Pay-Per-Click, or PPC Advertising has long been recognized as a fundamental tool in digital marketing. It gives you a great amount of control over your marketing efforts and spend, increases reach and brand awareness, and you only pay for impressions that result in a click.

 

For these reasons and more, many people will start on the path of digital marketing by managing PPC advertising campaigns on the likes of Google Adwords. Before setting a campaign live though, there are some tried and true strategies that if implemented will improve your campaign’s chances of success.

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Below are some PPC Advertising “dos and don’ts” to always keep in mind when planning and implementing a PPC campaign.

Do your keyword research rather than simply targeting generic phrases. This will drastically improve performance and increase your ROI, because generic keywords can be more expensive and attract an audience that isn’t as engaged as specific keywords.

Do plan things you want to test and ensure that the tests are properly set up. For example,  if you want to test two types of ad copy against each other, but you set them live on two different keyword targeting strategies and in two different geographic areas, this muddies up the data since three variables are at play rather than one.

Do set up conversion tracking to measure success, and QA it multiple times to be 100% sure the implementation is correct. Nothing is worse than spending time and money on a campaign and then finding problems in the conversion tracking setup.

Do collect first-party data on your site and use the PPC advertising campaign as a source for retargeting efforts. For example, if someone clicks through a pay-per-click ad but doesn’t convert, you can segment them into an audience and retarget them in a display campaign later.

 

Don’t “set it and forget it”. Check campaign performance on a regular basis to not only make optimizations, but also catch any other issues. For example, if a conversion tag got removed from a page, you’ll see this quickly in that the conversion volume will drop off.

Don’t use generic ad copy that isn’t well thought out. Even if you have a great site and keyword targeting, weak ad copy will cause performance to suffer. Make sure that it is concise, relevant, unique, and has a strong call to action.

Don’t get too caught up with being first in the Google results. If you pay $2 for a click on a first position ad, but could you have got 2 clicks each for $0.50 in a different position, then you are not allocating budget efficiently. Your goal should be maximizing ROI with your allocated budget, not overpaying so that you can be number 1 in the results.

Running pay-per-click campaigns isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t simple either and does take some time to master. If you’re a pay per click beginner and you follow the dos and don’ts listed above, you’ll definitely get a head start on your journey and avoid learning these lessons the hard way.