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Pay Per Click Optimization Chapter 3

Pay-per-click (PPC) optimization is the process of improving keyword choice, ad copy, landing pages, and ad groups to boost the return on investment (ROI) of your search engine-based ad campaigns.

The advice in this chapter will help you rewrite your ad copy to boost click-through rates (CTRs), optimize landing pages to improve conversion rates, and organize ad groups to increase the overall effectiveness of your PPC advertising. These methods will generate more leads and sales, garner valuable market intelligence, and build brand awareness.

This chapter begins with a quick overview of terms and the basics, but it assumes a general understanding of PPC advertising. Then it reviews the differences among the advertising programs offered by the top three search engines. The rest of the chapter explores the details of PPC optimization with a strong focus on Google AdWords.

We recommend the following tips for effective PPC advertising:

  • Choose appropriate, profit-driven goals
  • Target campaigns and keywords to the right audience
  • Set up ad groups with closely related, tightly themed keywords
  • Write ads that feature your keywords and the interests of potential visitors
  • Create goal-driven landing pages with clear calls to action that target your keywords directly and focus on the interests of potential visitors
  • Set bids to meet realistic, profit-driven goals

That's PPC in a nutshell. An outline of the chapter follows:

  • Pay-per-Click Optimization
    • Pay-per-Click Basics and Definitions
    • Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Everybody Else
      • Differences in Bulk Editing: Uploading Spreadsheets Versus the AdWords Editor
      • Differences in Geo-Targeting
      • Differences in Minimum Bids and Quality Scoring
      • Summary of the Differences Among AdWords, adCenter, and YSM
    • Goal Setting, Measurement, Analytics Support, and Closing the Loop
      • Calculating Return on Investment
      • Goals and Values
      • Tracking and Metrics
      • Closing the Loop
        • Targeting and qualifying visitors
        • Qualifying visitors who are late in the sales cycle
        • Relevant landing pages
        • Closing the loop offline
      • Using Metrics to Set a Budget
      • Return on Investment and Profit
      • Pay-per-Click Return on Investment and Goals Summary
    • Keyword Discovery, Selection, and Analysis
    • Organizing and Optimizing Ad Groups
    • Optimizing Pay-per-Click Ads
      • Measuring Ad Performance
      • Optimizing Ad Copy
        • Creating ad copy variation
        • Testing ads the easy way: AdWords optimized ad serving
        • Testing ads the hard way: Confidence interval testing
      • Dynamic Keyword Insertion in Ads
      • Pay-per-Click Ad Optimization Summary
    • Optimizing Landing Pages
      • Landing Pages for AdWords
      • Landing Pages for Visitors
        • Figure 3-7. A sample PPC landing page
        • Complete conversions with clear calls to action
        • Use persuasive copy
        • Support the ad claims that triggered the visitor's click
        • Include multiple conversion points for different stages of the buying cycle
        • Display large images of products or services
        • Forgo navigation menus
      • Testing Landing Pages
    • Optimizing Bids
    • Other Pay-per-Click Issues
    • Conclusion and Summary

Footnotes

Bid Optimization in Action: The E-Grooming Book Example
In this example, Judy has two rich uncles, one of whom gives her credit card service free of overhead and another who provides her with free web hosting. Judy's uncles make this example simpler, so we're delighted that she has them.

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Last modified: January 11, 2010.

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