Google AdWords: 5 PPC (Pay Per Click) Best Practices

Roberto Mejia
by Roberto Mejia on January 13, 2012 in Strategy
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Google AdWords is a cost-effective way to increase traffic to your site and get the edge with search engines.  But are you getting the most out of your AdWords campaign? 

Learning PPC best practices will help you maximize your return on investment with Google AdWords.  If you’d like to build your brand and improve lead generation with AdWords, here are 5 tips that will take your efforts to the next level:

1.  Objectives come first.  If you aren’t clear about what your goal is for your PPC campaign, back up and plan it out in detail.  Your strategy going forward depends on what you want to accomplish.  For example:

Marketing budget is X
Goal for Adwords campaign is X new sales per month
Cost per conversion is X
Minimum amount of conversions from AdWords required is X

Everyone has the general goal of increasing leads and sales, but to effectively manage your PPC campaign, you need to formulate hard data.  This includes how much you can spend on the campaign and what you need to get out of it.

2. Choose keywords carefully.  If you haven’t done this already, use a keyword research tool to determine your top 100 keywords for your PPC campaign.   Once you find these you can use a number of tools to manage them.  Google’s Traffic Estimator gives you the cost-per click for each keyword.  Google Analytics tells you how well each is doing in generating traffic for your site.

These resources will help you sort and group your keywords and create themes to structure your site’s content.

3. Create decisive calls to action.  The AdWords ad copy that is visible to searchers should include a strong call to action—one that compels them to click.  Think of your ad as a mini landing page, where you’re trying to get potential customers to take the desired action.

Action words such as download, click, buy and compare tell people exactly what you want them to do.

4. Utilize the negative keyword feature. Google offers a way to filter out negative keywords, and doing so will maximize the effectiveness of your PPC campaign.  Negative keywords are those for which you don’t want to rank.  They lead unqualified traffic to your site and waste marketing dollars.

With a good negative keyword list, you can ensure that your ads show up only for relevant search queries.

5.  Manage content networks wisely.  Participating in Google's Content Network is an opportunity to target your ads by location, demographics and language.  Take advantage of this capability to better reach your target market.  Keep track of how your networks are doing regularly and eliminate ones that underperform.

Whether your objective is to rank with search engines, bring in greater traffic, target your market, or all of the above, PPC advertising is a cost-effective way to achieve your goals.  Following PPC best practices will help ensure that you always get the most out of your Google AdWords campaign.  Use these tips to optimize for better ad performance, and you’ll start seeing results in no time!

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Roberto Mejia

Roberto Mejia

While specializing in web development and inbound marketing, Roberto Mejia prides himself in always learning and improving as much as possible.