A 5-Step how-to-guide to optimize your paid advertising spend
One of our greatest frustrations in business is seeing clients spend good money on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and getting no return on their investment. Sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone!
But there’s good news: that downward ROI trend can easily be reversed with a few key actions. There’s more to paid advertising than just identifying keywords for your website. One of the most important PPC success ingredients is a well-designed and -optimized landing page.
Why? Because a landing page that has been well-crafted and properly optimized will result in higher conversion rates (i.e. sign-up, contact, purchase, or whatever the purpose of your page is) and a lower cost-per-click. And our guess is, you probably like that math!
So if you find yourself investing monthly, but not getting the leads you want, this guide is for you. Read on for tips on how to make a paid advertising budget work for you – and show a return on your investment.
That means you must first define your target audience. Who are they? Where are they? What is their pain point? What problem can your business solve for them?
Depending on your offering, you might consider creating a customer avatar for each the types of people who can use your services, along with their top 2-3 concerns and how you can help.
Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand how they are feeling. This gives you the reason they will buy from you – and that becomes your primary message, or the foundation of your content.
Select keywords on which you expect your target audience will search (more on this later!)
Audience segmentation helps you to address several target groups with different messaging making your communications more relevant and optimizing your ROI
Everyone loves a good story, and when it’s relevant to a problem they’d like to solve, people will love it even more. That’s why the best content doesn’t talk about what you’re selling – it talks about how what you’re selling can help solve a problem for your reader.
Good content informs and educates, inviting your prospect to engage with you and find out more about how you can help them. In short: it’s not about you; it’s about them. You might also consider using customer testimonials to build social proof and lend credibility to your claims.
Ensure that your title is clear and simple – straightforward messaging is easy to understand. Use your primary keyword in the title and again in your first paragraph – for example, if you are searching for a small business accountant in your area, you might search “Accountant, Small Business”. When keywords are embedded in your content they catch people’s attention and ensure that the message being served up is relevant to the reader.
You’ll need to create a landing page to communicate with your audience and we’ll get into how to do that a little later.
Stick to one primary message, rather than trying to sell all your services at once; this keeps your message clean and uncomplicated and ensures that it’s relevant to your reader.
If content is King, design is the crown! While your message might be strong, its presentation is equally important. Even the most powerful messages make greater impact with strong imagery and visual appeal.
A clean design that focuses on the most important points is easy for people to read and understand – and that means deeper engagement rates. Use bullet points and sub-titles to guide your reader’s eye and keep them engaged in your message.
Key to the success of your landing page is the placement of messages. Your primary message should always appear “above the fold”, or in other words, in the area that people will see first when they arrive on your page.
The most important part of the landing page is the “top fold”, as mentioned earlier. This is where your most important message should appear. Keep your logo and images small, unless they are relevant to your offer, so that your reader’s eye is focused on the message.
Most people spend approximately 80% of their time on your page looking at the top-fold section, so focus the content in this area on your main message, the benefits and your call-to-action.
Give your reader a clearly visible and easy to follow call-to-action – people need to know how to take advantage of your offering.
Think about what you want them to do, then use “action verbs” to tell them. Keep the process simple - make it easy for them to take action.
Ensure that this message appears in the top-fold section of your landing page and again at the bottom. This may seem repetitive, but the point is to make the message easy to act upon – if your prospect has to go looking for it, they may lose interest.
Stick to one point – when we give people multiple call-to-action tasks they can become confused and often don’t follow through, so it’s important to protect your investment by making your message easy for people to understand.
Done right, pay-per-click advertising is a highly effective medium for your business, so don’t be afraid to spend money to make money.
We recommend starting with a small budget and target specific prospects by location, age, gender, education and interests to yield highly-targeted website traffic. This enables you to test the effectiveness of your ad(s) and gauge the return on your investment (ROI). With benchmarks in place you can then shift or adjust your budget to optimize results.
Plus, once established, you can easily turn off your campaign during busy times and ramp it up again when things get slow, so that you maintain a steady flow of traffic when you need it - and get the results you want!