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Are paid ads worth it?
The dos and don’ts of paid online marketing
The world of online advertising can be tricky to navigate. With the amount of information available, it’s hard to know what to do, what to invest in, and how to interpret the data. Paid ads can be worthwhile, but only if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t or are just dabbling—hoping for the best but crossing your fingers that you get it right—chances are you’re wasting your time and money. Nevertheless, you can learn.
Are you doing it right?
It’s all about audience conversions. You may get impressions, but unless they’re turning into clicks and purchases, your paid ads are not working. What’s the solution? Google Trends. This digital resource gives you access to a vast amount of free information about your audience: what people are searching for, whether the searches come in patterns, and much more. It allows you to bid on the most popular keywords to increase your visibility. Most importantly, it allows you to check what your audience is looking for, and that’s where you can turn impressions into conversions. Then you can include the right keywords in your website copy to enhance search engine optimization (SEO), climb the results page organically, and ditch paid ads for much more profitable advertising (SEO is free).
If you want to opt for paid ads but are not sure where to begin, here are some of the dos and don’ts.
1. Make sure that your ad’s landing page is relevant
If your ad is not representative of the landing page it leads to, you are not only likely to push a poor customer experience, but also may lower your ad’s overall quality score.
2. Use keywords
Keywords are king for organic traffic and the key to success with paid ads. The ads shown to potential customers are based on the keywords you use because your customers are looking for specific keywords to find answers to their questions.
3. Start small
If you’re running a marketing campaign for the first time, you should not be investing $10,000 in it. Instead, you should cap your daily budget so you can run the ad for more than just a few days. Budget it well and limit how many times the ad can be shown to customers.
4. Remember the account structure
Your ads need to be organized. They need to have no more than 10 ad groups per campaign. Each group should have 2 or 3 ads and a minimum of 20 keywords. Organization is key; otherwise, you may not see the results you’re looking for.
5. Don’t use smart campaigns
You may think that using smart Google Ads campaigns is a genius idea to keep it all simple, but the reality is that simplicity limits flexibility. Your ads might perform decently, but you will see much better results when you have control over your targeting and bidding strategy, among other things.
6. Don’t use default bidding or targeting
Instead of default bidding, use the custom option. This way you will have more control over your cost per click and overall conversions.
7. Don’t launch an ad without testing it first
You could lose a lot of money by launching an ad campaign without first seeing whether it works. To check this, simply do A/B testing to see which ad performs better. You may find that it’s a waste of time, but think of it this way: What if testing meant that you could tweak the ad and double the conversion it brings in?
8. Ignore automatic ad extensions
Sometimes you may see a phone number or links to additional pages beneath a listing; these features are called ad extensions. Be sure to use manual extensions to the best of your abilities. Although you cannot control automatic ones generated by Google based on the information you provided, you can use extensions manually, which can make it easier for your ads to perform significantly better. In fact, they can increase the click-through rate to remarkable levels, which may be what your ad campaign needs if you are seeing high impression numbers without seeing the conversion increasing as well. The best way to choose the links to include is by reviewing your Google analytics to see which of your pages are most highly viewed.
And just like that, you know a bit more about paid advertisements! Paid ads can be helpful, but only if you know how to use them.
Jennifer Guli is a seasoned digital marketing professional with more than 16 years of experience. Style and substance are the hallmarks of her work. With a keen eye for detail, Guli makes something special out of everything she touches. Her accomplishments as a web content developer, writer, artist, and event manager are known throughout the veterinary industry.