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5 Ways to Avoid Low Performing PPC Campaigns

When properly planned and managed, PPC campaigns can be a great way to reach your target audience and boost conversions.  However, you can also spend a lot of money on campaigns that simply don’t deliver.  How can you avoid low performing PPC campaigns and ensure anticipated ROI?  Here are a few strategies to make the most of your PPC campaigns.

Pace Your Bidding Strategy

It’s important not to take an all-or-nothing approach to your PPC spend.  You might think you need to bid high to get coveted keywords that will attract your target audience, and that it will pay off in time.  Or you might think the better strategy is to bid low to have the best chance at significant ROI.

Both strategies have their merits, but when you’re getting started, your best bet is to spend some money up-front to learn which keywords and strategies are going to work best.  Think of it as market research.

When you spend a little more to get a range of keywords, you can see which ones resonate with your audience and perform the best in terms of conversions.  From there you can trim down your spend and bid on only the keywords that make sense for your business.

Don’t be Married to Keywords

It’s natural to want to find a strategy that works and stick with it, but this principle simply doesn’t apply in the ever-changing virtual landscape.  Even keywords that have performed well for a while can stop delivering the returns they once did, and it’s important to keep an eye on performance so you can pivot to put your money where it will do the most good.

Don’t Forget Negative Keywords

Reaching your target audience isn’t an exact science, but there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure your marketing dollars are spent wisely.  If your focus is entirely on nabbing desired keywords, you could unintentionally wind up serving ads to the wrong audience.

Suppose you’re selling high-end, handmade, artisanal soap.  What you don’t want is for your ads to appear to consumers seeking cheap or bulk soap, for example.  By using negative keywords along with positive ones, you have the best opportunity to reach the right audience and encourage conversions.

Focus on Content

To some extent, your ads need to cater to known audience preferences.  However, you also need to stand out from the crowd.  If your ads are too similar to competitors, audiences can get confused.

You need to create a brand identity that stands out and elicits a positive and enthusiastic response, and it must be represented in your ad copy.  If you’re unsure how to proceed, try A/B and multivariate testing to see what audiences respond to.

Understand ROI Metrics

There’s a tendency to get hung up on two big numbers – spending and profit.  However, it’s also important to understand how your costs break down, and one great way to do that is by looking at metrics like cost per lead (CPL) and cost per conversion (CPC), for example.

How much are you spending per visitor?  How much per sale?  Are you seeing a major uptick in traffic without a lot of conversions, or are only a few visitors drawn in, but a significant number are buying?  When you look at breakdowns, you can get a clearer view of how you’re spending, how you’re performing, and what you should change to increase successes and avoid failures.

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