While every business that decides to undertake a form of digital marketing will do so with company specific objectives, many of these objectives will relate to the generation of additional leads and sales for their business. Fortunately, PPC advertising offers a unique opportunity to reach potential customers right at the moment when they are likely to purchase a product or service. In this article, I’m going to outline my top strategies for securing sales through PPC advertising.
Introduction To PPC
PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising as it is also known, concentrates on improving your business’s search engine rankings through paid advertising placements in areas that are considered valuable such as on a search results page or within a social media feed. Once your adverts are live within these placements, you are charged each time someone clicks on your advert. There are a number of available PPC platforms that allow you to create your advertising placements, including Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Your platform choice will largely depend upon the target market that you wish to reach. For example Google AdWords is usually most effective at reaching customers who are close to completing a purchase, while Facebook is an effective platform for targeting social media savvy consumers.
As an online marketing option, PPC advertising is considered to be cost effective and valuable for most business sectors. It is incredibly measurable and transparent, with features such as conversion tracking (which allows you to determine whether customers are completing an action that is valuable to your business after clicking on one of your adverts) and detailed reporting options within many of the platforms.
Many businesses use PPC marketing to generate strong qualified leads for their business. Unlike SEO, PPC advertising has the potential to generate quick short-term wins for your business. Once a campaign has been launched it can start driving valuable traffic to your website and generating business leads.
Strategies For Securing Sales
Generally, I recommend the following PPC strategies for securing sales:
Targeting Valuable Keywords
It is important to recognise that all keywords are not equal. Some keywords will be significantly more valuable to your business than others. At the start and throughout a PPC campaign, it is important to manage and measure the performance of your campaign keywords. Using keyword intelligence is considered best practice at this stage. Personally, I have a strong preference for using the Google Keyword Planner. It provides important insights into the search volume and level of competition for each keyword. You may well be surprised by the results that the tool reveals – I certainly have been on many occasions.
Try to find keywords with a high search volume and low level of competition as they are likely to be the most effective for your campaign. Despite this, do not discount high volume, high competition keywords; even if a keyword has a CPC of £5, if you are marketing a high value product or service the eventual ROI can be substantial. In almost all cases, avoid keywords with a low search volume and low competition. These keywords are unlikely to drive a significant level of traffic to your website or generate the leads and sales that you are seeking.
The most important factor in determining whether a keyword is valuable or not is a searcher’s buyer intent. The most valuable keywords will have a high level of buyer intent. Typical examples of this include – ‘hotel in Southampton’ or ‘hairdresser near me’. In both cases, the searcher is clearly very interested in a service within a defined geographical area. Including a significant number of valuable keywords within your campaigns will help your business secure sales.
Creating campaigns that utilise PPC platform features
PPC platforms such as Google AdWords provide a plethora of features that are designed specifically to increase searcher engagement with your paid advertising placements. In order to generate sales, you need to be selective and strategic about the features that you use.
Google AdWords in particular is the frontrunner here, offering features such as campaign scheduling, bid adjustments and advert extensions. These three features are a powerful combination that I often recommend to my clients.
Creating a campaign schedule is an incredibly effective way to control when your adverts appear to potential searchers. The benefits of this are two-fold: It allows you to exercise additional control over your budget to maximise its effectiveness while also empowering you to display your adverts at a time when they generate the most conversions for your business. For example, if you own an office furniture supply company that targets businesses it is unlikely that your potential customers will be searching for your products over the weekend, so it may be sensible to exclude Saturday and Sunday from your campaign schedule.
Bid adjustments are one of my principal tools for securing sales for businesses through Google AdWords because they allow you to focus your campaign budget on the elements of your campaign that deliver the best results for your business. For example, if you notice that all of your conversions originate from smartphones, it would be sensible from a ROI perspective to apply a device bid adjustment for smartphones. Similarly, should you notice that Tuesday and Thursday are the days when your campaign generates the highest number of business leads, you may apply an upward bid adjustment to those days.
Advert extensions offer a prime opportunity to increase searcher engagement. They each offer unique features that are incredibly useful for facilitating sales. In terms of Google AdWords, the call extension is one of the most powerful, as it allows your potential customers to simply click on a phone icon within your advert to call your business. This simplifies the call process and encourages them to call you at the very moment that they are most likely to make a purchase. If they call, you will have an opportunity to make an instant sale.
Alongside the call extension, AdWords also has an extension called a callout extension, which allows you to present additional snippets of text as part of your advert. I often recommend that you outline your business’s USP’s here. If you are a chiropractor and you offer a free initial consultation, this is the place to say so. Other successful callouts include ‘free delivery for all orders’ or ‘free no obligation quote’.
Developing engaging and relevant landing pages that include a clear call to action (CTA)
After a searcher has clicked on an advert they have an expectation that the website that they are being taken too will provide them with exactly what they are searching for. If the website does not provide this they will visit a website that can, while of course wasting the amount that you as a business have paid for their click.
Not having engaging and relevant landing pages will have a profoundly negative impact on your ability to secure sales from PPC marketing. You will be able to generate a significant number of clicks, but these clicks will not result in anything valuable for your business. This is the most common mistake that I encounter when working on PPC campaigns and it undermines the success and ROI of each and every campaign that I encounter it on.
Fortunately, developing engaging and relevant landing pages is easier than you might think. Especially if your website has a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress.
Generally, a good landing page should:
- Serve a small number of keywords with highly relevant content
- Contain a clear CTA such as ‘Contact Us Today’ followed by a contact form
- Consist of a clear and simple layout with a combination of graphics and text
- Use the principal target keyword within its meta data (within the header tags and description tag)
- Contain at least 500 words of content
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