Google “how to make your PPC ads convert better” and your search results will be littered with blog posts like this:
Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. It’s “quick and easy”. Use these “rapid growth hacks”. Here are some “tricks”. Here’s how to copy the best-converting PPC campaigns.And, honestly, I get it. I’m not criticizing fellow writers for doing their jobs. These posts are great for SEO. Google wants you to put out quality content that answers people’s questions as quickly as possible. Writers are going to do that.Perhaps these guides will help you, perhaps they won’t. But I’ll tell you this for free: they are selling you a dangerous lie.Here’s the truth: optimizing your PPC campaigns is not easy. Sometimes it’s not even that quick!
But it’s incredibly powerful if you do it right.
“Be First, Be Smarter or Cheat”
In the brilliant 2011 film Margin Call, bigshot investment banker John Tuld says: “There are three ways to make a living in this business; be first, be smarter or cheat.”
Copying your competitors is cheating. Following “ten tips” guides – even if you see some success – is cheating too. It could work – but it probably won’t work that well. And what if it doesn’t? What do you do next?
It’s why understanding and deploying what comes next is essential. There are no lies here: my way is harder, and it might take longer. But it’s smarter. It gives you the mindset you need for success.
Reason One: Don’t Follow the Herd, Be a Wolf
I’ve been helping businesses run PPC campaigns for a long time. Generally, businesses are run by busy people who don’t have enough hours in the day. This time pressure forces them to rush. They scramble around looking for best practices to apply.
But here’s the problem: general best practices aren’t specific enough to your business.
See, what works for Shoe Salesman might not work for High High Heels. And “10 quick PPC ad hacks for any business” are unlikely to work well for either business.
It’s why free tools like the Adzooma Performance Score Report are much more valuable than generic lists. They look at data that’s specific to your business and provide actionable feedback.
Of course, it’s harder than it sounds. There’s lots of text to play around with in a modern PPC ad. You’re tempted to write about the benefits of working with your company, the features of your products, etc.
Instead, think of it like this:
What’s the action you want them to take? What are the benefits to the user of taking that specific action?
Read “quick and easy” how-to guides and mine them for ideas. But, please, never let them fool you into thinking that optimizing your PPC campaigns is quick and easy.