Best PPC Advertising Strategies

The best-converting and most cost-effective PPC Advertising Strategies

Small business owners, freelancers, starting entrepreneurs and charities do not usually have big advertising budgets, so knowing and deploying high-converting digital advertising techniques becomes even more crucial to the success of their businesses.

If your professional activity falls under any of the aforementioned denominations, this little guide is for you. I drew from my years of professional experience in digital marketing and advertising as well as my renewed certifications and updated research to give you the most up-to-date insights.

Finally, you will also have access to lesser-known tactics to use in each main platform so you can get the most out of your limited advertising budget.

So, without further ado, let´s see what moves you can make that are the most algorithm-friendly PPC.

1. Perform Comprehensive Keyword Research

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant and high-converting keywords for your campaigns by:

  • Utilising keyword research tools – such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs SERP Checker and Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty Checker – to identify relevant and high-converting keywords for your campaigns.
  • Focus on long-tail keywords that are more specific and have lower competition. Long-tail keywords are phrases made from three to five words. An example of a long-tail keyword is ¨the best PPC advertising tactics´ vs short tail or broad search keywords such as ´ppc´ or ´ppc advertising´.
  • Consider user intent when selecting keywords to ensure they align with your business goals. User intent is defined into three types: informational, navigational or transactional. This means that users are looking either for information, for a place nearby or to buy a product or hire a service they need.

2. Utilise Ad Group Segmentation

Organise your campaigns into tightly themed ad groups, allowing for better ad relevancy and targeting by:

  • Dividing keywords into topic-related ad groups based on common themes or product / service categories; this improves ad relevancy and helps you to customise your ad content to specific keyword groupings.
  • Improving your Quality Score and click-through rates (CTRs) by precisely matching ads to keywords.

3. Create Compelling Ad Copy

Create enticing ad copy that encourages users to click by:

  • Crafting ad copy that grabs attention, highlights unique selling propositions, and creates a sense of urgency.
  • Incorporating pertinent keywords to improve relevance and quality.
  • Experimenting with different ad formats, including expanded text ads or responsive search ads, to find the most effective approach.

4. Use Ad Extensions

Use ad extensions such as sitelink extensions, call extensions, and location extensions to provide additional information and improve ad visibility.

  • Sitelink extensions can direct users to specific pages on your website.
  • Call extensions enable users to call your business directly from the ad.
  • Location extensions display your business address and help drive local foot traffic if your business has a brick and mortar presence.

5. Perform A/B Testing

Continuously test different ad variations, headlines, calls to action, and landing pages to identify the highest-performing combinations and optimise your campaigns accordingly. Monitor metrics such as CTR (Click-through-Rate), CR (Conversion Rate), and CPC (Cost per Conversion) to determine the most effective variations.

6. Utilise Remarketing Campaigns

Target users who have previously interacted with your website or app, increasing the chances of conversion. You can do this by:

  • Using remarketing lists to segment your audience and deliver tailored ads based on their behaviour.
  • Customising your ad messaging to remind users of their previous interactions and encourage them to convert.

7. Set up Ad Scheduling

Optimise your campaign by scheduling ads during peak hours or when your target audience is most likely to be active. I will be writing an article soon focused on social media and will cover this aspect. Don´t hesitate to subscribe to this Know-How to get notified when it´s published.

Once you have scheduled and launched your ads:

  • Analyse the results data to perfect the timing when your target audience is most active and likely to convert.
  • Adjust bids based on performance during different time periods to maximize ROI.

8. Apply Geographic Targeting strategies

Focus your ads on specific geographic regions to reach users who are most likely to convert and consider adjusting bids based on the value and competition in these different geographic locations.

9. Don´t forget to add Negative Keywords

A way to avoid wasting money is to exclude irrelevant search terms through negative keyword targeting. This way you are ensuring your ads are shown to the most relevant audience. To achieve this:

  • Conduct regular keyword analysis and add negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms.
  • Monitor search term reports to identify and add new negative keywords.

10. Always implement Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is how you will be able to measure the success and ROI of your campaigns accurately. Set up conversion tracking codes on relevant pages (e.g., thank you pages or purchase confirmation pages). Track all the relevant conversions according to your business goals, such as form submissions, purchases, or newsletter sign-ups, to optimise your campaigns for desired actions.

11. Optimise your Landing Pages

Create dedicated landing pages with relevant content, aligning the messaging and design with your ad copy for consistency. Add clear calls to action (CTAs) and make sure that the user experience is seamless to maximize your ad conversions. Last, but not least, test continuously so you can perfect your landing pages to improve conversion rates to the maximum.

