Male hand digital plastique card computer e-commercePaid search can present a real challenge to marketers. Like most marketing campaigns, trial and error is necessary, but the difference with paid advertising is the platforms present you with crucial information that enable you to leap the hurdles earlier.

The following article gives you a good starting point of the best practices to follow if you are just starting out on a campaign or have tried pay-per-click with little success.

Avoid big lists of keywords

It has become common practice for large enterprises offering multiple services and products to keep large lists of keywords. But in doing so, paid advertising campaigns are difficult to manage, complex and time-consuming.

Keep tasks simple. Use Google’s Quality Score to determine how effective keywords are and keep the number of keywords to a minimum.

This becomes more difficult if you do not have a sizeable budget to splash out on the most competitive keywords. They are more expensive and will eat into your budget like Pacman.

In such circumstances, testing is more necessary, so check on the keywords being used by your competitors and avoid using them. Then use query mining…

Query mining

Google analytics offers search terms used by end-users to find sites and throw up new search terms all the time – especially now voice commands on mobile are being used more often.

Use these keywords in your ads – avoiding duplicate keyword matches – and when checking your campaign, remove low CTR’s. This will cut down the time it takes to analyse the performance of your ppc campaign and should help make it more effective – providing you select keywords strategically.

Specific landing pages

Your ppc ads should relate to a specific product or service and therefore needs to link to the relevant page. Otherwise it is deemed misleading advertising and prospects will click straight out.

Your landing page also needs to be tailored towards the customer you are targeting, so make sure the lead you provide in your paid ad is followed up on the landing page.

Target mobile users

Mobile has becoming the dominant sub-channel for percentage clicks, particularly for retailers.

It stands to reason that B2C companies selling consumer products will have more success targeting a mobile audience, but B2B companies have the same benefits if the copy on your landing pages follow a logical step in the purchasing process.

Number of ads per group

The expression hedging your bets springs to mind when engaging in paid advertising campaigns – and paid search platforms oblige by allowing marketers to create ad groups.

By creating ad groups you can cover a wider choice of keywords that will be triggered when your host matches your ads to search terms.

There is no limit on the number of ads you should include in anyone group, but make it manageable – 2 or 3 will suffice depending on the number of keywords you have for any one landing page.

But don’t forget the specifics of your landing page. It is easy to derail your targeting by getting carried away with casting your keyword net wider.

Paid search advertising has many benefits for both established online businesses and newbies hoping to improve visibility online.

However, it is highly competitive and can be very expensive if you throw money at it without strategy and analysis. If you would like advice about your ppc campaign, give us a call.