We get it, when the purse strings tighten the first thing to get dropped at any business is the marketing budget. From direct marketing and email campaigns to PPC, marketing budgets are generally stretched across several channels and it can be difficult to decide which is the most beneficial for your business. When money gets tight, PPC spend is often the first to suffer as it is easy to associate this with spending money. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can reduce your PPC spend while still attracting new customers.
Step 1 – Priorities
The first step of action is to work out what the priorities are for your business other than reducing spend. From KPIs and goals to brand awareness, work out what the focus is for the coming few months and make sure that this clear across the board. Remember that working to a reduced budget will make it hard to hit goals such as cost per lead, conversions or ROI. Set the expectations for these based on the overall budget.
Step 2 – Focus on brand and longer tail keywords
Big head terms are often a vanity metric for a lot of businesses and won’t drive the majority of your sales but will take up a good proportion of your budget. The first step when reducing your PPC spend is to cut back on these generic, high search volume terms to focus on higher value, yet less searched key phrases. These can be combined with brand related keywords which will help to boost conversion rates.
Step 3 – Choose times wisely
With a lower budget one of the ways that you can help maximise your traffic and exposure is to use stricter ad scheduling to only show your adverts at set times and days. Use previous campaign data to analyse your best performing days and times and start off by only running adverts during these periods. If after a few weeks you are not spending your budget, then you can start adding in additional times.
Step 3 – Pause keywords
Review your account based on conversions and pause keywords that are not contributing to your sales/enquiries. This should only be a short term strategy as these terms can often work towards generating sales and enquiries for customers still in the research stage of the purchase cycle. Pausing these keywords will help to free up more of your budget for brand and longer tail key phrases focused on buyer intent.
Step 4 – Geographic targeting
If your campaign is targeting a big geographic area, then this will likely be eating a lot of your budget. In the same way that you need to analyse the times that your adverts are running you should also analyse the locations which are driving customers to your business. Pick the areas where you are seeing success and exclude other locations to help spread your budget better and reduce your overall spend.
Step 5 – Improve quality scores
Is your campaign full of keywords with low quality scores? Not only do these make your click costs more expensive but they also indicate that your chosen landing page is not a good match based on the visitor intent of that key phrase. Where you have extremely high conversion costs and low quality scores this represents an opportunity to make improvements by changing the landing page being used to make it a better match for the visitors’ intent.