PPC Advertising can be extremely competitive, not only are you competing with direct competitors for positions and keywords, but you are also competing against larger businesses who will be driving the CPC (Cost per Click) bids up.
You can not afford campaigns and ad groups that are not up to par with your competition or which are bleeding your budget dry. Here are 5 things you MUST be doing in order to manage a successful PPC campaign in-house.
Do your research and know your competition – This may appear to be common sense or a “given”, but we are surprised, as an agency, at how many accounts we take over that have not adequately researched their relevant sector and their competition. Big companies invest a great amount of time and money into their research, there is nothing unethical about learning from these companies. Do your research and study your competitors’ ads!
Hot on the heels of learning from your competition is practice…
Write better ads – Make sure that your ads are specific and extremely relevant to the Keyword(s) you are bidding on for this ad. We recommend that in most cases, a single ad has no more than 5 keywords. Your ads should possess good keyword density and this is unachievable if you are associating the ad with too many keywords. Look at your big competitors and the language they use, although you may not like the wording, your potential customers certainly do. Large organisations thoroughly test their ads to ensure a return.
Keyword Research – There are plenty of tools available for stalking which keywords your top competitors use. Use these tools and build your keywords around profitability, not gut feeling. A pretty good “free” tool for looking at the competition, but not always accurate, is SpyFu.
Landing page optimization – Make sure you know exactly where your traffic is going. Particularly with e-commerce, you need to make sure that they are landing on product pages, not category pages. Keep your checkout process to 3 steps, for every step beyond this you will see a drastic increase in a number of users abandoning the checkout process. You need to also make sure you have tracking codes set up correctly so that you can remarket.
Keep up with new ads and offers – AdWords is like a garden, it needs constant tending. You absolutely need to be working on it daily, getting up your new offers and adjusting ad groups. Make sure to always split test all new ads and offers and then advance the winner.
If you take these 5 steps into account when optimising your ads and PPC campaigns, you will be on to a winner, and will hopefully start seeing beneficial changes in traffic, conversions, and overall custom.