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Using strategic audience targeting to optimize Search PPC performance

The second article in our PPC paid search series.

In the early days, Search PPC marketing was largely a numbers game. A marketer could simply pair a one-size-fits-all ad with a relatively low bid — without undue concern for overall conversion rates and cost-per-acquisition (CPA).

Today, higher competition and budgets in the Search PPC space have made campaigns more expensive to run. Making it difficult to generate the ROI needed to justify the CPA for high-quality leads. Today, the real keys to affordable and successful Search PPC campaigns are audience segmentation and strategic targeting.

Leverage the nuances of your target audience.

Many marketers cast a wide net with their leadgen efforts: bidding for keywords and phrases that are more encompassing in nature. These terms tend to be broad, more expensive and less efficient. Instead, think about going after subgroupings within your wider target audience. This gives you the opportunity to decrease the level of competition from other marketers. It also positions you to compete for keywords that can be obtained with lower bids.

Is your product/service sold to multiple markets that are looking for unique characteristics or benefits? Do you need to appeal to people in diverse positions, who have different needs, ranging from upper to middle management? Is your product/service sold in different locations regionally, nationally or internationally?

These are all potential reasons to segment your Search PPC effort into distinct targeted campaigns, in order to maximize conversion rates while minimizing CPA.

Boost ad visibility to active prospects with in-market targeting.

The bane of the marketer’s existence has long been the difficulty of knowing when prospects in the pipeline are getting close to making a purchase decision. The Google In-Market Audiences targeting feature is a valuable adjunct tool to help get your ads in front of people who are currently “in market” for a particular product or service.

In a nutshell, In-Market Audiences puts you in touch with people who are actively researching or planning within certain markets or areas of interests — based on their recent purchase intent. A menu-driven interface is used to select the market categories and subcategories most pertinent to your ad campaign, along with additional parameters to further widen or narrow your scope and set appropriate bidding levels.

In-market targeting for later stages in the funnel.

While in-market targeting is largely pointed toward attracting and engaging new prospects, it can be used in additional ways.
One example is mid-funnel marketing. The idea here is to get your ads in front of prospects who are likely to purchase a product like yours, but who currently may not be looking at or considering your brand.

Another is remarketing, where data and rankings assigned to your website visitors are used to further locate them as they browse online, initiate searches and/or interact with social media.

These are a few strategies and tools you can use Search PPC to encourage further engagement — keep prospects moving toward conversions and sales — and help minimize cost-per-acquisition (CPA). As with any digital marketing initiative, it is also crucial to drive them to relevant and appropriate landing pages and content along the way, to maintain and heighten interest with key knowledge they need to make informed purchase decisions.
 


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Neptune Web is a full-service Boston-area interactive web and digital marketing agency with expertise in Website Design, Web Development, Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution.

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