How to use PPC for lead generation

Search engine marketing, as the name suggests, is marketing via search engines – like Yahoo, Google, and Bing. Under that umbrella, PPC ads are the paid ads located on the right hand column and top of the search results, and they are based on the keyword terms that the user searches for. This is different from the main column of results – impacted by SEO which are “natural” or unpaid. The main PPC objective for companies is to convert as many of these paid ads as possible – and, as a result, reduce costs and increase profit. However, this also means that you have to actively make adjustments to your keywords and copy – rather than the “set and forget” methodology.

Here are some tips to get you going:

Be proactive! There are always improvements to be made, so constantly monitor results and make adjustments. Also, keep an eye on your competitors to see what they are doing.

Think ROI. Sometimes you have to spend more to get more. The rates for certain keywords or positions are high, but if they are producing the best leads, it is worth the price. Just be sure to collect enough data to be able to draw logical conclusions – including the lifetime value of a customer.

Do your research. Think about your target audience and research the search terms that they use. Do they use generic search terms? Or search by brand or model? You don’t want to waste money on terms that your target audience won’t use.

Review the rules. Review each engine’s guideline policy for the most up-to-date policies before writing any ad copy. Read Google’s guidelines.

Play with match type. Don’t just use one strategy. Spend your marketing dollars across the board to see what gives the best return. Try different match types -including negatives to avoid the wrong type of user. But make sure that you tier bids by match type so that exact match and phrase match receive the highest bids.

Optimize your landing page. Remove any distracting or irrelevant content. This page only has one purpose, and that is to convert a click to a sale/signup. Make sure that you use separate landing pages for PPC and SEO – that way you will have more flexibility to test changes.

Ad group advice. Offer at least two versions of ad copy per ad group – although three to four versions are recommended. Also make sure that the ad copy is hyper relevant to the ad group as well as the keywords.

Use proper grammar.
Your text should make sense and read like a normal sentence. Do not include spammy punctuation such as multiple special characters or exclamation points. Proper spacing is also required – both between words and after punctuation.

Test everything! This includes A/B testing for creative and ad copy testing. Slight adjustments can pull in new users. And don’t forget to use singular, plural, and abbreviated keywords. You can also try content and search campaigns – to diversify your portfolio and see which generates more traction.

Hopefully these tips will get you started with the basics. If there are more PPC tips that you would like to share, comment below!

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