Business owners tend to have a love-hate relationship with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. On one hand, PPC ads, such as Google Adwords, can deliver profitable leads and sales almost immediately. On the other hand, PPC can burn cash in the blink of an eye without the right experience. Google encourages business owners to jump in and get started right away, but keeping a few tips in mind while moving forward can help a business owner forgo a potential PPC disaster. Check them out below.

Do competitive research

Build on the mistakes and successes of those already using PPC in the market. Chances are industry competitors have already figured out what works and what doesn’t on Google Adwords. They’ve gone through years of trial and error discovering how customers respond, and there is no reason a company needs to start from the beginning when so much has already been done. A business can learn which keywords, ad copy and landing pages work for the industry, and adapt them.

Write compelling, benefit-oriented ad copy

Businesses only have a couple of seconds to grab the attention of a potential customer before they move on to the next webpage. They should use compelling, benefit-oriented copy to speak directly to their primary desires. By taking the time to create compelling copy that resonates with prospects, a business will get better response rates.

Target the right keywords

Google Adwords is such a great medium because a business can get its product or service in front of people who are actively searching for what it has to offer. This is only true if it targets the right keywords. Bidding on keywords for searches that aren’t likely to result in new leads or sales is just wasting time, and potentially money.

Use a “call to action”

Customers should not be wondering what to do when they see a business’ ad. The next action should be apparent. In the marketing world, this is a “call to action.”  Business should be actively engaging with potential clients and asking them to the call, sign up for a newsletter, schedule an appointment or buy a product. By putting that information in the ad copy, a lot more people will do what it wants them to do.

Send visitors to a landing page

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make with their campaigns is sending prospects to their homepage. By sending visitors to a landing page consistent with the offer in the ad, customers won’t be surprised by information they didn’t expect to find.

It’s comparable to someone searching for “emergency pipe repair” and finding a homepage with the headline “Plumbing in Denver” and an article about a company’s history. Instead, a savvy business will send them to a landing page that says “emergency pipe repair,” tell them what their company can do to solve their problem, and give them a call to action for further follow-up.

Track conversions

The objective of all of PPC campaigns is to convert a visitor to a paying customer at some point. Without tracking the number of conversions, there’s no way to know if a business is on the right track, and it won’t be able to determine what’s working and what’s not. Tracking conversions to leads and sales allows a business to determine the most profitable ads, landing pages and offers, and double down on the most effective efforts as a result.

Test everything

PPC advertising is an iterative process. A business is not likely to get 1000% ROI the first day a campaign runs, and may actually see a negative ROI until it finds the right combination of variables.

No one knows exactly how a customer is going to respond. After doing the primary research, a business should test other variables and let the market show what’s working. For example, they can split test ads, landing pages and offers to find what works. Once that information is found, a business can double down and make the most of it.

Re-asses monthly with reporting and analysis

In order to act on the results of PPC testing, a business should review the data at periodic intervals and makes changes to a campaign based on what it has found. Solid monthly reporting and analysis is essential to a profitable Google Adwords campaign.

Utilize a manager for your account

Running a business can be tricky, and sometimes there are just too many hats to wear. In any proper marketing department there will be a dedicated PPC specialist on the team. Unfortunately, not every business has the budget or the need for a full-time employee dedicated to paid ads. If this is the case, a company may want to hire an outside expert to manage PPC. By utilizing a PPC manager, a business can focus on what it does best.

Secure an Advantage in the Marketplace

Google Adwords can seem daunting, especially after reading about the ways a business can potentially struggle. Great PPC results, however, are worth the risk. Watching leads and sales come in on autopilot can help any business take advantage of search results and push already interested search engine users to that company’s set of solutions. By keeping these basic tips in mind, a business will be closer to setting up a successful Google Adwords campaign and securing an advantage in its industry.