3 Best Practices for Your Google Pay Per Click Campaign

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Nowadays, if a customer is looking for a product or service, they “google it.” (i.e., look on the Internet first). So, it’s best to be one of the top results on the first search page… and with a competitive market, that probably means paying for that placement. Enter PPC or Pay Per Click. Google is not the only search engine that offers PPC, but they are the largest player.

We like to explain that PPC is the short game, where SEO is the long game. PPC is paid placement (like an ad in a magazine), and with a sound strategy, your business can show up on the first page of a search virtually as soon as you turn your PPC campaign on. Whereas SEO is more like publicity, it takes time to generate the exposure to gain authority in the “eyes” of Google and get a higher organic (non-paid) ranking.

If you’re interested in leveraging PPC as a tool to generate awareness and leads for your business, we’re happy to help. These practices will ensure your business shows up in front of the right people – for the right reasons – and early in the search result listings.

Research and optimize your keywords

When first beginning your campaign, you should be adding, removing, and searching keywords to comprise a list of keywords that place your ads in front of the right people at the correct times.

To build the most effective list, Google offers a keyword planning tool that tells you which keywords are ranking the highest on search pages. When you enter your PPC campaign homepage, navigate to the “Tools and Settings” tab; under the “Planning” section, you will see the Keyword Planner. Once you’re there, you can immediately start building your keyword list based on relevancy and popularity.    

Tweaking your campaign needs to be part of your strategy as well. You likely won’t have the perfect set of keywords the first time you implement your new PPC campaign. Consistent monitoring and regular improvements to your campaign elements (especially in the early stages) are essential to a successful campaign.

If your keywords are too broad, Google will place your ad in front of literally anyone and everyone in the generic audience framework – that could be people outside of your market or service area. This means more money out of your budget for your campaign and lower performance when those people realize you can’t provide the service or product they seek. Keywords are the search terms you desire your ad to appear for when a user types them into the search field. For example, if a user types “boating in Florida” into Google’s search field, advertisers who used keywords such as “Florida boating” or “boat rentals in Florida” will show up.

When first beginning your campaign, you should be adding, removing, and searching keywords to comprise a list of keywords that place your ads in front of the right people at the correct times.

Create an action-oriented landing page

The campaign doesn’t end when the user clicks on the ad. That’s just the beginning! They took the desired action; they are interested. Now, your PPC campaign moves from Google to your website, and ideally, a landing page created just to serve this campaign with info specifically related to the ad they clicked on.

This means your PPC ad should not link to your home page, main services page, etc. It should link to a page with specific content related to the ad’s content/call-to-action. Otherwise, you risk the user visiting your site and immediately leaving (bouncing) because they couldn’t get what they wanted easily.

What does the user see when they click on your ad? Does the page solve their problem? Does it provide them with what they’re searching for? These are questions that need to be answered when building your PPC campaign. If your landing page isn’t optimized to produce conversions, then you won’t be able to justify the money spent on the campaign. The page a potential customer visits must have a compelling call-to-action.

Maintaining your optimization score

Your optimization score is how Google determines how your ad ranks on their search pages. The higher your score, the higher your ad’s visibility in Google’s search results (i.e., page 1 vs. page 5). Your campaign’s optimization score is primarily based on three things:

  1. The relevance of your keywords
  2. Your ad and its call-to-action deliver what the user is searching for
  3. The user’s experience on your landing page after your ad is clicked

It’s crucial to keep an eye on your optimization score, especially when first setting up your campaign. You want your ad to be seen by as many of your target audience as possible. Your optimization score will be found at the top of the page of your campaign; this will always be visible no matter what tab you are under. There are a lot of moving parts when first developing a PPC campaign. When executed properly, the return on investment can be extraordinary. If you’re looking to start a Pay Per Click campaign and need a little guidance, contact us! Our expert team is more than happy to help.

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