PPC can be a great way to make money. It can also be a great way to waste money. It all depends on the effectiveness of your pay per click campaigns and how well run they are. Unfortunately, many businesses make mistakes that cause their campaigns to lose money, and they lose faith in the PPC process. What I’d like to show you today is how you can profit from PPC.
First, let’s get the basics on how pay per click works.
Under the Hood of PPC
Pay per click is an auction-style system, and the advertiser who bids the most for a particular keyword gets the most visibility. Through programs like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, marketers are able to specify how much they want to spend on visitors who click on their ads. They also make other decisions, such as whether they want their ads to show up in the search results or embedded within blocks of content.
At first glance, PPC looks straightforward. Choose your keywords, place your bid and watch the money roll in. But as you probably already know, PPC is hardly simple. If you’re not using the right keywords or conveying a compelling message, you may not be seeing much click-through action. And without that, you won’t be making any money, either.
Ways to Improve Your PPC Campaigns
In order to profit from PPC, you need to know which practices you should be following and which mistakes you should be avoiding. Let’s look at some of the things that you want to be doing to make your PPC campaigns successful.
Use Exact Match Keywords
One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make when rolling out their PPC campaigns is the use of broad match keywords. Broad match keywords show your ad for the chosen keyword as well as any other similar phrases.
The advertising program makes the decisions, so it’s out of your hands as to when your ads will be shown. While this could bring you more exposure, it also means that you’re going to attract irrelevant traffic, which isn’t going to help your bottom line.
To lower the chances of getting irrelevant traffic that you have to pay for, focus on exact match keywords. These keywords are specific and will only be shown for your chosen keywords. Broad match keywords are fine in moderation, just don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.
Negative Keywords are Important, Too
Negative keywords allow you to specify where you don’t want your ad to appear. This prevents you from wasting money on keywords that aren’t relevant to your business. Once you get comfortable identifying negative keywords in your campaigns, you can identify whole clusters of them!
We really like this article from Wordstream that discusses what negative keywords are. Also included is a free negative keyword tool.
Target Your Campaigns
Another way to make money off your PPC campaigns is to target the right audience. If you’re not specific enough on who your ads are shown to, you’ll end up wasting precious dollars. Luckily, identifying a target audience is easy with today’s targeting tools.
Here are a few things to consider.
Time of Day: If you are seeing more conversions at certain times of the day, you can set your campaigns to run at these times.
Geographic Targeting: Micro-geographic targeting allows you to select specific zip codes for the people who will be shown your ad. This is very useful if you want to focus on a specific region or offer something special like free delivery.
Countries: PPC accounts give you the option to show your ads to anyone in the world. If you are not yet an international business, only show your ads to U.S. residents. This is an easy way to save money.
Make Your Landing Pages and Ads a Team
It’s very important that your landing pages and ads match. If a person clicks on your ad and is directed to an irrelevant landing page, they may get confused or discouraged and back out of the sales process. This can also lead to lower ad quality scores. Then you’ll end up paying more for each click and getting less exposure! When creating your ads and landing pages, keep them consistent and useful for the user.
Test Everything You Do
There’s no reason why you have to be surprised with the results when your campaign is complete. You should be monitoring everything as you go and making the necessary changes.
One of the easiest ways to see how your campaigns are performing is by split testing different keywords. This way, you can get a better idea of how users are responding to the ads, and which ones are enticing them to click.
You should also know which clicks are bringing you sales. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for this, and it allows you to track your ads to see which ones led visitors to your website and which customers made purchases. This information helps you to better bid on the keywords that will bring you sales.
Keep Search and Content Ad Placements Separate
One last way to profit from pay per click is to keep your ad placements for search and content separate. Search network placement refers to PPC ads that show up in the search results, while content network placement means that the ads are included as blocks within the pages.
When marketers are new to PPC, they often times select both the search and content networks for their new campaign. They typically use the same keywords, the same ad content and the same payment amount for each click.
However, it’s much more beneficial to separate the ad placements so that they can be optimized for their specific network. To make the most of your ad budget, it’s worth it to customize your keywords, ad copy and keyword bids, even though it will require extra time. When you do this, you ensure that you won’t be paying money for irrelevant placements.
When marketers don’t plan their PPC campaigns accordingly, they usually end up with bad results. They then think that pay per click is a bad thing, when really, it’s not. You can make money off a strong PPC campaign, but you must use your keywords wisely, target your campaigns to specific audiences and keep your search and content ad placements separate from one another.
Also, it’s imperative that you continue to split test your ads to get a clear idea of what’s working for your audience. Patience pays off in this instance, so don’t give up when it comes to PPC working for your business.