing using robust data from multiple sources to understand each customer’s journey and optimize campaign performance. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
More Content by Ross Bucholc