Best Practices for Direct Response PPC Advertising
AdWords advertising can be very effective for two different types of goals: direct response and branding.
If your goal is branding, you want the right target audience to be reminded of your business on a regular basis. You care about lots of impressions, and are not as concerned about immediate actions that those impressions lead to.
If your goal is direct response, you want viewers of your ads to take an action, like signing up for a newsletter, calling your business phone number, making a purchase, etc.
Keep your search targeted campaigns separate from your display network campaigns
AdWords allows you to run search ads and display ads from within the same campaign, but this is not recommended for direct response advertising. If you want to optimize your campaigns for direct response, it’s easier to do so by keeping search and display separated.
Choose your keywords carefully, and consider the searchers intent
Most people searching online simply want information. They’re not looking to sign up for something, or make an immediate purchase. However, some searchers do have intent to take some kind of action. The subtle differences in search terms that they use can reveal different types of intent.
Be sure to use CPC, or cost per click bidding
Display network advertising allows you to use CPM, or cost per thousand impressions bidding. Avoid CPM bidding, except for branding campaigns.
Be constantly looking for and applying negative keywords
Negative keywords save you money by preventing your ad from showing for the wrong kinds of searches.
Set up AdWords conversion tracking
This is one of the most important things you must do for direct response advertising. Without a conversion tracking mechanism, you’re basically flying blind, and don’t know which investments are paying off. For example, if you have five different keywords that are each spending about $100 per month, when you like to know which one is bringing in the best results? If you do that, you can invest more money into that keyword, and less money the ones that are delivering results. Conversion tracking works by having a snippet of code on a certain page of your site that a visitor reaches after completing an action. For example, they fill out a form to request a quote on your site, and then they reach thank-you page that confirms they submitted the form. A conversion is recorded every time a visitor reaches that thank-you page.
Use Conversion Optimizer
When your campaigns are optimized and successful, and have been regularly delivering conversions, you can switch to the Conversion Optimizer which allows you to apply CPA or cost per acquisition bidding. In this method, you simply apply an amount of money you’re willing to pay for a conversion, and the AdWords system will try to give you as many conversions as possible for the price, and for your budget.
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