If you run a PPC advertising account on Google AdWords or Bing AdCenter, there are often many ways you can optimize your campaigns for better performance.
In short, there are numerous complexities and intricacies with PPC campaign management.
Even if you’re an experienced PPC advertiser, there’s still new things that can be learned. Below are five simple PPC optimization tips that can make impactful improvements in click-through rates (CTR’s,) conversions, and return on ad spend (ROAS.)
1. Explore “Dimensions” for Optimization Insights
In Google AdWords, the Dimensions tab can reveal a wealth of insights regarding the performance and activity of your PPC campaign. One of my favorite feature is “Search Terms.” This will show all of the search phrases that people have used to cause your ad to trigger. So if you’re seeing unwanted keyword variations under “Search Terms,” you can then optimize your keyword bidding (using more exact phrase match bidding,) or you can add certain variations to the negative keyword list.
2. Scope-Out PPC Campaign Settings
There’s many considerations you’ll want to address under the PPC campaign settings. The settings you’ll want to focus on with PPC optimization are:
- under the Network Settings, build your PPC campaign under “Search” or “Display” – never both together as one.
- under the Device Settings, it’s typically best to create dedicated, mobile-specific PPC campaigns rather than combining all devices
- under the Ad Rotation Settings, choose to rotate ads evenly. This will enable you do your own ad split-testing
3. Create Targeted Landing Pages
One of the biggest mistakes that PPC campaign managers make is using the homepage or some generic inside page as a PPC landing page. These pages often lack the ad group specificity and calls-to-action needed to compel a visitor to convert.
One of the best PPC optimization tips is to look at landing pages from inward perspective per ad group. So if someone is coming off an ad about “Ironman training programs,” the landing page should be specific to Ironman distance programs, not a generic page with various levels of training programs. Creating targeted landing pages will significantly improve the conversion value of your PPC campaigns.
4. Test Ad Placements & Ad Extensions, Relentlessly
An important part of PPC optimization is constant testing. Two elements definitely worth testing are the placements of your ads (determined by how high you bid on certain keywords) and ad extensions (features in AdWords that enhance the presentation and conversion goals of your ads.)
In most cases, bidding to earn premium ad exposure (the top 1-3 highlighted listings) is the best way to maximize your click-through potential and drive traffic to the website. However for local advertisers, having a right side placement paired with a “Location extension” (showing the address in the ad) can also make an ad pop.
Take some time to learn about each of the Google Ad Extensions and how you can leverage these features with various ad placements.
5. “Never Stop Exploring”
Those are some wise words stamped by The North Face. The PPC campaign management and optimization process never seems to end. Sure, you can eventually get your campaigns on auto-pilot mode. But with new updates and features constantly coming out (along with the opportunity to find new keyword targets,) you can never stop exploring new opportunities with PPC advertising.
One of the most powerful is mobile PPC advertising. For local marketers, this can offer a highly targeted way to capture mobile searchers seeking an immediate solution.