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7 Tips for Improving Your Ad Hoc PPC Marketing Strategy

  • JatinB 

PPC marketing can be extremely effective, but it also requires constant attention and dedication. If you don’t pay close attention to your ad hoc PPC marketing campaigns, you could end up spending way too much money on ads that aren’t working well or aren’t relevant to your audience anymore. To ensure that your ad hoc PPC marketing strategy is successful and profitable, follow these seven tips to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns and minimize spending on low-performing ads.

1. Understand The Audience

One of best ways to improve your ad hoc marketing efforts is to understand who you’re talking to, both in terms of age and location. This information can be used to refine your messaging and advertising goals, so make sure you’re doing some research on who you’re marketing to. If it makes sense for your business model, consider collecting demographic data about your customers as well. Make sure all of these details are recorded so that you can refer back to them in future campaigns.

You’ll also want to pay attention to your customers’ habits and interests when you first start. This information can be used to create more effective messaging, so take note of how they tend to search for products or services like yours. For example, if your target audience is women ages 35-55 who live in larger metropolitan areas and who are looking for family-friendly activities, you might try adding keywords related to travel and kids’ activities during your initial campaign.

You may also want to do some competitive research – pay attention to what competitors are doing and what kind of traffic it gets them. They may have insight into audience behaviors that could help you refine your ad hoc marketing campaign.

2. Segment Your Lists

One of PPC’s biggest benefits is its ease of use, but there are many things that can trip you up if you’re not careful. In particular, I recommend segmenting your lists so that you are only targeting customers that have recently purchased or downloaded something from your website.

You should also be separating out customers who have signed up for your email list versus those who have only converted once on a single page of your site. This is vital because it lets you control what types of ads and what types of offers you display to different groups. If someone has been on your email list for a while and is interested in following future updates, showing them an ad about an upcoming webinar might be more appropriate than offering them a discount on an existing product.

3. Prioritize Keywords

Before you can create your ad hoc marketing campaign, you need to figure out what keywords and queries to target. The best practice is to have a spreadsheet or sheet of paper where you jot down all relevant keywords that your business should be targeting. You’ll want to look at three factors: which of these terms are valuable (accounting for quality score), which of these terms are competitive, and which terms do people actually use? If you don’t want to try and rank for competitive search queries on Google (or if they won’t work with your budget), use Bing Ads. They have more relaxed rules regarding bid prices.

One of my favourite tools for finding new keywords to target is Keyword Scout, which allows you to plug in a search term and it shows you related terms that Google thinks are similar. You can also view what terms your competitors are bidding on, which is great if they’re ranking well and their ads are converting. When you have a few good ideas of keywords, plug them into an ad hoc bid simulator to get an idea of how much it will cost (or an estimate).

Run some test campaigns with a small budget just to ensure everything looks good before running full-scale. Use Google’s Keyword Planner too. It won’t tell you keyword costs but it gives you other important metrics such as search volume and difficulty score.

4. Don’t Neglect Shopping Campaigns

With ad hoc Google PPC, you are in full control of your campaigns. You can be fairly reactive with your shopping campaigns, so it’s tempting to start your campaign on a whim and not think about them again until you’re ready to make another change. However, keeping an eye on these ads is an important part of your strategy.

Regularly monitoring your ad spend can help you stay abreast of trends in costs-per-click and allow you to assess if budget is being wasted by underperforming keywords or ads that don’t need to run constantly. Keeping a tab on metrics like impressions, clicks and conversions will help ensure that shopping campaign performance doesn’t decline while allowing you time to react if things go south.

In addition to monitoring your cost-per-click and impressions, it’s also a good idea to check in on your top performing ads and keywords. When you first create an ad group, you may find that some of your ads are more relevant than others and receive better performance, while others need more work. If not all of your ad group is doing well, try splitting up similar products into multiple ad groups or edit out unperforming ads altogether. The ability to adjust campaigns easily lets you react quickly to trends in performance instead of having to wait until your next audit.

5. Use UTM Parameters in Source/Medium/Campaign Fields

When using ad hoc paid search (or email, or any digital marketing channel for that matter), make sure you’re including UTM parameters in your source/medium/campaign fields. Doing so allows you to run reports by traffic source and optimize efforts accordingly.

For example, if most of your new leads are coming from organic search on mobile devices, focus on increasing your organic mobile ranking with relevant keywords. Conversely, if most of your traffic is via direct response campaigns—where users self-select into a call-to-action instead of finding it through search—focus more attention on those elements like landing page conversion rate or lead quality and quantity. By being able to define specific campaigns in specific segments of consumers, you can zero in on where to improve performance.

6. Test Ads For Different Locations, Devices, Times

Before you dive into an ad hoc marketing campaign, you’ll want to map out your target audience and plan which devices/locations they’re using most. Testing these parameters will tell you what ads are most effective at delivering traffic to your site. Once you have that data, there are a few ways in which it can help inform future ad hoc campaigns: Geotargeted ads can tell you whether users on one side of town prefer different types of messaging than users on another side. If a particular set of keywords is more popular on mobile vs. desktop, that’s useful info for future mobile-focused campaigns.

7. Set Achievable Goals

There are two types of goals, both with advantages and disadvantages. One type is a simple, achievable goal. The advantage of these is that they are easy to set and can be met quickly; however, they may not lead to much growth.

The second type is a stretch goal or a more difficult long-term target. The advantage of these is that they often require some research or collaboration in order to reach them—which leads to new ideas and opens up possibilities you might have never considered if you only had short-term goals in mind! Even though stretch goals take more time to reach, reaching them will often lead to higher levels of excitement due to their significance and challenge.

You should also make sure to set goals that are measurable and realistic. There is a tendency to create vague or unmeasurable goals such as I want to do more marketing without any specific information about how much more you want to do. When you don’t put specific details into your goal, it will be very difficult for you to gauge how successful you are with that goal, which can lead to negative consequences like frustration and burnout. Always set goals that have specific actionable steps in place so you know when your goal has been met! If your goal doesn’t have some way of being measured or evaluated, it may be too broad and open-ended.