Guest Post by Bill Fukui, Chief Operating Officer at Page 1 Solutions
When it comes to online advertising, you may pay per click (PPC) but you earn per conversion. And since Google doesn’t negotiate the cost to be the top listing for a particular search, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your PPC dollar.
Focusing on two key elements can help: Your campaign and lead conversion.
- Keyword psychology: To get the most from your PPC budget, keep searchers’ thought processes in mind. Certain phrases, such as “plastic surgeon,” are of high value because people who use them are looking specifically for a provider. The same is true for targeted or niche searches like “breast augmentation.” It can be worth bidding high for these types of phrases. Conversely, general, high-volume phrases — “plastic surgery,” for example — are often used by people who are just seeking information. They may be great for organic listings (which are not charged by the click) but generally don’t convert very well. They also tend to be expensive.
- Ad descriptions: What your PPC ad says and how effective it is impacts your click-through rate. On Google, it can also impact your placement because the site uses a proprietary Quality Score to reward ads that get more clicks. Make sure your ad copy is not generic or automated and utilizes customization, particularly depending on the scope of your keyword phrases and the quality of your Landing Page (see below).
- Management fees: Finally, it’s essentially to know how much of your monthly PPC budget is actually going to the search engines. Traditional media placement (TV, radio, print) agencies charge about 15% to research, strategize, place and manage ad campaigns and PPC media buying should be similar. If your provider is not willing to share this information with you, you’re probably paying more.
- Keywords: Online consumers today are both destination-focused and impatient; they use the Internet for convenience, immediacy and fast results. Given that, there are certain “magic” words that get them to act. When developing your call-to-action strategy, include key conversion words, such as free, instant, easy or convenient.
- Landing Pages: As the destination pages for your PPC ads, landing pages are designed to do one thing — convert visitors by getting them to call, email, sign up for your newsletter, etc. To facilitate that goal, a good landing page should:
- Have minimal navigation: Avoid excessive links, multiple navigation buttons and long, scrolling text.
- Be promotion-driven: Include strong “next step” interactive elements.
- Be customized to visitors: Be as specific to the particular interest of the visitor as possible. Click here to view samples.
- Video: In the fast-paced world of PPC, separating yourself from your competitors needs to happen almost immediately. Video can help make your landing pages compelling, build rapport and encourage interactive engagement. It can also:
- Break down psychological and social barriers and help you “connect” with visitors.
- Quickly communicate more details and emotion. (Limit videos to 60 seconds or less.)
- Project an appropriate image: Professional production quality — music, graphics, animation, etc. — can make a big difference.
- Instant Chat: Increasingly, online users are communicating through digital texting rather than email or even calling. Furthermore, studies have shown that visitors interact more frequently with landing pages that have chat services than those that do not. As a result, an “Instant Chat” service (available 24/7) is essential to any PPC campaign. To maximize your Chat ROI:
- Have chats managed by trained agents, not you and your staff.
- Pay only for working leads — those that provide a name and email or phone number — that the chat service converts. The cost per lead should be as little as $12.
One last thing…mobile
Although mobile browsers account for only about 15% of Internet usage today, it’s growing exponentially, which means you may want to start thinking about Mobile-Only PPC campaigns. We’ll share more details about this emerging strategy in a subsequent post.