You’ve heard the horror stories about pay-per-click advertising eating up small companies’ entire advertising budgets and leaving them high and dry with little to no results. It doesn’t have to be that way, and in many cases, this scenario is avoidable. Often, these companies take a learn-as-you-go approach yet invest wholeheartedly into their campaigns, thinking that the more they put in, the more they’ll get out. And at the same time, they often fail to diversify their advertising investments.
Jumping in the PPC pool with both feet
There’s nothing wrong with diving into campaign with both feet. That enthusiasm will pay off if you play your cards right. But the idea that throwing every last dollar you have at PPC will surely net you profitable results is a myth. There’s a lot of strategy that goes into PPC, and a lot of money to be wasted.
If you want to go all-in, set aside a portion of your budget to hire a PPC agency or, at minimum, a consultant who can show you the ropes and get you started on the right foot. Otherwise, you could end up spending all your money on the wrong keywords, using the wrong messaging, and getting no ROI with which to try again and rectify your original mistakes.
There are tons of resources out there on PPC with tips, tricks and step-by-step tutorials. Read them; as many as you have time for. And above all, test. Try out a few different headlines, some different ad copy and different offers. If you’re going to dive in with both feet, you have to dedicate a sufficient amount of time to monitoring your campaign and be willing to make adjustments on the fly when you see something’s not working.
Diversify your ad spend
Even if you’re committing yourself wholeheartedly to making PPC work for you, you shouldn’t devote 100 percent of your ad budget to it-especially not when you’re first learning the ropes. The fact is that PPC works well when combined with other advertising and marketing initiatives, and your other efforts can amplify brand awareness, boost your PPC click-through rates and, therefore, lower your PPC costs as a whole.
This happens when your brand starts to become recognizable in your niche. If a potential customer has heard of your business before, but maybe didn’t realize you offered a particular product or service that they’re looking for, you can bet they’re more likely to click on your ads.
PPC and SEO are closely linked. So you shouldn’t ignore your organic SEO efforts entirely just because your organic rankings are suffering a bit at Google’s many algorithm changes. Some of the best scenarios are when your PPC ads and organic listings occur simultaneously on a search engine results page (SERP). Your organic listing probably contains some basic, yet core messaging about your company while your PPC ad copy impresses with enticing offers and calls-to-action (CTAs).
Most importantly, you should devote ample resources to on-site and landing page optimization. PPC ads represent the tip of the funnel. Getting visitors to your site is only the beginning of the battle, and it’s just as easy to lose visitors within seconds-even if your ads are nothing short of perfection.
Not all searchers are ready to make a purchase, so having a backup plan for those not quite ready to convert. Include a secondary offer, for example, on your landing and sales pages to capture those leads. If visitors don’t click the buy button today but sign up for your email newsletter so they remember your business when they are ready to purchase, you’ve successfully kept them in your sales funnel. But that also means you have to invest in your email marketing campaign in order to stay top-of-mind and avoid losing those prospects to your competition.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to have social media buttons on your landing pages, so that visitors automatically have a non-invasive second option if they’re not ready to buy today. These buttons can be minimal, so they don’t detract from your carefully-crafted landing page that’s designed to direct visitors’ eyes to just the right places. Naturally, that means you should be maintaining your social media presence to continue the relationship.
These are just a few of the marketing initiatives that have a connection to or supplement a PPC campaign in some way. Even if you decide to make a major investment in PPC, overlooking the rest of the digital media world is a big mistake. Not only will these other initiatives help solidify your brand reputation, but you’re spreading your assets across a multitude of viable marketing channels-so if one area proves not to be right for your business, you’re still reaping the benefits of your other efforts and haven’t wasted your entire budget.