Here’s your step-by-step guide to improving your PPC conversion rates
In case you’ve been living off the grid somewhere and haven’t heard – pay per click (PPC) advertising is a fast and effective tool that you can use to grow your business. PPC has been proven successful at a variety of key marketing functions like increasing brand awareness, driving more traffic, increasing sales and improving the quality of leads and conversions. The numbers back up this claim. In fact, over 65% of small and medium-sized businesses have found PPC to be worth the investment.
PPC sounds like a dream come true to most businesses and, while it mostly is, it does come with a few caveats. One of the few downsides to click advertising is that it’s not a set-it and forget-it type of tool. Even if you manage to come out of the gate with a high-performing ad, sadly, chances are it will not withstand the test of time. Over time, without optimization, the returns you receive from your ad will gradually decline. The reason is that PPC marketing requires constant, consistent and ongoing refinement, updating, and optimization to yield the best results. Updates for optimization can include changes to the account, campaign settings, ad group structure, keywords, and landing pages. This process is called PPC optimization.
Track for Success
While PPC optimization entails fine-tuning an existing PPC campaign in order to improve its visibility on paid search results, there are a number of metrics that can be tracked to direct the optimization efforts.
But, first, decide what you want to track. If your business has a short and uneventful sales cycle coupled with single channel marketing, you may not have a lot of separate ppc conversions to track. On the other hand, if your business has a long, multi-step marketing and sales process you may have hundreds of conversion points to track along the way. The point we’re trying to make is that conversion tracking must be completely customized to each business. Beyond that, conversion tracking should follow the customer throughout their journey to help paint a holistic picture that translates into actionable data.
One of the easiest ways to improve your ppc conversion rates is to focus on your conversion-related KPIs like your conversion rate/s and source and conversion tracking. If you’re advertising on an individual platform like Facebook Ads or Google Ads, tracking your ppc conversion rates is generally pretty straightforward through the provided dashboards. However, if you’re advertising on multiple platforms you should integrate each platform with a single reporting dashboard to get a more holistic view of your conversion rates.
Choosing keywords is an art, not a science. Even as such, there are proven best practices that can help you fine tune your present selections. First, it’s important to realize that keyword performance varies over time. So, the performance of the keywords you chose when you launched your campaign will also change over time as will your ad results. Review your keyword performance regularly and update your ad keywords so that they are always performing at optimal rates.
Long-tail keywords vs short-tail ones (think “long haired chihuahua” vs “small dog”). Short-tail keywords are typically between 1 and 3 words. Short-tail keywords are generally generic search terms that have higher search volumes but they’re less specific. Because they’re less specific it can be difficult to consistently match content offerings to search intent. Long-tail keywords have more than 3 words. Long-tail keywords tend to have lower search volumes and higher cost per click (CPC) rates than short-tail ones—but they also tend to bring in more conversions because they’re so specific. To optimize your ppc conversions you should use both types of terms when creating ad groups; just make sure there’s enough volume in each one before adding it as an active campaign objective.
Don’t forget about your negative keywords. If your present campaign doesn’t contain negative keywords, adding them can significantly optimize your ad performance.
Don’t forget about your negative keywords. If your present campaign doesn’t contain negative keywords, adding them can significantly optimize your ad performance. Negative keywords keep ads from showing up when searchers are not interested in your offer. For instance, let’s say you’re selling high-end luxury watches. By adding the word “economical” as a negative keyword to your campaign, Google will know not to show your ad to anyone searching for “economical” watches. Negative keywords can help improve your Quality Score and reduce your ad costs by improving the relevance of your ads.
Optimize Your Copy
A lot of the actions that are required for ppc optimization, mimic or follow the same steps you may have originally used to create your campaign. That’s because PPC optimization is literally going back and doing what you did before, while using campaign data to guide your changes and improve ad performance.
Circle back around on your advertising copy. The first thing to review when rewriting copy is your tone of voice. Here’s an easy way to stay on target with your tone of voice. Do you remember the 90s hit by Montell Jordan with the chorus “This is how we do it!”? Well, Montell is leading the way for your tone of voice, it’s all about how you say what you do. Here at TNT we strive to write in a tone that demonstrates that we are friendly, helpful, experts who are always authentic and occasionally witty. This demonstration of the TNT brand helps us connect with our audience.
It’s important that your ad copy appeals to your target audience, and accurately reflects your brand. To do this well, you should consider which words or phrases are most likely to appeal to your buyer persona, as well as what keywords they would most likely search for, and then apply your brand tone.
Optimize Your Landing Page
Landing pages are created as standalone web pages that a person “lands” on after clicking a link in an email, ad, or other digital asset. The content on landing pages should be focused on delivering what was promised in the ad, or previous material they clicked from. Every piece of content on the landing page, from copy to images to call to action (CTAs) buttons, can be tailored and enhanced to improve conversion rates.
You should start by asking yourself a few questions:
- What is happening when visitors use my site? Why does it happen?
- What happens when people visit my landing page or click on my ads? Why does it happen?
- Why do visitors leave my site without converting after visiting their desired pages (landing pages)?
- What can I do to improve visitor actions through CRO methods?
Sometimes the story your data tells can be a harsh truth. For instance, if you have a high bounce rate that exceeds 46% your site is likely facing critical issues. The good news is your conversion rates will likely improve with you rectify these issues.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Everyone has a mobile device. Seriously, we are not exaggerating. According to Statista, in 2015 mobile represented over 50% of all internet usage. Of course, this stat was from 2015. A quick check with Statcounter Global Stat says that this number has skyrocketed to nearly 60% in 2022! Although mobile use has taken over, the numbers are still somewhat equally divided between the platforms. This means you can’t skip either platform, you need an optimization strategy for both.
Regardless of how many people are browsing your site on a phone or tablet, make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. This means:
- The site is responsive (i.e., it automatically sizes the page elements to render correctly on any device, window, or screen)
- Pages load quickly
- The navigation is intuitive and content is easy-to-find
- Buttons and CTAs are performing satisfactorily
Make Sure Your Call-to-Action is Clear
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons can be the difference between a conversion and a bounce. In order to ensure that you’re getting more conversions, make sure your CTA is clear and easy to find.
- Make it obvious what you want the visitor to do—don’t rely on them guessing.
- Be sure it’s in line with your brand – don’t ask them to subscribe if they came looking for information about a product.
- Don’t make people think too hard about whether they should click your CTA button!
- An easy way to write CTAs is to finish this sentence for your visitors “I want to…”
The best performing CTA will also get your site visitors excited about taking action on your pages.
A/B Test to Improve Your Conversion Rates
A/B testing is the process of comparing two versions of a webpage or a campaign to see which one performs better.
Here are some of the benefits it offers:
- Improve your conversion rates. A/B testing can help you improve your conversion rates by showing you what performs best. It helps you optimize your marketing strategy so that it’s most effective for customers who visit your site or landing pages.
- Make data-informed decisions. When running an experiment, A/B testing gives us insights into our audience’s behavior and preferences through real results—not just assumptions based on intuition and guesswork. This allows us to make more informed decisions about future content production, design tweaks and marketing campaigns that will have more impact on users’ behaviors so they’ll convert into customers more easily in the future!
Nearly every conversion rate can be improved when you employ the right strategies.
Nearly every conversion rate can be improved with the right strategies. The best PPC conversion rate tactics will vary depending on what you’re offering, but there are some tried and true methods that work well for businesses within shared industries. For instance, the most effective strategies might be different from those used by an eCommerce business or a service-based company like lawyers or accountants.