Broadly, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is an effective method of promoting your business online to a targeted audience. But more specifically, the great benefit of PPC is that it allows you to advertise in a market where people are already searching for what you are offering, and you only pay when visitors actually click on your URL. Although the setup of a PPC campaign may seem simple, there are key elements that can greatly influence the success of your campaign. Here are some often overlooked components of an effective PPC campaign.

Determine the Right Keywords – As with search engine optimization, keyword research and development is the cornerstone of PPC implementation. With increasing keyword bidding prices and a saturated marketplace, it’s important that advertisers diversify their keyword investments to include both broad and long-tail phrases while placing a heavy emphasis on keywords that are projected to convert into sales, qualified leads, or whatever your goals may be. You are paying for every click, so be sure to only attract visitors who will actually buy and utilize your service.

While broad keyword are still very necessary for getting your company in front of the majority of potential customers, incorporating a deeper, more specific group of keywords which are much more targeted will balance your traffic and provide a greater return on your ad spend. Consulting with a qualified PPC or SEO specialist will help identify productive keywords by using a mix free and paid keyword inventory and bid trend tools. Keyword research services should also include an analysis of your competitors’ keywords to create a comprehensive and effective keyword strategy.

Set a Budget – With better rankings typically equating to a positive ROI, it’s easy to go over your limit when bidding on keywords. To avoid losing money on your PPC campaign, it is crucial that you analyze your conversion rate to accurately determine your cost per click (CPC) budget. For example, if you invest $200 per month towards your PPC campaign, and your average profit per sale is $25, you will need eight sales per month just to break even.

If your sales conversion rate is 2%, you will need at least 400 visitors per month to meet your sales minimum. This illustrates that with a $200 PPC budget, you should not go over a $0.50 cost per click limit when bidding on keywords. While PPC experts offer various reasons for starting out small vs. going all out, one argument does make sense. That is, starting smaller and learning what does and does not work for your business allows you to modify your PPC campaign with money left to continue.

Don’t Forget the Landing Page – With so much attention dedicated to just attracting potential customers, it’s also important that the destination page is not overlooked. Your visitors have already expressed their intent with the focused keyword search, so send them to optimized pages that will help close the deal by more effectively connecting with them (i.e. not just the homepage). Incorporating the best practices for layout and content (unique and relevant) on each page will not only support both sales conversion rates and your search engine optimization efforts.

The landing page you direct your PPC traffic to can make or break your campaign, so spend the time to test campaigns with slightly different destinations. This will show you which landing page versions produce better results. Move forward with whichever works best.

PPC online advertising can be a very effective means for driving traffic to your websites. With proper implementation, it can also reduce the overall cost of gathering leads—focused keywords attract a more targeted traffic and warmer leads.

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