There are just a few short days left in 2013—the year of government furloughs, wrecking balls, and a royal baby. While those were some of the top Google search trends this year, Google search also helped tons of businesses grow and achieve incredible ROI through their use of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Whether the pressure is on to hit Q4 goals, or your business wants to top the competition during the busiest time of year, use these five optimization tips to ring in the New Year in PPC style.
1. Promote Special Offers & Coupons
Never paying full price for anything is one of my many talents. My instincts (and my PPC experience) tell me that I’m not alone. If your goal is to boost sales or beat out the competition for the last few days of the year, include promotional offers or coupons in your ad text. This can help you gain a competitive edge and boost your click-through-rate (CTR). Before you do so, consider the following:
Is there mention of the special offer on your landing page? If someone clicks on an ad for 25% off, they expect to see a product or service that is 25% off. Don’t make the path from click to sale difficult or confusing for your potential customers.
Are your competitors’ ads more compelling? If you advertise 25% off in your ad, and your top competitor advertises 35% off in their ad, you might not see the boost in CTR you were anticipating.
Are your customer service representatives aware of the promotion? If a lot of your business is driven by phone calls, make sure your CSRs are well-versed on the special offers you promote online.
Consumers love an opportunity to save money, avoid buyer’s remorse, and feel like they get value out of the product or service they purchase. If you’re lucky, they’ll be so proud of the huge deal they found that they’ll be inclined to share it with others. Can you say referrals?
2. Introduce Time Sensitivity
That same deal-hungry consumer from tip #1 would never miss out on a good deal—especially if that deal is ending soon. Incorporating a time sensitivity component in your ads and special offers encourages searchers to act fast. There are endless ways to introduce this sense of urgency to your PPC ads.
Let’s say you are an HVAC contractor trying to push HVAC installations through 2013. Reminding shoppers that they have until December 31st to claim tax credits on new HVAC installations for the 2013 tax year might be just the push they need to pick up the phone instead of waiting until next year. Running an ecommerce website? Shoppers could be more inclined to submit their order if they know the sale only lasts a few more days, or the inventory is running low.
3. Increase Your Bids
It may sound simple, but increasing your bids is often the quickest way to improve your average position and boost click-through-rate. While improving quality scores by increasing ad relevancy and optimizing landing pages is the ideal way to keep costs low and results high, it can take time. If you’re really trying to increase leads and sales through year-end, consider how much you are willing to pay to acquire a new contact or lead. Also, if you’ve noticed that your results are slipping, consider that your competitors could be out-bidding you. As the PPC world becomes more popular, it also becomes more competitive.
However, if you consider increasing your budget or bids, it is crucial to make sure your campaigns are set up properly and continuously optimized. You wouldn’t want to spend those advertising dollars on irrelevant searches or clicks coming from outside your service area or service capabilities. Not sure if your campaigns are set up properly? Contact our PPC team and we’ll get you on track!
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4. Optimize Sitelink Extensions
Sitelinks are a type of ad extension, and are a great place to advertise special offers or coupons. If you have limited space in your ad text, these give you the flexibility to add more characters to your ad. Or, if you have multiple discounts that you want to associate with one ad group, create one sitelink for each offer—when someone searches for “local plumbing company” they will be able to see your promotion for free sewer line estimates through 2013 and your $25 off well pump repair coupon. The searcher will see a larger, more compelling version of your ad, and will be given multiple opportunities to click.
5. Run Remarketing Ads
Creating a remarketing campaign on the Google Display Network is an effective way to reach out to those “shoppers” who may have visited your website in the past, but never became a lead or a sale. A code on your website will store the cookies of your website visitors on a “remarketing list” and then show ads for your business around the web to those users. If you’re trying to earn the business of these shoppers before year-end, remind them of your business and the products or services you have to offer.
Creating a remarketing campaign can be as simple or as complex as you make it. For ecommerce websites, you might want to target customers who viewed certain product pages with specific ads related to those products. For a service-oriented business, you might want to incorporate a few of the previous tips like special offers or time sensitivity into your remarketing ads to entice visitors to return to your site.
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If you’re too busy wrapping presents and listening to the *NSYNC Christmas album on repeat (guilty) to worry about boosting sales with PPC, give us a call! Our team has the skills and expertise to build, manage, and optimize your PPC campaigns. It’s our goal to help you top the competition and generate more leads and sales from the web.
About The Author: Tara is a Pay Per Click Specialist at Blue Corona. When she isn’t building and optimizing AdWords campaigns for clients, she enjoys college football and Monday night dance class with the Charlotte office.
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