A lot of people think pay per click campaigns are a quick and easy way to get conversions on a limited budget. However, not all PPC campaigns work the way they should. Many times, money’s wasted as poor traffic and unqualified leads click your ads but fail to convert.
Dealing with a failing PPC campaign can be frustrating, but don’t give up. Instead, check out these three tips for fixing your campaign.
1. Check Conversion Data
It’s true: data is daunting. All those numbers and metrics don’t make a lot of sense at first glance. To make life easier, services like Google AdWords have built-in data analytics tools that track conversion stats. Keep an especially watchful eye on these two metrics:
- Click-through Rate (CTR). This metric measures how many people click on an ad. It’s calculated by dividing the number of clicks with the number of impressions (views).
- Conversion Rate. This tracks how many people convert after clicking on an ad. Divide the number of visitors by the number of conversions to find the conversion rate.
Comparing these two metrics is a good way to evaluate PPC success (or failure). The perfect PPC campaign will have both a high CTR and a high conversion rate. But as we all know, perfection rarely exists.
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If your campaign has high CTR and a low conversion rate, something’s probably wrong with your landing page. Strong ad copy and targeted keywords help boost CTR, but if the landing page doesn’t fulfill a person’s needs, you’re wasting money on their click.
On the other hand, a high conversion rate indicates that your landing page effectively converts visitors into customers. When coupled with low CTR; however, this means your ad isn’t generating enough clicks. Make sure your ads reach your target audience. Study keyword choices, check your bidding options, and reinvent your ad copy to increase optimization.
2. Give Display a Chance
Are you only using paid keyword searches in your PPC campaign? If so, consider including display advertising as part of your strategy.
Unlike search, which is mostly text-based, display advertising relies on effective graphics to draw clicks. Display ads generally appear on web pages, like the Hewlett Packard ad below, rather than in search results.
Source: The New York Times
Targeting with display ads is easy. The strategy here is realizing your intended audience isn’t looking for you. You have to go where they are. Choosing to place ads on certain websites based on keyword choices, demographics, and user browsing habits will likely result in more qualified clicks, and in turn, conversions.
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In 2016, advertisers spent more on display advertising than search advertising, a first in digital marketing history. Data shows that this trend is likely to continue as the medium evolves. Stay ahead of the competition and get into display advertising while it’s hot!
3. Try A/B Testing
A/B testing, or split testing, is a method of testing variables of your ad to determine what parts are effective at generating clicks. Each A/B test focuses on only one part at a time, so that you can narrow down what works and what doesn’t.
To optimize your search ads, experiment with copy and keyword choices. Notice how the two search ads above have different calls-to-action. The party rental company might discover that asking customers to “book online today” generates more clicks than simply saying “call us today.” Based on those results, the company can optimize their campaign to only run ads with online booking calls-to-action.
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There are a lot more variables to test on display ads, including color and graphics choices. Let’s pretend this hypothetical travel company created two versions of the following ebook ad.
Both ads have the same copy, color, and layout styles, but the background images vary. In this case, the travel company is testing to see if background image choice has any effect on the number of ad click-throughs.
Testing small details might seem trivial, but the tiniest edit can make the biggest impact. You may have to go through multiple rounds of A/B testing to get the best results, but it will be worth it.
Don’t be discouraged over a bad PPC campaign. Evaluate your data, add display to your strategy, and take on A/B testing to up your PPC game and bring in the customers you want.