Welcome to the 21st Century… if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get your business on board the digital marketing train, before all your competitors disappear down the tracks. But where to start?
One of the most popular forms of paid search marketing – advertising that exploits the power of search engines (i.e. Google) – is pay-per-click advertising (PPC). That’s because, when deployed as part of a keyword-driven search engine optimization strategy (SEO), it has the handy habit of delivering results, fast. Not just improving traffic to a business’s website, but increasing conversions.
But effective PPC doesn’t just happen; it requires planning and preparation. So, here’s a quick guide to putting together a successful PPC campaign.
Budget and bidding
First off, set your budget. This will determine how you use Google AdWords (the search engine’s platform for keyword-driven advertising), which means choosing between manual and automated bidding. For the uninitiated, manual bidding may be best, as it ensures you can set a cap on cost-per-click (CPC), which is basically the average amount you’re charged by Google when someone clicks on your ad. Be warned, though; with this cap, you won’t be able to optimise your keyword bids. Automated bidding, the alternative, reduces hands-on management of a campaign but, because it enables a shifting CPC, could well prove costlier.
Keywords and your seed list
Right, on to the all-important keywords, which means… brainstorming. It’s imperative that the keywords you choose match those your customers are using to search for goods and/ or services. So, by way of example, for successful hotel search engine optimization via PPC, your keywords need to mirror those used by potential room bookers and day guests.
Now, in today’s data-driven world, you should know all about your customers; the very ins and outs of their interaction with your business. Draw on this data as you brainstorm and come up with your keyword ‘seed list’. What do customers buy and value from your company? What do you want them to buy and value? And bear in mind that branded keywords (keywords that include your brand) are golden nuggets – they tend to drive higher conversion rates than non-branded alternatives.
Hone your ad copy
Next, your ad’s copy. An ad’s copy needs to dazzle. Customers mustn’t just notice your ad; they must click on it instead of a competitor’s ad. Because you’ve limited space for this copy, it’s got to be compelling, instantly – so hone your choice of words. Put bluntly, your copy needs to contain three things: a headline (including your USP and keywords); description lines (also including keywords and, likely, the USP); your display URL. That’s it.
Also, personalise the copy. According to visual marketing software company Autopilot, consumers are four times more likely to respond to ads containing personalised offers. So, it should address customers’ needs and interests, and sound believable and trustworthy (ideally comprising a ‘trust signal’).
A call to action (CTA) is do or die stuff – without a CTA, customers won’t know what it is they’re supposed to do next. Make it simple but potent. In fact, in analysing multiple successful PPC campaigns, SEO software specialist WordStream concluded the most popular CTA words include the likes of ‘get’, ‘buy’, ‘shop’, ‘try’ and ‘learn’. Yes, we’re talking that level of simplicity and directness.
And finally… optimise your website
Be sure your ad’s link leads to the most appropriate landing page on your website – not your homepage! It’s all about the customer journey; you’re trying to drive conversion, so this click-through should feel fast, relevant and seamless.
Finally, one last klaxon: a slow-loading landing page will jeopardise everything. Research suggests just a one-second delay could mean a 7% conversion drop; four seconds a 25% drop. So, whatever your business, the site has to be optimised; if you’re in hospitality, for instance, hotel responsive web design is a no-brainer. The site has to be clearly set-out, easy-to-navigate and feature content that’s targeted to would-be bookers.
Now, granted, website optimisation isn’t easy, especially when this comes in addition to planning and launching a PPC campaign where maintaining your ‘quality score’ is important.
But, that’s where the likes of us at Digital Hotelier come into play. We live and breathe SEO and PPC. We love nothing more than preparing, launching and running campaigns, and building and optimising websites.
Get in touch with us today and see how we can help drive your conversions!