Paid advertising plays an integral role in every inbound marketing strategy as a way to attract the 71 percent of consumers who start their search for new products or services by using a search engine. Not to mention, that’s not considering the 74 percent of consumers who use a search engine for consideration and purchasing (Forrester, 2016).
While you can increase your online ranking organically, an increasingly competitive landscape means that’s harder and harder to do. Fortunately, paid advertising gives your company greater visibility across various digital channels, in both social and search.
If you’re already testing paid marketing, use these ideas to boost your efforts in 2018. If you’re new, these tips will ensure you get the most for every dollar spent.
1.) Re-think ad copy
Take a step back and look at ad content from your customers’ perspective. Does it appeal to their top motivators? Is the copy relevant to the keyword you’re targeting? There are many ways to make your ad copy more effective.
Consider the following ad copy optimization tips:
- Learn more about your AdWords competitors and the keywords they’re using to convert with SpyFu.
- Include data and statistics. Use seller rating extensions to include third-party reviews or star ratings in search results.
- Change language, voice, phrasing and more with ads that target different demographics. To be appealing, you have to speak the language. It may be easier to copy and paste, but you end up wasting money on ads that aren’t working.
Dig into more tips for each social and search platform with this in-depth guide from Neil Patel.
2.) Align paid efforts with organic SEO strategy.
Competition in the organic search marketing space has become fierce, making it increasingly more difficult to rank “above the fold” for valuable keywords. By aligning your paid efforts with your organic strategy, you can ensure visibility for your most important keywords.
The key is differentiating between the searchers intent, buy versus research, and then determining what will rank organically and what will be promoted with paid advertising. Why? Both provide value to your website, boosting SEO and conversions, but one is a long-term strategy, and the other provides quick hits.
For example, if you’re struggling to rank for “faux suede shoes,” the collaboration between paid and organic may look like this:
- Organic = long-term SEO strategy
- Create and promote the blog post: “10 Reasons Faux Suede Shoes Are Better Than Designer” on social media to drive shares and views.
- Paid = quick hit
- Create ad: Faux Suede Shoes – Shop 50% Off All Styles
- Organic = long-term SEO strategy
3.) Use negative keywords in AdWords campaigns.
Negative keywords are just as relevant as the ones you use to drive conversions because it ensures your ads are being shown to those who are most likely to buy:
“As you figure out which keywords to target in your campaign, it’s equally important to determine which ones you don’t want to allow. And since AdWords offers the negative keywords option, it’s easy for you to get rid of the keywords that might sound related but actually aren’t,” according to the guide, 3 Tips to Consider When You Include AdWords in Your Digital Marketing Plans.
This ultimately helps you save money because you aren’t paying for clicks that are less likely to convert. For example, if you sell wine glasses, you don’t want to attract people looking for reading glasses or sunglasses. Add these confusing keywords to your negative keyword list to avoid paying for clicks from these consumers who are clearly interested in another product.
4.) Optimize landing pages for conversion.
If you want to get the maximum return on your PPC efforts, you have to put as much effort into landing pages as you do ad copy. Keep these best practices in mind as you create and update landing pages for paid efforts:
- Keep content relevant to the ad so when searchers land on the page, they know they’re in the right place.
- This requires you to align your messaging, using similar keywords, voice, storyline, and branding.
- A/B test landing pages that are used for paid ads.
- This is the best and easiest way to determine what’s working and what’s not. The more testing you do, the better your pages will get, the more leads you’ll convert. Note that you can test every detail on the page from the color of your CTA button to the background image in the header.
- Keep headlines straight-forward and consider the flow of content, starting with a significant value proposition. Catch their attention first, and then focus on the details and supporting information, like testimonials.
5.) Go mobile!
More and more consumers are using mobile to search for products and reviews. A 2016 study from Hitwise found that nearly 60 percent of all searches now take place on mobile. You can’t miss this traffic, and optimizing your ads for mobile is a great way to capture those potential sales.
A 2016 study from Hitwise found that nearly 60 percent of all searches now take place on mobile.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your ads for mobile:
- Create mobile ads for mobile customers; don’t try to use “catch-all” ads. Mobile customers have a different intent; they’re at a different place in the buying process.
- Dig into your Google Analytics. What pages are consumers already looking at on mobile? This will help guide your keyword choice.
- Optimize all pages to be used in mobile PPC using these mobile landing page best practices.
Boosting Paid Marketing in 2018
As you evaluate your paid marketing efforts and plan for next year, keep these five strategies in mind. With more striking ad copy, a negative keyword list and specially optimized mobile ads, you’ll drive more conversions, seeing better results for your spend.
BIO: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer, content marketing consultant and business owner. She’s been featured in Forbes and Business Insider and has written for RetailNext, ShopKeep, Salesforce and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect LinkedIn.