If you’re reading this, you probably know that pay-per-click advertising is an incredibly effective way to drive high-intent traffic to your site, increase conversions, and boost sales. But not all PPC strategies are equally effective. Follow these 5 tips to make sure you’re getting the greatest bang for your buck with your PPC campaign in 2016.

Zone in on the right audience at the right time.

The biggest difference between SEO and PPC advertising is that with PPC campaigns, you can directly target your audience to make sure your ads are reaching the right sets of eyes. Laser-focus your campaign by targeting the networks and devices that your ideal audience is going to use the most. You can manage your campaign settings so that you’re focusing on a certain country, region, state, zip code, or even a radius of a couple of streets. Take your PPC campaign to where your market is.

You should also use Google’s in-market audiences, a new tool that makes sure you’re not only reaching your intended audience, but that you’re doing so at the right time. Google segments browsers based on their research activity and intent to buy, providing analytics which allow you to zone in on consumers who are actively looking at or comparing products related to your company.

 

Focus on mobile-first strategies.

Responsive web design isn’t enough anymore if you really want your site to stick out at the top of search engine results; you need a built-for-mobile site. If you’re not going mobile first, Google actually penalizes you, making it very hard to get your PPC ads into the top three positions of its results. It’s not surprising then that mobile ad spending is projected to reach over $100 billion this year, accounting for over 50% of all PPC ad spending in 2016.

Given the limited space on mobile, it can be difficult to design your site and app so that all of the important content, such as your call to action, is immediately and abundantly clear. If you’re not sure you’re hitting the mark with your mobile ad placements, try segmenting your conversion rate data by device. This will help inform your PPC strategy by letting you know if your current ad strategy works better or worse on mobile devices.

Invest in remarketing.

If you’ve gotten this far without becoming distracted, pat yourself on the back. New research shows that the human attention span has now shrunk to 8 seconds, which is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. In 2000, the human attention span was measured at 12 seconds, but the era of the smartphone has made us more prone to distraction than ever before. This means you’re going to lose a ton of traffic simply because users lack focus, not necessarily because they aren’t interested in what your site has to offer.

 

You need to remind users to come back to you after they’ve browsed Twitter and Instagram and thirty-something other sites. By placing a cookie on their browser, you can ensure that your brand comes up again for anyone who has visited your site whenever they search for relevant keywords. Adding remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA campaigns) to your PPC campaign costs next to nothing, but is the best way to regain the attention of your distracted audience and

increase conversion rates by reminding potential customers to return.

Double down on ad extensions.

Ad extensions are a type of ad format that “extends” your ad to include extra information about your business, improving your ad’s visibility and often contributing to improved click-through rates (CTR). In fact, recent studies show that using ad extensions can increase CTR by 30-100%, which means that optimizing your ad extensions is a great way to boost the effectiveness of your PPC campaign. There are a wide variety of ad extensions at your disposal, from location extensions and call extensions to social and review extensions. The list keeps growing year to year, but lots of marketing folks tend to approach ad extensions with a “set it and forget it” mentality, thereby losing out on the awesome perks that come with each new ad extension rollout.

To improve your PPC campaign, make sure that you staying current with new extension releases, and that your extensions are working together so you’re not paying for redundancy in your ad copy.

 

Bid on your competition’s key terms.

A highly effective PPC campaign is one that sets your site apart and diverts potential customers away from your competitors’ sites. Users who are searching for your competitors’ brand terms are clearly interested in the product or service you provide, so by out-bidding your competitors for their key terms, you can get on the radar of high potential customers.

Pair this strategy with an awesome landing page and great ad-copy, and you won’t just get on their radar, you may persuade these consumers that your company is more worthy of their business than the competitor they set out to buy from.

By using these 5 strategies, you’ll maximize the effectiveness of your PPC campaign, driving more of the right users to your site.

John Rampton is a PPC Entrepreneur, Author, Founder at Due a finance company helping small business owners. Follow me on Twitter @johnrampton

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