Six Tips for Effective PPC Advertising

Article by:
Jay Bower, EO New York
Jay Bower
EO New York
One-on-one with the 2012 EO Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is not just the marketing flavor of the week. It promises to be a highly profitable way to get prospects to websites for a long time to come. It is direct marketing at its purest. Here are the things that we do to maximize the effectiveness of our PPC advertising.

CHOOSE RELEVANT KEYWORDS.
We don’t pick keywords solely based on their popularity. We make sure the given product or service we’re marketing would be of interest to someone searching for that term. We always include misspellings, typos and plurals to capture additional traffic.

COMBINE MULTIPLE WORDS TO CREATE PHRASES.
We’ve found that attaching modifier words (Cheap Widgets, Fast Widgets, etc.) and locations (Widgets in Berlin) to keywords is an effective way to increase ROI. We also use natural language phrases such as "where to download the latest widgets." These terms will not likely drive high volumes in clicks, but they are more likely to convert to a sale. Even using a product’s name can work: Sea Eagle, a manufacturer of inflatable boats, has been successful with this technique.

WRITE RELEVANT COPY.
We ensure that copy closely ties with the search term. So, when we can, we include the search term in the copy at least once. And we don’t deceive— that results in more clicks but not more business. We mention gifts or bonuses and include offers in the copy, such as "Free," "Save $XX" or "XX% Savings," to lift response. We also continually test new copy to see which works better and keep our page fresh.

DELIVER A RELEVANT AND UNIQUE LANDING PAGE.
We have only a split second to convince prospects that they are in the right place. So we don’t make them search for the product they are looking for: We already know based on their search items. Whenever possible, we send the customer to a deeper, more specific page dealing with the term they just searched. For example, on the term "Men’s Tennis Shoes," we’d link the customer to the page about Men’s Tennis Shoes, not a general shoes page.

CONTINUE THE SALES PROCESS.
In our experience, getting prospects to a landing page is just the beginning of the conversion process. We’ve learned the importance of leading them all the way to a registration page or shopping cart. We do that with landing page copy that expands on the promise of the search engine listing and motivates prospects to take the next step.

RELEVANCY! RELEVANCY! RELEVANCY!
In case you missed the common theme throughout, Relevancy is the most important element of PPC search engine marketing. We’ve found that if we ignore relevancy, we’re often frustrated with low click-through rates and an unprofitable campaign.

Some of these tips are easy to understand in concept, but not so easy to put into practice. We recommend that our prospective clients engage a resource that does this for a living. It’s often better to spend the money and get it right the first time.

JARGON TRANSLATOR

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a technique by which advertisers bid on keywords that their target market might use when looking for a product or service.

Paid Search is a search engine marketing product whereby the search engine company charges fees related to inclusion of websites in their search index.

Click-Through Rates measure the success of an online advertising campaign.

Copy refers to written material.

Keywords are words used to find matching web pages.

Landing Page is the page to which one is directed after clicking on a specific link or online advertisement.

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