In the right hands, a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaign can be a highly efficient tool to drive highly targeted traffic to landing pages where they can be converted for the maximum return on investment (ROI). Unfortunately most campaigns are rarely that perfect, and instead many turn out to be huge cash sinks that seem to quickly exhaust their budgets while providing mediocre results.

More often than not the difference in outcomes largely boils down to the approach that is used. Highly efficient PPC campaigns are optimized right from the get go, and tend to be built around a few simple best practices:

  • Use small groups of keywords

When you’re structuring your PPC campaign it is typically advised that you use 15 to 20 keywords per ad group. Generally however that is less than ideal, as you’ll inevitably end up with a lot of keywords that have little real relevance to the ads that are appearing. Instead of using so many keywords, you should use small groups of tightly focused keywords for each ad group – or even adopt a single keyword ad group strategy.

  • Refine ads by using negative keywords

Exclusion is often just as powerful as inclusion when it comes to PPC advertising, and negative keywords can help you to refine your ads very effectively. It can help you to exclude searches that are too general and unlikely to result in conversions, such as keywords containing matches for image, picture, how toand other such terms.

  • Link to landing pages consistent with the keyword and ad copy

When you’re using PPC ads to direct traffic to a landing page, that page needs to be consistent with the keyword and ad copy. If you don’t ensure that it is consistent you’re wasting the targeted nature of PPC advertising and by sending potential customers to pages that aren’t relevant to what they expect. It is best to think of your landing page as an extension of the funnel that starts with your ad, and ends with a conversion.

  • Test, measure, and analyze ad performance

Contrary to popular belief, PPC advertising isn’t something that you can just ‘set and forget’, and if you want your campaign to be effective you need to constantly test, measure and analyze the performance of your ads so that you can optimize them. It is a continuous process, and one that extends from the keywords that you use to the ad copy, targeting, landing pages, and all other aspects of your campaign.

By following these four Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising best practices, you should be able to build a campaign that allows you to harness its potential and direct highly targeted traffic to your landing pages. Make no mistake there are many other ways in which you can optimize and improve your campaigns as well, and you need to be willing to constantly learn and innovate so that you’re able to get the best bang for your buck.

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