How valuable are your PPC ads? To put it differently, how much are you getting out of them? Return on investment (or return on ad spend) is one of the key considerations for any PPC campaign; in many ways, it’s the ultimate metric for evaluating your campaign’s success. And actually calculating your ROI is fairly simple. Consider this basic formula: (Revenue – Ad Cost)/ Ad Cost. That’s really all there is to it.
But what if you run the numbers and your ROI isn’t nearly as high as you’d like it to be? What steps can you take to actually improve your PPC ROI? In this post, we’ll summarize a few effective strategies.
Before we can begin looking to improve ROI, it’s important to have tracking in place so that you can record how many leads your PPC campaign is generating. The most common way to do this is by placing a snippet of code, or pixel, on each page of your website. This pixel allows you to determine which phone calls, form submissions, or e-Book downloads came from users who clicked your ad. Once you can accurately track how many leads are coming from the campaign, you can assign values to each lead and begin working on steps to improve your PPC ROI.
Determine Your Match Types
One of the first things you should do is look at your keywords, and specifically check the match type you’ve selected. Does your campaign default to broad match keywords? If so, that could be eating into your margins.
When you select broad match keywords, what it means is that your ads are being shown to the widest audience possible—and while that may sound like a good thing, it actually means you’re throwing away money on ads that produce unwanted traffic.
An easy solution to this problem is to change your keyword match—whether to modified broad, phrase, or exact. This gives you more control over the traffic you’re getting, and it ensures that your ad dollars are used more effectively.
Ensure Consistency and Cohesion
Your PPC efforts begin with keyword selection—but once you’ve chosen your target keywords, that hardly means your work is done. You then need to write ad copy that incorporates those keywords in a way that’s natural and persuasive. Then, you need to develop landing page copy that uses those keywords—or at the very least is very obviously relevant to those keywords. This consistency and cohesion is also part of Google’s Quality Score metric. A high Quality Score can give you advantage over competitors, and ultimately allow for you to get clicks at a lower cost. More clicks can lead to more conversions, so if you can get these clicks at a lower cost you’ll be able to increase your ROI.
What’s needed is a holistic view of your campaign. You can’t expect Google’s algorithms to fill in the gaps for you; you should plainly connect all the different components of your PPC campaign.
Use Negative Keywords
Another important keyword consideration: Your keywords help you determine who sees your ads, and also who doesn’t see your ads. For the latter, it’s important to use negative keywords, which make sure your ads are never served up to an irrelevant audience.
When you select negative keywords, you’re choosing the search phrases for which your ad won’t be displayed—so you can use them to weed out searches that are irrelevant to your core business offerings. If you’re unsure of the negative keywords you should be using, go to the Search Terms display of your AdWords dashboard to get some ideas.
Perfect Your Landing Pages
We mentioned landing pages before. These small, conversion-oriented Web pages are invaluable collateral for any PPC campaign. In short, you should have ads that lead directly to a highly targeted and optimized landing page, one that’s directly related to the offer/keywords in the ad copy.
Each landing page needs to be solely focused on getting that conversion—which means eliminating any unnecessary clutter or irrelevant links. The rule of thumb is that your landing page should address one thing, and one thing only.
Landing page experience is another factor that plays into Quality Score. If you can provide users with a good experience and show Google that the page is relevant to someone looking at your ad, you will increase your Quality Score and pay less for each click.
Vary Your Ads
Variety is one of the key traits of any effective PPC campaign. You’ll want each ad group to have a handful of ads—at least three or four.
And as you develop these ads, make sure you test them! Try different variations of ad copy, and pay attention to the results you get. Be careful to note the ads that get the most results, and the ones that don’t go over as well. Constantly be refining your ads and honing your messaging.
Ad copy is also one more way to bump up your Quality Score. Google factors in the expected click-thru rate of each ad into the Quality Score for that keyword. By writing ad copy that is relevant and entices users to click, you can help ensure you’re getting paying the lowest price possible for each click.
Pay Attention to Your Account Structure
One final tip is to split your ad groups into smaller, more highly targeted ad sets. The benefit of this is that it enables you to make your keywords more narrowly focused, which in turn frees you to be more specific in your ad copy as well as your landing pages.
Remember that you always want your ads to address the customer’s needs and pain points as directly as possible. The upshot of this is that it can improve both your clicks and your conversion rates, which Google will reward with a higher Quality Score.
Improve Your PPC Efforts with Help from enCOMPASS
It’s not easy to develop a PPC campaign that’s totally effective and cost-efficient. There are obviously a lot of moving parts, and a good campaign harmonizes them all. If that’s something that sounds a little daunting, take that as an opportunity to contact the pros.
At enCOMPASS, one of our greatest strengths is the clarity and precision we bring to PPC advertising. We’d love to talk you through some potential options for boosting your PPC return on investment. Reach out to us today and let’s begin that conversation.
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