PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns can be a tremendous source of revenue, with the potential for exceptional ROI (return on investment) for your advertising dollars. That potential is dependent on a number of factors, one of which is web design.
In the PPC advertising model, you are essentially buying visits to your website, as in the case of search engine ads. For each visitor who clicks on your ad from the search page, you pay a nominal fee.
Where that click takes your visitor can make or break your PPC campaign.
Since PPC advertising involves bidding on keywords, the temptation to use broader matches when selecting search terms can lead to unfocused traffic for the sake of up-front savings on ad spend. It may not always be in your best interest in the long run to opt for the less expensive ad word choices. Choosing exact match or phrase match options for your keywords may cost more and result in less traffic, but in the end you’ll see better conversions as a result.
A far more useful means of reducing wasted ad spend is in tracking conversion data over the course of your campaign. Doing so will allow you to adjust not only your keyword selection, but your bidding as well.
Another area in keyword selection that is too often ignored is the use of negative keywords. Particularly if you are opting for broad search keyword phrases, it is important to use negative keywords in order to filter out unwanted modifiers that would invite non-relevant traffic to your ads.
What Are We Doing Here?
For your PPC ad campaign to truly bear fruit, it’s vital that each click lead your visitor closer to a sale. Every point along that path is an opportunity to either create more focus toward, or distraction from, that goal. The first step in establishing that focus is in good keyword research.
Ad word relevance will ensure that your ads draw the traffic that your campaign is after. They in turn will find what they’re looking for when they arrive at your landing page, or wherever else that click takes them.
As your PPC campaign progresses, you should be analyzing results periodically and making the appropriate adjustments where necessary. Best practices for successful advertising include using tools like Google Analytics. This will provide much of the data you’ll need to determine what keywords have been effective, and where changes may be needed.
The Conversion Point
This is where you begin to direct your traffic toward the ultimate purpose of your campaign. It’s also an area where poor web design can kill your budget. It’s one thing to get your target traffic to move from a search page to the next destination. Keeping them moving toward an effective conversion point is where things often start to go wrong.
Your ads should be relevant to the landing page, and vice versa. Keywords associated with your landing page should be focused on one theme, one which leads to that all-important conversion. Every click in your PPC campaign represents some form of conversion point. For instance, a prospect is initially converted to a site visitor. Where failures often occur is after the visitor lands on your web page.
• Are You Mobile-Friendly? If your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, you could be missing out on a large chunk of traffic. Visitors to a non-mobile-friendly site may not see what you want them to when they click through. Ads may not even present themselves within the viewing area, or function properly.
• Page Layout and Appearance A web page with difficult-to-read fonts or poor contrast between print and background is one of the surest ways to lose click-throughs. Select a clean template with good contrast, and fonts that don’t strain the eyes. The object is to maintain focus on the objective of your site or landing page. Avoid clutter and distracting graphics or anything that may adversely affect your CTR (click-through-rate).
Impressive click-through rates (CTR) notwithstanding, a better indicator of your PPC campaign’s effectiveness is its conversion rate. That measures the rate at which your visitors take some action that is beneficial to you, whether it be a purchase, subscription or otherwise. Once your target traffic has landed on your website, you should have you made it clear to them what their next step is, and that is:
The Call to Action
A well-designed landing page should lead your traffic quickly and clearly to one last and crucial conversion point. This is another area where poor web design can scuttle your campaign – the failure to provide a clear call to action. Let your visitors know that this is the last stop.
If you’ve designed your website properly, your target traffic will have arrived smoothly and quickly to this call to action. You’ve now funneled your traffic to where your campaign spend really pays off. Here your language should be as decisive as you want your prospect to be.
That means using closing terms like “Buy Now”, or “Register Here” versus “Learn More”. Indecisive word choice invites indecisive behavior. Make it clear that the decision tree has come to the last branch, where your prospect becomes a buyer.