Pay-per-click advertising can be a game-changer for small businesses. But if you want to get the best results, you need to be strategic in your approach to developing search advertising campaigns.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices for improving your PPC Advertising ROI.
To start boosting PPC ROI, look at your account structure.
The first thing that you will need to look at when trying to boost your PPC ROI is your account structure. If the foundation of your PPC campaigns is not optimized then you will struggle to make significant improvements to your campaigns. Not to mention, it will be difficult to improve PPC ROI over time.
There two main parts of your PPC account that you’ll need to optimize are your campaigns and ad groups:
You can start by organizing your campaigns by relevant themes. Each campaign has different ad groups which focus on your chosen keywords. You will set up your budget at the campaign level. So you’ll need to decide which campaign topics you would like to allocate your PPC marketing budget to before you create ad groups.
Under each campaign, you will have relevant ad groups. These are more specific than the campaign level. Though there is no set number of ad groups that you should have under each campaign, try to keep it manageable. You don’t want to stretch your ad budget too thin across too many campaigns. These ad groups will contain around 10-20 keywords that will trigger your ads when users type them in the Google search bar.
After you have created ad groups, you’ll want to continue to look for ways to optimize and create more targeted groups. Look through your ad groups and find keywords that have a low-quality score or low click-through rate. This suggests that these keywords are not relevant to the ads in that group. Consider moving them to a different ad group with more relevant content.
Use the best keyword match type based on your objective.
When you create a text ad as part of your AdWords PPC ad campaign, you have the option to use different keyword match types. Your four options are broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, or exact match. Each has different pros and cons that you should consider before choosing the right type of keyword match type for your campaign.
Broad Match Type
Your default keyword match type is the broad match type. This reaches the widest audience as your ad will appear any time a user types in any word that’s in your key phrase. With this match type, the order that the words are typed in the search bar doesn’t matter. Additionally, Google may also show your ad content for ad queries that include synonyms for keywords that you’re targeting.
For example, let’s say that you are using broad match for the term “luxury condominiums.” Google may display your ad for people searching “luxury apartments,” “oceanside condominiums,” or even “luxury vehicles.” Notice that the last phrase is not relevant to your original keyword phrase, but because it contains the word “luxury,” your ad may appear.
Since broad match allows you to reach the widest audience, it’s a great way to drive the most clicks. However, not all of these clicks may be relevant. And as more irrelevant users click on your ads, your ad costs go up without improving your PPC ROI. For this reason, it’s important to be careful about how you use broad keyword match.
Modified Broad Match Type
Modified broad match provides some of the benefits of broad match, but helps you improve the relevancy of your clicks. This type of keyword match allows you to reach a wide audience, but provides better control over which type of search users will see your ad content. With modified broad match, you can lock in certain words in your keyword phrase to ensure that only search engine users who type in these specific words are seeing your ad content.
You can identify these locked in keywords by using the “+” parameter. This tells Google that in order for a user to see your ad, they must type in the specific keyword. For instance, “luxury +condominiums” tells Google that search queries must contain the word “condominiums” in order to see your ad content.
Using this type of keyword match helps you benefit from reaching a wide audience while minimizing the number of irrelevant clicks. Though you may still find that not all of your PPC ad traffic is relevant, this is a good way to reach more of the right types of consumers with your paid search ads.
Phrase Match Type
The phrase match type gives you even more control over who clicks on your ads than the modified broad match. With this match type, your ad content only appears for search engine users that type in your identified keyword phrases in the exact order you’ve entered them. However, it does allow other words to be before or after the keyword phrase.
Using the example above, let’s say that your keyword phrase is “luxury condominiums.” Using phrase match type, your ad many appear for people who type in “beach front luxury condominiums” and “luxury condominiums in Los Angeles” but not for phrases like “luxury condos” or “luxury lakefront condominiums.”
This type of keyword match helps you reach more relevant consumers as it ensures that they are using all parts of your keyword phrase. However, since your ad appears for search queries that may contain extra information before or after the search phrase, you’re still able to remain visible for a wider search audience.
Exact Match Type
Exact match type is the most restrictive keyword match type that Google offers, allowing you to reach the most relevant search engine users. As the name implies, with exact match type, your ad only appears to those users who type in the exact keyword phrase that you are trying to target.
With “luxury condominiums,” your PPC ad will only appear to those who search for this exact phrase, using those words in that exact order. On the one hand, this will help you reduce costs from irrelevant clicks. But on the other hand, you are restricting your traffic volume as the more specific search queries will have a lower search volume.
Make sure your campaign has negative keywords identified.
