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A Good Pay-Per-Click Campaign is Like Winning at Poker

Last updated 4 years ago

As you embark on your own or hire a company to build a solid Search Engine Advertising (pay-per-click) campaign, be sure to be conscious of the following seven essential elements.  Running an effective Search campaign is a lot like trying win a poker tournament.


1. Get as many players playing for you (a robust, but relevant keyword list)

If the end result were to win a poker tournament, the logical first step would be to employ as many players who have the potential to win for you.

There are literally hundreds, sometimes thousands of ways someone can search for your business or services.  You don’t pay for showing up for the keywords, only the clicks, so be sure you don’t miss out on any relevant traffic.

2. Play in the right tournament(s) (proper geo-targeting). 

Where are you best served- the local circuit, or are you ready to tackle the major national tournament?

Make sure the campaign is set up for your target sales area.  If you’re a locksmith in Savannah, GA, it does you no good displaying ad impressions in Seattle, WA.

3. Come to the table with a good amount of chips (budget). 

You’re entering an auction, so think about it like sitting down to the poker table.  You have to have a big enough stack of chips to go far in the game, let alone winning it.


4. Leave a good first impression (good text ad copy).

If you want to be taken serious at the table, then you have to come across that you know what you are doing.

You have a limited amount of characters and space so make an impact (within the proper guidelines). 

5. Play when you have a good hand (a relevant landing page). 

Nobody will know your hand until you reveal it. You cannot bluff your way through every hand.  

A strong landing page is what is going to convince the visitor to take action.  Make sure your text ads are driving to the most applicable page of your website.

*While we are here at the Conversion stage, it’s important to know that Google assigns your text ads a Quality Score, which ranks the relevancy of three things:  a.) the keywords searched, to the relevancy of b.) the keywords within your text ad, and how those relate to c.) the keywords on the landing page on your site.  The more relevant all three are, the higher your score.  The higher your Quality Score, the less you have to bid on the keywords and still achieve higher ad rank than your competitors. 


6. Know your own good habits (proper reporting). 

As you garner wins, you'll need to know the habits that get you there so that you can build upon them or fine tune for the next game, if necessary.

This is where you want to track your campaign’s performance, but ultimately you want a system that shows you the real results and conversions- phone calls, emails, online sales (if applicable), coupon downloads or web contact form submissions.  This is tough to do on your own, as phone call tracking (besides just the mobile click-to-calls) is not baked into Google AdWords and Microsoft Ad Center, and they are definitely not recorded for your own quality assurance purposes.

7. Put your poker face on (optimization).

When everything is running well, but the stakes are high, this is when you need to kick it into overdrive to make sure you get the grand prize.

Simply put, at this point you need to know what keywords, what page position, what text ad and what search engines are driving the most conversions and then allocate your budget towards those that are most effective and remove the ones that aren’t.  

ReachLocal has proprietary technology to optimize around conversions.  The combination of powerful technology and professional management of campaigns is a winning combination for the 23,000+ clients we serve.  We do what no human is capable of doing on their own.

Usually at steps 1 -3, the business owner can feel up to the challenge, although time and time again, I see areas for improvement in these steps.  It’s by step 4 that the owner starts to get a little squeamish and really could use a professional hand.  At step 6, forget about this on your own, you need technology in place. 

At this point, just go back to step 1 and call me:  (941) 735-3600.

ALSO READ: I'm Doing Search Advertising, Now What? 5 Ways to Get Conversions from Your Site

Photo courtesy of Casino Cash Journey, made available on Google Images.

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