12. Execute Bid Optimisation

Master your bid strategy to optimise your cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS) by:

  • Regularly analysing performance data.
  • Using automated bidding strategies based on your campaign goals.
  • Monitoring bid adjustments for different devices, locations, or demographics to optimise performance.

13. Improve your Quality Score

The algorithm favours ads with a high quality score, which is measured by keywords, ad relevance, and landing page experience. A high quality score results in lower costs and top ad positions. You can improve it by:

14. Conduct Competitor Analysis

To stay ahead in the market, you also need to watch closely your competitors’ strategies, keywords, and ad copy to identify opportunities. Analysing their ad campaigns will also serve as inspiration as you gain insights for your own campaigns.

15. Optimise Display and Video Ads Placements

Make use of Ad Placement Exclusions to eliminate irrelevant or underperforming websites or placements from your display or video campaigns. This is done by:

  • Regularly reviewing placement reports to identify sites that are not generating desired results.
  • Refining your targeting by excluding placements that do not align with your campaign goals and your target audiences.

16. Make use of Ad Customisers

Ad customisers dynamically insert personalised information into your ads. Using them, you can:

  • Incorporate dynamic elements like countdown timers or location, which are specific details to create a sense of urgency and relevance.
  • Customise ad copy based on user context, such as their location or device.

17. Utilise Advance Audience Targeting Options

In order to maximise their impact whilst keeping spending low you need to:

  • Segment your audience based on factors like age, gender, interests, or behaviours  – such as previous interactions.
  • Tailor your ad messaging and bids to these different audience segments to increase relevance and engagement.

18. Implement Dynamic Search Ads

They serve to automatically generate relevant headlines and landing pages based on your website content. This approach can help expand your keyword coverage and ensure ads are displayed for relevant search queries. Remember to monitor and refine your dynamic search ads to maintain relevancy and optimise performance.

19. Deploy Testing with Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ads automatically adjust to match user search queries. Create multiple headlines and descriptions, allowing the system to optimise combinations dynamically. This increases the likelihood of higher ad relevance and improves the overall performance of your ads.

20. Carry out Regular Campaign Optimisation

As soon as you can afford it, consider hiring a professional, since you will need to continuously monitor and optimise your PPC campaigns based on performance data.

Reviewing key metrics like CTR, conversion rate, cost per conversion, and ROI and making data-driven decisions to refine targeting, ad copy, bidding strategy, and overall campaign structure is the only way to remain competitive in the ad space.

Next, as promised, platform-specific tactics

Below I have included a table with practical and highly-converting strategies for each specific platform, including lesser-known tactics, which will help you gain a competitive advantage.

PLATFORMTACTICS
Google Ads. Utilise ad extensions, create ad variations, use ad scheduling, implement remarketing, focus on quality score improvement and refine audience targeting.
. Use the “Target Outranking Share” bid strategy to automatically outrank a specific competitor in the ad auction.
. “Similar audiences” will be completely phased out by Google on August 2023. If you have been using similar segments on Search or Shopping campaigns and aren’t using “smart bidding”, use it for your next campaigns.
. Also, turn on “Optimised Targetting” for your Display, Discovery or Video Action campaigns.
. And if you have used “similar segments” on Awareness and Reach video or Consideration video campaigns, include your first-party data segments in your ad groups, and turn on “audience expansion” to reach people similar to those in your first-party data.
Facebook Ads. Set clear campaign objectives, utilise custom audiences and lookalike audiences, experiment with different ad formats, and use Facebook Pixel for conversion tracking and optimisation.
. You can also exploit Facebook’s “Value-based Lookalike Audiences” to target users who are similar to your high-value customers based on their purchasing behaviour.
. Additionally, use Facebook’s “Offline Events” feature to track and optimise conversions that occur offline, such as in-store purchases or phone enquiries.
Instagram Ads. Leverage visual storytelling, create eye-catching imagery and videos, employ Instagram’s targeting options, collaborate with influencers, and tap into Instagram shopping features.
. Experiment with Instagram’s “Explore” tab ads to reach a wider audience who are actively discovering new content.
. Make use of Instagram’s “Shoppable Posts” feature to tag products in your organic posts and drive users directly to the product pages for seamless shopping experiences.
LinkedIn Ads. Target specific professional demographics, experiment with LinkedIn’s ad formats (sponsored content, sponsored InMail, text ads), take advantage of retargeting, and highlight professional achievements and case studies.
. Leverage LinkedIn’s “Matched Audiences” feature not only to target your ideal audience by title or industry but also to include website retargeting audiences, contact lists, and account-based marketing (ABM) lists.
. Use LinkedIn’s “Lead Gen Forms” to capture lead information directly within the platform, streamlining the lead generation process.
Twitter Ads. Use hashtag targeting, target specific user interests and demographics, create engaging and concise ad copy, utilise Twitter’s ad targeting options, and monitor real-time trends for opportunities.
. Make use of Twitter’s “Website Cards” to create visually appealing cards that drive traffic to your website or landing page.
. Experiment with Twitter’s “Conversation Ads” to encourage engagement and start conversations with your audience directly within the ad unit.
TikTok Ads. Create short, attention-grabbing videos, leverage TikTok’s user targeting options and employ TikTok’s ad formats (in-feed ads, branded effects, hashtag challenges).
. Collaborate with TikTok influencers to create native and engaging content that resonates with the platform’s user base.
. Utilise TikTok’s “Custom Audiences” to retarget users who have engaged with your previous TikTok ads or have visited your website.
YouTube Ads. Create compelling video content and leverage YouTube’s targeting options using different ad formats (skippable ads, non-skippable ads, bumper ads).
. Monitor video engagement metrics and optimise for mobile viewing.
. Implement YouTube’s “Video Remarketing” to target users who have interacted with your YouTube channel, videos, or ads in the past.
. Adopt YouTube’s “Video Ad Sequencing” to tell a cohesive story by showing users a series of ads in a specific order.
Pinterest Ads. Create visually appealing pins, use Pinterest’s audience targeting options, implement keyword targeting, optimise pins for mobile viewing, use Pinterest shopping features, and collaborate with influencers.
. Use Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” feature to tag multiple products within a single pin, making it easier for users to discover and purchase products.
. Set up Pinterest’s “Visitor Retargeting” to retarget users who have visited your website or engaged with your pins.

