Is it worth spending thousands of dollars on pay-per-click (ppc) campaigns if my website is not ranking well? Can you provide me with any PPC campaign tips?

What a loaded question with a variety of stances to answer from.

Initially when I received this question from a potential customer, I was tempted to answer with a simple answer of yes and why.

However, I decided to delve a little deeper and volley a response back to the potential customer by way of another question.

We exchange emails a few times before arriving at the potential customer’s pain: a website that once ranked well is no longer ranking.

The idea of using PPC advertising and needed PPC campaign tips came about when the potential customer had been in contact with a competitor and industry colleague.

This colleague had indicated with proof that they were spending a good bit on PPC campaigns after their website had been penalized to no existence by the latest Google update.

Not ever having an experience with PPC, the potential customer was gung-ho about moving forward with their PPC effort in hopes of boosting their web rank.

But where should they start? The potential customer never stated whether their colleague was operating cost-effective and profitable PPC campaigns.

All the potential knew is they had to get involved in PPC fast and in a hurry.

Oddly enough, I do have to give the potential customer credit for emailing their question before entering blindly into PPC campaigns.

In their initial email, they reported their main reason, outside of their colleague, for wanting to go with PPC was a report by WordStream showing that PPC ads account for 64.6 percent of search engine results for many high frequency keywords.

PPC Campaign tips for profitable PPC campaigns.Despite the stats attributing thousands of clicks to PPC, I shared with the potential customer that not all companies are tapping into PPC’s true potential.

This is because of a lack of understanding and guidance on how PPC campaigns work and what actions need to be performed to achieve the best and most profitable results.

That was an impressive stat by WordStream, but I know that PPC can be quite costly if you do not take the time to educate yourself about all facets of PPC.

From my own experience, I shoveled more than a few hundred and thousands of dollars over to Google before refining my strategy to become profitable for pennies on the dollar.

For this sole reason, I recommend those new to PPC to start with one PPC network, preferably Facebook or Bing.

Learn the one PPC network inside out, learning what works and does not work in regards to timing, target audience, search networks, devices, and keywords.

Once you’ve mastered one PPC network, then you’re ready to move to the big league: Google Adwords.

To make the most of any PPC campaign, I want share with you the top 8 PPC tips and actions I share with potential customers to avoid the most common PPC pitfalls.

Avoid PPC Junk Traffic At All Opportunities

Junk traffic, most partner networks, can take the life out of your PPC campaign as well as break your wallet in exuberant costs.

You’ll be pleased with the traffic until you notice the conversion rate, if one exists.

If you’re not converting traffic, then traffic is just that, traffic!

You want ads and traffic that converts, not junk traffic for the sake of traffic. If you want to try partner ads, place those ads into a campaign by themselves.

Sustaining A High-Converting Landing Page

At the heart of every PPC campaign is the landing page.

You will want your landing page to be free of clutter and non-supportive links.

Ensure the landing page is optimized and made simple for quick and easy loading.

The call-to-action and message should very engaging and easy to understand to achieve the highest rate of conversion for your PPC ads.

PPC Is About Research, Research, Research

Researching is the key for any PPC campaign to say the least.

As stated early, you’ll want to make sure you master one PPC network at a time.

Invest a good bit of time, money and effort into researching, testing and understanding your target audience, keywords, campaign settings, competitors’ keywords and landing page design.

This will go a long way in formulating and achieving cost-effective campaigns that are profitable.

Setting Up Sound PPC Campaign Structure

By far, most people run ineffective PPC campaigns because they do not setup or structure your PPC campaigns in a sound manner.

It is imperative that you setup more than one PPC campaign as well as ad groups when deal with keywords and ads.

So many times I see clients jump lump everything into one campaign with multiple keywords within ad groups.

This can and will be a costly mistake.

Based on your goals and research, you should come up with a sound PPC structure.

Choose anywhere between five to ten relevant keywords at a time, split them into logical groups and campaigns as necessary (e.g. see 3 Keys To Optimizing Your PPC Campaign Structure).

Constant Refinement Of PPC Campaigns Is A MUST

Use statistical reports and analysis to help guide you in your refining and tuning of your PPC Campaigns and its metrics (i.e., conversion rate, click-through-rate, etc.).

I can’t tell you how many mismanaged PPC campaigns are running on autopilot in the PPC universe, wasting away precious marketing and advertising dollars.

Commit to constantly refining and tuning your PPC campaigns based on performance and market data.

This action is a MUST.

I encourage you to test like crazy when A/B testing ads and landing pages.

Make changes to your keywords, ad copy or even the landing page depending on the performance of the campaign.

Be sure you record the metrics and timeline for each change so that you may compare apple to apples.

Keeping PPC Campaigns Cost Effective With Sensible Bidding

Don’t set your PPC campaigns to the limit because you are unwilling to refine and tune your campaigns, ad groups, ads and landing pages.

Doing so will only result in wasted time and money, and you’re ads will be flanked with a low PPC quality score.

In addition, I encourage you to set reasonable daily limits.

When starting out, I encourage small business owners to run their campaigns around the clock for at least 2-3 weeks and set a daily budget of $50-$100 per day.

By do this for a set time period every 6-9 months, this will give you quite a bit of data to review to determine the profitably of the most cost-effective ads.

After the two week period, you’ll be able to run the ads during the peak performance and conversion times and save money doing so in the long time.

In short, have a budget in mind and work within it to avoid spending a fortune on PPC.

Commit and Focus On Conversion Rate At All Levels

As much as I love seeing the click-through-rates on ads, I’m more about focusing all my efforts on increasing the conversion rate of PPC campaigns.

If you’re not familiar with PPC conversion rates, it’s simply the number of visitors who perform the desired action on the landing page.

So if you had 100 people visit a page and only 5 converted or signed up for you offer, then the conversion rate is 5 percent.

According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 report on PPC, the average conversion rate is eight percent.

In reality, the rates tend to be somewhere in the range of 1-2%. But by all means, know what you conversion rate is at the campaign, ad group, ad, and landing page levels.

View these as your reporting of the online sales funnel.

Write Ad Copy That Converts

PPC ad copy can make or break your entire campaign, yet this is probably the most overlooked aspect of PPC campaigns.

Be sure to include verbs within your PPC ad copy as well as keywords.

I recommend people to study their competition’s PPC ads to get an idea of what they are up against.

Most of the time, the competition will greatly help you without their knowing.

Typically the ads you see the most, are the ones that are converting.

DO NOT copy their PPC ads word for word, but do use their ads as a guide to creating your PPC ads.

Conclusion of PPC Campaign Tips

In closing, PPC campaigns are definitely a cost-effective online method to promote your business, provided you know what to do and remain steadfast in performing the actions on an ongoing basis.

I hope these tidbits help move you from blindly entering into PPC campaigns and having a costly experience with little to no results.

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.