This post originally appeared on Searchenginewatch.com
- Coronavirus and related quarantine measures led to an increase in online sales, the amount of video content consumed, and the time people spend on the internet in general.
- PPC ads are relevant more than ever.
- In this article, you’ll find the most common errors in contextual advertising and get practical recommendations on setting up effective PPC ads.
Coronavirus and related quarantine measures led to an increase in online sales, the amount of video content consumed, and the time people spend on the Internet in general. That’s why PPC ads are more relevant than ever now for your business. All you need to improve your conversion rate and profit as well is to create these ads correctly.
In this article, you’ll find the most common errors in contextual advertising and get practical recommendations on setting up effective ads.
The most common errors when setting up ads
1. Contactless ads
Advertisements without contact information (so-called Business Card) take up less space in SERP and lose to competitors’ ones due to the fact they are less noticeable and informative.
2. Lack of quick links and favicon
This error leads to a decrease in traffic, CTR, and means that ads budget will rise.
3. Ads are not optimized for the Google Display Network
A search engine ad campaign is different from one shown on the Google Display Network. If you just copy ads, you’ll not get a good result, if any.
The main difference between campaigns on the thematic sites and in search:
- Images are not displayed in search but on thematic sites, they must be added.
- Advertising on thematic sites should be more creative than in search. There are many different formats in GDN you can experiment with.
4. Lack of division into the industry and regional campaigns
Without this separation, you can waste the budget. Dividing the campaign, you’ll identify which industries or regions are more effective, which part of the campaign should get more attention and budget.
5. The structure of the PPC ads campaign has not been worked out
The campaign structure does not appear from scratch but is created on the basis of Internet demand and customer market analysis (customer needs and requirements, products demand).
For example, you can create following groups from your PPC campaign: on a company brand, on general keywords, on regions, on types of the product, on promotions, on competitors, etc.
6. The site doesn’t load when clicked
Often, a campaign is running but a server is not configured to process the labels of advertising systems. Therefore, when you click on an ad, the site may not load.
How to set up an effective PPC ads campaign
Work with contextual advertising involves continuous analysis. Before launch, it’s an analysis of the target audience, the strengths and weaknesses of the product, the activities of competitors, and niche filling. Since the situation on the market is changing dynamically, running an advertising campaign, you should carry out a direct analysis of contextual ads, their results, as well as competitors.
Before starting a PPC campaign
As I’ve already said, you should make a deep analysis before setting up your advertisements. You should learn:
1. The target audience
These are people you want to hook and convert into buyers
A specialist should understand their pains, determine triggers of influence, find out which style it’s better to communicate with them.
You can do it with the help of different polls and surveys among your clients, talking to your customer support team, studying your competitors.
2. The product
How are you selling the product? How is it made? How is it different from competitors? What objections does it cause among buyers? What are its strengths and weaknesses? You should know answers to all these questions because it’ll be rather difficult to sell a product or service without them.
3. The niche
Each business has its specifics. It can be something more familiar to each of us (for example, retail, like Amazon) or something non-standard from B2B (business to business) sphere (for example, content marketing services). Study sites from given examples to see the difference between niches.
Therefore, before selling, you need to understand to whom and how to sell, what difficulties may arise, what kind of competition is now.
4. Competitors’ ads
A strong competitor can appear at any second. So, you should not lose vigilance at any stage of contextual advertising. High competition always threatens high CPC (cost per click) and lower outreach.
To help an advertiser, there are a number of tools for monitoring the market and creating your successful PPC campaign or optimizing it. You can get the following information from them:
- The quality of the texts, relevance of the ad to the user’s request, benefits which it brings to the buyer.
- Keywords which are used in ads.
- What the landing page looks like if it’s able to convert visitors into buyers due to the unique selling proposition, convenience of making the order.
- The dynamics of changes in the effectiveness of ads
One of the most popular and easy tools is Serpstat. Here you can find:
- Information about ads campaign entering only the domain of the competitor;
- Keywords and their volume
- Keywords competition
- Links to landing pages
- Main performance metrics
Basic checklist to set up an effective PPC ad campaign
A full checklist for setting up contextual advertising is hundreds of points. Here, I give only the minimum requirements that everyone can implement.
1. Separation of B2B and B2C (business to consumer) keywords
It’s a top-level of the structure. You need to study your audience segments in detail.
2. You should optimize ads for different devices. Campaign for mobile search should be a separate one with different keywords and settings.
3. You need to make good ads:
- Keywords in the title
- Qualifying words
- Keyword in the display link
- Keyword in the description
- Call to action
- Quick link with a keyword
4. To increase the effectiveness of your ad, I recommend using different ad extensions: structured snippets, call, location, price extensions, and more.
5. For high and medium search volume keywords your campaign should be built on the principle – “one keyword = one ad”. Low search volume ones need to be grouped.
6. Launch campaign for near-niches. For example for car dealers, such niches will be car services, leasing, components.
7. Limit budget for ineffective keywords, platforms, channels.
8. Work in GDN but filter platforms not to get rubbish traffic.
9. Try new instruments: ads in Gmail, such campaigns as call-only ads, local search ads, true view, and the others.
10. Use dynamic remarketing on incomplete activities, abandoned baskets, etc. It allows you to contact users who have already been on your site.
11. Use other promotion channels. One of the best schemes is: bring a new visitor with the help of PPC ad, return him/her to the site with the help of social networks remarketing, lead to a decision on the call or order after the third contact through MyTarget.
12. Remember that ads can be displayed at the wrong time for your company. For example, if you have a B2B offer, you should not spend budget at night or on weekends.
13. Fill in the list of negative keywords.
Analysis of your ads campaign
To estimate your contextual advertising you should use two tools: a site analytics system and Google Analytics or Google Ads.
To analyze your site and its traffic, you can use the Finteza tool. It’s a service that can provide you with information about your audience by 15 basic parameters such as visit sources, events, UTM parameters, page addresses, countries. Everything you need to do here is to filter data by parameters appropriate for your PPC campaign. As a result, you’ll get information in diagrams and funnels.
Indicators you should use to analyze the effectiveness of your advertising according to Google Analytics or Google Ads:
CTR (click through rate)
It should increase and CPC – decrease. If it doesn’t happen, your ads are of poor quality for this system and you should change tactics.
CR (conversion rate)
It shows how many users from the ad made a targeted action on the landing page (made an order, left some request, signed up, followed a link, etc). This point should always increase.
The cost of attracting a customer who will make a purchase should always decrease.
Investments pay off if the indicator is more than zero. It’s great when it increases also.
CAC (customer acquisition cost)
You need to evaluate it to understand how much a new client .costs to you. Business is fine when this amount is less than the average bill.
LTV (customer lifetime value)
It shows how much money every customer brought to you from the first deal. The larger the number, the better it’s for you.
To round up
At first glance, setting up contextual advertising may seem to be easy. In reality, it’s a continuous work with the analysis of your ads and competitors, the full niche. To create an effective campaign you need to have basic marketing knowledge and an analytical mindset.
Contextual advertising will bring profit only if it’s set up correctly and thought out in detail.