Bidding & Optimization Strategies for the Modern Search Marketer
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There remains a plethora of old and new ways for businesses and advertisers to increase the click-through rates of their campaigns via Paid Search. We could have increased this list to 100 or even 200 strategies worth implementing. But by keeping the list to 50 targeted techniques, we are able to focus on the main ones that will have the biggest impact. In addition, this list does keep conversions in mind but occasionally we throw that out because some companies are less focused on ROI and more on brand awareness.
Benefits Of Increased Click Through Rates
There are times when higher click-through rates are not beneficial to businesses and advertisers (i.e. your cost per lead is incredibly high), but overall increased click-through rates are essential to well performing campaigns for several reasons. First, higher click-through rates allow for an overall lower cost per click at the campaign level. This will be explained in the strategies advertisers can use, but overall it creates a higher quality score, which reduces cost per click overtime. Second, you also get more out of your paid search budget by having your campaign more targeted because you know your ads are more targeted and you’re not wasting your budget on non-targeted clicks. Third, you create a higher likelihood of outperforming your competition who is advertising alongside your ads. Part of our job as advertisers is to draw attention away from their paid search advertisements and get the targeted searcher to view ours.
We broke down these strategies into five different levels of campaign creation that can impact click-through rate including pre-campaign building, Campaign Level Changes, AdGroup & Ad Level Updates, Keyword Level Modifications, and finally steps you should take after the full creation of the campaign.
Consult With The Client Or Your Company
This is by far the best means of increasing the click-through rate of a campaign. We try to ask in-depth questions to understand the industry, the market, the business, the target audience, and the competitors. This knowledge and insight allows you to methodically think through what is likely to be effective and what keywords you want to stray away from. Here are some initial key questions worth asking:
- What products/services do you provide?
- Are you currently offering any special promotions?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What impact will your product/service have on the end consumer?
- What is your value proposition?
- What has given you a competitive advantage over the past year?
Review Competitors’ Ads & Websites
Competitive analysis is the cornerstone of strategy for any business. It is even more critical in the world of pay-per-click advertising. Reviewing a competitor’s company and its ads after you’ve typed in some sample keywords can provide you with ideas on how to create a targeted campaign as well as how they are performing.
Think of the Marketing Funnel
In my post last month, I wrote about the digital marketing funnel and how to think through PPC advertising more effectively. Overall, consider where your client is in the marketing funnel and where those keywords fall. For example, if you are advertising t-shirts, it may be a better to target keywords that have purchase intent couple with t-shirts such as “buy customized t-shirts” or “discounted funky t-shirts.” These are direct response keyword phrases whereas “cool t-shirts” would likely result in lower click-through rates and even conversions.
Consider the End Conversion Goal
Don’t consider the end conversion goal simply to increase the click-through rate of the campaign. Thinking about the end conversion goal will allow you to create targeted campaigns because you are focusing on the needs and wants of the searcher. Is the conversion goal a phone call, an email sign-up, or a purchase? This part of the process helps with clear call to actions and other action verbs worth adding to the adverts.
Don’t Be Shy to Use a Few Tools
I use several tools to help with the idea creation process before and after I’ve consulted with the client. Some of those tools include SEMRush, VisualThesaurus, PPC Campaign Builder, the classic Google Keyword Planner, and Ubersuggest. These tools will save you time and allow you to effectively create a stellar campaign.
Landing Page – Modify & Enhance
This may not increase the click-through rate of your Ads, but it does lend itself to generating better ideas for more targeted Ad copy. As you go through the landing pages in which you’re sending traffic to, you will then be able to lower your quality score, potentially increase your Ad position, which then translates into a higher click-through rate.
Build Multiple Campaigns
Many people fall into the trap of creating one campaign for all of their paid search needs. For example, a general contractor may provide multiple services including electric, heating, and water. Instead of creating separate campaigns for each service, advertisers create a campaign lumping all of their services into different AdGroups (sometimes the same AdGroups). By creating a campaign for each service, you are given better control on how to use the keywords and this also translates into higher click-through rates for the individual campaigns.