Search engine marketing (SEM), also known as pay-per-click (PPC) or paid search, is one of the most popular ways to quickly increase website traffic and revenue; however, there are many potential pitfalls and follies when it comes to creating cost-efficient campaigns. Without the proper planning or optimization, search engine marketing can quickly fall prey to the saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” With so many powerful tools and analytics available, it’s a wonder that any paid search campaign could be wasteful, but sadly it’s a common occurrence. With dozens or even hundreds of campaigns, many agencies begin to cut corners and deliver lower than expected results to their clients. No agency can keep clients without creating highly effective campaigns. Read on to learn five ways you can maximize your clients’ return on investment and keep them happy.
1. Do Your Research
Many PPC campaigns are failures before they even start. Without the proper keyword research, it’s impossible to create ad copy and landing pages that will capture your target audience. Select keywords relevant to your products and services and use a tool, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, to determine which keywords have a large enough search volume to merit creating content around. Once you have that list, trim it down further by selecting highly-targeted and long-tail keywords. This will reduce the number of impressions and clicks your ads get, but will result in capturing an audience more intent on buying your clients’ products or services, thereby increasing conversions. You may want to further hone your list by removing overly competitive keywords that cost too much.
2. Compel Your Audience with Killer Copy
Probably the single most overlooked aspect of paid search is delivering ads that actually motivate your audience to do something. Many agencies rely solely on their keyword selection to create their copy, but how many times have you looked at a boring, entirely unengaging pay-per-click ad and thought “there’s no way I’m clicking on that.” Simply stating the product or service your client is offering is not enough. Use your keyword list to create ads that contain immediately obvious and compelling value propositions. Obviously, the first thing you want a search engine user to do is click on your ad, but the scope of the message should go beyond the search engine result page (SERP) and prime them to perform a desirable action on your website.
3. Create Actionable Landing Pages
You’re not done with your keyword research yet. You still have to write and design landing pages for your ads. In order to get a high-quality score and reduce your cost-per-click (CPC), your ad landing pages must be relevant to your target audience’s searches. To convert leads into sales, your copy must be just as compelling as your ads. You also have to create prominent on-page actions, such as phone numbers and form fills. Without creating the proper paths to conversion, your landing pages will become dead ends.
4. Being #1 is Overrated
The top spot in search engine ad listings is highly coveted, but it comes at a price. While click-thru rates for higher ads are generally greater, they don’t necessarily merit the steep increase in bid costs. Ads in the second and third position still get plenty of clicks and at considerably lower costs. By decreasing your costs while still getting comparable results, you’re increasing your ROI. You can cap your bids in order to ensure you’re coming in second (or third).
5. Find an Automated Solution
If you’re an agency looking to start offering your clients PPC or looking to improve your current model, consider utilizing an automated paid search solution. These services will create, execute and monitor campaigns on your behalf for your clients. You can have the results delivered to you and devote your time and effort to expanding your business rather than managing the nuances of successful search engine marketing. When looking for an organization to manage your accounts, vet them out to ensure they abide by all the tips above.
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At GaleForce Digital, we partner with marketing agencies, media companies and franchises to deliver powerful profit solutions to them and their clients. If you’re interested in partnering with us to offer our search engine marketing solutions as a managed service, fill out our contact form or call us at (866) 233-8499.