Throughout any sales process advertising has taken place somewhere along the line to convert a prospect into a customer. With the near instantaneous sales process of the internet, you need to be at the top of the advertising game or your prospects will go nowhere sooner than the blink of an eye or click of a back button.
Advertising on the internet has become big business; Google alone has managed to take a multi-billion dollar stake in the Pay per Click or PPC Industry. However, if you are reading this article you already know that. The promise here is how to create good ad-copy and avoid costly mistakes within your PPC campaign, a checklist so to speak from keywords to tracking.
The objective for this article is to bring down the overall cost per acquisition or CPA, also known as cost per action. The first thing to do would be to develop a very broad base of keywords or search terms related to your products or services you are offering. You can make use of online tools to research your keywords such as Overture's Keyword Selector tool or WordTracker. After you select your keywords, you'll need to create the hardest part of the PPC campaign process, your ad-copy.
Google AdWords is currently the leader in the PPC game. Matter of fact, the originator, Overture, now Yahoo Search Marketing, has recently changed their ad displays to be more "Google-like" in appearance. Currently, the long descriptive ads are synchronous with Yahoo Search Marketing have been truncated to better compete with Google Adwords.
With that stated, I'll stick to the fundamentals of Google AdWords herein for my examples. First, you will want to create one ad-group for each keyword. Next, create around 3-9 ads per keyword. The key here is to test, test, and test until you are running an ad that had both a Click Through Rate and secondly a high Conversion Rate. Again your objective is lowest possible CPA. When you test, do not use your opinion on what you think your customers want. Use the ad with the best data representing CTR and highest conversion even if the ad is not something you feel is very good, always go by the numbers.
Ad-copy is a funnel process, from the attention getter to the call to action. There are 4 display lines in Google AdWords ads:
1. Title-The attention Grabber – 25 Characters Max
2. Description Line 1 – Talk about the product or service offered – 35 Characters Max
3. Description Line 2 – Call to action – 35 Characters Max
4. Display URL – 35 Characters Max
Tip: Ensure the ad-copy that you are creating is relevant to the keywords that you are creating the copy for.
Pay-per-Click Landing Pages
This is the page where prospects turn into leads, the page where the lead is persuaded about your product or service. The tips here are easy to explain, do not send all your prospects to the same landing page for each keyword or ad. Your landing page needs to be relevant to your ad. So, if your ad was targeting tires and your ad sends the prospect to the homepage talking about everything from seat covers to dash covers you will lose the prospect which will result in a low conversion rate. If your ad is about tires, send the prospect to your tires page. You have roughly three seconds to grab the attention of your visitors so ensure the landing page is the correct one or they will go back and click on a competitive ad to find what they are looking for.
You will also want to ensure your landing page loads correctly in all browsers. Although your landing page may appear within Internet Explorer, it may not load correctly within Mozilla Firefox. The page will need to load as quickly as possible, stay away from using a lot of large graphics and flash elements.
Less is more in regards to content on a landing page. Have your call to action at the bottom of the page and ensure your landing page is giving what the prospect is looking for in a clear and easy to read format. Make use of your 800 phone number if you have one for your business. You may not have a toll-free number. If you do not have one that is fine, use your regular phone number.
Paid Search Tracking
Tracking can be done simply by using the free tools provided by Google. Conversion Tracker within Google AdWords can be used to track Conversion Rates for each keyword. Google Analytics is free and is good for monitoring which keywords and which ads are converting best. Other tools that charge a fee are Did-it, KeywordMax and Atlas One-Point.
Be realistic about conversion rates and click through rates. Do not expect unrealistic returns. Realistic click through rates are 1% – 2% and realistic conversion rates are 1-2%, but anything below 3% for conversion rates is considered low when your PPC campaign is managed correctly. I've personally achieved conversion rates as high as 44% with click through rates at 1.8%. I have also had Click Through rates of 21% with conversion rates at 6%. Stick with what works according to your statistics, not according to your opinion.
Truth in Numbers
The best method is to use what works for your business in the most cost effective manner. By applying the techniques above, you could improve your campaign. However, how well your PPC campaign performances is based on keyword centric ad-copy relevant to your business, short and sweet landing pages that not only load quickly but that give the prospect what they want, and lastly good tracking so you can see what works and what does not focusing on the numbers, not your opinion.