It's a time of new beginnings and resolutions to make improvements in the upcoming year. While your new health club member card will end up gathering dust (ahem!), your PPC account goals can be reached without having to break a sweat.
Plan ahead. Does your year seem to be more reactive than proactive? Take this opportunity to turn over a new leaf and develop a comprehensive plan for your PPC for 2012. Minimally, develop a promotions calendar that captures seasonality for your business. This may not include a formal promotion, but perhaps a change in ad copy speaking to seasonal issues or other opportunities.
Refresh creative. New year, new copy. Within most advertising platforms, refreshing your ad creative gives your account a little boost - if the creative is better. Recently I shared some tips here on ClickZ on a PPC ads makeover that can help you get a fresh start.
Go mobile. This season iPads are a top gift and everyone and their mother (literally) will be tapping away come December 26. Despite the popularity of the mobile advertising and adoption of tablet devices, many advertisers still haven't addressed mobile and integrated it into their PPC strategy. For some, it can feel daunting to take on this new untested marketing endeavor. An easy and quick way to test mobile is to specifically target mobile devices in your existing PPC campaigns and monitor the results. If the initial performance looks promising, you'll know it's worthwhile to continue into 2012. This may not be the case for all businesses, but you won't know until you try.
Landing pages. Most companies can really improve in this area. Can you? Resolve to optimize your landing pages for 2012 and you'll be rewarded with more conversions while improving user experience. Your checklist is simple:
Make the landing page content tightly connected to the ad copy
Offer clear, concise text with a call-to-action
Limit data required on forms to aid conversion
Try another PPC channel. Addicted to AdWords? YouTube, Yahoo/Bing, LinkedIn, and Facebook have all made improvements this past year, so if you haven't tried them lately, 2012 may be your year to revisit. For example, did you know YouTube has a targeting tool that helps you find the right videos to reach your target audience? You can also set up a simple campaign in AdWords so you can keep the campaigns together. Facebook and LinkedIn can be equally addictive if you give them a shot.
One of the problems with making New Year's resolutions is that people expect too much too fast. With your newfound resolve to make 2012 your year for PPC, remember that you'll need a little time to gather data and analyze the results to determine what will truly work. Be patient with this process and you'll soon be celebrating your awesome PPC results…maybe even 10 pounds lighter.
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Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.