There are two central key strategies that search engine marketers employee – organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. The latter is the best way to shortcut the system and ensure that online visitors are given visibility to your page.
Whereas SEO takes hours, days, weeks, months and years of carefully orchestrated planning, execution and updating, PPC can be fast tracked.
However, this notion is thrown out the window if the PPC campaign is formulated on the fly with little thought put into it. If it were just a matter of uploading a link, having a short description and letting the commercial do the work, everyone would do it.
Should you have any awareness with SEO, then it is easier for business owners to grasp the concept of Google Adwords. This is not an “either or” scenario, with the strongest performers marrying the two concepts to work hand-in-hand.
Do not fall into the trap of investing good money into this venture and pulling the plug when results are not immediate. Needless to say, there will be a rationale why the traffic is not hitting the numbers you are expecting.
There are a handful of key factors at play that will create a more efficient PPC campaign and as such, score a higher return on investment (ROI).
Stick to these principles and you will find that a stale PPC campaign can be transformed to a money-making machine in the space of a few hours.
Optimize Your Content
Content can be viewed from many different angles, but when it is all said and done, it has to be optimized. Should there be inconsistencies with how you have structured a page or promote your published news stories, then the website is failing with the basics of optimization.
When thinking about on-page SEO and what delivers the best quality for everything involved on the domain itself, the performance and presentation have to be at the forefront. Each item will carry a unique value and you must determine what is irreplaceable, what is needed in small doses and what must be dispatched.
Adwords that are used on the promotional front for the PPC campaign must be intrinsically linked to your content. This is a symbiotic relationship, so ensure that all copy has a connection to the niche you are driving.
Test Your Current Keywords
The domain of keyword research can be a humbling experience. Preconceptions can be thrown out the window with new evidence brought to the table.
However, for the majority of online marketers out there, it is a matter of tweaking and altering the current framework.
The central hub to run your own terms through the system is Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner. This is an invaluable asset to outlined what terms are worth investing in.
While it is easy to always opt for the most searched term, that will carry a higher charge. Should you be a relative newcomer or have a niche within a niche, don’t be afraid to buy low before seeing it grow.
Yet it is helpful with a couple of hours put aside to cross-reference those keywords through a range of algorithms:
- SEM Rush
- MOZ Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Tool
Keyword research is an ongoing process and there is always an opportunity to shift depending on the landscape.
Focus on Negative Keywords
Discovering what keywords you need is an essential segment of the exercise. It informs the search engine about your niche as well as the end user who you are attempting to bring into the equation.
Yet negative keywords are an all too often overlooked factor in this scenario. By eliminating words that are too broad, you manage to stand out from the crowd with a more rounded and defined persona.
Negative keywords also help to disassociate your site from those that are lumped into your bracket.
For example, a product like Winners energy bars want to compete with organisations like Clif and Well Naturally. They do not want to fall into the trap of users stumbling upon energy provider companies who specialize in a totally different niche altogether.
This is where they would include collective words like “energy providers” and “energy solutions” as part of their negative keyword strategy. Winners would be best placed having “energy bars” or “protein bars” headline their PPC campaign.
There is a string of useful software application tools readily available to source your own negative keyword list:
- SEO Book
When you are formulating the keywords at the campaign level, simply include those negative keywords to deliver a more specified and targeted demographic.
Get Time Savvy
What time of day do your customers go online? This is a key question that all business owners should know intimately.
For example, men’s and women’s business attire enterprises will see peak periods operate just prior and just after regular 9am-5pm business hours. There won’t be the scope to have a PPC campaign driven throughout the day as it will be lost to those scanning the web outside their daily routine.
Then there are niches like local cinema complexes. Customers will most likely be online at this stage after 4pm on Friday afternoons and across the weekend.
Formulate a spreadsheet and see if your knowledge applies to the target market. You will not perfect the timescale from the start, so engage in some trial and error before you settle on a schedule that works for your PPC campaign.
Get Geo Savvy
There is a tenancy from business owners to expand their market range too wide too quickly. The notion that they can be all things to all people will fall flat on its face before the audience is neglected.
For retailers or content providers who have a geographic location, then that must be central to the campaign. Having that town, city or region listed will send more consumers from that market to the link.
Likewise, those that are outside those boundaries won’t be included to filter out the shoppers who would not travel in any case.
Head to Bing and Google and give them a radius for your PPC campaign. The World Wide Web might be a grand attraction to the entire population, but your site will likely be needing cashed up locals.
Take Feedback From Search Terms Report
Google’s Adwords design will allow you to read over a Search Terms Report. If there is anything to glean from a PPC campaign, it is this advice that will be presented.
It will inform you about the search terms that users have typed in to discover your website. In search engine marketing language, this is a goldmine of knowledge.
The second aspect it will outline is those words and phrases that are not working and leaving your PPC campaign in the red.
The prompts will be simple enough to follow. As common sense dictates, simply eliminated the keywords that are failing you and cater your content to those that users are utilizing.
Business owners can fall into the habit of formulating their own conceptions about what the end user should search for, but reality could be different.
Read this report as you would any other and use it as a guide to make more educated decisions for your PPC campaign.
Perfect the Landing Page
Once a customer or visitor has found you on a search engine, article or social media, the idea is to send them to a landing page. This is the location that you want to drive on all PPC campaigns and is the whole purpose of the activity.
The best landing pages tick the following boxes:
Should a landing page include any more than this, it is probably going above and beyond the call of duty. There is always the inherent risk of having too much of a good thing where content is flooded and the page will slow down and suffer.
Send your own URL through these diagnostics to see if your site is running efficiently:
- Google PageSpeed Tools
A page that has a poor loading time will have a high bounce rate. As a consequence, any hits that are garnered from the PPC campaign won’t hang around to buy into the product. To make matters worse, those shopping for a particular niche will likely head to a competitor.
One strategy that can be effective if given a couple of hours is promoting different landing pages for different products or content types. Should all your traffic be funneled to the one domain, loading time can slow down and visitors can be missed due to the vagueness of the description.
Mix and match landing pages to score a higher conversion rate.
There is simply no escaping the fact that PPC campaigns require a financial investment. Implementing a variety of clever strategies will help to elevate that process, but putting in more of a commitment in dollar terms is the fastest method to success.
In the general world of SEO, there is a degree of patience and diligence that has to be applied. It can take a minimum of three months before a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing takes those alterations into account. In that respect, it can be a tiring, laborious and taxing exercise that disenfranchises plenty.
Yet PPC campaigns are the closest thing you will discover to a quick fix. An online commercial can be generated in hours and traffic can be increased with one click of the button. The adage “speculate to accumulate” is often thrown around business circles, but it is true in the pay-per-click environment.