PPC ads may seem simple enough on the surface, but if you lack experience they’re anything but a walk in the park. Paid ads on Google can be a highly effective and affordable source of leads for small business websites that are new, lack authority, or just aren’t optimized to rank well in the Google SERPs – but only if the PPC campaign is successful.
Many local window treatment businesses simply don’t have a marketing budget that can match the giants in the industry, which is why they need to make good use of every ounce of precious marketing dollars. It’s easy to get discouraged after your first PPC campaign flops, but don’t give up! Today we’re going to take a closer look at how window treatment businesses can tweak their PPC campaigns for greater efficacy.
1. Write Concise and Effective Ad Copy
PPC ad copy is an art unto itself, because marketers are required to be extremely concise. Before I dig any deeper, however, let’s take a closer look at the main components and fields of a PPC ad:
- Headline 1 (30 characters max)
- Headline 2 (30 characters max)
- Description (80 characters max)
- Display URL
- Final URL
- Keywords (discussed in the next section)
As you can see, between the headlines and the description, you’re only allowed 140 characters. To put things into perspective, consider that Twitter allows 240 characters per Tweet, and you are only allowed half of that. Also be aware that the headlines and description are where you need to pay the closest attention to your copy. The Display URL, which is what the users sees, and the Final URL, which is the actual URL the user is linked to, aren’t really factored into your ad copy.
But you’ve really got to make every character count in the headlines and description. Try to translate the features of a product into benefits that communicate how the leads’ lives will improve, and how it provides value. The following outlines PPC ad copy best practices:
- Use “you” in your ads to address individuals
- Quantify savings and use cold hard numbers, especially with statistics
- Implement emotional words that address the true goal, solution, or desire your audience is pursuing
- Use every last character available
- Include calls to action
2. Try New Keywords or Modified Versions of Old Keywords
There are three main ways to refine the keyword component of your ad campaign, and the first is to pursue narrower keywords. This advice is often given to novices who want to pursue the highest volume keywords, but newcomers to online marketing don’t understand there is too much competition.
For instance, when I query Google simply with the keyword “drapes”, the first two results that popped up were JCPenny and Pottery Barn. Do you really think it’s feasible to try to compete with those massive companies? Probably not, but you could target narrower keywords such as the following:
- window treatments for French doors
- window treatment ideas for bay windows
The second thing you can do to increase the efficacy of your campaign is tweak the match type. You can control who sees your ads by configuring phrase matches or exact matches. There is a bit of ebb and flow between casting a net over a wider group of queries with phrase matches, which matches variations of a phrase, versus exact matches that only activate ads for the explicitly defined keywords. You may find that one type of match works better for certain search terms than the other.
And thirdly, it’s a generally a good idea to use negative keywords. The phrase “negative keyword” may sound like something evil, but a negative keyword simply prunes your audience. When a user enters a query that contains one of the negative keywords you’ve configured in your campaign, Google knows to not display your ad to that user.
Let’s face the facts: there are some people who aren’t going to take action, engage with content, make a purchase or interact with a small business, which is often apparent in the keywords they use. So why waste ads on them? A few examples of negative keywords include torrent, ebay, amazon, free, and cheap. Pruning your audience with negative keywords help increase the quality of your leads and the potency of your campign.
In summary, the following are keyword modification techniques to tweak your ads:
- Pursue narrower keywords
- Understand the differences between exact matches and phrase matches
- Understand and implement negative keywords
3. A/B Testing and Landing Pages
It’s generally not a good idea to send leads that click on your PPC ad to the home page of your website. Instead, it’s more appropriate to send them to a landing page that has been designed to convert leads with a strong and clear call to action. I would also advise that you are extremely candid and honest with your PPC headlines, and that your landing page should fulfill any promises you may have made.
For instance, if your ad claims a 40% discount and the landing page never fulfills those savings, you’re going to irritate your leads. Furthermore, I would advise making your landing page as uncluttered as possible to eliminate distractions. To optimize your landing page to the optimum level, I’d also recommend A/B testing, and changing a single element at a time to see which one converts better. Small things like CTA copy, button colors, and other design elements can influence how well a landing page performs.
If all else fails, you don’t have to keep trudging forward. There are many reasons to end a campaign, including negative returns, temporal campaigns designed for a specific holiday or time of the year, and budget constraints. If you lack the skills, time, and energy necessary to launch a successful window treatment PPC campaign, then reach out for the help of an experienced professional to increase leads, conversions, and sales to grow your business.