All advertising inspires additional online research. The challenge is how to influence consumers as they enter keywords and navigate through search engine results. Text ads are just one of the many moving parts in a successful PPC strategy — but they are an important component. A combination of PPC best practices and creativity will lead to highly effective ads that drive qualified leads and generate a return on your investment.
Since all consumers search differently, you need to create a well-thought-out PPC strategy incorporating eye-catching headlines, well-structured ads and specific calls to action. And your most important KPI (key performance indicator) should be your CTR (click-through rate). Sure, impression share is important, but if you can’t generate clicks, your ads are not speaking to your consumer.
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Google is always moving the needle, so you need to make sure you’re always up to speed on the latest changes. Recently, Google just introduced new ad formats that allow more for storytelling. The new formats includes two headlines of 30 characters each rather than the previous one headline of 25 characters. The description section also now offers one 80-character line versus the previous two separate lines of 35 characters each.
Tip No. 1 — Design better ads Top-converting PPC ads emphasize your unique selling proposition and calls to action. There are several tricks to designing better ads including using stronger verbs, adding punctuation and providing provocative language.
Stronger verbs: I’ve seen an increase up to 150 percent in CTR by using action verbs in my ads. Using words that describe how much money they can save, providing instant gratification (i.e. live chat) or including a bonus offer with ad can make you stand out from the crowd.
Add punctuation: With the new elongated format of headlines, using punctuation can help create a complete thought, pulling words together into a full sentence. (i.e. “Seven out of 10 drivers recommend the (make/model) for safety and reliability.”)
Provocative language: Being provocative is a way to grab people’s attention without going so far as to offend them. The use of provocative language is a common trait of high CTR ads. Using words like “free” or phrases like “Only _ days Left…” or “Stop wasting money…” can double your CTR.
Tip No. 2 — Create High-Conversion Landing Pages PPC landing pages are the final step in customer acquisition. They are where all the adwords hard work pays off — or fails. Landing pages should fulfill the promise of your ads. Clicks are the initial goal of your PPC ads, but conversions happen on landing pages. If a consumer is looking for a specific make/model price you advertised in a PPC ad, redirect them to a landing page that highlights that specific vehicle, listing all the features, benefits and price. Sending that consumer to your homepage or an SRP page listing your entire inventory will lead to a sure-fire “bounce” from your Website. Landing pages are also a main component in your quality score. Digital marketing professionals put a lot of emphasis on quality scores because good scores improve ad rankings and lead to lower costs. Landing pages connected to your Google analytics will also provide you with great intelligence on page views, exit paths, time on page and conversions.
Tip No. 3 — Automate your Used Car PPC campaign Successful dealers are constantly turning used inventory — taking in new trades, sending vehicles to auction and selling used cars. Manually creating, deleting and updating used car ads would be the definition of insanity. iSEM (inventory search engine marketing) programs can automate your campaigns as inventory enters and exits your DMS. You no longer have to worry about inefficiently advertising used cars that were sold weeks ago or not yet properly merchandised. iSEM programs can also display core vehicle inventory levels and pricing in PPC ads (“15 Used Camrys in-stock, starting at $4,995.”)
If you would like a free PPC evaluation, please contact me at the address above.
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