One thing that is hard about running a paid search campaign for your business is that it requires patience. As far as driving traffic, it is very quick. You can start up a campaign and start getting clicks to your website in an hour.
The problem is that most businesses don’t need traffic…they need sales. And that is where the patience part comes in.
Done correctly, paid search is very similar to traditional direct marketing campaigns. In direct marketing, the marketer will use different ads or salesletters and then measure the performance of each one. It is an iterative process whereby the performance of the advertising is improved over time by constantly testing and refining.
It’s the same with paid search. When you first start up a campaign, you take your best stab at writing ads that you think will be successful. Even if you use a third party data service like SpyFu, you are still really taking your best guess. You create at least two ads to split-test for each ad group. Then as you accumulate data, you turn off under-performing ads to focus your budget on the ads that perform best. However, it might take weeks or months to have enough data to make these kinds of decisions.
Want to speed up the process? I’ll tell you how to do it.
Spend more money.
The faster you spend money, the faster you will accumulate enough data to figure out what works. The problem, of course, is that most businesses don’t have unlimited advertising budgets. So it’s a tradeoff – time for money. Spend more money, shorten the time. Spend less money, lengthen the time.
I will say, speaking of budgets, when you finally find the right combination of advertising copy or images and landing page details, to the point where you are showing a positive return on investment…then you should spend every dollar you have until it stops working.
It doesn’t make sense to stop yourself short once you figure out the key to showing a profit on your paid search ads. At that point, you stop thinking in terms of a fixed total advertising budget, and start thinking in terms of doing what is working over and over…until it doesn’t work any more. And there may very well be a point at which you maximize the business you are able to get and start showing less return. At that point, back off.
The key, of course, is to measure your performance. You need some kind of conversion event. For a retailer, it means a sell of a product. For a service business, it may be getting the visitor’s contact information. Either way, you need to make sure that you have conversion tracking working so you can relate those sales back to the ad, keyword or location that generated the conversion.
Starting out, until you have that combination figured out, you probably have a maximum amount you can spend on your ads. The answer to that? Simple.
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