By Jamie McGrath, Search Specialist, Chapter Eight Ltd.
So you've invested time and money into your business, the website looks great and you have some exciting new products, but without regular traffic your business is going nowhere fast.
Included in a strategic marketing strategy, paying for traffic is the most effective method of increasing visitors to your site. I believe Pay Per Click Advertising compliments other marketing methods and the big advantage is that it will reach your target market much quicker.
Setting up an Ad campaign can be tailored to your budget and it's easy to measure. You'll be able to specifically target your audience and know if they reached your website as a result of an advert. You are in control of the pages your visitors see, so you can sit back and watch your traffic increase.
Here's some advice to implementing a PPC campaign for your business:
1. Research your target market carefully.
Highlight and analyse your online competitors and look for those gaps that competitors aren't filling, the niches within your market to expose.
2. Be realistic with your expectations.
If this is your first time using PPC don't expect instant ROI, usually the first month or two can be used as a testing period to analyse the market and visitor trends.
Utilise as many research tools as possible to look for opportunities combining the use of Googles keyword tool. Google insights and Google trends will give you the in-depth information you need to target your audience.
3. Set defined goals for your campaigns.
Contact form submissions, document downloads or online transactions, you'll know what's important to achieve from PPC. Make sure you fully understand the analytic jargon that is often banded about.
4. The most effective keywords are competitive these days due to the amount of advertisers online but PPC ads are assigned a position the sponsored search results by 'ad rank'.
An adverts 'ad rank'is determined by a combination of the keyword bid and its quality score - a score out of 10 based on how relevant the keyword is to the page it is pointing to.
By creating relevant content adverts the quality score increases. Having a higher quality score means you can bid less and still achieve a high ad rank and position in the sponsored search results.
5. To increase the click through rate (CTR) of your adverts you should create advert copy that entices the user, offering something that is interesting and relevant to their query.
By including your keywords in your advert copy, users will automatically see them as a relevant ad and your keywords will appear in bold in the ad copy making them stand out to the user.
6. To entice the user to click on your advert you should include a call to action (a reason for them to click the ad) this helps give the user a sense of direction.
To really make your ad stand out it is important you separate yourself from the competition, having something extra to offer the user will increase your ad's popularity.
7. Having a good conversion rate is the most critical factor of PPC.
There is no point it having your target audience visit your website if they aren't converting into sales/leads. To increase the conversion of customers you should make it as easy as possible for them to buy, so instead of leading them directly to your homepage, try to select the most relevant page for them to land on.
8. Make sure your options to buy are clear and easy to use.
Difficult checkout pages and hard pages with no clear message often visitors so ensure your website is quick! Slow loading pages can leave users frustrated and they will be less likely to return.
9. Although PPC can bring about quick results it is still an ongoing development for many companies, you can't stop monitoring it and optimising your campaigns for better performance.
The best way to integrate your PPC campaigns into your existing marketing activities is to understand your target audience and how to address them through PPC.
Look at where the strengths are within your business and target keywords around that area or subject, from this you can then analyse how your key areas perform online.
10. Search engines are continuing to develop programs that monitor click fraud, they look at click patterns and ad's that have a spike of clicks or any other unusual behaviour that could be suspect.
Setting your campaigns to run only in the areas of the world you want them to will help reduce the risk of click fraud.
Keeping up to date with click forensics click fraud index will also give you all the statistics and figures surrounding click fraud, the report is produced every quarter and outlines the percentage of click fraud in particular areas.
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