Businesses now lean toward software solutions to simplify daily operations as a result of technological improvements. Software and SaaS suppliers may now take advantage of the effectiveness of sponsored advertising to position their goods in front of the appropriate customers at the appropriate time.
By concentrating on certain demographics, effective PPC campaigns assist software and SaaS firms in targeting the appropriate audiences, generating quality leads, and maximizing revenues. However, the outcomes may be subpar if you don't know how much to bid.
The five tried-and-true PPC optimization strategies we've outlined here can help you choose the optimal bid, get the most out of your investment, and increase marketing returns. But let's first examine the fundamentals of PPC optimization and how crucial they are for B2B software marketers.
PPC Optimization - Journey from Good to Great!
PPC optimization is the act of examining a current PPC campaign and making adjustments to the campaign parameters, ad group structure, keywords, and landing pages. Its objective is to make products more visible in sponsored search results, increasing its reach.
PPC campaign optimization concentrates on:
- Selecting suitable keywords for bids
- Increasing clicks
- Lowering the cost per click (CPC)
- Increasing click-through rate (CTR)
- Enhancing return on investment (ROI) while containing advertising expenditures.
PPC optimization aids B2B software marketers in improving campaign effectiveness to produce high-quality leads, increase online visibility, and show advertisements to more people. According to Gartner’s research, PPC advertising is one of the most effective digital marketing channels for generating leads.
Now that you know about the benefits of conducting a PPC Campaign, it is time for you to pay attention to fast-changing competitors, behaviours, and algorithms. You must see a trend before someone else does in order to stay on top of your game. Let the remainder of 2022 and beyond be guided by these PPC optimization services for your sponsored search campaigns.
1. Build A Strong Account Structure
A solid account structure is a cornerstone for generating outstanding PPC success. When looking at a new customer account, these are the first items that you must consider:
- The number of keywords in each ad group
- The number of adverts in each ad group
- The correlation between the advertising in each group and the keywords in each group
Too frequently, people build out their accounts with salt in their eyes and end up with a giant muddled mess. Usually, it is best to have a few campaigns that are specifically targeted toward each product, area, or other theme that sounds right for your company's goals. Analyzing the layout of your website is an excellent approach to segmenting your campaigns and ad groups.
According to Google, each ad group should have no more than 30 keywords, along with two to three advertisements that use those keywords in their ad content. Since the searcher will be far more likely to show real interest, you want your keywords, advertising, and landing pages to be incredibly related to one another.
2. Reducing Conversion Time Lag
Conversion lag reporting is the following in the series, and it can be found in Google Ads' campaign overview. Hovering over each campaign's conversions in the conversion column with a current date range chosen (for example, the current month) will reveal any conversion time lag they are having in a pop-up.
But how do you use information like this?
To begin with, it provides you with a solid notion of the potential effectiveness of retargeting campaigns before you even launch one. In essence, you should concentrate more on retargeting the longer it takes for a visitor to convert.
Just a few possible causes of a prolonged conversion time lag include the following:
- Your visitor is evaluating your offer in comparison to others (hence the long time it takes them to convert). Retargeting will assist you to stay in their minds while they conduct their study in this situation.
- The call-to-action (CTA) on your website or PPC landing page optimization could be too intimidating for them at this time, or you might not be aligning the visitor's purpose with what you're asking them to do. If so, you must learn how to make your call to action less dangerous.
Your days to the conversion will start to decrease as you address those two causes of the prolonged conversion time lag. As a result, you'll be able to move individuals through your funnel much more quickly, and your lead and conversion quality should both start to improve.
3. Attribution & Assist Conversions
PPC advertising is fantastic since it is largely in black and white. You should be aware of your advertising expenses as well as your earnings. The main drawback to that is that most advertisers attribute the entirety of the conversion to the final click. What about the seven ad clicks that came before the last one, though?
Another query: have you ever stopped something in your Google Ads account that wasn't producing direct conversions and then saw a decline in the performance of your entire account?
Larger accounts that manage paid search bid optimization, social, display, and video frequently experience this. In a multi-device and multi-channel world, it frequently operates in this manner. Not every click on an advertisement results in a conversion. A visitor must go through several touchpoints before making a conversion. You should thus return to where we left off and navigate to Tools and Settings > measurement > Attribution in your Google Ads account to see an overview of your attribution.
