Expert Advice on Maximizing Your Pay Per Click Performance

Business.com / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Pay-per-click expert Robert Brady offers his advice on launching a successful PPC campaign.

One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to market your business online is by starting a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.

A PPC campaign is a technique used to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It allows you to reach millions of potential customers, targeting your ads to the people who are most interested in your product or service.

Beginners can launch a small-scale PPC campaign but for larger efforts, hiring a consultant or agency is recommended.

We recently caught up with pay-per-click expert Robert Brady to get his take on how to improve your advertising results.

Brady has a degree in business management from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University.

In addition to dabbling in farming and irreverent T-shirt making, He's a Google AdWords Certified Partner and a PPC management services consultant who can help businesses with everything from a one-time audit to ongoing management and optimization.

Here's what he had to say about maximizing your pay per click performance:

How did you become interested in PPC?

While taking an internet marketing class in college my group was given a $500 Amex gift card and we set up and ran an account for a local business. Looking back, we didn't do a great job, but it started me on the path.

 How did you get to be an expert? What sort of training have you received?
 
Expertise must be constantly earned in PPC. The major platforms are constantly changing existing features and adding new features. To stay current, I follow the official blogs for each platform, attend two to three conferences a year and actively participate in PPC communities on LinkedIn and Twitter (hashtag #ppcchat).

I'm a small business owner who's never done a PPC campaign, why should I try it out? At minimum, how will I benefit?

SMBs should try PPC because it allows you to only advertise when someone has expressed a need and is currently looking for a solution. On top of that, you only pay for clicks. Add in the conversion tracking and you'll know quickly if the channel is profitable and at what level.

 What's the best way for a business owner to start a PPC campaign?
 
Start by looking in your web analytics to figure out what your customers searched to find your site. Use these keyword phrases as the basis of your keyword research using tools such as the AdWords Keyword Tool, SEMRush, KeywordSpy, SpyFu, Wordstream, etc. And don't forget to use a little intuition based on your interaction with current customers.
 
Where's the best place to launch a campaign? Are there useful alternatives to Google AdWords?
 
Since Google has over 60 percent of the search market, it's a great place to start for quick results. However, if you want to start smaller, you can go with adCenter. Depending on how you want to target and your customer demographics you may want to try newer platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook.

Where's the best place to find a PPC consultant?

Getting a referral from someone you trust with a successful program is the best place to start. Also consider looking at the AdWords Certified Partner directory or the Microsoft Accredited Professional directory.

What questions should you ask the consultant before hiring him?

Ask a few questions to validate their subject knowledge. If they use too many buzz words or don't explain it so that you can understand, that's a good sign that you'll have communication issues down the road. Also ask them if they've managed accounts in your industry before, if they're currently managing accounts in your industry (you don't want a conflict of interest), and ultimately ask for references that will vouch for their work.

What are some best practices for creating a landing page?
 
Keep it simple and focus on the goal. If you're paying for traffic you need more prominent calls-to-action (CTAs) and fewer places where people can go without converting. Remember that the more relevant your landing page is to the original keyword and ad, the better it will perform.

What's the best way to optimize the landing page?

Test, test, test. Use your existing page as the control and then design a new landing page with a hypothesis in mind. Don't just change the button color and see if one gets a better conversion rate. Test having an image vs. no image to find if the image is distracting or beneficial. Then, when the test is over, you've learned something about your users that you can implement other places on your site.

Why is it important to track your results? What specific things should you be looking for when analyzing these statistics?
 
One of the prominent selling points for PPC advertising is the tracking and accountability it provides. Without this tracking, you're spending your advertising dollars in the dark. With tracking, you not only improve performance of your PPC channel, but you also can gain valuable insights about your customers that can inform and improve your other channels.

What are some tools you can use to measure your ROI?

A calculator. Maybe even a pencil and paper if you don't have a calculator. In all seriousness, though, once you have the data, ROI is just a simple calculation away. The hardest part for most businesses is having their analytics set up to track revenue and costs by channel to get more granular ROI.

Why are keywords so important and how do you figure out the right ones to use to increase conversion?
 
Start by looking in your analytics reports. How are people finding you now? Run your site URL through the AdWords Keyword Tool and see what keywords the search engines think your site is about. Talk to your sales reps and customer service reps to find out how customers and potential customers talk about the product/service. Then monitor your metrics to find out which ones drive conversions. It's not hard, but you have to be consistent and diligent.

Additional tips for maximizing campaign performance?

Test, test, test. Going with your gut may be great, but with PPC you have all the metrics you need to test that gut feeling and either validate or invalidate it with real data. Once you've found something that works, expand on it and test some more. Never stop testing!

Read more about Brady's take on pay per click marketing on his blog RighteousMarketing.com  and follow him on Twitter @Robert_Brady.

Learn more about PPC marketing from Business.com's resource hub for all things Online Marketing

 

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