How to go about optimising your PPC? Google has unleashed several new Adwords features in the first half of 2016, and we’re not just sitting around wondering how to use them. Oh no, here we look at how you could take this opportunity to maximise your paid search campaigns.
During the first half of 2016, Google announced two fundamental changes to its Adwords real estate.
It launched ‘Expanded Text Ads’, with both ad headline and description lines increasing in length. It also removed the familiar ‘sidebar’ paid search ads (on the right of the results page), introducing an additional spot for paid search listings above organic results.
These updates have undoubtedly had an immediate effect on both the performance and costs of the ads themselves, as well as organic search rankings, pushing down the results pages. With a greater proportion of traffic going through PPC, brands will need additional budget to invest.
So what should your business be doing to maximise your ROI from Google’s updated advertising real estate?
Here are our six top tips to help you:
Integrate PPC and SEO now
In terms of 2016 search programmes, there is a real risk that it will cost your business more to get the same results from searching. So, if it’s not happening already, you must now align your targets and activity across paid and natural search, taking an integrated approach to manage ROI and help make gains in efficiency and reach.
We recommend that you move away from viewing PPC and SEO in isolation, and focus instead on one objective for a ‘Total Search’ approach. Paid search and natural search should work together to increase your search conversions as a whole, across a wide portfolio of shared keywords. Competing for the same keywords across both search channels only serves to drive up costs for your business.
Create and iterate with new ad copy
An immediate first step that all businesses should take is to generate ad copy variants taking advantage of the new expanded text limits. From here, it is vital to be testing and establishing new best practice approaches. But don’t see this as a chore, this is where we can further assist your business, by challenging one of our copywriters’ creativity, to generate the most memorable and descriptive search material. Businesses that are doing this well, use the larger copy limit to pack in more detail about offers, promotions, and product USPs.
Plan for potential speed-bumps
Formulate some potential scenarios so you can prepare for all eventualities. Plan ahead to ensure you have a better thought through contingency.
Embrace Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (RSLAs)
Due to competition with your business rivals, a more sophisticated approach to strategic retargeting can soften the blow of potential CPC increases, and keep ROI stable. You should consider using RLSAs to prevent ads from being shown to returning visitors on core search terms, and use a combination of search path analysis and RLSAs to better understand, and maximise, the value of non-brand keyword visibility to returning customers.
Keep on top of your business’ performance
The most important thing to do is monitor your account performance very closely for significant changes to key account metrics. Monitor Adwords alerts, and if you want us to help we can create your own custom alerts to notify you of any pivotal changes that may require urgent attention. Unsure what you need to bid in order to stay visible? Use ‘top of page’ bid estimates from Google for clarity.
Make the most of ad extensions
Positions one to three have always had the advantage of being capable of displaying the widest variety of ad extensions, and links to specific pages on your site. With these positions now being your paramount target for Adwords visibility, making the most of ad extensions becomes even more important to your clickthrough rate. The best advice on extensions is: the more the merrier. Give Google more of a reason to favour your ads over less dynamic competitors.
At It Starts, we can help your business get found. If it’s something you’re interesting in, please do not hesitate. Give us a call on 07874624816, or just fire over an enquiry and we can do the rest.