Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PPC Management Tips

Top 10 PPC Management Tips Guaranteed to Lead to More Profitable Campaigns

Sometimes it seems that getting your website ranked in the organic search results can take forever. And if you're trying to rank a landing or sales page, you can just about forget it. Luckily, that's where pay per click (PPC) management & advertising comes in. It's the search engines' answer to immediate traffic so you can start generating leads or sales from your site (and of course so they can generate some income as well). Unfortunately, if you've had no PPC training, managing your own pay per click campaigns can prove a daunting task.

But honestly, it's not as complicated as it seems - pay per click management is really just setting up a campaign and making incremental adjustments to certain factors in order to get the most bang for your buck - or I suppose conversions for your buck is a more appropriate term. When it comes to setting up your campaign, the service you choose (Google's Adwords, Yahoo's Search Marketing or MSN's AdCenter) will have step by step tutorials describing exactly how to create your campaign within their program's dashboard.

Of course, there's plenty that they'll leave out, so to help, here are 10 essential tips to help you with campaign creation as well as your own PPC Management.

Setting Up Your Campaigns

  • When researching your keyword list, use several different keyword generators to get as big a list as you possibly can. Then scrub the list by eliminating keywords that have nothing to do with your product or service, or keywords that won't lead to sales for you. For example, if you sell office copiers, make sure one of your keywords isn't dvd copiers.
  • Break your keywords into themed groups - putting similar keywords and phrases that contain the same words together in one group. Each of these themed groups will be your "ad group" to use Google's terminology. This allows you to write more targeted ads for each group, and will improve your quality scores, which in turn helps lower costs in the long run. Many groups with only a couple keywords in them is better than fewer groups containing tons of keywords.
  • As you create your ads, use the keywords in the headline, and create at least 2 ads per group that only have one difference, either in the headline or the ad text. This will allow you to split test the ads to see which one is more successful. Also make sure your ad subtly (or obviously) tells people what you want them to do on your page, such as fill out a form to win something.
  • When entering a target URL for your ad, use dynamic keyword insertion in the URL - you may have to talk to a web developer for this if you have no idea what it means. This technique automatically inserts the keyword into the URL string of the landing page you're sending traffic to, which also helps increase quality scores.
  • Set up conversion tracking within your PPC campaign - this will allow you to see which keywords lead to the most conversions/leads/sales as you conduct your PPC management.

Pay Per Click Management
  • Begin your campaign using broad, phrase and exact match keywords (that's in Google & MSN, Yahoo calls it advanced match). Spend a little money and see which keyword match brings in the most traffic that leads to the most conversions.
  • Develop a negative keyword list - especially if you use broad and phrase match. This tells your PPC advertiser NOT to show your ads when certain words are paired together with your keywords. Again, using office copier sales as an example, you would want to add dvd as a negative keyword.
  • Tweak your cost per click so that your ad is shown in position 3-5 in the sponsored listings. Studies show this is more cost productive as many people click on ads in those positions.
  • Show your ads evenly so that you can split test them. After getting a good sample of data (at least a few hundred impressions) choose the ad that got more clicks and conversions. Then write a new ad, changing just one variable from the most successful ad, and split test those. Continue this over time to create the most productive ad for your campaign.
  • After a few weeks, or several thousand impressions, start to pause keywords that trigger your ads but never get clicks - these can negatively affect your quality score, not to mention waste your money.

Oops, did I say 10 tips? I guess I meant 11, since I've got one more to round out the list:
  • Do more research! This is by no means a comprehensive list of tips you can use to tweak your PPC campaigns into success!

Pay per click management comes natural to some, and remains elusive to others. If you find yourself struggling with your own PPC management, it may be time to look into some extra PPC training. Luckily, there are always educational resources to be found across the web as well as companies that can offer PPC training or management. If you're swamped enough with other things, educating yourself on pay per click advertising may not be the best use of your time. In which case, hiring a company to manage your PPC campaigns for you might be a time and money saver in the long run. In the end, it's really about what you're most comfortable with - and of course which option will help boost your bottom line the most!

Ashley Lichty is a copywriter and PPC manager who specializes in web and landing page copy as well as PPC management She works for ProspectMX in Lancaster, PA, a full-service internet marketing company offering the following services: SEO, link building, PPC training social media optimization, internet marketing consulting, and much more.

Greg Cryns

The Mighty Mo Website Design and SEO Promotion


1 comment:

  1. Nice Post! We are using for our ppc requirements. we are getting more leads.