While SEO is important, there are also good reasons to use paid search as part of your marketing and sales strategy. Paid search can bring highly targeted traffic and new sources of revenue. However, it only pays off if you develop a paid search plan that is perfect for your unique company. Here are a few tips for making paid search work for you.
- Test different ads. It can be difficult at first to determine what wording works best for your consumers. For this reason, you should try out a variety of different ads. Make sure they rotate evenly so you can get a fair comparison.
- Consider branded keywords. Man customers are searching not just for a product, but for a particular brand. Including brand names may be an effective strategy for your ecommerce business, and you’ll never know until you give it a try.
- Plan landing pages carefully. Ensure that they are relevant specifically to the keywords you are using in the ads, and experiment with different formats to see which works best.
- Think outside the box. If a keyword is not bringing in the expected sales, consider whether there are other issues. Is the landing page the best it can be? Are your product pages up to par? Split testing may show that there are other problems. Remember that keywords are just one part of the paid search formula.
- Play with punctuation and spelling. Sometimes misspelled keywords will bring more targeted traffic—you never know until you try it. Also, capitalizing the first letter of every word in an ad has been proven to get more clicks.
- Include prices in ads. If you are getting a high bounce rate from your landing pages, you may be attracting traffic that are too price oriented for your product. Including prices will ensure that every click comes from someone who can afford your products.
- Test revenue. Some keywords may get more hits, and others may get more sales. It’s important to know these facts, but focus mainly on the ones that bring the most actual revenue per advertising dollar.
- Traffic isn’t everything. Search engine optimization is important, but conversion rate optimization will ensure that you get the most out of your existing traffic, which can mean spending less money for better sales.
- Watch trends. This will help you to identify the big winners and losers while there is still time to modify your plan. It can also let you know if there are technical issues or other problems with either the paid search company or your website—you’ll see a sudden and dramatic drop in traffic, sales, or both.
- Be a work in progress. Continue to change things up and experiment, even after you find a formula that works. Your consumer base is constantly changing, so your marketing should be changing as well.
This is not a comprehensive paid search Bible, but rather a few tips to get you started. Don’t be afraid to pay for traffic; just make sure that traffic pays for itself.