You can visit "Assisted conversions" on the left-hand side after that. Find the "Click and view assists" column in the table of aided conversions to examine how many clicks and views on certain ads contributed to an eventual conversion but did not result in the conversion itself.
You can rapidly fiddle with the menu at the top to get aided conversion numbers from networks, campaign types, ad groups, keywords, etc. once you are there. To view the help data for a particular conversion activity, you may even choose it. This enables you to determine, for instance, if the display is promoting search conversions or whether multi-intent keywords are acting differently as a result of the attribution.
4. Focus On High-Performance PPC Keywords
How can you determine whether a keyword is working well? Naturally, this relies on your objectives and the KPIs that are most significant to you.
Once you have found a great term, you can usually prefer to employ a tiered bidding approach for that keyword. Tiered bidding is when you place a bid using each of the four match types for the same term. You'll want to bid more if the match type is made more stringent because the quality of the traffic will rise.
Why place the highest bid for exact? In comparison to a wide match, which covers nearby variations and is considerably more open to interpretation, the ROI is often substantially greater because you are aware of exactly what the searcher is searching for.
5. Build Out Negative Keyword Lists
It ought to go without saying, that constantly expanding and keeping track of your negative keyword lists will help you drastically save expenses and boost performance (particularly when utilizing larger match types!). If negatives are not correctly configured, it is quite simple to waste a tonne of money on searches that are unrelated to your business.
Of course, seeing what users are really typing into Google to trigger your advertisements is the best approach to finding negatives. Fortunately, the WordStream Advisor tool QueryStream accomplishes this. Remember to examine the negative lists that are presently set up to ensure that negatives are not blocking phrases that might be advantageous to your account.
6. Micro Conversions
Despite the possibility that your PPC campaign won't be successful right away, there's a good chance you have a number of micro conversions that you may focus on. You may improve the tiny processes that come before your main conversion by using micro conversions. In pay-per-click optimization terms, let's imagine that your objective is to get visitors to fill out a lead form.
A micro conversion may be created in Google Ads just like any other standard conversion that you wish to track.
Start keeping note of these items to see precisely where prospects are having trouble before converting. Once these are found, look for ways to improve them and smooth the way for your primary conversion.
Listed below are a few typical tools to aid you with your micro conversions:
- Google Analytics: track time on-site at the keyword, ad group, and campaign level
- Hotjar: track form field dwelling time and re-fill rates
- Crazy Egg: Track Scroll Depth
You can rapidly diagnose, retest, and see if you can eliminate the barriers on your visitors' path to the primary conversion once you know where in your funnel the majority of visitors are halting.
7. Google Ads Hidden Gems
There are a few hidden gems in Google Ads that were formerly housed under the "Dimensions" page. Even if they aren't all in one tab anymore, they are still easily accessible on the platform for you to view.
Some of the most significant riches may be found in three locations:
Google Ad Schedule Tab
The data under the "Ad Schedule" tab may include a wealth of Pay-per-click optimization gold for you if you've ever run your advertisements continuously. The act of "dayparting" is a prevalent behaviour. At this point, you should examine your statistics to determine the times of day and days of the week that aren't doing well in terms of cost-per-acquisition.
Once you are aware of the hours of the day or days of the week that exhaust you, you may apply negative bid modifiers to those hours or days. You can even completely cease running your adverts during specific hours or days. Click on a campaign, then select the "Day & hour," "Day," or "Hour" option under the "Ad Schedule" page to view results by an hour of the day and day of the week.
Google Locations Page
There is a very strong likelihood that viewers of your advertising are located outside the targeted geographic targeting area. Although geotargeting isn't ideal, you may simply improve it to make it as precise as possible (and you might not be doing this already).
You can investigate this prize in four different ways:
- Any geographical locations that aren't doing well, including cities or states, may get a negative bid modifier or be completely dropped from targeting.
- Change your "Location choices" in your campaign settings to "People in or usually in your targeted places" if you don't want your advertisements to appear in nations you don't plan to target.
- Start building targeted ads with local area code phone numbers surrounding the top three cities with the greatest conversion traffic if phone calls are one of your main conversions.
