Now we’re a month into 2015 it’s time to share a few of our essential PPC (Pay Per Click) tips to keep your campaigns successful in the months ahead. We have based these tips on our own experiences, and with the clients that we have been working with over the past year, all of whom have seen vast improvements in their paid search activity. So without further ado let’s take a closer look:
1. Making the most of Google Shopping
Google Shopping is nothing new, but since it’s move to a paid model, Google have heavily promoted this channel, no doubt because of the considerable revenue potential! Over the past year we have seen more competition on Google Shopping, driving up cost per click bids (CPCs) by 63% for one of our retail client’s. We have also seen a significant increase in impression levels, with this more than doubling year-on-year, largely due to wider syndication of these ads through Google’s search partners and the display network. This rise has also coincided with a drop in clicks to our clients’ product specific non-brand campaigns, with the click-share having moved to Google Shopping. This is making it more expensive to generate sales driving up the overall cost per acquisition (CPA). This is making it all the more important to ensure that you have a strong shopping campaign, setup in a granular way, so that it is easy to manage. It also makes it even more important to watch those all-important acquisition costs. Shopping campaigns make it easier for consumers to compare prices so consider your offering and it’s pricing next to your competitors. If you’re selling a product that is widely available through many retailers, though yours is more expensive, lacks free delivery, etc., it’s less likely to succeed using Google Shopping than with the traditional product specific ads. In other words, Google Shopping is more about promoting businesses on the price aspect of the marketing mix which makes it harder for us to promote our USPs that justify our pricing. With the above trends set to continue this year and beyond don’t get left behind.
2. Harnessing the potential of mobile traffic
The importance of mobile traffic is undeniable. We need to cater for this traffic now; ignore it and you’ll lose a massive section of your audience. Last year many advertisers saw huge increases in impressions and clicks from smartphones and this trend is set to continue in 2015. Addressing mobile traffic from a PPC perspective is just one part of the puzzle with many companies urgently needing to upgrade their websites for mobile traffic. Poor user experiences are still all too common on mobile with a few examples of a good and bad mobile site shown below. Aside from lobbying your business for additional resources to address mobile responsiveness and usability, there are things that we could and should be doing from a paid search perspective. Here are some top considerations:
- Creating dedicated mobile ads with device specific language. This drives up click-through rates. It still surprises me how many accounts we look at that use a one size fits all for their ads.
- Create mobile specific sitelink extensions, to avoid text being truncated, and if you are looking to drive phone calls use Call Extensions. An extension that automatically populates your business number in the dialler of the user’s smartphone? Why wouldn’t you use this?!
- Review campaign performance by device and make appropriate bid adjustments to cater for this traffic.
3. Review PPC performance by location
When was the last time you invested some time looking at a detailed breakdown of geographic performance by campaign in AdWords? Have you ever, in fact? We would strongly recommend that you do so as you are likely to find some interesting trends. Once we have the right data we can then act on this with positive or negative bid adjustments. It’s also important to compare how this fares with your other marketing efforts. This data may help you to look at marketing improvements beyond AdWords.
4. Review PPC Performance by day and hour
Similar to looking at geo-targeting data we can also look at AdWords performance by day of the week and by hour of the day. If you haven’t looked at this data by campaign recently I would implore you to do so, as again, it is likely to yield some interesting insights into PPC performance, which you can then act on, with ad scheduling and bid adjustments, improving the efficiency of your PPC activity! Using this campaign data will not only help you with better paid ad targeting but it could also help to save you money in the long run.
5. Start properly tracking your phone calls with a call tracking solution!
If your business generates a lot of phone calls from customers you simply must use a call tracking solution if you want to track accurately your marketing spends. We are seeing increased take-up for call tracking solutions, helping us to plug the gap in attribution leakage, but many marketers still have some way to go. Call tracking solutions have been available for some time now though the cost of these solutions has previously put smaller advertisers off. When looking at call tracking though, we need to appreciate the value of the insight that it can provide, i.e. the value of knowing exactly where your phone calls originate from. Only through knowing this can we more accurately look at the cost and returns of our marketing activity. Now that Google has its own solution in place known as ‘Website call conversions’ this is a much more cost-effective solution for marketers in tracking calls. This essentially means that you can use dynamic ‘03’ tracking numbers on your website to track calls from PPC! However, at Receptional, we prefer more advanced and insightful solutions such as Mediahawk, given the level of data that such software provides, but this does come at a monthly subscription + calls cost. Your call tracking dashboard will show you incredibly useful information, such as which PPC campaigns are generating phone calls, the keyword someone used to trigger and click on your ads, as well as the web pages they viewed up until
they called you. All of this information is vital for improving your PPC campaigns and for optimising your wider marketing channels so don’t forget to track your call data too! If you are looking to breathe new life in to your PPC activity in 2015 call us on (01525) 715520, or contact us for more information. We offer a free, no-obligation PPC audit, and will happily assess all of the areas mentioned in this post, as well as many others!