PPC campaigns can be lucrative, but they can also be a waste of resources without proper strategy. Allstate’s Finhas Jhaveri says to consider increasing your use of generic keywords and not to ignore the user’s device.

Allstate marketing manager Finhas Jhaveri has a huge amount of experience with PPC campaigns, and he recently shared some nuggets of wisdom:

1. Gameplan with specific objectives

Sure, your end goal is to increase revenue. But get more granular by asking yourself what you want from a specific ad. Other than branding, what is it that you want to achieve? Allstate usually wants to get prospects on the phone with their sales team, for instance.

However, sales is not what you are trying to achieve every time, says Jhaveri. You might be fundamentally interested in branding with a certain ad. Whatever your goal, make sure that you can measure how well you achieve it with a real number, as derived from analytics or other sources. “The second part is,” he says, “after you set up that success metric, you need to talk about what customer action on your PPC campaign will lead to that success metric.”

2. 50/50 split of generic & branded keywords

These two types of keywords work in tandem. Typically if you are trying to determine what to buy, you will first enter generic keywords such as “flatscreen TV.” You want a list of various options before zeroing in with a branded search.

3. Not soapbox but interaction

The business-customer relationship is fundamentally an interaction, so knowing what you can about your customers is critical to meeting their needs. Think about all elements of the search process – keywords, time of day, location, and device type.

When someone looks for a business on a cell phone or tablet, any type of application should be short or nonexistent. On the tablet, you can send people from your PPC ad to a landing page with details about your service, what makes it stand out, and a shortened version of the application. On the phone, you can send users to a page with some features and a simpler CTA, such as phoning a salesperson.

4. Predictive analytics

You may be familiar with predictive analytics but find it a bit too obtuse and technologically intimidating to grasp. Really, though, it’s just another way to describe forecasting using your numbers, sometimes with automation thrown in. An example of using analytics to drive decision-making is Jhaveri seeing that ads failed on weekends, prompting him to shift more PPC money into the weekdays.

5. Ease

On your landing pages, you want just one call-to-action, says Jhaveri: “If you’re making me think about how I want to interact with you and what you want me to do, conversions will be lower.”

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