Another way to improve your PPC ROI is by using negative keywords. Negative keywords are words that your ads will not show up for in the search engine results. By using these keywords, you can help make sure that your ads are not appearing in front of search users who are just not a good fit for your brand.
For example, let’s say that you want to appear for the search phrase “operations management consulting” but you don’t want your ad to be shown to those who are searching for free advice. You can add the word “free” to your negative keyword list to make sure that you don’t show up for people who search for “free operations management consulting.”
If you do not utilize negative keywords, you can waste a lot of clicks on uninterested users. Since every click costs your business money, these clicks from irrelevant search users will drive your costs up and your return on investment down. Be sure to think carefully about which negative keywords you plan to use so that you can avoid clicks from consumers who are not a good fit for your brand.
Improve PPC ROI by determining customer acquisition costs.
Another important part of improving your PPC ROI is determining what your customer acquisition costs are and calculating your average customer value. Knowing what the average customer is worth to your business helps you determine how much you are willing to spend to acquire that customer.
The customer acquisition cost for your PPC ad campaigns can be calculated by dividing the cost of your PPC ad campaign by the number of customers that were acquired through that campaign. For example, if you spent $100 on an AdWords campaign and acquired 10 customers, then you customer acquisition cost is $10.
You will want to compare this acquisition cost to the total average customer value. For example, if the average new customer brings $10,000 in new business to your brand, then a $10 customer acquisition cost may be worth it. However, if they only bring in $100, then paying $10 to acquire a new customer may not be worthwhile to your business.
Once you determine the customer acquisition cost for your PPC ad campaigns, compare this to the average value for a customer over their lifetime. How much are you willing to spend to acquire a new customer? Knowing this information ahead of time will allow you to develop an adequate budget for your PPC campaigns. It will also help you be more strategic about which ad campaigns you run and which you decide to end.
Know what factors you want to test.
A/B testing your PPC ad campaigns is a very important part of optimizing your ads and achieving a high PPC ROI. If you want to maximize profitability, you need to A/B test different elements of your PPC ad campaigns until you find the perfect combination.
When A/B testing, it’s important to remember that you’re only testing one ad element at a time. There are four different elements that you will need to test to optimize your ads:
- Headline – This shows up as a blue link in the search results. It should reflect what you are offering and get to the point in 4-5 words.
- Body Text –The body text is much like a meta tag. This gives the search engine user more information about what you’re offering.
- Ad Link –The ad link is the page that your ad links to. This should be a targeted landing page that relates to your ad, instead of something more broad like your home page.
- Keywords – You can also test the keywords that your ad appears for. Certain keyword combinations may convert better than others.
Once you have determined which variable you want to test first, you’ll need to create two variations of your ad. Again, the only element that should change in these two ad variations is the element that you are trying to test. For example, if you are testing the headline, you will change the headline for each ad, but keep the text, link, and keywords the same.
As you run your test, monitor the results of each ad. Which ad is bringing in the most clicks? Which has the highest conversions? Once you find the right headline, you’ll also want to test the other elements of your ad one by one until you’ve found the winning combination.
A/B testing takes time, but in the end, it’s the only way to know for sure which ad variables are going to bring you the best results. Testing each element of your ad for each ad campaign can help you maximize your PPC ROI.
The Benefits Of PPC Advertising
If you are looking for a fast approach to getting as much traffic as possible for your website, then the PPC method is ideal. Unlike SEO, PPC has a higher guarantee of traffic because of its paid promotions. In most search engines such as Google, the paid promotions will be above any average search result meaning a higher chance of a PPC website being chosen first. Most PPC platforms will allow you to easily reach an audience of your choosing using their search method on who will see the add. This method makes it ideal for a niche website to reach its audience which may be obscure or thinned out.
PPC can be a great help to websites that have limited deals in need of exposure, allowing a large portion of traffic to visit your site at a short space of time can increase interest launching your site to the top. PPC is also highly useful for websites that don’t obtain or require high quality content (such a squeeze pages) and are used primarily for email subscriptions or to inform consumers of some valuable information that fits their needs.
The Negatives of PPC Advertising
Although PPC is an ideal tool for companies that need a lot of business in a short time, your websites content is the one true thing that will attract the right kind of traffic that you require for good business. SEO allows you to
space out and plan your optimizations, you are able to build a following over time and gain healthy recognition along with a more stable and reliable traffic. With PPC on the other hand, the quick pace of traffic flooding into your webpage may not allow you to update your website quick enough for most of the audience to see. Lacking in interesting content can cause your bounce rate to increase drastically which will affect your overall search results ranking.
It’s also important to note that different PPC search engines deals will have different pay rates. Some will charge more depending on your potential of good recognition, some will even charge more depending on the buzz of the keywords that you use.