- You may still include city names in advertising and landing pages even if you're not tracking phone calls (and you should still do this if you track phone calls, too). Even if you're not local, these strategies will give the impression that you are, and you should notice an improvement in conversion rates.
Google Placements Tab
The websites and applications where your display and retargeting advertisements appear (placements) function differently much as your search terms and keywords do.
Click into your display campaign and expand the "Content" tab to see your placements. Click the "Where advertisements displayed" sub-tab from there. Then, you'll be able to view every website and app that your display adverts may have appeared on. You may develop a display campaign that specifically targets placements when you've identified those that are thematically pertinent to what you have to offer and the data indicates that the cost per acquisition is favourable.
Add your best-performing sites to your placement targeting by clicking "Placements" under the "Content" tab of that new campaign. Once you begin to separate your top placements, you can even target individuals who are already on that particular site (or up to three layers deep on that site) and provide them with the most appropriate call-to-action. Refresh your knowledge of PPC traffic temperature if you're unsure how to proceed.
8. Device And Network Segmentation
You may already be aware that you may split your ad data to see how it works on the network level and at the device level. But why don't you go a step further after making a few simple bid modifications or choosing to join or leave Search Partners?
The most frequent discrepancy in CPA performance between mobile and desktop is between the two. This isn't always a result of your mobile visitors having a lower conversion rate. You can simply be caught in the mindset that responsive mobile design is adequate.
It's not, in actuality.
"Responsive design, as we know it now, is hazardous to mobile conversion rates," claims Joel Harvey of Conversion Scientists. This implies that not everything on your website should be available on the mobile version. More significantly, it should provide the visitor with a special experience all on its own.
Don't rely just on my word, though. There is a tonne of literature available that explains the differences between responsive and dedicated mobile sites and the benefits of conducting separate CRO testing for mobile and desktop.
9. Search Term Research
Unfortunately, a lot of users merely utilize the search term report to create lists of bad keywords. Even while that's a nice beginning, the narrative is far from over. Everyone should begin conducting keyword research utilizing keyword research tools for search phrases. That entails finding search terms with a high search volume, click volume, or (particularly) conversion volume and employing them as keywords. Search terms are the actual phrases users type into search engines.
If not, you will be stuck with the all-too-common search phrase to keyword discrepancy ratio of 57:1. (or higher). This implies that for each phrase you bid on, there are dozens or even hundreds of other search keywords that you are still paying for without having any influence over. This is also known as the "Iceberg Effect."
However, there are a few golden tidbits regarding this resource that will help you comprehend the significance of extracting your search terms:
- If you're in the lead generation, SaaS, or eCommerce industries, your PPC performance will eventually stagnate if you don't reduce your disparities.
- Once you have extracted the search terms, you may manage the bids for their ad messages and keywords to increase relevancy, click-through rates (CTRs), quality scores, and cost-per-click (CPC).
- You can never fully measure which search phrases are delivering you sales if you are in lead generation or SaaS and don't extract your search terms.
It brings along great advantages if you put in the time and effort to further granulate your account.
10. UTM Tags For Lead Generation
Most of us in the field of digital marketing for lead generation and SaaS can only observe which keywords, placements, or audiences are generating leads, not revenues.
Wouldn't you like to optimize for more sales rather than conversions in an ideal world? After all, your financial success ultimately matters more than your Google Ads or social network account numbers, right?
You must utilize two things in order to measure the sales rates (not conversion or lead rates) of keywords, placements, and audiences:
- UTM parameters that you manually apply to track templates or destination URLs in Google Ads or Facebook, or ValueTrack parameters.
- Hidden fields that read the UTM parameters you've set to your lead generation/SaaS landing page form and import that data along with the contact information for your leads into your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
How to make your Google Ads campaigns UTM tracking-enabled
Choose the campaign you wish to track by clicking the Campaigns tab.
Click Campaign URL options under Settings — Additional settings (at the bottom).
Put utm source=google&utm medium=cpc&utm campaign=campaignid&utm content=adgroupid&utm term=keyword as the last suffix for your URLs.
You can eventually compile the keyword data that led to the sale once you've actually closed a transaction or acquired a new paying customer. In order to use your money more wisely, you will be able to clearly determine which terms have better sales intent with the aid of this information.
