Paid advertisements can increase your ROI by 200%, so it’s no wonder the market for paid search ads is worth approximately $60 billion annually. With digital ad spend forecasted to account for more than 60% of the global ad revenue this year, you’ll want to stay competitive to make sure your rankings consistently show up at the top of search engine results.
As we approach 2023, paid search advertising remains a critical aspect of marketing. To make sure you’re ready to kick off the new year with a strong start, we’ve outlined 15 best practices you can put into action.
15 paid search best practices you should know about
Use these best practices as part of your marketing strategy to take your paid search advertising to the next level.
Routinely evaluate your target keywords’ performance
Zero in on what your customers are searching for—and how they are searching for it. To drive targeted traffic to your site, do your keyword research. Go beyond traditional keyword tools and the typical Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner. By setting up a filter, you can figure out which keywords are performing well and toss the ones that are delivering the fewest conversions.
Leverage A/B testing
Make a habit of A/B testing. By following up with tests, you can continuously improve your conversion rates. Using A/B testing is one of the best ways to learn which messaging strategies resonate best with your audience. Once you have a clear indication, you can hone in on messaging that works for your target audience and your CTR will inevitably rise.
Make special offers a habit
Special offer tactics encourage higher web traffic by driving more users to your site. Time-bound discounts, freebies, and creating a sense of urgency are methods that motivate consumers to take the action you want them to take. Using phrases like “One Hour Flash Sale” or “Only Three Left in Stock” in your PPC ad can draw people in by making them feel the need to act quickly and complete a purchase.
Use local and negative keywords
To make the most of your PPC investment, you want to be sure you use both types of keywords, local and negative. Think of negative keywords as the opposite of your targeted ones. Negative keywords lead to a lower chance of you attracting the wrong visitors by dictating the types of search terms for which you do not want to appear. Local keywords enable you to increase targeted traffic from people around your area.
Align your PPC ad copy with your landing page copy
Matching your ads’ messaging with your landing page is one of the most important elements of PPC optimization. When researching consumer journey patterns and overall behavior, be sure to check how searchers respond to certain words in your messaging. You can go dynamic and change your landing page to make it specific for different audiences as well. By adjusting your landing page based on user search queries, you'll boost conversion rates without adding to your development costs.
Increase the loading speed of your landing pages
A slow loading site negatively impacts the user experience. When a page takes longer than three seconds to load, there’s a dramatic increase in abandonment rates. In fact, bounce rate probability increases by 90% if a page’s load time is between one and five seconds.To check the speed of your site, use tools like Google’s Pagespeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom Tools.
Adapt to a “mobile-first” mindset
This goes for both your visuals and your text, both for your ads and your landing pages. In a world where consumers are constantly glued to their phones, it's critical for you to approach your paid search ads with a mobile-first mindset. Over 70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices and mobile search queries will no doubt continue to outpace desktop queries.
With a mobile-centric PPC strategy, you can ensure mobile users have the best user experience, encouraging them to follow through to the end of your funnel.
Take advantage of voice search popularity
With 27% of the global online population using voice search on mobile to conduct their queries, your paid search strategy needs to be optimized for it.
Thanks to voice-enabled digital assistants like Alexa and Siri, voice search is rapidly rising in popularity. It’s also faster than typing, making it convenient and ideal for on-the-go mobile users. When building your paid search ads, include voice search in your strategy. If you don’t, you’ll be leaving opportunities and money on the table. To capitalize on voice search, you can:
- Concentrate on hyperlocal searches
- Think mobile-first
- Optimize your long-tail keywords
- Use conversational, question-oriented keywords
Focusing on clicks and on conversions
Your conversions must be measurable so you can identify the success of your campaign and determine your next steps to optimize and improve results. While impressions, clicks, and click-through rates are important metrics, when you’re running multiple PPC campaigns, it’s not ideal to rely just on them. For example, a high CTR may make it appear that your campaigns are performing well. However, if your conversion rate is still low, it means it’s time to adjust your strategy.
Include call conversions
With a mobile-first mindset, it’s also important to track calls from your ads. A great way to track call conversions is by using the Google Adwords Call Extension. This feature enables you to add a clickable phone number so customers can call directly from the ad. With this conversion type, you can track phone calls, calculate your cost per acquisition (CPA), and optimize your campaigns.
Diversify your strategies
Make it a priority to diversify your campaigns. If you’re used to running text-based search ads, expand your strategies to not only include paid search ads, but also display ads, paid social ads (META, Tiktok, LinkedIn to name a few), as well as other ad formats. By implementing a diverse approach, you can ensure that you are reaching potential customers in all digital spaces where they’re most likely to be frequently visiting and engaged.
Run responsive search ads / responsive display ads
Don’t stick to ad styles of the past. Instead, use responsive search ads in all of your paid search planning. To do so, you can use Google’s AI to discover which headlines and descriptions are more likely to resonate with your audience. Eventually, Google Ads will also be able to identify which combinations yield the best results through the use of machine learning.
Learn to use scripts
With scripts, certain aspects of your paid search optimization can be automated including bid management, reporting, split testing, and others. Scripts are good tools to help you use your time more wisely rather than using it to complete mundane and repetitive manual tasks that can be more efficiently streamlined.
Marketers have realized that using video is a powerful way to get in front of their audiences—84% of marketers claim that it helps generate leads and boost sales. By providing customers with a deeper understanding of your product or service, video is one of the best ways to use visuals to increase brand awareness. Make it your goal to incorporate videos where they make sense in your strategy.
Ditch third-party cookies and opt for the new first-party cookies
In the second half of 2023, Google Chrome is slated to shift from third-party cookies to first-party cookies. To get ahead of the game, refocus your paid search strategy so you’re prepared for the transition. Looking ahead will allow you to alter your plans accordingly, but will also help you build strong lasting relationships with new clients, vendors, and your internal teams.
MarinOne Can Optimize Your Paid Search Advertising
When done right, paid search advertising is a valuable marketing strategy to increase leads and sales and generate brand awareness. By following these best practices for paid search in 2023, you will be well on your way to optimizing your campaigns and maximizing your ROI.
However, it's important to remember that an effective paid search strategy relies on leveraging data insights to make informed decisions. By pairing paid search best practices with MarinOne’s platform, you can gain the insights you need to scale your top advertising campaign results, increase conversions, and reach higher paid search rankings for your target audiences so you can grow your business.
To learn more, request a demo.