PPC has a great way to reach a certain, specific audience through various sites, such as Facebook. The right attention of the right kind of audience for your product can be extremely beneficial, but once again if your website lacks in any substance that the audience will enjoy then damaging word of mouth could ensue, ruining your chances of gaining a decent reputation among your niche. You will have the advantage of paid promotions pushing you above the SEO searches, but the SEO sites will have gained respect with their thoughtful content and time to develop trust with their audience.
Predicted PPC Trends For 2019
The world of pay per click advertising is constantly diversifying. As new features are integrated and changes come around, the way advertisers can use the platform to market their products and services changes as well.
Keeping up with these changes can be tricky, and often the best way forward is to employ a dedicated agency to handle the running of PPC for your business – that is where we as PPC advertising specialists come in. Our job is to keep on top of the latest trends to ensure we are ready to handle the competitive world of online advertising for our clients.
Likely Changes To PPC Management In 2019
Audiences Over Keywords
With more and more emphasis being put on targeting demographics and advertising to specific types of people, we believe that 2019 will see an even greater shift to targeting ads at specific audiences over keywords.
This will most likely take place through an increase in users taking up more dynamic forms of marketing – such as re-marketing display ads, as well as video ads which are proving to be a highly effective means of sending out brand messages at a low cost.
Increased Use Of Automated Features
Automation within PPC advertising isn’t a new thing, in fact, it has been around for many years. However, the way in which advertisers now trust and allow Google and other platforms to make bigger and bolder decisions on their behalf has already changed and will continue to change as time goes on.
One big shift that was noted in early 2018 was the introduction of responsive search ads, which allowed users to experiment with up to 15 different headlines and 4 descriptions per ad. Google then uses data it collects to optimize the ad and pick the best performing headline and description.
Automated features such as responsive search ads are preferred by advertisers as they often allow them to save time and reduce workload in writing and enabling/pausing multiple ads.
Other automated features that are commonly used by advertisers include automated reporting, automated bidding strategies and ad scheduling.
CPC Will Increase Drastically
With an ever-increasing amount of advertisers using the PPC platform, it’s not surprising that on search campaigns, in particular, the average CPC for the everyday advertiser is likely to rise.
In order to keep conversion cost low, it is recommended that advertisers use a blend of channels such as a display, re-marketing and video in order to keep on top of their CPC and ensure it remains at a healthy level. On search especially, it’s a good idea to keep reviewing your CPC on your keywords, monitoring them and ensuring that you don’t pay over the odds on keywords that don’t convert to leads and sales.
The Power Of Voice Search Will Emerge
Although voice search has been around for a number of years, its strength as a notable form of advertising is only set to increase. Many internet users (and more specifically mobile users) are leaning towards voice search as a quick and easy way to complete searches, compared to the humble search engine text query.
As more search engine users turn to voice search in 2019, this will force advertisers to adapt their strategy to voice marketing. Voice search keywords, particularly questions e.g. “where’s the best place to eat in Sheffield” will become more prevalent and competitive, which will increase bids to a higher CPC.
Advertisers who are willing to optimize their account and bid more will come out on top when it comes to giving users an answer to their questions, giving them the best opportunity to convert the user to a customer.
PPC Ads Will Appear On Our TV Screens
In late 2018 Google introduced a new feature to allow YouTube advertisers to market their products and services onto TV screens.
With the introduction of TV Screens Device Placements, advertisers can specifically target their ads to users who are viewing content on TV screens and can target them with ads that are relevant to their demographics and interests to help push for better conversion rates and improved sales volumes.
Although there is a lot going on and changing in the world of PPC advertising, if you play your cards right, there is a lot to get excited about. By being on top of the latest news, trends and techniques, you can truly maximize your ROI when it comes to your online marketing campaigns, and in particular Google PPC.
Over the course of a number of years, we have seen the trend change from seemingly normal search advertising to a world that is filled with more and more intelligent technology, and with this comes more opportunity to apply new innovative methods of online advertising. Whatever the future may hold, 2019 certainly is an exciting year to be involved with the world of PPC.
It’s important to note that there is an unknown profit factor when it comes to PPC campaigns. Many businesses will still make a profit with click-throughs later on, even if it isn’t a direct conversion of the PPC ad. This is often the result of repeated ad exposure, making paid search advertising all the more important as a part of your digital marketing strategy.
If you want to boost PPC ROI, it’s vital that you follow best practices for paid search ad campaigns. The tips above are a great starting point for helping you optimize your PPC ads so that you can start seeing better results from your campaigns.
If you need more advanced help with your paid search ads, you may want to work with a PPC ad agency. A digital marketing agency that specializes in PPC ads can help take your campaigns to the next level using advanced tactics.