Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way to bring traffic to your website, but it can also waste money. Yahoo Search Marketing and Google AdWords are two examples of places businesses can display ads on the search results pages in the “sponsored results section.” Every time someone clicks the ad, you pay a fee.
However, it is difficult to make effective ads and spend the right amount of money. Here are four essential tips to help:
1. Don’t over-use “broad match.”
Using broad match keyword ads offer the greatest traffic potential. Whenever part or all of your keyword phrase is searched for, your ad comes up. But you need to think this through. If your key phrase is “dance studio”, broad match might also include phrases like “studio apartments” and “dance with wolves.” This is a waste of money. Exact match might be better.
2. Link to a relevant page.
If your PPC ad is for the key phrase “Aqua-Clear” — a water purification system you offer on your site — but the ad links to your home page, you just wasted your money. Most site visitors won’t take the time to hunt around for the right product, even if there is a big button or link. They are gone. Link directly to your Aqua-Clear page. If you do not have a good landing page for the ad, create one.
3. Test your ads.
Run A-B split tests to see what works, before you blow a lot of money. Make two or more versions of the ad with different text. You can find out which wording is the most effective. Set them to display at random.
4. Understand and Use Negative Keywords.
It is easy to set up your ads and totally overlook “negative keywords.” They prevent your ad from showing up when certain “unwanted” keywords are used. Back to the “dance studio” example: using “apartment” as a negative keyword would stop the house hunters from seeing your broad match ad. You can find potential negative keywords by running broad match ads and studying the reports; you can also make guesses yourself.
Running pay-per-click advertising can be a faucet that pours profit into your company, or it can suck up your cash. If you feel need help setting up and running PPC ads, find a local, reputable, seasoned PPC expert to help you. Ask to see their campaign reports before you hire. PPC is harder than it looks!