Welcome to the blog post all about increasing your Return on Investment and turning your PPC campaigns into profit machines. You’ll learn about some of the easy ways you can better your conversion rate and transform the cost-per-acquisition in your Google Ads marketing strategies.
One of the first things businesses should consider when looking at ways to increase their return on investment (ROI) is the landing page. This is often an overlooked part of setting up the PPC Campaign.
Think of it this way. You could have the most incredible storefront with banners, neon lights, and enticing window displays but when customers come inside they can’t find anything they want and the layout of the store just doesn’t make sense. So they leave the store to look elsewhere.
This is what could be preventing clicks from turning into converting customers. Your Ad may look great on Google and be saying all the right things but your landing page does not deliver on that promise.
So, what are some best practices when setting up a landing page optimised for a Google Ads PPC Campaign? I’ve put a list together of the most impactful traits best performing landing pages have:
1. A stand-out headline and sub-headline simply explaining the product or service
2. One main, focused call to action. Whether this is a form or button. Don’t overcomplicate it, make it easy for the user.
3. Clearly outline the features and benefits of your business. No need for flowery writing here. Keep it short and simple.
4. Hopefully, you have some happy clients who would be more than willing to give testimonials, you really want to have this to build trust or social proof supporting your brand, product, or service.
5. Strong Hero Image (Graphical or Photographical) and contextual elements to guide users towards CTAs.
Deciding which keywords to use is the meat of your PPC Campaign. Ultimately, the choices you make here will have the biggest impact on the amount of money you’ll be spending on clicks and how many of those clicks are likely to turn into conversions.
So how do you make sure you’re picking the right keywords? I’ll give you an overview of how the keyword journey should look and some tips on how you can really maximise your ROI.
The first step is research. You need to think about the type of queries potential customers will be using to find your product or service. To help you, use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner. (Ultimate Guide To Google’s Keyword Planner).
Within your list of keywords, you should have a mixture of short-tail and long-tail keywords. A short-tail keyword is something more general, often two or three words long such as ‘blue shoes’ or ‘plumbing service’. These are usually most often seen when users are in the research phase of the buying process.
However, a long-tail keyword is seen as users become more informed about their potential purchase and are searching more specifically. Perhaps three to five words long. This could be ‘blue running shoes for men’ or ‘plumber to fix shower’.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using different types of keywords. Short-tail keywords tend to attract more traffic and whilst this may initially appear a good thing it does mean they are more competitive and therefore can be more expensive. Equally as mentioned above, short-tail keywords indicate the user is in a research stage and therefore not a particularly warm lead.
Long-tail keywords on the other hand are much lower volume traffic-wise but the intent will be stronger as they are further down the sales funnel and ready to make a purchase. Because there is less competition, you can find some keywords significantly more profitable despite the lack of traffic.
So, overall you want to experiment throughout your PPC Campaign journey with a mixture of long-tail and short-tail keywords. Finding out which words have a better cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and then you can decide which keywords are profitable and you want to keep and which ones are costing you too much and therefore need to be binned.
Make sure you are checking this regularly to see which keywords are soaking up your daily click budget. It’s important to make sure you have enough data however before you decide which to bin. If you’ve only had five clicks with no results and are thinking about removing this keyword then how do you know the next five keywords won’t all convert, making this keyword hugely profitable?
In summary, keywords aren’t a “set and forget” task. It needs to be part of an overall PPC strategy which you are continually reviewing, researching, and adapting depending on the needs of the campaign.
The last point on the keyword journey is negative keywords. Developing an extensive negative keyword list is imperative to driving down that CPA and getting you more bang for your bucks. If you aren’t familiar with negative keyword lists then be sure to check out our blog for more. (Negative Keyword List).
Building on the point about the importance of keywords we need to look at Ad Groups themselves and how they are structure. Setting these up in the most effective way can yield far greater results than just plonking them together.
Ad Groups need to be organised by grouping together closely related keywords. And when we say closely, we mean closely. The reason for this is you want your Ad Copy to be a relevant as possible to the search terms your potential customers are using.
Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) are much discussed among digital marketers, whether this is the best strategy or not is a different debate but sometimes it’s necessary to have just one keyword in an Ad Group as the rest of your keywords aren’t closely associated with that specific term.
To give an example you might have ‘market research company’, ‘market research firm’, and ‘market research’ in one Ad Group. Whilst in another you would have ‘market intelligence company’, ‘marketing intelligence service’, and ‘marketing intelligence’. Now although both intelligence and research may be closely related in reality, being able to create bespoke Ad Copy can truly increase your conversion rates and thus maximise ROI.
If you are still unsure of which keywords should be group together, either create SKAGs or think, can I closely match all these search keywords within in my Ad Copy and will someone who search this term believe this Ad Copy is relevant to them?
Let’s look at some quick wins you make right now to improve the profitability of your campaigns. The device type is an interesting part of the campaign. Before we go into details, I must stress that it is different for each campaign and you must do your research to know which changes are right for your business.
On average (for most industries) people tend to make their purchases on a desktop rather than their mobile or tablet. Mobile devices and tablets are usually where people do their research before later accessing a desktop to complete the purchasing journey.
It can therefore be advantageous to only target desktop devices and some PPC managers will do this by default on every campaign. However, if you do this you may well be missing out on some profitable traffic. This is why, as with most aspects of PPC Campaigns, it’s important to test and track, and be led by the data.
If you find a particular device type is converting well then you will want to focus the energy of the campaign here. You can do this using bid adjustments. Adding a negative bid adjustment will mean the proportion of the daily click budget you spend on the device is decreased and the majority of the budget will be focussed elsewhere (ideally on the more profitable device types).
Learning about device types can seem intimidating but you can save a lot of money very quickly by shutting off devices that are just not profitable and focussing budget into your highest converting traffic.
Location Targeting is another easy way for you to waste click budget and reduce ROI. I know many businesses who have just targeted the whole of the UK without giving it much thought.
Let’s say you are selling a premium product such as a luxury candle. You’re selling it for £100. You serve all people in the United Kingdom. Instead of simply targeting the whole UK you can dive into the data a work out where your customers are most likely to be from. You may already have data from existing customers and this should be absolutely factored in. Additionally, you can look at certain areas where the average earnings are higher and more disposable income is available. People in these areas are more likely to buy a premium product than those in less affluent areas.
Equally, if you are mainly B2B then you may want to target just major cities where businesses are more often located than rural areas. The more specific you can be with your location targeting the higher your conversion rate will be and the better your overall ROI is.
Let's look at Demographic Targeting Age and gender are the big ones here. But I will start with a disclaimer, Google only has this data if the user has given this information, the majority of users are largely unknown.
Despite this, excluding certain ages or genders can be a very savvy way of saving money. For example, if your customers tend to be in high up roles then it’s unlikely they will be younger than 24, so exclude them. Conversely, if you are selling gaming equipment then you may wish to exclude the over 50s.
In terms of gender, it may seem obvious, but if you are selling high heels then you will probably want to exclude men. Do think carefully about it though, with the high heels example you may find men buying shoes for the girlfriends. In this case, you may want a separate campaign focussed on men buying gifts for their other halves.
There is no hard-set rule here, you will need to go over your data but by excluding large portions of your audience you are only going to narrow down your campaign’s accuracy and increase the conversion rate.
I hope the above article has been useful to any business considering the benefits of PPC or Google Ads for their customer acquisition.
If there’s anything I’ve missed or if you have any questions, please get in touch and I’ll be delighted to assist. I can be reached on my direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
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