10 Strategies to Optimize Your PPC Ads and Boost Sales

This is a guest post from Kevin Payne.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising remains one of the most effective ways to get new leads and drive sales, so naturally, you want to optimize PPC ads for your company.

For one thing, because a PPC campaign is centered on specific targeted keywords, you end up with more targeted traffic. This lowers the risk of getting the wrong leads and improving your conversion rates in the long run.

And, because paid ads are immediately rolled out, even for a new business, you can easily get results faster than if you’d relied on inbound marketing strategies like SEO.

While you can and should still focus on long-term inbound marketing strategies for your own site—organic leads will help lower cost in the long run—using PPC campaigns alongside these strategies can help you increase sales and justify the cost of running these campaigns in the first place.

Interested to see how you can create a high-converting PPC campaign? Here are our top 10 tips for optimizing your PPC ads to drive conversions and boost sales.

PPC optimization strategies

Update your keywords list regularly.

When you put out your first PPC campaign, you most likely had several keywords to cover. Because you pay a certain amount per keyword, review the performance of each one, then remove those keywords that aren’t performing as well.

You can divert your budget for those under-performing keywords for new keywords or to increase your budget for your better-performing ones.

Also make it a habit to add negative keywords. so you don’t rank for search terms that might get you the wrong kind of visitors. Negative keywords are essentially the keywords you don’t want to rank for—for instance, a wedding photographer wants to rank for terms like “wedding photography” but not “wedding videographer.”

You might also want to experiment with local keywords to get highly targeted traffic from people in your area. So, instead of simply using a keyword like “wedding photography,” you might go the extra mile and try to rank for “wedding photography Denver.”

Improve your website’s performance.

Next, you’ll want a website that loads quickly, as users are more likely to abandon websites that take more than 2 seconds to load.

If you want to check how fast your website loads, use tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, or Google’s Pagespeed Insights.

If you want to check how fast your website loads, use tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, or Google’s Pagespeed Insights. This is a great way to start to optimize PPC ads.

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Ensure your website’s secure and accessible.

An accessible website is one that’s easy for visitors to read through and browse. Most of these have to do with design, such as using the right fonts, breaking up longer paragraphs, and using different content formats like images and videos wherever relevant.

There are some rules of thumb for great website accessibility you might want to look over and, as you’re doing so, be sure to also focus on website security.

Opt for https instead of http—search engines like Google penalize unsecure websites, and this could hurt your PPC campaign performance or lower visitor trust.

Create localized landing pages.

If your business operates within a certain vicinity, you should be making the most of localized landing pages to really hit the right people at the right time and place.

If you have multiple locations, differentiate each with their own landing page, making the experience more personal and relevant to your visitor.

Example of a localized landing page for a California service

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This step is easy to do when you have a reliable website builder. Simply duplicate pages that may be dependent on location and optimize your copy to reflect this.

Use ad extensions.

Ad extensions are a free add-on to use for your paid ad campaigns, so you ought to take advantage if you aren’t already.

Some of the best ad extensions for a PPC campaign are sitelink, callout, and review extensions. These do well to let a user know what your site’s all about, what people think about you, as well as giving them a glimpse of what they can find on your website as a direct link.

You might also opt for extensions that enable users to call or contact your business directly.

Optimize PPC ads by paying close attention to each part of your ad.

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Develop a re-marketing strategy.

A re-marketing (sometimes referred to as retargeting) strategy involves tracking site visitors and sending them relevant ads in other sites and platforms like social media.

This is a great strategy to convert leads into paying customers, especially if they weren’t ready to purchase the first time or you weren’t able to capture their email address or contact details.

A/B test everything.

A/B testing your ad campaigns should be a practice you do every time. Since so many factors can affect a customer’s propensity to click or purchase, you should be testing out different elements to see which have the most conversions.

For example, create multiple versions of your landing page and test different designs and headlines.

You can also A/B test your ads right from Google Ads under their Experiments tab. You can instantly link to separate landing pages and experiment constantly.

To further optimize your pay-per-click ads, you can also A/B test your ads right from Google Ads under their Experiments tab.

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Capitalize on FOMO.

FOMO, or the fear of missing out, makes a fantastic tactic to drive more sales. There are many different urgency tactics that work well, and many successful campaigns often use a combination at the same time.

Right from your PPC ad, you can already use scarcity to draw people in. Including phrases like “sale ends in 24 hours” or “free X only until Y” or even “X spots/units left” can do great to elicit FOMO feelings in customers.

You can also use FOMO in your landing pages to further drive your limited offer. Here’s an example of a brand that uses multiple scarcity and urgency tactics to encourage sales.

Use FOMO in your landing pages to encourage interest.

Focus on the channels that deliver the most conversions.

Over time, you’ll see which of your ad channels are making the most conversions.

If you’ve spread out your campaign budget to multiple platforms and channels—for a start, consider search engines and a mix of social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn—then, eventually, it becomes clear which platform brings in the most customers.

