Effective PPC campaigns depend on several key success factors. In this article we examine 10 success factors that can enhance your Google Ads PPC campaigns to help them achieve better results.
If you follow the steps outlined below, you stand a better chance of delivering a positive ROI from your Google Ads PPC marketing spend.
There is a healthy dose of detailed work required, so if you have an eye for detail and enjoy working with data then your chances of success will increase.
Perform Keyword Research
Time spent planning the keywords and phrases you bid on is time well spend. This activity will hone the targeting of your Ads to reach the right audience, and reduce any wasted spend on keywords that are not relevant.
Make a list of your core products and services, and brainstorm a list of the most relevant words that you think customers would use to find them. You can also use keyword research tools such as Google's Keyword Planner, SEMRush or Ahrefs to generate a list of keywords for you.
Consider intent behind the use of keywords, is a prospect using language that indicates intent to purchase (transactional) or that they are researching a topic (informational).
Get your Conversion Tracking Perfect
Make sure that the setup of your conversion tracking, goal completion and analytics is perfect before you start committing Ad spend. Test that your conversion tracking actually works, with a small amount of live testing.
Correct conversion tracking enables data-driven decision making, which is a key factor in successful campaigns. It's important to try and remove 'gut-feel' or emotion based decision making, and be led by the data. Some of the first steps we make with Clients are to validate existing conversion tracking setups, or implement them.
Write Engaging Ad Copy
You have limited available space in you Ad copy to convey your message, so choose your words carefully. Write compelling and engaging advert copy that sells the benefits of your products or services, and conveys any unique selling points and your value proposition.
Experiment with persuasive Ad copy that encourages clicks. This could be a strong 'Call to Action' such as a limited time discount, or taking the first steps on a journey to improve your fitness. Speak to the benefits that your products will bring to the customer.
Optimise your Landing Pages
Your landing page should directly reflect your Ad Copy, so that customers get what they expect when they click through your advert. This will help to reduce bounce rates, and keep users on your page.
All the information that a potential customer needs to make a buying decision should be clearly communicated and accessible on the page. If any question they might have goes unanswered, you stand a good chance of losing the sale. Finally, make sure your page loads quickly, doesn't have lots of annoying pop-ups to dismiss, and has a clear user-journey to purchase.
Create Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are a great way to communicate unique selling points, benefits and offers. They can be used to encourage users to take specific actions.
Extensions such as Sitelinks, Callouts, Structured Snippets or Promotions can enhance your Ad listing and make it stand out. Trust signals such as phone extensions can serve a dual purpose, conveying trustworthiness and a direct call to action.
Manage Bids Closely
Bid management is an on-going process, so keep on top of it. Set your campaign level objectives such as maintaining a specific cost per acquisition. You can adjust bids on keywords that perform well, and decrease or remove bids on keywords that do not convert.
Google Ads offer a range of automated bidding strategies that really help you to automate the workload associated with on-going bid management. You can also schedule Ads and use techniques like Bid Modifiers to dial bids up or down for specific device types, or times of day.
Improve your Quality Scores
Quality score is Google's ranking of how relevant your Ad is to your landing page. Ensure that your chosen keywords closely match the content of your landing page, and are reflected in your Ad copy. Your Ad copy should be well written and appealing, and utilise extensions and enhancements where possible.
Group related keywords into a theme, and focus on strong calls to action to increase Click Through Rates as these are an indicator to Google of how relevant your Ad is to customers. The more clicks they attract, the more relevant Google will think they are. Don't ignore other ranking factors such as page loading speed, and landing page experience.
Test and Learn
Good PPC campaign management is an iterative process. That means, testing a lot of things and then keeping and re-enforcing the ones that work whilst doing less of the things that don't.
As the competitive landscape is constantly evolving, the test and learn process never stops. Competitors may react to price changes, or to your Ad campaigns successfully taking a greater share of wallet. So keep on top of your test and learn programme, by continually monitoring performance and trying new things.
Allocate Budgets Smartly
Unless you are very lucky, you probably have a finite budget to deploy for your campaign. Spending budget smartly is key, and that might mean only bidding on keywords for your best selling 20% of products or working out what time of day customers are most likely to commit to a purchase and convert.
Seek a healthy balance between return on your ad spend, overall revenue generated, and budget. Throwing more and more money alone at a campaign does not guarantee greater success as we discuss in our article about common PPC myths, so focus on optimisation and spend wisely.
Keep an Eye on Competitors
You can learn a lot from looking at what your competitors are doing. What keywords are they bidding on, and what time of the day or week are they most active?
Monitoring competitor pricing is also useful, for example you may think your campaign performance has declined and be tempted to make structural changes, but find that a competitor has slashed prices on a limited time deal that is only sustainable in the very short term. Be careful about being too reactive.
by E-commerce Director Peter Howarth
Peter is an E-commerce Director with over 20 years of experience in business, online retail and digital marketing.
Managing development and digital marketing teams and Agencies, Peter is well versed in the key success factors in E-commerce.
Peter co-founded and grew a global e-commerce business from start-up to £25M revenue.
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