Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way for brands to bid on their ad placement so they can reach the right users at the right time.
Typically, PPC is used in search engine marketing, allowing brands to target specific search queries related to their products and services. This helps increase their likelihood of being found by users who are ready to make a purchasing decision, improving sales and conversions.
PPC success is dependent on having a well optimized strategy in place. Especially as marketing strategies continue to highlight the importance of digital marketing in 2021.
It’s important to prepare ahead of time by taking note of the ways in which you can strengthen your PPC approach.
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Six Steps for Upping Your 2021 PPC Game
Pay-Per-Click has evolved over the years, but the heart of search engine marketing remains the same. The key to success for PPC in 2021 is the same as it was in previous years: Close management of your campaigns.
Not properly managing your PPC campaigns can cause you to potentially lose thousands of dollars on non-converting keywords. Below are 6 great methods for PPC campaign management for 2021.
Designated Ad Groups
Ad group segmentation is a way for brands to narrow down and group target keyphrases. Not all keywords and phrases related to your brand are worth the effort to target and not all keywords are relevant to one another.
For example, if you’re a plumbing and HVAC contractor looking to promote tankless water heater services, it wouldn’t make sense for key phrases related to air conditioning repair to also be included in the same group as your tankless water heater category.
By using specific ad groups, you can group keywords and phrases into specific categories so you don’t run one ad group with all your keywords in it.
This increases your chances for making conversions with the right customers at the right time. This also improves your quality score and will drive down your cost per click and improve your click through rate.
Keywords in Ad Copy
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s still worth repeating. No search engine advertisement should be deployed without having at least one keyword or phrase in its ad copy.
By including target keywords and phrases directly in the ad copy, you increase your ad quality score and improve the click-through rate (CTR) for your ads.
Branded Keyword Segmentation
One mistake brands make is including branded keywords in their ad groups, not eliminating branded keywords from their ad groups, or not creating a brand specific keyword group.
While these keywords and phrases are important, they need to be well thought out in your PPC strategy. Why pay for someone to find you when they’re already entering in your company’s name?
Instead, make sure these keywords are put into a negative group for your general services campaigns, and create a specific branded campaign in your adwords manager. This way but you won’t get charged high premiums for people already familiar with and searching for your specific brand.
Negative Keyword Monitoring
Just like it’s important to monitor keywords and phrases your brand is actively trying to target, it’s equally important to monitor negative keywords.
Let’s say, for instance, that your company sells model trains. While fun to look at (and even more fun to operate), model trains are most certainly not “toy trains.” For this reason, “toy trains” or “model trains for kids” should be included on your negative keywords list.
Without allocating the necessary resources to monitoring for negative keywords, brands can end up wasting thousands of dollars on PPC marketing that gets served to the wrong audience.
As you think about who your target audience is and the search queries they may have, also think about who your audience isn’t and what words and phrases they may be entering.
Search Term Monitoring
Keywords and phrases fluctuate in popularity and search volume, making it important for companies to stay on top of trends as they relate to their specific business. It is also important to understand what keyphrases your business is being found for. While performing your initial Keyword Research you may miss high value keyphrases.
By using Google Trends, companies can gain significant insights about popular keywords and phrases they may not realize are related to their brand. These insights will help you pivot quickly and update campaigns on the fly based on what is trending.
You should also monitor your search terms report regularly to identify phrases you need to add to your campaign or segment to their own specific ad group.
It’s standard practice to perform a monthly analysis on related keywords and phrases to keep PPC campaigns optimized for top performance.
Use Target Landing Pages
With every PPC campaign, you’ll need to have a target URLs in place. These URLs should direct users to a specific landing page that’s optimized for sales and conversions. The page should be optimized to receive traffic from specific ad groups and easily guide the user through the consumer journey.
Creating landing pages that specifically discuss the topic the prospect searched for will improve conversions. You will want to use a different landing pages for each ad group. To use our HVAC contractor example, you wouldn’t send a user looking for tankless water heaters to a page on air conditioner repair.
On the opposite side, to increase conversions, you don’t want to send users to a general home or service page. This requires the user to search your site for their specific answers.
Also be sure to include conversion elements like calls to action and forms.
PPC for 2021 Marketing Success
The way to win at PPC in 2021 is monitoring, monitoring, and more monitoring. By carefully observing campaign performance, keywords, and negative search terms, businesses can better optimize their PPC advertisements for improvement performance. It’s the only way to drive down ad spend while achieving the most accurate results possible.
Managing a PPC campaign can be a huge undertaking. Our recommendation is to dedicate 1-2 hours per week to manage campaigns and be sure you are getting the highest rate of return on your ad spend.