This might take a while before you learn which are your best performing channels, but, once you figure out what they are, focus on pushing more budget to drive traffic through these channels to increase conversion rates and maximize ROI.

Brush up on your copywriting skills.

Last but not least, copywriting is one of the most important parts of your PPC ad. Because these ads appear as search engine results, you don’t have much real estate to showcase photos or videos.

Instead, your copy becomes front and center. If this is your first few PPC campaigns, one of the best ways to get a good ROI is hiring experienced copywriters who’ve worked on similar campaigns in the past.

So, if you’re a B2B company, for example, you’ll want to employ the help of experienced B2B copywriters who know exactly how to market your service to your ideal customer.

Key Takeaways

Here's a handy infographic to help you optimize PPC ads every time.

Image source: Visme

Whether or not you’re about to create your first or even fiftieth PPC campaign, it’s worth knowing strategies and tips that’ll help you optimize your ads, increase conversions, and boost more sales. Use the strategies above to see how you can keep tweaking your PPC campaigns, don’t be afraid to experiment, and find ways to make good ads even better.

Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.

The post 10 Strategies to Optimize Your PPC Ads and Boost Sales appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Identifying Underperforming Content: A Guide To Content Analysis

This is a guest post from Deana Kovač at Point Visible.

How many times have you heard that tired old “content is king” adage?

Probably a few too many.

But when it comes to content, you really can’t ignore its effectiveness, especially when it comes to growing your strategy.

How we produce content might change, but audiences everywhere want to absorb new information quickly and efficiently. In other words, content is here to stay, and all you can do is work on improving your own.

The benefits of having well-crafted content in place are clear: Quality content marketing drives visits, increases conversions, boosts brand awareness, improves email campaigns, and allows your brand to develop a personality.

See the best content marketing examples of 2019 here.

The one downside of content production? It requires you to invest resources like time, creativity, and money—especially if you have underperforming content.

What is underperforming content?

Underperforming content is anything that isn’t achieving the ROI you’d hoped. If your blog isn’t getting traffic, or your videos aren’t being watched, or your emails are lacking engagement, you’re experiencing underperforming content.

Naturally, there’s a way to circumvent the costs we discussed above and improve your numbers, and it comes in the form of content analysis and content upgrades.

Read on to discover how you can pinpoint your underperforming content and make it work for you.

How to identify underperforming content

First, let’s dissect what underperforming content actually looks like.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll divide it into three categories:

Content that once performed well, but no longer does:

Your blog might host several articles that were once popular, driving traffic and sales. But for some reason, you’re now seeing that these once-popular posts have dropped in both rankings and visits.

This is the type of content that lends itself well to upgrades and revamps.

Content that never performed well:

On the other hand, you might also have pieces that are dead and have never actually had much potential.

These could be pieces about obsolete topics that no one is searching for anymore, pieces about obsolete tech or tactics, etc.

You’d do best to remove this content from your blog and redirect any links it may have acquired over the years to pages with more potential.

Content that hasn’t been successful but that has potential:

This is content that can work very well, if you spruce it up a bit. (We talk more about this below.)

How can you tell which content isn’t performing but could? Here are some of the metrics you should be keeping an eye on, to ensure your content is doing the best it can:

  • Pageviews – If they’re low, not many people are seeing what you produce. This is clearly an issue you want to fix—but only for pages that meet other criteria.

This is an example of how you can see pageviews on underperforming content using SEO sites.

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  • Time on page – If this number is low, site visitors end up leaving fast. This often means that what you have to say doesn’t answer their questions. The way to remedy this is to write a more in-depth piece, going into more detail and providing actual value to the reader.
  • Keywords the page ranks for – Most pages will naturally rank for many keywords, and you don’t have to focus on adding specific words to the text anymore. What you should be paying attention to is the anchor you use when building links to your pages.

This is an ahrefs screengrab showing organic keywords.

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  • Social shares – If your content was once shared a lot, this can be a great sign that you can use the same piece again and give it a facelift.
  • Backlinks – If a piece of content is acquiring backlinks on its own, it’s a great sign. You’ve done something well, and people are linking to you as a resource.

This referral path screen grab shows which sites are backlinking to your content. If it's underperforming content, you'll want to redirect the links to new links.

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  • Organic visits – If this number is low, people aren’t finding you in search. In other words, it’s time to bust out your SEO toolkit and upgrade your page and try to revamp the content.

There are several tools you can use to acquire these metrics: Google Analytics and Google Search Console are the obvious candidates, but you can also buy an Ahrefs subscription to gain access to some additional insight.

You might also keep your data in a spreadsheet, where it will be easy to access and understand.

Make sure you analyze data over a period of time (e.g. month after month). This will give you insight into the trends and potential trends you can tap into.

Curious about email benchmarks data and how you compare? Our guide can help.

What causes content to drop?

Once you have access to all of your data, you can start asking the fun questions: Why is something performing well vs. why is something underperforming?

We’ll only be looking at the latter case. Here are some of the more prevalent causes for underperforming content:

Outdated information

Search engines love fresh information, as do users. If you have a post that was last updated several years ago, all you need to do is add in fresh information and numbers and republish at today’s date.

