Feb14

Strategies to Stretch Your PPC Budget

Ever wish you had a bigger budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or that your existing budget would go farther and produce better results for your business? If so, then it’s time to talk to ACS creative about PPC Management and charge up your routine with some deliberate actions to stretch your budget and pump up the return on your PPC investment. Here are 10 strategies to set you off in the right direction.

1. Let ROI guide your spend

Suppose the PPC advertising cost for one of your keywords is $40 and produces $130 profit from sales, while a second costs $75 and produces $150 from sales. What’s your best strategy? Because the first’s ROI is ($130 – $40) / $40 = 2.25 or 225% and the second’s is ($150 – $75) / $75 = 1 or 100%, you can benefit from directing more of your budget to the first keyword to take advantage of the higher ROI.

2. Stop using automatic bidding

Automatic bidding is attractive—especially to PPC Management newcomers—because you set a monthly target budget and the tool takes care of the rest, adjusting bids to deliver the most clicks possible for your budget. Unfortunately, with automatic bidding you have no control over which keyword bids are raised or lowered, so you can’t adjust spend to take advantage of keywords that produce a high number of conversions or exceptional ROI.

3. Start PPC Management campaigns aggressively so keywords build Quality Score

Don’t get off on the wrong foot by designating too small a budget to a new campaign. It takes a while for your keywords to build Quality Score, which results in better ad positioning at lower bid prices for you. Early on, watch but don’t worry if your ROI isn’t where you want it to be, but if that trend continues, take measures to improve the relevancy of your ad and landing page to increase click-through rate (CTR) and conversions for that keyword.

4. Gear your budget to top-performing keywords

Find the keywords that perform best for your business—those with high CTR, conversion rate and ROI. That doesn’t mean abandon all other keywords in your campaign (since you never know when the winds might change) but rather direct most of your spend to the keywords that pay off over the long run.

5. Pay attention to longtail keywords

In general, longtail keywords cost less in bidding and convert better than popular keywords. The reasons? Searchers using longer keyword phrases are generally fewer in number but are farther along in the buying cycle, know exactly what they want and convert more readily. If you simply must be present for popular keywords, try to find longtail versions to benefit from lower bid prices and higher sales.

6. Bid to secure optimal ad positions

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t necessarily need to be in the top 3 ad positions on the search results page to be successful. Check your analytics to determine the highest converting position for your keyword and adjust your bids to secure that position.

7. Stop advertising during unprofitable times of the week

Just because the Internet runs 24/7 doesn’t mean your ads need to. Schedule your ads to run when your customers shop, not during unprofitable times of the week. If you show few sales over the weekend or overnight, schedule your ads to run outside those times. This is an easy action to take that can lower your costs while only minimally impacting your sales.

8. Separate the wheat from the chaff

It’s advantageous to keep high-performing keywords in separate ad groups from low-performing keywords so that Quality Score doesn’t suffer. Remember that a higher Quality Score often rewards you with better positioning at a lower CPC.

9. Give local advertising a try

Often, targeting local markets for your ads pays off in finding customers who are looking for your products or services now. You’ll likely find that local advertising (i.e., geo-targeting) provides you with more impressions, a better CTR and a higher conversion rate.

10. Choose Yahoo! or Bing

If you must cut back on your budget or correct for an overspend, you might consider PPC Management programs in other advertising networks than Google. For example, because Yahoo! and Bing have a smaller share of the search market, CPC rates are typically lower and less competitive. You can always pause your AdWords campaigns while you invest your budget elsewhere or run campaigns across multiple networks if it makes sense for your audience.

Stay Nimble!

Most important, when it comes to PPC Management advertising you can’t become complacent in your routine and expect to succeed. The Internet is dynamic—what worked yesterday might fall flat today and what works today is likely to need tweaking in the future. To succeed, you don’t necessarily need more budget, but you do need to be nimble to adjust your strategy on the fly to get the most out of your budget and improve the ROI of your campaigns. When you are ready to stop wasting money and want to get a better ROI we are ready to help you.

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