Remember to continually test, analyse, and optimise your campaigns to achieve the best results for the least amount of money possible. It can be done, I have done it many times for my employers and clients and this blueprint will help you take the neccessary steps to set you on that same path to success.

Also, don´t forget to subscribe to this Know-How mailing list to be notified of new articles with more expert advice; it´s free!

Effective digital marketing strategies.

How Digital Marketing Works Plus Top Tactics

Digital marketing has transformed the way businesses sell their products and services. Nowadays, entrepreneurs and small business owners are able to reach their target audience with economical marketing budgets. Yet, there is still much confusion about this marketing field, particularly about what it entails (it is not just about pay-per-click ads) and how to do it right to get the most out of its potential.

Now, before I get into the nitty gritty of it all, let me be clear about something: if you do not set aside any cash for a marketing budget in the hopes that you can reach and convert your target audience fast “organically” you are in for a surprise.

Every single platform and algorithm is designed to get you to spend money, one way or another.

In this article, I will help you discover what is involved in an effective digital marketing strategy, what are the best tactics when it comes to enhancing brand awareness and conversions and, in general, how to laid the best groundwork so you can get the most out of your paid advertising for as little cash as possible.

First of all, Digital Marketing is a term that covers all of the following online marketing areas:

  • UI / UX & Mobile Optimisation
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
  • Analytics and Data Tracking
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Thus, Digital Marketers are strategists with enough multi-disciplinary knowledge and expertise to devise brand-tailored cohesive strategies to be delivered by specialists in each of the above areas.

Which takes us to the aforementioned nitty gritty.

How to Create an effective Digital Marketing Strategy – Tactics to Enhance Brand Awareness and Conversions

1. First, you need to Identify and Understand Your Target Audience

Conduct market research to learn about their demographics, tastes, and online behaviour. You can carry out market research with public data, surveys, competitive analysis, qualitative interviews, focus groups, social listening, field trials and observations. Armed with this insight, you will be able to build a personalised digital marketing strategy that will resonate with your target demographic from the get go and therefore produce greater results.

2. Use the Power of UI / UX to Build a Strong Online Presence

A robust online presence is the foundation of any successful digital marketing. A professional website that reflects your brand´s identity and values and offers your products or services in a user-friendly manner is imperative to convert traffic into customers. You must also make sure that is optimised for mobile. Hotjar is a tool that will help you to better understand your audience, what they expect to find on your website and generally improve your UI / UX.

You can learn more about UI/ UX on my article How to Use UI & UX to Increase Sales plus Best Tools and Tactics.

3. Execute Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

CRO focuses on improving the percentage of website visitors who take desired actions, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Utilise A/B testing to experiment with different elements on your website, such as headlines, layouts, or call-to-action buttons, and analyse the impact on conversion rates.

4. Perform Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO plays a vital role in driving organic traffic to your website, one of the factors contributing to low paid advertising later on. Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and incorporate them naturally into your website’s content, meta descriptions, and headers. I show you how to perform effective SEO in my article The Best SEO Tactics to Increase Traffic and Sales.

