No Jedi ever became a master overnight.
Likewise, not every pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaign is going to show its full potential right out of the gate.
Yes, there will be immediate successes resulting from your quick rise to the top of the search page. (I’ll cover these in just a sec.)
However, it could take months of collecting data, analyzing the results, and optimizing your strategy to really tap in to the true strength of your paid advertising efforts.
Bottom line? If you can learn to be patient, the Force will be strong with your PPC campaign.
Refresh my memory. What is PPC again?
Pay-per-click advertising is exactly what it sounds like: you only pay when visitors click on your ads.
Paid ads will appear above organic search results, so they’re more likely to be seen and clicked on. This method of quickly generating traffic can be really effective if you know how to get it right.
Short-term benefits of PPC include better visibility, increased site traffic, and an immediate return on investment. Long-term benefits include steady profit growth, customer retention, and improved brand recognition.
Another great short-term benefit of paid ads? Gaining an edge over your competitors.
No matter what product or service you sell, your business has its competitors.
And you can bet those competitors aren’t just sitting around relying on organic traffic to help them reach more people and sell more stuff.
Paid ads are an integral part of your digital marketing strategy, so understanding how a PPC campaign develops and grows stronger over time is critical to making sure you get it right.
Think of those first few months as a recon mission.
You want to go in, get the lay of the land, gather all the data you can, and use it to increase your chances of success.
Think about what you already know about your target audience. Then, look at things like what’s been attracting the most attention, what visitors are clicking on, and what products are your top sellers.
From there, you can use that data to fine-tune your keyword list and hike up your conversion rate.
Why are keywords so important?
Pay-per-click advertising is all about optimizing keywords and phrases to bring in more traffic. That’s pretty much the whole idea.
The thing a lot of people forget is that keyword research never sleeps. (Or, more accurately, you shouldn’t allow it to sleep.)
Consumer wants and needs are always changing, and so is the way they search. If you aren’t consistently updating and expanding your list of keywords and phrases, you could be missing out on the opportunity to attract new customers to your business.
At this stage, you’re making the leap from more traffic to higher-quality traffic.
Here is where all that Jedi patience pays off and you will start to see your PPC campaign shine.
With the right keywords and phrases, you can now create relevant ads and, even more important, ad groups.
Just like it sounds, an ad group is a collection of ads built around the same keywords or phrases. Using ad groups brings a whole new level of organization to your PPC campaign that will reduce your return on ad spend and increase conversions at the same time.
Experienced PPC masters will also be optimizing for negative keywords.
Negative keywords are those that prevent your ad from being seen by the people you know would not benefit from your product or service; this cuts down on unwanted clicks.
(You can read more about using keywords in paid advertising in our blog, Keywords and PPC: How It Works.)
Once you have your keywords locked and loaded, then what?
Now your ads need to actually go somewhere—preferably to a landing page that aligns with the messaging in your ads.
If you’ve put in the time and effort to ensure your keywords are on target, why risk sending potential customers to a landing page that doesn’t follow through and steer them toward conversion?
Your ads might be out of this world, but a poorly designed landing page can destroy all of your hard work at warp speed.
Find out everything you need to know about landing page optimization here: Landing Pages are Important! Here’s Why You Should Optimize Yours before Your Next PPC Campaign.
At this stage in your PPC campaign, you begin to understand the value of consistency.
Regularly updating your keyword list means you then need to optimize your ad copy to ensure it stays relevant, which in turn means you need to optimize your landing page(s) for the same reason.
Maintaining consistency across all elements of your PPC campaign will not only boost your click-through rates and drive conversion, but it will also help you get more results with less money.
Why? Because when you know what’s working and what’s not, you know exactly where to funnel your ad spend for the best return on investment.
From here on out, it’s all about using the right tools to keep improving.
Take advantage of actionable metrics like split testing, also called A/B testing, which lets you create two different versions of your ad and divide them between your existing traffic to see which one performs better.
Geographic targeting, or geotargeting, also benefits your PPC efforts and saves you money by making sure your ads are seen by people in the locations you choose—which increases the chance of conversion.
And let’s not forget about retargeting.
Retargeting (also called remarketing) is a very simple way to keep your brand in front of people who have already visited your website. Basically, you install a small piece of code on your website that allows your ad to “follow” visitors to other sites they may visit.
For example, say you searched for “hiking boots” on an outdoor retailer’s website. Later, when you are on a different website researching how to train your new puppy, you may see an ad for those same boots from that same outdoor retailer. Boom—retargeting.
Finally, let’s not forget about ad extensions.
Ad extensions are like free extras you can tack on to your ads—such as a business phone number, sitelink or customer review—to increase engagement and open up new opportunities for growth. Check out our awesome blog on ad extensions to learn more.
All of these tools will help you continue to optimize your paid ad strategy so your ads stay relevant and your profits continue to grow.
And that, young Padawan, is how your PPC campaign will get better with time.
Help me, Solutions 8. You’re my only hope.
If the thought of PPC management makes you want to escape to a galaxy far, far away, we can help. Consider us your friends in the resistance—ready to provide the resources you need to achieve victory and reap the rewards.
Search trends are changing all the time, which means you need to be optimizing constantly to ensure your paid advertising efforts continue to be successful.
Lucky for you, we’re the best in the galaxy.
Here at Solutions 8, we know how to manage paid traffic like Han Solo knows how to pilot the Millennium Falcon.
Our Google AdWords team is in the top 3% of all Google Partners for performance and customer care.
Our Facebook team was tapped by Infusionsoft—the leading CRM and marketing automation tool—to train their entire partner community on Facebook Ads.
We are Digital Marketer Certified Partners, which means every member of our staff has gone through Digital Marketer training and certification.
So, yeah, we can help.
And may the Force be with you.