The Five Strategies to Consider When Paying for Search AdvertisingPrint Now
Paid search advertising could be your ticket to better traffic and conversions — but only if used strategically. A haphazard approach will result in dismal ROI.
Ready to add paid search to your marketing plan? Keep these five essential strategies in mind:
1. Research Keywords — And Focus on the Best Ones
Keyword research is critical to paid search advertising success. Irrelevant keywords lead to ineffective campaigns and poor ROI. Rather than generating a long list of keywords, focus on the best options.
The definition of a ‘quality’ keyword differs considerably from one business to the next, and even between campaigns. Determine your campaign’s number one mission — and how specific keywords will help you achieve it.
2. Match Landing Pages With Ads
Ignore landing pages at your own peril. Upon clicking your ad, users expect landing page consistency in terms of both design and content. Your landing page should remind visitors why they clicked — and encourage them to take the next step. Depending on your campaign goal, the landing page could contain product information or answers to frequently asked questions.
3. Take Advantage of Conversion Tracking
Amp up your search campaign with analytics. Paid search advertising can be highly measurable, but only if you employ conversion tracking. This method involves tiny snippets of search engine platform code. Invisible to everyday users, these chunks of code are dispersed throughout your website. The tracking tool records conversions whenever somebody uses the specific search engine code to reach your site.
A useful example of conversion tracking: determining whether visitors actually fill out lead generation forms. Simply place the conversion code on the thank you page that pops up after form completion.
4. Never Stop Testing Search Advertising
Conversion tracking is just one option for tracking paid search results. Regular testing will help you tweak your ads so they reach the right customers at the right time. Continue testing even when you think it’s not needed. This will prevent a phenomenon known as ‘banner blindness’ in which users grow so accustomed to your ads that they tune them out altogether.
Top testing approaches include:
- Manually scheduled A/B tests
- Drafts and experiments
- Before/after testing
Experiment to determine which type of testing produces the most accurate results in specific situations. For example, you’ll quickly find that before/after testing works best for images, product titles, and other factors that take longer to change.
5. Mobile Optimization
Internet users now spend more time on mobile devices than on desktop computers. Shockingly, a study from Medium reveals that only 30 percent of small businesses have modern, mobile-friendly websites.
Search Engine Land’s Josh Dreller recommends getting ahead by embracing a ‘mobile-first’ mindset to consider mobile optimization at each step of your campaign.
Top strategies for appealing to mobile users include:
- Accounting for search engine misspellings (which occur more frequently on mobile devices).
- Targeting short queries.
- Aiming for a top three spot on results pages. Mobile search results show far fewer ads per page than desktop searches.
- Targeting mobile users with specific language on landing pages. For example: mention ‘easy mobile booking’ in your call to action.
Paid search advertising is constantly evolving. The closer you monitor your campaign — and the more up-to-date you keep with Pay-Per-Click trends — the better ROI you’ll enjoy.