I have some news for you. It can be. I’ve heard stories of people wasting thousands of dollars and getting zero results. They come to us and say things like:
“I tried running AdWords and it was a huge waste of money!”
“I spent thousands of dollars with no results!”
“The clicks were really expensive.”
“I got a bunch of traffic to my site, but no conversions. The ads didn’t work.”
To these people and those who have had a similar issue, I have to say I am so sorry that you’ve had this experience. However, running online ad campaigns doesn’t have to be super expensive and can be done well at a low cost to get you results. I have some very specific rules when it comes to running ad campaigns online that, if followed, can make your ads more successful.
Rule #1: An increase in traffic is not your goal
Recently I was reviewing a report for someone about SEO/PPC work being done for the company. The report had all kinds of data about how much traffic was being directed to the website. On the surface, it sounded great. More traffic is what you want, right?
Not so fast. Does it matter if you get 1,000 more people on the site if none of them convert? What’s the point of driving a ton of traffic to your website if that traffic isn’t hiring you?
It’s not about getting more traffic. It’s about getting the right traffic.
More traffic may seem like a great result, but in my opinion it’s not the result we’re looking for. If you pay for 1,000 people to click on your ads and none of them hire you, then that money is wasted. The real goal here is to get an increase in the conversion rate. A high conversion rate means that people have not only clicked through on the ad, but have then found enough compelling information on your website to take the next step.
I’d rather see 100 clicks and 1 conversion than 1,000 clicks and no conversions.
Rule #2: Focus on long-tail keywords
A long-tail keyword is basically a keyword phrase that’s three or more words. A lot of times when marketers set up ad accounts they focus on more generic terms that have a lot of traffic, because that increases the number of impressions you can get. If I’m selling bird cages and my keyword is ‘bird cages‘ that’s going to get a lot of impressions. That’s not necessarily bad. But what if instead of ‘bird cages’ I use ‘ornate bird cages‘ as my keyword. Note this only works if you actually do sell ornate bird cages, but if you do and you use that, people who type ‘ornate bird cages’ into the search engine may actually be looking for what you sell and your conversion rate is likely to be higher.
Not only will your conversion rate for long-tail keywords be higher, but those keywords are much less expensive. Because less people are using long-tail keywords, the cost per click for those keywords is going to be a lot less, meaning you can drive very specific traffic to your site for a lot less money and get a better conversion rate.
Will you get less impressions? Probably. But in exchange, you’ll get a higher quality conversion for a lot less money.
Rule #3: Write great ad copy
The text of your ad is SO important. It’s the difference between someone who clicks on the ad and someone who scrolls past. What can you offer that will be so enticing that someone would have to click through? What’s your unique selling proposition? Are your ornate bird cages the cheapest? Are they the most ornate? Are you the only place they can get it? Of course you can’t put all that into a three line ad, but you can use this information to fashion the absolute best ad copy. Look at these two ads and tell me which one you’d be more likely to click.
Which one would you be more likely to click on? What’s your call-to-action? Why should someone buy from you? You have to give them a good reason to click through on your ad.
Rule #4: Don’t neglect your landing page
I have some news for you. It’s highly unlikely that your homepage is the best page for your ad to go to. If you follow my advice and use long-tail keywords, then the person who clicks through probably is looking for something specific. That means you need to create a specific landing page that shows them exactly what they are looking for. If that thing is ornate bird cages, then create a special landing page that showcases all the ornate bird cages so all they have to do is click the add to cart button. A compelling page that gives them exactly what they’re looking for is going to wind up with more conversions than if someone has to click around a lot to find what they are looking for.
This is especially important if you offer more than one service or product.
Rule #5: Be prudent with your targeting
I always ask my clients who their target audience is, and I get a surprising number of responses along the lines of, “everyone!” Unfortunately, this is almost never the case. Yes, you may want anyone and everyone to hire you, but the truth is that you probably have a demographic that you can adjust to get more quality leads for less cost.
You might service everyone all over the country and want to be able to get clicks from all over. But probably your ads are going to cost more if you run them in New York City or Chicago than if you ran them in Boise, Idaho. Money in Idaho spends the same way it does in New York City. If you want to save money, focus your ads on areas with less expensive clicks rather than on the whole country. If you only offer services to a small area, be sure your ads are ONLY showing in that area. Why advertise to someone you can’t even service?
Setting up proper targeting can make or break your budget.
Following these rules will help you design and run a pay-per-click marketing campaign that will cost less and be more effective for your business. We specialize in running ad campaigns for small business and we can both set up and manage your online campaigns. Request a quote today.
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