We all realize the economy is taking a brutal beating; that doesn’t mean PPC efforts have to as well. As suggested by Karen J. Bannan in this week’s issue of B to B, try reverting back to some basic tactics to save money and increase results.
Take a step back. Step back and take a good look at your ppc account. Are there any places where geo-targeting could be used? Or how about dayparting? Do a little research and find out when the most valuable activity occurs for an account, and make some simple changes such as only displaying ads during business hours, or only within a certain proximity where the majority of your originates (say, if you are a pizza delivery service). This will help bring you better converting leads, and save money by not displaying when or where no one is looking.
Polish landing pages. Make sure you have enough landing pages, and that the right traffic is reaching them. Revisit landing page basics and be sure you are including everything you need for them to be successful. Do some A/B testing to pinpoint what elements work best for each product line. Keep in mind, if you find a good fit for one, that landing page format may not apply to the rest of your product lines. Each will have its own unique landing page and formula for best results.
Examine keyword structure. Updating your keyword lists and adjusting bids may have become pretty repetitive and habitual practices, so you may not notice where you could be missing out on traffic. Look through your site and make sure all bases are covered in terms of keywords. Also try to think like your searcher. Although you and your site may refer to a product as one thing, your potential customers could be calling it something completely different, using slang or new-fangled industry terms you might not yet be aware of.
Try a different approach. Bannan suggests considering smaller search engines to advertise on. While searchers higher in the buying funnel may use large scale engines to start their research, they may be using smaller engines to finalize their purchase decisions. One last trick was mentioned: the old co-branding or affiliate marketing strategy. This can also aid in saving money. Some companies get creative and even use 50/50 splits, where half of the time traffic is directed to one site, and the other half they are directed to another.
In difficult times like these, recognize the importance of the basics, taking a step back and asking “What small changes can I make that can save money and still have a great impact on results.” Also keep in mind that a little creativity goes a long way. New strategies need to develop as well as tweaks to old ones, and with spend decreasing… that could be a challenge.