With the new year in full swing, it’s time to take a fresh new look at your 2018 marketing strategy. Whether you’re a local business or a national brand, your marketing plan for this year should definitely include paid search advertising. Paid search can get complicated, and with everything going on this time of year, reevaluating your digital strategy can seem overwhelming. So, we’ve taken it back to the basics of paid search so you can make sure you’re starting the year off on a good note.
1. Keywords Are Key
Keywords are the core of paid search. It’s extremely important to consistently research which keywords your customers are using (at least quarterly). By creating and updating your keyword list, it will increase your chances of appearing in search results. For local businesses, it’s especially important to include location-based keywords so you can increase your chances of your ads showing to local searchers. If you’re a plumber in Dallas, make sure to add “near me” and “Dallas” to your keyword list.
Tip: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What are your customers actually searching for? Don’t think about what you want them to search for. Think about the solutions you provide for them.
2. Know the Importance of Your Quality Score
Google assigns each business a Quality Score on a scale of 1-10. Your score is based on a Google algorithm that reflects a customer’s experience with your ad. Google takes into account a variety of information, including how relevant your landing page is to your text ad.
A good Quality Score is important to your campaign because it affects your Ad Rank. A higher Quality Score typically means higher placement on the search engine results page and decreased cost per click.
Tip: Your score is based on a customer’s experience across all devices, including mobile. Make sure that your paid search campaigns are optimized for desktop and mobile, which leads us to our next point.
3. Create a Plan for Mobile
Almost 60% of search queries come from mobile devices. So, if your website and landing pages aren’t optimized for both mobile and desktop, you could be missing out on a lot of business. Not only should your website be mobile friendly, but it should be easy for searchers to contact you on all devices. Whether it’s having chat available for desktop users or click-to-call for mobile searchers, make sure the experience customers are having with your search ads are smooth and easy for all devices.
Tip: Check your advertisements and website on a mobile device or through a tool to test that you’re providing a seamless experience for your customers.
4. Track & Manage Leads
The main purpose for running paid search is to get more customers, so don’t let your new leads fall by the wayside. Pay attention to the leads you’re receiving and how many are converting, and also make sure you’re driving the right type of customer to your business. If you’re not converting many of the leads you’re driving, then you should readdress your lead management process or your keyword research.
Tip: Find a lead management system for your business and create a simple, but effective process for your staff to follow up with those leads.
5. Back Up Your Paid Strategy with an Organic One
Did you know that you can receive up to 89% more clicks to your website when both your paid ad and organic listing appear on page one of the search engine results page? SEO pairs well with paid search, so make sure you take your keyword research and apply it to your overall marketing content strategy, no matter whether it’s paid or organic. Updating your website and landing pages to reflect your findings may boost the ROI of your search campaigns.
Tip: You can look at the keywords that are driving organic visits to your website and incorporate those into your paid search strategy. 50% of potential sales are lost because consumers can’t find the information they are looking for. You’ve already done your keyword research, so you know what your potential customers are searching for. Now make sure to create landing pages to meet those needs.
Use these five guidelines as a checklist for reevaluating your paid search strategy this year. Make sure to keep the basics in mind and take a fresh look at your campaigns on a quarterly basis to continue to stay relevant. And, if this sounds like a lot to keep up with, don’t hesitate to find a digital marketing company that can help you run and optimize paid search campaigns. Learn more on our website.