I’m Doing Search Advertising, Now What? 5 Campaign Must-Dos

I'm Doing Search Advertising, Now What?

Now that you’ve started a search engine advertising campaign for your business, you’re probably wondering what you can do to get the most out of it. You may be wondering how to maximize campaign performance. Or how to drive down cost-per-clicks while reaching more targeted consumers. In the first part of this series, we’ll take a look at five ways you can boost your campaign performance to improve the return on your search advertising investment.

1. Test Text Ads

Text ads are the backbone of your search engine advertising campaign, so it’s crucial that they are compelling enough for someone to want to click on them and visit your site. You should already have one text ad, but running multiple ads at once can tell you which elements of your ads are the most effective so you can maximize their performance on the search engines.

When writing your ads, take the time to think about the kinds of things that will get potential customers to click, like a descriptive headline, special offer, or a great call to action. You could also try dynamic keywords – a technology that automatically replaces your text ad headline with the exact keyword phrase that was typed into the search engine – which can be effective way to drive more clicks from your campaign. Then, when you know which ads work best for your business (it may take a few weeks or months to really tell), you can use only the ones that bring the most people to your business. And if you’re running search advertising with ReachLocal, our technology will do this for you automatically.

2. Bid On Your Business Name

You’re probably already bidding on top business keywords such as the products and services you offer along with geographic modifiers, like “kitchen cabinet installation Orlando,” to reach consumers in your local area. But have you thought about bidding on your own business name? It might seem counterintuitive, but this practice is actually very common among big brands. Plus, not only does it help you own more real estate in the search results at a relatively low cost, but it also helps prevent your competitors – who may also be bidding on your business name – from showing up when someone searches specifically for your business.

3. Review Your Quality Score

Knowing your quality score can help you make changes that can improve the performance of your search advertising campaign. Your quality score is influenced by the how well your keywords generate clicks, the relevance of your text ad to the terms you are bidding on, and the content on your landing page. But most importantly, your quality score is affected by how effectively all these elements relate to one another, because they can directly influence the user’s experience with your brand.

One way to do improve your quality score if you are running your own search advertising is to make sure you’re bidding on relevant keywords for your brand. For instance, using long-tail, geo-targeted keywords can be much more effective for  your search campaign than broad keywords. That’s because less-specific terms like “braces” can quickly use up your budget without producing great results, since your ad may be showing up for searchers who are not really interested in your business. So, something like “where to get braces Plano” might be a better option.

When it comes to your quality score, it’s also important to make sure your text ads and landing page copy align with one another in order to create a consistent experience for both consumers and search engines. By making these tweaks to your, keywords, text ads, and landing page content, you may start to see an improvement in campaign metrics like cost per click, minimum bid amount, frequency at which your ad is shown, and the position of your ad on the search engine results page.

4. Segment Your Ads

If you’re running multiple, disparate text ads (for different products or services), you can use ad groups to segment the them into smaller, more specific groups – such as one group for an A/C tune-up and one for general handyman services. This way, the ad being displayed for a specific product or service-related search is more relevant to the business-related keywords entered into the search bar.

You can use ad groups to create different ads for specific products and services, seasonal offers, deals and discounts, or events. When it comes to running multiple ad groups, it’s important that the keywords you are bidding on, the text ad copy, and the landing page you’re sending traffic to are all focused on the same topic, which can improve the user experience as well as your quality score.

5. Use Sitelinks

Sitelinks are a type of ad extension that search engines like Google use to display additional content about your business within your text ad. In addition to your website or landing page, your text ad can also show up to six links for additional Web pages you want to drive consumers to, such as a store locator page, deals page, or specific product page. This can be especially useful for driving conversions, because it gives you a larger presence on the search engines.

In addition, sitelinks also give consumers more flexibility over what information they see from your business website, driving more clicks and reducing bounce rates once they land on your site. Remember that each landing page you send consumers to from your text ad should be optimized for conversions, including information like your business hours, location, and a call to action and phone number so that prospects can easily contact you.

What other tactics have you used to improve the performance of your search ads? In the next part of this series, we’ll cover five ways to drive more conversions from your search advertising landing page.

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Tamara Weintraub

Tamara is a content marketing manager at ReachLocal with over 7 years experience in B2B marketing and has a nerd-level affinity for software and technology. She specializes in helping local businesses succeed online, writing and learning about Google, search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing, you can find her watching cult TV and hanging out with her Doberman.

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