A new year means a fresh start, a clean slate and new goals to crush. And for digital marketing professionals, pay-per-click will likely remain a big piece of the marketing strategy pie.
When it comes to pay-per-click marketing, there’s one thing we’ve found – most companies are wasting valuable dollars on their existing campaigns. And, more often than not, there are more leads to be found with some effort and optimization.
In this article, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite PPC optimization strategies, including optimizing your:
- Target audience: Make sure you’re targeting the right people with the right search terms at the right time.
- Creatives and messaging: Optimize your ad content – relevance is key if you want to create ads that convert.
- Landing page and user experience: Create an awesome landing page experience with a single, CTA, social proof, and relevant content.
- Measuring and reporting: In order to optimize ads, you need to know what to track and make sure your measurements are accurate.
PPC marketing is a proven way to get results fast. But like any other strategy, it requires regular tweaking, updates, and customizations.
Here, compared search:
- Why Google Ads treated the only pay-per-click (PPC) player in the city
- Why manual bidding is worth your attention
- Expert suggestions on PPC optimization in 2021
- What are core web vials and why they matter
We like to say that digital marketing is part art, part science. There are, of course, guidelines, procedures and steps – but without a heavy dose of creativity, your event is likely to outperform the competition.
Well-versed paid search marketers know this. They also know that experimentation, analysis, and optimization are key components for creating a PPC strategy that is not only successful but also sustainable.
Behaviour, competitors and algorithms change rapidly. To stay on top in your game, you have to catch up before anyone else arrives. Let these PPC optimization strategies guide your paid search efforts for the remaining 2021 and beyond.
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Switch to manual bidding
No matter how great your PPC ads are, they get the right results without the right bidding strategy. The strategy you choose for your bids depends on your campaign goals.
If you want to get as many clicks per set budget as possible, you can use the traditional automated cost-per-click (CPC) bidding system.
However, allowing Google to work for you comes with some downsides. One of them is the lack of an easy way to adjust if your campaign is not performing properly. Manual bidding can fix this problem. This practical, more customized bidding approach:
- Increases Ad Visibility
- Reduces your cost of action (CPA)
- Permits you to prioritize keywords that convert better
An advanced strategy is to switch from automatic bidding to manual bidding. Often, this requires a complete focus on strategy such as:
- Focusing on one campaign at a time, as this process can be time-consuming
- Lowering your bids for keywords that get solid impressions but generate sales
- Increase bids for keywords that change to increase the status of ads that are converting and to generate more conversions
- Choose a default bid that is close to the average CPC in your automated campaigns
When you take advantage of manual bidding, it’s a good idea to run a manual campaign for a few weeks to see if it achieves the goal of reducing CPC and generating sales.
But this strategy also means that it often takes longer to consider bidding the right amount at the right time. You can streamline this by setting automated rules to prevent poorly performing keywords, raising bids on the top or first page of the page, raising or lowering bids during certain times of the day, and more.
2. Take advantage of remarketing
Research shows that only 2% of potential customers convert on their first visit. Does this mean you are wasting your money on PPC ads? Of course not. All you have to do is promote their success by associating them with remarketing (or retargeting) campaigns.
This process involves using advertisements to follow potential customers who have clicked on your ads or visited your site. By placing your ad in front of them, they serve as a fascinating reminder of the action that is taken on your website.
Google Ads allows you to segment your remarketing lists to show ads to visitors based on their needs and the landing page to which the initial PPC ad brought them. Creating an ad group that has people who have already visited your landing pages can be the key to improving your conversion rate.
3. Explore Microsoft Ads
Google Ads is an infallible leader in the PPC marketing field. But this does not mean that others in the space are not worth exploring. For some companies, using Microsoft Advertising may be the only solution they have been waiting for.
What’s more, you can potentially see more success with Microsoft ads. Depending on your industry, there is often less competition on these platforms, which means lower CPC. But simply importing a campaign from Google Ads and forgetting about it means the disappearance of highly useful tools offered by other advertising platforms.
For example, Microsoft Advertising has:
- Action extension – Add call-to-action (CTA) buttons to your ad that link to the landing page of your choice
- Review Extension – Display reviews from third-party sites below your ad
- LinkedIn Targeting – See LinkedIn audience reactions to your ads for further adjustments
- Competition Insights – See how your visibility compares to your competition, which appears for similar search queries
4. Focus on Amazon Ads
Amazon Advertising presents another PPC optimization opportunity. While the audience covered by the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Facebook ads is huge, people who see your ad on those platforms are not necessarily in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey.
Amazon audiences, on the other hand, are usually closer to the bottom of the sales funnel. People who visit this shopping giant are ready to buy, which greatly increases your chances of conversion.
The types of potentially sponsored Amazon ads at your disposal are:
- Product – keyword-targeted ads that allow you to promote a particular product
- Brand – Help promote your overall brand by including up to three products in the ad (users are directed to the store page or custom Amazon landing page)
- Display Advertising – Send to people who click on the Amazon product detail page, a custom landing page on Amazon, or an external website
5. Take advantage of reactive search ads
After first appearing in 2019, the popularity of responsive search ads grew rapidly. This is partly because these ads allow you to create 15 headlines and 4 different descriptions for your ad. Google then tests various combinations of these elements and selects the elements that perform best based on factors:
- Keywords searched
- Equipment used
- Browsing behaviour
Reactive ads save you time and money on A / B testing by allowing you to reach your target audience faster.
6. Optimize Your Website
If you do not optimize your website to welcome your target audience once they are there, the results of your PPC campaign may fall well below expectations. So far this year, Google has stated that they will consider core web vitals when determining the ranking of your pages. These important things include:
- Display Loading – The page should load in less than 2.5 seconds.
- Visual stability – The page element should not move when the user is reading text (this usually happens when a piece of media is loaded), forcing the visitor to search for their lost space.
- Interactivity – The time between a visitor’s action (such as clicking a button or a tab) and the website response should be less than 100 milliseconds.
Core web vitals show how good a user experience should be, aiming to present it to your visitors. Improving them will not only improve search engine optimization efforts but will also help your PPC ad clickers actually convert.
7. Revisit your keywords
When was the last time you think of your keywords? This is a good time to consider things like expanding your current keyword lists, updating your negative keywords, and getting rid of poorly performing keywords.
Some keyword tweaks can bring great benefits. Even small actions such as adding adjectives, removing terms with low search volume, or terms for which your competition is ranking can bring you closer to more clicks and higher ROI.
8. Check-in your conversion tracking
We highly recommend using Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics (GA) for conversion tracking. Why? Suppose you want to fill the form. You can configure your tags in GTM, create those goals in GA, and import your GA goals into Google Ads.
This streamlines the conversion setup if you have the same goal for multiple channels (such as paid social and paid search, or SEO and paid search). You can also configure the Google Ads conversion tag to GTM (except GA, but this means that you are only recording Google Ads conversions).
As a bonus, once you link your GA and Google Ads accounts – which you need to do before importing targets – you can also create Remarketing Audiences in GA and have them in your Google Ads Can import into
PPC optimization is a continuous process. And with so many new options and updates every year, it is almost impossible to succeed without doing regular analysis so that you can enhance your strategies.
At the end of the day, the best PPC ads are clear, consistent, targeted to the right audience, and they execute what they offer.
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