Give Your Paid Search Campaign a Tune-Up

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To get started, here are three components of your campaign that can yield the biggest results.

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No matter how long your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign has been running, the time is always right to be looking for small (and big) improvements. Newly launched campaigns tend to stay front of mind, so it’s natural that they get more of our attention. But even mature campaigns usually have some opportunities lingering in the background.

If you oversee paid search efforts for your brand, this is a reminder to perform regular audits on your campaigns. Take a little time to inspect what’s working, what’s not, and make a few tweaks. To get started, consider these three components of your campaign that can yield the biggest results.

A Compelling Call to Action

The best crafted paid search campaigns can’t compensate for weak calls-to-action (CTAs). The promise made in your ads needs to come to fruition on the landing page. And the landing page must have a good reason for users to take the next step. Whether your goal is to generate webform leads, phone calls, downloads, or shopping cart interactions, success will depend largely on how persuasive—and easy—your offer is.

Tune-Up Tip:

Don’t be vague or clever. Instead, use language that’s specific, actionable, and overtly says what you want the user to do. Instead of a white paper link that says, “Learn More,” try one that says, “Read Why B2B Sales Efforts Fail.” Instead of “Contact Us,” above your webform, try “Select your marketing pain points below, and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours to let you know how we can help.”

A Killer Landing Page

As a rule, avoid dumping campaign traffic on an existing page of your site. Effective landing pages are purpose-built from the ground up and follow proven best practices. For example, a good landing page experience will feature a small amount of hyper-focused copy, a short list of features and benefits, a few trust markers (association logos, payment logos, etc.), pricing if relevant, and an easy way to take the next step—your CTA. If resources allow, it can be helpful to include a short explainer video, customer testimonials, or a chatbot.

Tune-Up Tip:

It’s not just important what belongs on your landing page, but also what doesn’t. Make sure you’ve omitted anything that could distract prospects from accomplishing their goal (and yours). Things like global navigation (up top), a packed footer (below), and unnecessary links in the body copy can cause visitors to lose their focus and skip the CTA.

An Active Keyword Strategy

This might be the most obvious part of your paid search campaign but resist the tendency to “set and forget” your keywords. The terminology your customers use matters the most, so start there. Just like you did during your initial keyword selection, continually revisit this part of your campaign, researching new terms that may not have originally been on your radar.

And when you discover new keywords, don’t just add them to your target list, make sure you’re supporting them with relevant copy on your landing page. One of the best ongoing improvements you can make to a paid search landing page is updating the copy for keyword relevance. This can help raise your quality score, and potentially lower your CPC (cost-per-click).

Tune-Up Tip:

Give negative keywords the same level of attention. If using Google Ads, frequently check your Search Terms report to see what users are querying verbatim. Google makes it easy to select terms straight from this list and either bid on them or add them to your negative keyword list. In both cases, be sure to opt for phrase and exact match types for better control.

And Finally…

Be discerning with free advice. If you’re running your campaign in Google Ads, you’ll see a regular stream of in-platform suggestions—your responses to which are reflected in your Optimization Score. They’re worth reviewing, but not all of Google’s recommendations will be right for your campaign. Some could even be a step in the wrong direction for your specific goals.

If you sense that a PPC campaign is what your marketing strategy is missing, but you’re not sure where to start, we’re here for you.

DKY helps brands navigate the constantly changing landscape of marketing decisions they face. PPC management is just one of the ways we help good people build brands of great impact. If you’re a Director of Marketing looking to extend your team’s capabilities and expertise, let’s talk!

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