Better content published by another source

There are literally millions of blogs being written right now. It’s likely content is being published about something you’ve already covered, and it’s possible that it’s more relevant to users.

If so, it’s possible that post will perform better. When looking to upgrade a post, look at the posts that are performing best in Google for said topic.

Wrong choice of keywords

If you’ve tried to rank your post for a certain set of keywords and succeeded, you might still be facing a high bounce rate.

This will most often mean that visitors don’t see the point in your post and aren’t looking for what you have to say.

The solution to this is venturing into your Search Console and Analytics, taking a look at what you’re ranking for, and what brings in the best traffic.

Use this information to curate content to the visitors you already have.

Grammar errors

There’s nothing worse than trying to read a post that’s informative but poorly written.

Make sure you always fix any errors and typos. You can use any number of online tools available, and even Google Docs has automated fail-safes for grammar.

Poor formatting

Humans are visual, meaning a blog post without some visual variety (e.g. short paragraphs, subheadings, images, etc.) won’t likely be read.

How you format your post is half the job, so make sure you use subheadings, bullet points, reputable links, and high-quality images.

The video below discusses how you can balance content in your emails: This also applies to how you format content on your webpage.

What content can you save?

There are three main choices to consider when it comes to cleaning up underperforming content.

Delete a post completely and redirect all links pointing to it to other posts; write a brand-new piece from scratch and replace an existing post; upgrade a piece you already have in place.

Delete what can’t be saved: no traffic, very poor rankings, and no interest in the subject.

Write new pieces on topics that are popular on subjects that interest your target audience, but which have been done poorly before.

Upgrade well-performing pieces that have shown potential.

Here’s what can help you make the best choice:

  • Keyword potential: Ahrefs has a great feature, which allows you to determine how easy it’ll be to rank for certain keywords. If you have a post you can rank easily, the choice is simple.

This is a graph showing search volume for underperforming content.

This is an Ahrefs screen grab showing search volume.

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  • Search volume: if certain keywords are often searched for and you already have a post on the subject—no brainer.
  • Trending and viral topics: this one is a bit tricky, as we can never actually guess what will go viral. On the other hand, you can use Google Trends to gauge the potential of certain topics, and try to direct your own work in a relevant direction. On the other hand, be warned: evergreen topics perform better over the long term than viral posts, so don’t chase a trend merely for the sake of it.

This is a screenshot of Google trends.

  • Time and effort: creating great content takes a lot; you can’t expect to do it in one sitting. Focus most of your energies on posts with the most potential, and those that could bring in the best ROI.

Repurposing content vs. remaking it

Another point we should discuss is repurposing content (as opposed to updating it) and how beneficial this process can be.

Turning a blog post into a video, a video into a podcast, or a podcast into a blog post can be a great way to create something new, without spending too much time and effort on the project, especially since you already have the data.

The choice will largely depend on what your audience likes and how easy it is to reshape a topic.

Some topics won’t work well in different formats, but will greatly benefit from an upgrade of the same format.

Let’s illustrate this concept with an example.

At one time, this post on web hosting didn’t rank for anything. It was a chunk of text with plenty of info but not much digestible content.

Once they changed the layout, added in a table of contents, implemented a box with pros and cons, and updated their outdated information, it began ranking.

This is an example of an updated post that was previously underperforming content.

Think about how you can do the same: Improve user experience by making it easy for visitors to get the information they need from the page.

Add useful links for further reading; improve the images; write new meta descriptions and titles.

In short, try to make it both informative and accessible.

A caveat on blog performance

Finally, we need to mention that there’s no hope for great content to rank if it’s hosted on a bad website that isn’t performing well.

What this means is:

  • Your domain name needs to be in line with your brand. Try not to have any numbers, superfluous interpunction, etc. in the domain name.
  • Choose a reliable host.
  • Ensure all of your on-page elements are up to snuff.
  • Be careful where you promote your blog. Don’t build links on shady websites and don’t use content farms.
  • Think of the user first, and the search engine second. UX is gaining traction as a ranking factor, and you need to ensure visitors have a pleasant experience with you, rather than trying to outsmart an AI.

Wrap up

We may roll our eyes at the “content is king” cliche, but cliche or no, content is still pretty important.

In order to do well online, useful and interesting content is crucial.

What those two terms mean will differ from user to user, from brand to brand. Your task is to match your voice with that of your target audience.

And, yes, producing content is expensive—which is why you can turn to your existing posts and work on them, rather than invest in something new.

Performing a content audit once a year will allow you to not only to make the most of what you have, but it will also allow you to gain a new sense of the direction you need to be going in the future.


This is a headshot of Deana Korvac, a marketer at Point Visible.

Deana is an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a digital agency providing custom blogger outreach services. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and singing karaoke. Also, her day just can’t start without a hot cup of coffee.

The post Identifying Underperforming Content: A Guide To Content Analysis appeared first on Campaign Monitor.