The competition for being the most visible on a search results page is certainly fierce, which makes it all the more important to stake your claim as early as possible. Along with search engine optimisation, pay-per-click (PPC) can get you serious results on a search engine; even if you're not already there, you can be sure the competition is.

Why PPC? Plenty of reasons:

  • You won't pay until an interested party clicks the ad.
  • It's straightforward: You know where the dollars go.
  • Therefore, you have control over budget costs.
  • You can also display the right ad at the right time for best results.
  • Results of a campaign can show quickly, unlike organic results.

So what can you do to improve your PPC campaigns and increase website traffic?

Define Your Goals

Everyone needs some kind of goal or destination. It might be fun to just get into your car and drive without a care in the world, but most lives don't permit that kind of luxury. Especially in business, plans need their own plans.

Whatever your business seeks to achieve, the bottom line is profit, which means staying competitive. How you get there depends on your team; the right goal will inspire everyone since it's both challenging but achievable with the right tactics and strategy. The right goal is just arm's reach outside of your comfort zone.

No matter the goal, you can set any kind of deadline: within the week, month, quarter or a year's time. In fact, it's smart to set both short- and long-term goals simultaneously. The shorter goals will lay out the benchmarks for top long-term company goals.

So when you work on your PPC campaign, be sure you are looking at similar timeframes that outline your other business goals. Comparisons should be parallel; for instance, your campaign should look at the same number of weekends and weekdays as any other timeframe you're comparing.

Use Keywords

The true lifeblood of PPC ads are keywords. Even more important than demographics, keywords are what a prospective customer types in to a search engine. They're the key to figuring out what the customer is looking for while they're online.

By using exact keyword matches -- in which the advertisement only shows the exact phrase used without other words permitted -- you can greatly improve how well your PPC campaigns work. While exact matches will limit how far your ad goes, it lessens the likelihood of getting irrelevant traffic; you don't want to pay for someone who isn't going to buy anything.

Using negative keywords can also help narrow out the audience reach for improved PPC profits. With this tactic, you'll tell Google the phrases that your ad should never display for. For instance, if you sell children's clothes, you don't want adults seeking "men's clothes" or "women's clothes" when you don't offer it; such phrases should be considered negatives to the campaign.

This is integral to a successful campaign; you'll filter out any unwanted, irrelevant traffic, which further narrows out your demographic while lowering the overall cost ratio. Of course, you'll also want to ensure that your visitors will click through to a website they can use without a problem.

Use Existing Data

Unless it's your first campaign, you can use existing data to bypass estimates and instead use actual data to drive decisions. With Google Adwords in particular, you can look for all search terms that brought visitors to your website. This gives you the foundation of a list of new keywords you can potentially use in your campaign. Remember, more traffic isn't the goal: You want more valuable traffic.

By doing this, you will also have more of an idea of what kind of content to add to your website. Imagine you're a software company looking to help businesses acquire more convenient payroll solutions. You already advertise under "payroll software," but maybe most of your traffic is specifically due to the key phrase "IT payroll software." You're reaching this particular niche already, so build your new content to focus on IT-related information as it's most likely to be relevant to your readers.

Conclusion

There's no escaping digital marketing, especially in the age of widely accessible information and technology; it's only getting bigger each time. In order to fully capitalise on your efforts and get as many relevant customers for your investment, then you need to take advantage of the many successful tools already out there. At Quantum, we have PPC and marketing experts readily available to answer any questions and help with your next campaign. Drop us a line and let's see what we can do to make your business a success -- you might be inspired to change how you profit.