8 Proven Strategies for Optimizing Your PPC Ads to Boost Sales
Optimizing your PPC ads can be difficult, time consuming and absolutely frustrating if you’re not an expert, but these strategies will help guide you.
Image Source: Vecteezy
The world of online sales is highly competitive, and you can no longer rely on organic searches to get sales. But it can be daunting to try different kinds of advertising, such as PPC ads, when you have no experience. Effective PPC advertising could be the key to boosting your sales.
But what is PPC exactly? In this article, we will explain how it works and show you proven strategies for optimizing your PPC ads.
What is PPC Advertising?
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is when a website, usually a search engine, displays your adverts based on your chosen keywords. You pay a fee based on how many people click on your ad. One of the first steps in your sales cycle stages is finding potential customers. With PPC advertising, you are drawing these leads to your website.
While native advertising uses links to your website or online shop that are subtly put into online posts, PPC search ads are much more obvious. On Google, the most popular place to put PPC ads, they are located at the top of searches and labeled “Ad.” Social media sites, such as Facebook, show them as sponsored posts.
Screenshot from Google
Why Use PPC Ads?
- They are cost-effective — No clicks, no payment.
- Target your demographic — You can create ads focused on your target audience.
- Algorithms have a minimal effect — This makes it more effective than relying on organic searches.
- Easy to set up and control — Once your PPC ads are set up, they are easy to monitor.
- Fast results — If done correctly, PPC ads can increase sales immediately.
Strategies for Optimizing Your PPC Ads
1. Optimize Your Keywords
Do your research before choosing your keywords. You are looking for words or phrases that get the most searches, but also attract an audience who are looking to buy. Phrases such as “how to” have high search rates. But they tend to be used by people who are looking for answers rather than shopping.
You also need a mixture of general and specific keywords. A general keyword has a high search rate and is typically based on the products you sell or the services you provide. A specific keyword may not have such a high search rate. But it is more related to your business.
For example, you are looking for keywords based on your cloud phone systems that are aimed at start-ups. One of your general keywords could be “cloud based phone system.” A more specific keyword would be “hosted phone system for small businesses.”
Screenshot from Wordstream
You should be updating your keywords frequently. If some aren’t getting the expected click rates, you can temporarily pause them. There’s no point in wasting money on underperforming keywords.
2. Research Negative Keywords
Is your website appearing in searches that are vaguely related to your company but not really relevant? This is where negative keywords are useful. Deciding which words you don’t want to rank for is as equally important as choosing your main keywords.
Negative words are search terms that look like they could fit in with your product or services but actually don’t. They are keywords that target the wrong audience. They are either words that could bring up your page in a search but are irrelevant or related to your services but something that you don’t provide. For example, an enterprise communications platform wants to rank for “business phone system”, but not “call center services”.
3. Target Your Demographic
When using PPC ads, you only want to attract your potential customers. This type of targeted advertising is successful because you can be very specific with your demographic. But this means you already need a clear picture of who your target audience is.
When choosing the demographic for your PPC ad campaign, you should look at all of your targeting options to find which are most relevant to your service or product.
- Gender — Are your products created for both genders or just one? This narrows your demographic straight away.
- Age — Is your product most popular within a certain age range? Or is there an age group you need to exclude entirely? (e.g., under 18s for adult products)
- Location — Is your Ad campaign worldwide or localized? A local business doesn’t want to waste money advertising to customers who are too far away.
- Job role — This could be important if your services are specific to a particular business sector.
- Income level — What is the typical income of your target audience? Does it match your pricing levels?
- Education — You may want to target customers who are still in education,
- Relationship status — A wedding venue will want to target couples who are not yet married. A club venue may want to attract singles.
For example, looking at Gmail Slack integration, the target audience could be business owners who are struggling with their team’s communication. You could look at what age group is already using Gmail and Slack. Would the integration be useful in a specific job sector?
4. Retarget Your PPC Ads
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is where you target your ads at those who have previously visited your page. This works by tracking site visitors and sending them customized adverts depending on their customer journey.
For example, an app developer who is trying to modernize their monolithic system visited a website looking for a monolithic application example. They may have further browsed the website looking at integration services the company provides. An advert targeted at them could offer a free demo of the services. This would link straight to the “ Request a Demo” form.
