Even the best organic content can need a little extra push to amplify its power. Cost-effective pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can work alongside content marketing for a supercharged ‘hybrid’ strategy that delivers reliable results at scale. Here are eight tactics you can deploy right now.
Optimise for channels
It can be tempting to spread your PPC campaigns across a plethora of channels, but there is the risk of being too ambitious when a more targeted, streamlined outlook could work just as well or even better.
You can find out what your best-performing channel is at the moment by conducting a brief analytics audit. Defining your primary key performance indicator (KPI) and measuring PPC results against it will highlight what is really working and what might need improvement. You will also be able to spot channels that are actively supporting your efforts.
Taking a step back and understanding how these channels are performing will enable you to optimise your investments and come up with a budget that can drive ROI.
Analyse impression shares
You can also get more out of your PPC campaigns by optimising ad spend for search impression shares. When bidding on terms related to your brand, you want to know that they are delivering the impressions you need. This research will help you to overhaul your bidding strategies if you are losing out to competitors for certain keywords. It will also confirm whether other words you are bidding on are regularly converting.
Any issues here can be addressed by rebalancing your budget and focusing on branded terms that will deliver a greater impression share percentage. You should always be open to reallocating your budget when things are not quite working out.
Adjust bids by the hour
A bid adjustment is defined as the modification of a set bid by a certain percentage. This allows you to show ads to certain users more or less frequently depending on a range of factors such as the device they are using, their location, and the method of searching. Adjustments can drive a better ROI.
Manual bid management is usually aligned with keywords, but there are other ways to adjust bids, including by hour or day. You can even exclude certain days – for example, a Sunday – if you find that this period is less likely to maximise your returns. Setting up an ad schedule makes it easier to implement an optimised strategy, so head into ‘Account Settings’ and navigate to ‘Ad Schedule’, where you will be able to add hours of the day for each day of the week.
This section also offers a useful visual representation for your performance during the week, which can throw up valuable data at a glance without having to delve into a more detailed report.
Adjust bids by location
As noted earlier, location can also be used as a factor for bid adjustment. If you are managing a PPC campaign across the UK, you might find that certain regions or cities offer better results than others. Budgeting for bigger cities is important as you want to optimise spend to ensure that everything converts as it should. Regularly reviewing different locations and updating strategies will make PPC more efficient in the long term.
To do this, head into the ‘Geographic Report’ section of Google Ads. You can find this under the ‘User Location Report’ banner in the ‘Locations’ section. Location bidding works in a similar way to hour and day optimisation. You can remove a place entirely from your campaign if you think that it will help. You can also make lower bids on locations that don’t really move the needle in search.
Remember landing pages
Landing pages, the webpages that serve as the primary entry point to your site, also play a role in the success of your PPC campaigns even though they are not directly linked to ad accounts. Research shows that two-thirds of B2B enterprises use six or fewer landing pages and that these are a driving force behind lead generation, engaging hot prospects, and the collection of customer information.
Landing pages may not always get the attention they deserve as they exist separately to PPC, so certain elements cannot be easily adjusted or updated. It is important to remember that paid ads will get people to your site, but landing pages more often than not are responsible for sealing the deal. If you are seeing high bounce rates, it may be time to give them a bit more attention.
Take a closer look at conversions
Google keeps tabs on a myriad of user action types as part of its PPC tracking, and these actions can play a role in the bidding mechanism over time. You have full control over how many of these action types are monitored and whether they count as a conversion. Reviewing action types periodically will ensure that conversions are being counted correctly, which can go a long way to making your campaigns more effective.
Try to experiment
There is no silver bullet for PPC success, so you need to experiment and try new things if you want to achieve success in the long run. Google Ads actually has a very useful ‘Campaign Experiments’ feature where you can duplicate a setup you already have, adjust a few parameters, and then launch it alongside your live campaign as a test.
Test ad copy
Writing high-quality ad copy requires professional copywriting skills. You can work with an agency if you feel that you need to overhaul your ad copy to give it the best chance of driving higher click-through rates at a lower cost-per-conversion. The experiments feature in Google Ads is also a great playground for testing and optimising ad copy so that it catches the searcher’s eye and entices them to click through to a page.
The exhaustive list of checks listed above is something that you can refer back to time and again if you need to improve your account performance and optimise factors for a results-driven PPC campaign.