“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
The aforementioned quote by Benjamin Franklin holds true across all industries, especially digital marketing, where a simple mistake can cost you a Benjamin Franklin ($100) in a heartbeat.
I am going to clue you in on five simple pay-per-click advertising tricks that will provide you with the knowledge to deliver the best results in your online advertising campaigns on the other major search engines.
This will not only save your business money, it will also help you generate more leads at a lower price point without breaking the bank.
If you are eager to grow your business through pay-per-click advertising but are somewhat foggy on this subject manner, I will provide a crash course before diving into the 5 PPC tricks to save your business money.
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of Internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.
Let’s say you own a handmade leather journal shop and sell your products online. On major search engines like Google and Bing, you can bid on the keyword “handmade leather journals,” and your advertisement will populate on the top of Google when the user types in this keyword. The only time you are charged is when someone clicks on your advertisement.
Quality Over Quantity
The concept of bidding on your most valuable keywords sounds great in theory. If someone were interested in handmade leather journals and your advertisement populated on the top of Google, this should theoretically drive high-quality traffic to your website, right?
Not so fast, my friends. What if someone were to search for “free handmade leather journal?" This likely wouldn’t convert into a sale based on the user’s broad search intent.
If someone were searching for leather journals at 1 AM and you know your best conversion rate happens during business hours when you are available to answer phone calls and participate in a “live chat,” the wee hours of the morning would not be the best time to run your advertisements.
By implementing the 5 tricks below on your PPC campaign, you can save some serious cash while improving traffic quality to your site, which will ultimately drive more conversions at a lower price point.
The question to ask yourself after implementing these 5 PPC tricks is what will you do with those extra Ben Franklins that you saved by optimizing your pay-per-click advertising campaign.
1. Negative Keywords
According to Google, a negative keyword is a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. It tells Google not to show your ad to anyone who is searching for that phrase.
In the handmade leather journal example, if the keyword “free” was to be included as one of your negative keywords, your advertisement would have never populated when someone was searching for “free handmade leather journals.” Instead of paying money for a click when someone was not interested in ordering from your site, you could have spent your money more wisely on a search term like “order handmade leather journal online.”
Make sure to create a list of negative keywords, which can include competitor keywords, the word “free,” “how to,” “cheap,” or any other search term you are confident would not convert into a sale for your business. For a step by step guide on how to add negative keywords in AdWords, watch this video.
2. Ad Schedule
Perhaps you only want to show your ad on certain days, or during business hours when you’re there to handle customer inquiries.
Many business owners, marketing managers and entrepreneurs are unaware that by default, AdWords campaigns are set to “Show ads all days and hours."
If the leather journal company analyzed its sales history and saw the most conversions taking place from 11 AM to 1 PM during the workweek, it would be recommended that they set a bid adjustment to increase their bid for that specific time. They also wouldn’t want to run their ads on the weekend if they know the workweek delivers better results, and they are on a limited budget.
Study your conversion history and determine the most beneficial hours for your advertisements to be served. Otherwise, you might be flushing money down the toilet at 1 AM.
3. Keyword Selection
A common mistake in first setting up a PPC campaign is when marketers don’t know the difference between broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match keywords.
Google provides outstanding information on the different match types along with a chart that outlines example searches.
Did you know that by selecting broad match keywords, your ad could populate even when a user misspells the keyword, or if it is just a related search?
If there is a lot of search volume within your industry or you are targeting your ads to a large audience, sticking with phrase match, broad match modifier or exact match would be more beneficial and could save your business a boatload of money.
Within the keyword tab of your ad campaign, click on “search terms” and this will provide more insight on the longer-tail search queries that people are typing in before clicking on your ads. If you haven’t checked the “search term” tab in a while, you might be surprised by some of the irrelevant search queries that you are paying for. This is why it is so important to have a defined keyword selection and constantly be adding negative keywords to your list.
4. Quality Score
Did you know that Google actually judges your keyword performance and you can see your grade on a scale of 1-10?
This is called Quality Score and, according to Google, it’s an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords and landing page are to a user viewing your ad. Higher Quality Scores typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions.
Google is literally knocking on your businesses door and telling you whether your keyword is a “champ” or a “chump,” yet this feedback is often overlooked by advertisers.
Make sure to click on “columns” when you are analyzing your keywords and then click on “modify columns” and then “attributes,” and finally add “quality score” into your dashboard.
5. Always Be Testing
The beauty of digital advertising is that you can run two different sets of ad copy at the same time, and the top performer can drastically lower your cost per click and your cost per acquisition.
Long gone are the days where “Wendy Stick with What Works” and “Ira the Idea Guy” have to battle it out in a marketing meeting to decide on an upcoming campaign. Wendy and Ira can each select ad copies for their business and Google will quickly let you know which one performs better in the marketplace.
Make sure to implement at least four different sets of advertising copy within each ad group so you can see which copy performs the best. After you have a “top performer”, run it against new creative to improve your advertisement continuously.
A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned
Even though Mr. Franklin was not alive to witness Internet advertising, his concept of “a penny saved is a penny earned” applies perfectly to pay-per-click advertising.
If you eliminate low-quality keywords, serve your ads at optimal times, analyze your quality score and test your ad copy, you should generate new business at a lower price point.
Mr. Franklin would be curious to know how you plan to reinvest all of those saved pennies to continue growing your business.