5. Create a Content Strategy & Social Media Sharing Schedule

Focus on creating high-quality, informative content that is in line with your business objectives as well as answers your audience’s questions and provides value. Even if you must keep SEO in mind, don´t write for the engine, write for the people. It is also important to create new content weekly and share it consistently. Identify the social media platforms where your target audience is most active and share content and/or statuses at the very least three days per week. Join groups to foster meaningful connections and respond to comments and messages promptly.

Video has become a dominant form of content consumption so it needs to be part of your content strategy. Use platforms like YouTube, Instagram Reels, or TikTok – depending on your audience preference – to share them. Don’t forget to optimise your video posts with relevant keywords and compelling descriptions.

To maximise your efforts and ensure consistency, you can repurpose your long-form articles, blog posts and videos and extract their content to create infographics, gifs and even fun memes.

I will be publishing an in-depth article on social media tactics soon, so don´t forget to subscribe to this Know-How section to get notified. You will find the subscription box on the right column next to this article – if you are reading it on desktop – or at the end of it – if you are using a tablet or mobile.

6. Work your Email Marketing

Email marketing continues to be a successful method of nurturing leads and driving conversions. Increase your email list by providing valuable content or incentives. To send customised, personalised communications, segment your list depending on demographics or user behaviour. Personalisation is essential for providing relevant experiences to your audience. You can use collected data to categorise your audience and produce these highly-personalised marketing messages.

There are tools, such as Brevo (formerly SendInBlue), Mailchimp or Klaviyo,  among others, that will help you not only deliver email marketing messages based on user behaviour and preferences but also automate this process saving you a ton of time.

Don´t forget to create eye-catching subject lines and optimise your email content to increase open and click-through rates.

7. Explore Influencer Marketing, Partnerships and Online Collaborations

Collaborating with influencers in your industry can increase your brand’s reach and credibility tenfold. Research and determine influencers that share your brand’s beliefs and who have a true connection with their audience. Collaborate on sponsored content or product reviews to capitalise on their influence and reach out to new customers.

Likewise, investigate the possibility of guest blogging, co-marketing efforts, or collaborative webinars with complementary businesses. Strategic alliances could help to enhance your digital marketing efforts and provide mutual benefits.

8. Invest in strategic Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Yes, you are going to have to pay for ads at some point. But laying the previous groundwork will work to satisfy the greedy algorithm with less cash while getting it to produce better results.

Use Google Search Ads to reach your target audience when they are searching online for your products or services´ keywords or Display Ads when they are visiting sites or videos related to your brand´s offerings.  

Social Media ads such as Facebook ads are also quite effective when it comes to reaching a precise target audience.  Monitor your campaigns closely, analyse results, and refine your strategies to optimize conversions and maximize ROI.

Bear in mind that not all website visitors convert on their first visit. In fact, it often takes up to 7 touchpoints before a user becomes a customer. Remarketing and retargeting campaigns allow you to re-engage with those visitors and encourage them to take action. You can use Google Ads or Facebook Pixel to track visitors and display targeted ads to remind them of your products or services when they might be ready to purchase them.

Don´t forget to subscribe to this Know-How as I will be publishing a very valuable article on effective PPC techniques in the near future.

9. Set up Analytics and Data Tracking

To measure the success of your digital marketing efforts, collecting data is essential. Use Google Analytics to track website traffic, user behaviour, and conversions.

This will help you gain a better understanding of your audience’s preferences, campaign performance, and areas of improvement, which will enable you to refine your strategies and optimise your marketing efforts. This is a crucial part of any professional digital marketing strategy.

10. Implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools    

Implementing a CRM system will help streamline your digital marketing efforts and enhance customer relationships. It allows you to manage and track customer interactions, automate marketing campaigns, and personalise communication. Consider using CRM platforms like HubSpot or Salesforce to manage your customer data effectively.

11. Conduct Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Last, but not least, your online reputation can significantly impact your business’s success. And, if not managed properly, a bad online reputation, such as a very low Google Reviews score can actually break all of your digital marketing efforts and doom your business to failure. 

Obtain what is called Social Proof in the form of testimonials and reviews by your satisfied customers and showcase them on your website, media channels and dedicated review platforms.

Monitor all online reviews, social media mentions, and other forms of feedback. Respond promptly and respectfully to customer feedback, whether positive or negative, to maintain a positive brand image and, most importantly, build trust with your audience, which is essential.

Conclusion

Digital Marketing involves expertise and work in several online marketing areas. It is also a very dynamic field which requires constant learning to keep up-to-date with new tech developments, changes in consumer behaviour and algorithm updates.

Though this article serves you as a blueprint to establish a successful digital marketing structure for your small business, unless digital marketing is your actual service, I will always advise you to hire a professional to guide you, so you can focus on producing the best products and/or services in your industry. At the end of the day, the latter will always be the best marketing tactic, whether digital or traditional.

End of Article