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Advertising to Baby Boomers through Paid Search: 5 Ways to Tell If Your PPC Company Is Charging Too Little

Done right, paid search advertising can be one of the most efficient ways to market to Baby Boomers, and part of doing it right is ongoing optimization. So if your Pay-Per-Click vendor is charging a service fee that seems like an incredible bargain, it’s worth taking a second look at how they’re managing your campaigns.

PPC advertising is complex, and getting a good return on your investment requires a commitment of time and effort from a trained professional. Whether you’re focusing on Google’s Search network or doing a remarketing campaign, PPC campaigns aren’t something you just set and forget. They need to be constantly analyzed and adjusted, or they won’t generate ROI to their fullest potential. That’s why paying for PPC optimization and oversight is essential.

A quick note: for the purposes of this article, we’ll mainly focus on the Google AdWords platform, as that’s one of the most common (and powerful) PPC options. It’s worth mentioning, though, that PPC is a broad term, so keep in mind that many of these principles apply to any digital ad campaign, whether you’re advertising with Google, Facebook, or Bing.

So, with that in mind, here are the five ways to tell if your PPC company is charging you too little.

1. They haven’t refined your ads and keywords since launching the campaign

In AdWords, success depends upon ongoing optimization. So, if your vendor hasn’t ever spent time refining your campaign for success, that’s not a good sign.

Success is all about finding the most relevant keywords and most relevant audience so that your ads perform as well as they possibly can. It’s about continually refining your audiences to focus on the best prospects, as opposed to the people who aren’t as likely to buy from you. Optimization means doing more of what is working and less of what isn’t. Your vendor should be pausing ads that aren’t working, and creating new ad variations based on the ones that are working, as well as applying a negative keyword list to prevent your ads from showing for irrelevant searches.

The process of optimization should be endless. Ask your vendor for a copy of the AdWords “Change History Report” so that you can see what changes have been made, and when. If changes are few and far between, then you likely have a problem.

2. They’re optimizing for clicks, not conversions

One of the most common mistakes that PPC managers make is getting excited about having tons of keywords and clicks, only to neglect conversions. With this emphasis, you could end up paying to increase clicks that don’t turn into conversions.

If 50 people click, but only one person submits a form, you’re missing out.

As always, your vendor should rely on conversion data when making keyword choices, because the highest-converting keywords may not be ones they’d think of intuitively. For a back pain client, for example, the search query “Why does my back hurt so much?” performed well at converting clicks into appointments – even though it might seem that the question is too general to be an effective keyword phrase.

3. They haven’t talked about optimizing your landing page

Landing pages play a huge role in conversions. They also play a role in where your ad ranks on the search results page. Your PPC vendor may not run your website, but if they haven’t at least discussed landing page optimization with you, then they’re omitting an important part of a successful paid search campaign.

Make sure that your landing page is optimized with keywords and content relevant to your ads – but also make sure the page is designed to drive the one action (e.g. lead form completion) that is the primary goal of your campaign.

4. They haven’t mentioned trying ad extensions

For search ads, ad extensions can play a huge role in increasing engagement by making your ad more relevant. They also make your ad stand out more on the search results page and can even improve your ad’s quality score.

If your business has multiple locations, adding location extensions is an important consideration. Google’s data on search shows that users highly value local options. For instance, when a user is searching for an insurance agent, they’re more likely to click on the result that’s nearby than one that’s on the other side of town. Location extensions are shown beneath the paid search ad and make the location of your business clear to the user.

Call extensions are another useful addition. Google estimates that using them can increase click-through rate by 4-5%. A prominently displayed phone number makes it easy for potential customers to contact you; on mobile devices, they can click to call your business right from the search ad. Call extensions also give you the option to use a Google forwarding number that’s routed to your business phone, so you’ll be able to see detailed reports about calls generated from your ads.

Other extensions let you include additional text with your search ads, describe features of a specific product or the range of products or services you offer, add reviews and more. Your vendor needs to at least discuss these options with you to make sure that your campaign is taking advantage of all the appropriate add-ons.

5. They aren’t keeping up with new developments

Keeping up with advancements in the AdWords platform is essential because the platform is constantly evolving. That’s why a Google AdWords certification is valid for only one year.

Your paid search vendor should have a current AdWords certification and be aware of recent changes and new features—features like the new extended text ads, which allow your ad to have a bigger presence on search pages. Extended text ads give you room for a slightly longer message, so they can increase relevance and engagement. Staying up to date with enhancements like this is essential for getting optimal results.

What if you don’t want to start out with a huge investment?

So, we’ve established that you want to pay your PPC vendor to do more than just set and forget your ad campaigns. But do you have to start out with a huge campaign investment? No. That’s one of the beauties of paid search advertising; it’s scalable. Still, a modest media budget needs to be well managed in order to deliver a good ROI. After all, even a small garden needs to be watered and weeded.

Next Steps

Want to get the most from your paid search investment? Get in touch with us.At Immersion Active, we have the experience you need to leverage PPC in your digital advertising for mature consumers..

Contact us online or at 301.631.9277 to make sure that your PPC campaign reaches its full potential.

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