The start of every New Year brings with it the opportunity for reflection and improvement. Now is the perfect time for business owners and marketers to review effective strategies and new tactics so that your business is well positioned to increase performance in 2013. We’ve pulled together a list of 13 paid search tips that we believe will get your paid search campaigns headed down the right path.
1) Prepare for a Multi Screen Strategy – over 115 million Americans own a smart-phone today and that number will more than triple over the next two years. As such, the number of purchases made via a mobile device is trending upward on a parallel path. If your paid search strategy doesn’t include mobile devices, then you run the risk of losing money this year.
2) Plan Budgets Carefully and Review Them Daily – when you plan your budget this year take time to review trends in online spending within your industry and compare that to the ebbs and flows of purchases that your business received last year. Once you’ve done that you can set daily and weekly budgets accordingly.
3) Create an Ad Testing Schedule – ad testing is essential to maximizing your ad effectiveness over time. So plan your tests ahead of time and set performance benchmarks against each individual test.
4) Expand Your Keyword References – expand your marketing messaging and keyword list this year to include tangential words that appeal to a users intent. For example: Plumbing businesses should expand their words to include – fix faucet leaks, broken water pipe, slow drainage.
5) Target Smarter – customers are going mobile and that means you need to include LOCAL into your targeting practices. But don’t stop there, dig into the data from 2012 and analyze it to help you create your customer profiles. Target based on age, gender and household income as well as geographic location.
6) Review Your Campaign Regularly – make a resolution to set aside 30 minutes every day to review your campaigns. At the end of each month analyze your data and make adjustments accordingly.
7) Conduct Ongoing Optimization – now that you’ve resolved to review your campaign regularly you’ll be in a better position to conduct ongoing optimization strategies to improve performance.
8) Give your Ads a Creative Audit – step back and reflect upon what attracts you to ads. What visual stimulation inspires you to click and learn more? Once you’ve answered that question, apply it to your business and begin making changes to the images you use in your ads and the visual graphics you use on your landing pages.
9) Give Your Ads a Messaging Makeover – spend some time planning your messaging going beyond just creating messaging for seasonal promotional pushes. Develop compelling communications by tailoring messages to different segments of your target audience.
10) Matching Matters – make it a point to practice consistency from your ad campaigns to your landing pages and to your website. The message, branding and offerings all need to look the same across the board.
11) Improve your Landing Pages – clicks don’t matter if landing pages aren’t effective. Spend sometime thinking about the layout of your landing pages. Is your offer clearly stated above the fold? Is there one clear call to action? Do the visuals complement your product? Are prospective consumers able to easily navigate to your shopping cart?
12) Educate Yourself on Evolving Strategies – dedicate some time each week to educating yourself on the latest technologies and paid search tactics. The digital space is constantly changing. Properly educating yourself can make all the difference in the effectiveness of your campaign.
13) Don’t be Afraid to Try New Things – as the year moves from one month to the next make it a point to apply what you have learned to your campaign.
Happy New Year! May your 2013 paid search campaigns be filled with conversions!