June 17, 2016
Friday Focus

6 money saving hacks for pay per click advertising

Kate Gold is a partner is the Internet marketing agency Gold & Partners LLC in Avon, Conn.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a very valuable advertising tool. Its effectiveness cannot be denied. It's also a treacherously expensive tool if used incorrectly.

Spoiler alert! It's very easy to screw up a PPC account – 80 percent of the organizations using PPC tools like Adwords are in fact doing it wrong – and at great expense to their businesses.

PPC was born a bit of an oddity. In fact, you may remember getting snail mail from Google offering you $100 of free advertising just to use it. Now most of the content above the fold on search result pages is paid for by advertisers like you. The platform looks easy to use – and in fact it is.

But that's the trap. And a dangerous one.

It's easy to use – but very difficult to use well. Without a lot of training, 99.9 percent of the time you're going to waste precious marketing dollars using it. This fact leaves you with two options - either get yourself a well trained PPC consultant to manage your program or make sure you get well trained before using it.

In the meantime, here are six money saving hacks to help.

1. Don't combine PPC search and display

Unless you're making salad dressing I wouldn't recommend trying to mix oil and water, and for the same reason, you should not combine PPC search and display campaigns. They are two totally different beasts with two totally different purposes and need to be set up separately (each requires special training to use as well).

Search campaigns are a good tool to consider when one wants to target searchers with intent to buy while display campaigns are often best for branding – for targeting buyers at an earlier stage in the purchase funnel. Because of these differences, the advertising message, target audience and over all approach you use, need to be different in order to be successful.

2. Those most likely to convert or buy

If you are like most of us, and you aren't working with an unlimited budget you need to focus your campaigns on targeting those most likely to convert or purchase. Start with geo-targeting and change your Adwords target location settings from the recommended, "people in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location" to "people in my targeted location."

Why would you change from the recommended setting? Great question...let me give an example. If you're a restaurant or a retail store owner, you are better off spending your ad dollars targeting people living in your immediate area and who dine out or shop frequently. If you stay with Google's recommended setting, you will well end up inadvertently targeting someone in a state like Florida, who is researching Hartford restaurants for a trip they may never take.

3. Listen to the data

No matter how clever and creative you think your ad is – listen to the data – if the data says it stinks, then it stinks. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a client create a text ad they thought was pure marketing genius only to have the data tell them otherwise and that's OK!

Use optimization methods like A/B testing, dynamic keyword insertion and different ad copywriting techniques to constantly tweak your message. The key is to differentiate your offer from your competitors. And remember, an ad might have a strong click-through-rate but if the clicks aren't converting to sales you might want to rethink your message.

4. Use long-tail keywords

Use long-tail keywords whenever possible. Long-tail keywords are by their very nature more specific and therefore often produce clicks with higher buyer intent.

Take for example the keyword "glasses"… if that was all you bid on you could get clicks from people searching for "wine glasses" or "eye glasses" or even "magnifying glasses" and I doubt you sell all three.

By using a long-tail keyword like "women's eye glasses" you are more likely to pre-qualify your clicks and save your money for the clicks that count.

5. Use negative keywords

While we're on the topic of keywords… always, always, ALWAYS build negative keywords into your campaigns. Along with long-tail keywords, negative keywords help you weed out unwanted clicks.

When a word is added as a negative keyword, Google or Bing know not to serve your ad if a search query includes that word or words. By preventing your ad from showing in irrelevant search results, you'll save money, and create opportunities to have your ad served only on searches that are actually relevant to your product or service and that could lead to a conversion.

6. Improve campaigns weekly

Make sure you are spending time every week improving your campaigns. Most times when an account fails or wastefully burns through a lot of budget it's because the person managing the account isn't spending enough time working with it. This point is really important. Unless you're spending the time to consistently monitor and improve your campaigns, you will invariably waste money and miss valuable opportunities.

Beyond the tips you see here, there are other things to consider such as ad extensions, trying different keyword types and making sure your conversion tracking is turned on… oh and by the way, Google, Bing and others are always adding new features to improve user experience so staying on top of the changes is crucial.

PPC advertising is a great tool for advertisers - and one that can make a real difference to your bottom line.

Kate Gold is a partner at the Internet marketing agency Gold & Partners LLC. in Avon, Conn. To learn more about the firm visit www.goldpartnersllc.com.

Read other Friday Focus columns.

Friday Focus is an online-only weekly series of columns focusing on human resource, business legal issues, technology, and marketing. Interested in participating? Send an email to Keith Griffin at kgriffin@hartfordbusiness.com.

Comments

Type your comment here:

Free E-Newsletters

Sign up now for our daily and weekly
e-newsletters! Click Here

 
Today's Poll Is replacing Centerplan Cos. as builder of Dunkin’ Donuts Park the right move?<>
ADVERTISEMENTS
Most Popular on Facebook
Copyright 2017 New England Business Media