11. Set Up Offline Conversion Monitoring
The practice of bringing back offline leads or sales into an advertising platform is known as offline conversion monitoring. But keep in mind that not every scenario lends itself to offline conversion monitoring, and not every PPC platform supports it. However, it's quite important to put it up on the platforms that can support it.
As an illustration, suppose you received a lead from Google Ads that your sales team was able to validate a week later. The qualifying lead then becomes a successful sale three weeks later.
You can perform a few things with this lead data if you've set up offline conversion tracking:
- Re-import leads from your CRM that have reached the "qualified" stage so you can see in-platform just where your qualified leads originated.
- Re-import leads from your CRM that have been designated as successful sales so you can see in-platform where your sales originated from.
Since quality leads are sometimes rare than sales, you may import qualified leads into the platform. The good news is that we'll build up our campaigns to generate more leads of that nature (either with smart bidding strategies on Google Ads or ad set conversion goals on Facebook, etc.). Greater qualified leads also equate to more potential sales, as we all know.
12. Test Out Audience-Focused Tools
Even while most PPC platforms are keyword-focused, they nonetheless have audiences (e.g., Google Ads and Microsoft Ads). A tool called Lookalike, or "similar-to," audiences is available on the majority of those platforms with audience capabilities. The language used in Google Ads is "similar-to."
You may create audience lists of people who are similar to one target audience using lookalikes. These new lookalike viewers share traits with our previous converts, increasing the likelihood that they will also convert.
Additionally, even though this demographic is still considered to be a prospecting one, we have witnessed Lookalike’s performance surge in several testing across numerous PPC marketing campaigns. Therefore, don't undervalue the influence of the highly motivated Lookalike audience.
13. Let Automation Do The Heavy Lifting
The majority of PPC marketing systems are becoming more automated. This implies that these platforms are continually developing new algorithmically-driven features to assist in making your advertising efforts more intelligent and effective.
In the end, we know much less about our target audiences than the algorithms that run auctions, determine what individuals view when on social media, and compute and execute auctions. These systems process data continuously to determine how to give users the most pertinent information (including ads).
As a consequence, enabling automation to handle tasks like setting bids to maximize conversions or selecting the optimal ad placements frequently produces greater results than when these tasks are handled manually. You can test each automated function that is accessible and see what it accomplishes, including automated rules, automated placements, and automated bids. Improve your performance by working with these algorithms rather than against them.
Put These Optimization Treasures To Work
This post's objective was to direct you toward some more extensive PPC optimization tactics that go beyond routine account upkeep.
You now own 10 precious assets that you can utilize to strengthen your marketing plan and improve the outcomes of your PPC advertisements. So, it is time to embark on your journey to success with those valuables. You can visit our whole Google Ads optimization post for a deeper look at further Google Ads-specific adjustments (free checklist included).
For platform-specific adjustments, we also offer helpful articles for Facebook, Bing, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Amazon, to name a few. Otherwise, go on over to our next post for more tasty PPC insider information if you're yearning for even more PPC pearls to support your strategic efforts.
Pause Keywords With Poor Performance
How can you tell if a keyword is doing poorly?
Make sure it has been operating long enough to gather sufficient data before making this choice. Giving a keyword more time to gather data if it has just been active for a few days is preferable to stopping it immediately.
Before pausing a keyword, conduct your research as well. Find out the cause of the keyword's poor performance by doing some research. Here are a few common scenarios:
- The offer for the keyword is insufficient. To make sure your bids are sufficiently aggressive, check the CPC for page #1 and the top of the page bid estimate.
- The keyword receives few searches. Even if you are placing adequate bids, a keyword may not be generating much traffic if it is too long-tailed or merely a term that consumers are not looking for.
- Either the match type is too expansive or too tight. If a wide term has great traffic but extremely poor click-through rates, conversions, etc., stop it and add the keyword with a more specific match type.
Leverage Your Remarketing PPC Strategy With Rise Socially
PPC optimization is a never-ending effort, but it can be quite rewarding if done correctly. Your PPC campaigns will clearly improve if you set aside an hour or two each week for it with the assistance of pay-per-click PPC advertising services.
As soon as you begin examining your data, you'll learn important lessons about what functions well for you and what doesn't. Your CTR will rise, your CPA will drop, and your revenues will rise as you get the hang of it and keep refining your ads. And if that isn't evidence that effort pays off, we're not sure what is.