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Executing efficient paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns is no easy feat. Successful PPC campaigns should be optimized based on the latest search engine updates and other online trends. Maximized paid search campaigns can increase your visibility and lead to higher conversion rates, resulting in more success for your brand.
Take a look at these PPC tips for 2018 to improve performance amidst the ever-changing marketplace. Keep in mind, there’s much more to PPC campaigns, but these are the top tactics we see marketers failing to maximize.
1. Get granular with your geo-targeted campaigns.
Getting granular with your geographic targeting (GEOs) means structuring campaigns based on historic zip code and keyword performance. We always recommend zip targeting and never radius/DMA/state/country targeting because broad targets almost always include demographics that aren’t in your target audience, resulting in wasted money.
You should designate tiers, grouping your audiences based on historic zip code and keyword performance. Assign the most budget to the zip codes/keywords that have historically performed best, because these campaigns will attract prospects that hold the highest potential for converting. From there, you should tier campaigns further based on a combination of historic zip code and keyword performance. Daily campaign budgets should decline as you work your way down the tiers.
2. Implement dayparting.
Run performance reports by hour of day to identify when your brand sees the most qualified and unqualified traffic.
Remember, your time zones must work in conjunction with your zip codes. If your campaign crosses over multiple time zones, break out your campaign by time zone for the most accurate view of what your performance is by hour and location.
Check your data and be sure your campaign is getting the most out of its most active hours.
3. Leverage Customer Match.
Leveraging Google’s Customer Match service allows marketers to target specific individuals from a list of gathered emails via paid search, Gmail and YouTube ads.
- Search Network and Google Shopping Ads: When a user (signed into a Google account with an email address matching the file you uploaded) searches for a term you are bidding on, your bids can be customized to bring your brand’s ad higher (or lower) in the search results. These campaigns result in improved performance, because you’re adjusting your bid based on a consumer’s past activities.
- Gmail Ads: Here, your brand can reach your targeted audience and other relevant individuals through personalized text ads that populate at the top of their inboxes.
- YouTube Ads: YouTube ads will bring in the most impression volume, however YouTube users are generally focused on viewing videos and not responding to ads. For this reason, YouTube is generally ineffective if your goal is conversions, but it can be effective for branding efforts due to the high volume of impressions.
Our suggestion is to focus on the Search Network/Google Shopping ads and Gmail ads if your goal is to drive conversions.
We’ve seen Google Customer Match work most effectively for re-engagement campaigns to nurture a lead to conversion.
4. Try a Spanish campaign.
If part of your brand’s demographic includes Spanish speakers, consider reaching this audience through Spanish-language paid search campaigns.
The Spanish market is often ignored in search campaigns, but it represents incredible potential. The volume of Spanish campaigns might not be comparable to the volume from the English market, but Spanish competition is sparse so the Spanish cost-per-click is much more affordable than the English market.
5. Use countdown ad copy as a milestone date approaches.
If your campaign revolves around a milestone date, countdown ad copy typically performs well, driving higher click-through and conversion rates. Countdown copy is set by using a formula in your ad copy that notifies Google of a start date and when the countdown should begin and end. As the milestone date approaches, the countdown appears within the paid search ad until the final run day, when the ad automatically stops serving.
Countdown campaigns can and should be set up ahead of time. Schedule your campaign to begin counting down 10 days out from the milestone date. We’ve found beginning the countdown prior to 10 days out does not create the same sense of urgency.
With PPC campaigns, advertisers always need to be on top of their game to maximize results. As search engines roll out updates, pay-per-click campaigns need to evolve as well.