5. Test Your Adverts
A/B Testing your ads before they go live is so important. Small variations to your advertisements can make all the difference to your click-through rates.
A/B testing is when two or more versions of your ads are put through randomized tests. Each version of your advert should have a slight difference so you can find what exactly is attracting people to click on them. This can be font size, a slight change in wording, colors, or imagery.
Most websites that use PPC ads have their own A/B testing section where you can trial your adverts before they go live. They work by showing your A and B variations to a random audience who only see one of the adverts. At the end of the testing period, you will find out which ad was the most popular.
Once you’ve tested your adverts, you should have the most optimized option to use for your campaign. But if you are still unhappy with your results, you can experiment until you have created the most effective advert.
Screenshot from Facebook
6. Switch to Manual Bidding
Is your Google Ads strategy costing you more than you have budgeted? Many people decide that automated bidding is the easiest option when starting out with PPC ads. Automated bidding is when you let AI, based on algorithms, do the work for you. This can work in the short term while you’re finding your feet. But it can be hit and miss, especially long-term.
Making the switch to manual bidding gives you complete control over your PPC ads. It means you have to do the legwork, but if you have the time, it will be worth it. You can monitor performance and make bidding decisions yourself. You can make quick changes when keywords aren’t performing well. For those on a small budget, it also gives you more control over how much you’re spending.
7. Choose Which Channels to Focus on
Search engines are the most widely utilized, but social media also welcomes PPC advertising. If your Google Ads conversions aren’t doing well, look at the other channels your target audience is using.
Monitoring your channels is essential if you want to keep your PPC ads cost-effective. You need to be looking at click rates and conversion rates. If you are not getting clicks, your advert could be the problem. Search engines focus on copy and may not show a picture. Social media focuses more on imagery. So you can’t use one advert for all channels.
If clicks aren’t converting into sales, it could be one of two things. Your landing page isn’t optimized, or your target audience isn’t looking to buy. If your PPC campaign is failing on one channel, consider cutting your losses and trying another.
8. Optimize Your Landing Page
Once you have optimized your PPC ads, the last step is your landing page. Are those clicks going to convert into sales? Your landing page needs to be optimized to encourage page visitors to stay and buy. This means it must be visually appealing and easy to use. Get rid of any clutter and have a clear, consistent theme for your website.
Does your page load quickly? If not, visitors will get bored waiting and click off. Do you have a clear call to action? You need to make it as simple as possible for visitors to make a purchase or use your service.
These call-to-action tips should ensure that you have a conversion-worthy page:
- Highlight your call to action – It should draw the audience’s eye.
- Declutter your page – Busy web pages
- Create a sense of urgency – e.g., Book Now!, Limited Time Offer, etc.
- Experiment – Look at placement colors and wording to find the most effective call to action
- Optimize your keywords: Your keywords list should be constantly monitored and edited to remove any that are not cost-effective.
- Research negative words: Words you don’t want to be ranked for should be added to your negative words list. They are just as important as your keywords.
- Target your demographic: A PPC advert’s success rides on its ability to target specific audiences. Make sure you are taking advantage of this.
- Retarget your PPC ads: Returning viewers and customers are more likely to purchase as they are already familiar with your website. Draw them back in with remarketing.
- Test your adverts: Test your ads before they go live. Re-test them periodically to keep them optimized.
- Get to grips with manual bidding: Automated bidding may look like the easy option, but it is better to be in control. Take the time to get the hang of manual bidding for a more successful PPC campaign.
- Choose which channels to focus on: Once you’re running a successful PPC campaign, you can branch out to other channels. Don’t be afraid to ditch channels that aren’t working for you.
- Optimize your landing page: This is the final step in your PPC campaign. The ads have brought your customers to your page. Make it as user-friendly as possible.
If you are still trying to figure out whether it is worth investing in PPC campaigns, look at how much time you have to invest as well as money. Optimizing Your PPC Ads is an ongoing commitment. If you just set it up and leave it to its own devices, you will quickly exhaust your funds. So whether you are completely new to PPC ads or a seasoned pro, you can use these strategies to create a cost-effective ad campaign.