The Beginner's PPC Checklist

by Alecsy Christensen
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Without a doubt, you can reap impressive dividends when you enter the online PPC arena. However, the PPC market today is notoriously cut-throat as rivals work diligently to outperform their competitors.

As you enter this market, you can stay at the top of your game now and years into the future by including some savvy strategies on your checklist. These tips can help you become a successful PPC entrepreneur and generate the business and income you desire.

Assess Your Competitors and Find their Keywords

The basis for your PPC strategy begins by discovering precisely whom your competitors are on the Internet. If you do not know against whom you are competing, you have no way of building a game plan that will let you stand out and win in this thriving market.

You can discover your competitors by using online resources like iSpionage. These resources also reveal to you the keywords your competitors are using and allow you to sort through the keywords by search popularity or cost per click. Using this information, you can come up with a game plan to target your own audience and generate traffic toward your business.

Write Better Ads

Another basis for any successful PPC campaign involves writing ads that generate higher click through rates, or CTR, and increasing your return on investment while keeping your costs low. One way to write better ads calls for you to find out what ads your competitors are writing and using.

This research will show you what keywords they are utilizing and how they are directing traffic to their sites. You can then begin to write better ads and generate the CTR that you need for a good ROI. Generating more traffic lowers your costs and also helps you outperform your competitors.

Optimize Landing Pages

Google recently revealed that doubling your conversion rate lowers your costs by as much as 50 percent. Because keeping your costs low while increasing traffic should be one of your main priorities, you can accomplish this important goal by optimizing your landing pages.

As with writing better ads, you should research the landing pages of your competition and find out what tactics these pages utilize to attract customers. You can then use the same tactics or come up with better ones to target your own audience. One popular way to target your audience, for example, involves creating a Google-specific coupon that your customers can use when they click on your ad.

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Choose Appropriate Bids

Increasing revenue while spending as little of your own money as possible is easy when you choose the appropriate bids for your PPC campaign. When you consider the bidding options available on Adwords, you have several choices available to you. You can select the CPC, or cost per click option, which is ideal if you want to generate more traffic to your website. You can also choose the CPM option, or cost per thousand impressions. This choice can be used in a larger display network and gets your ads out there in front of as many people as possible.

You also have the option of choosing CPA, or cost per acquisition. This choice allows you to track conversion rates on your website, as this option generally pays when a click converts to a sale. You can likewise set your own bid rates, which is perfect if you want to tailor your ads for a certain product or service. Alternatively, you can allow Adwords to set your bid rates, helping you stay on budget for advertising. Adwords will monitor and adjust the rates to align with your budget.

Add Negative Keywords

Many PPC entrepreneurs do not think to add negative keywords to their accounts. However, this strategy is important if you want to avoid wasting money on clicks that do not convert to sales.

When you devise a negative keyword list, you should be creative and think of any and all words or phrases that could overlap your product or service and cause your ads to appear before people who will not convert to paying customers. You can use resources like AdWords Keyword Planner or Search Terms Report to help you come up with a solid list of negative keywords as well. This list will signal to Google that you do not want your ads showing up when these words are utilized in a search, helping you keep your CTR and ROI rates high.

Change Your Campaign Settings

Changing your campaign settings can be a brilliant way of staying one step ahead of your competition. One change that you may consider involves focusing on one network at a time. To do this, you should avoid including search and display together. Changing this option lets you see your CTR and impression trends in graph form. It also lets you write different text ads for your display network.

Likewise, if you have the extra money budgeted you would do well to include the search network partner option. This option lets you monitor your key performance metrics and adjust your strategy as necessary.

Use Ad Extensions

You probably know that ad extensions can increase your CTR and make your ads more likely to be clicked on by paying customers. In fact, you should choose more than one ad extension for all of your accounts and allow Google to decide which ones are shown.

You should also include site links, as site links can increase your traffic by 30 percent on average. Other extensions to utilize include callouts and third-party endorsements. These options are proven to increase clicks and ROI.

Another option many business owners consider is consulting with a PPC specialist from a digital marketing agency, or investing in PPC management services to further improve the performance of their PPC campaign. Whatever option you chose, you will find that the PPC game is competitive, yet lucrative. You can bring in the money and traffic you want by including these tips in your PPC checklist.

Click here to request a free consultation from the Utah SEO and PPC Specialists at Jet Digital Marketing and let us help maximize the profitability of your PPC campaign!