Pay-per-click advertising is an interesting subject from a web designer’s point of view. On the one hand, it’s incredibly easy to set up a few campaigns and get them running. But on the other hand, it can take a lot of fine-tuning to actually run ads profitably week after week.

A lot of business owners don’t realize that, and get discouraged if their ads don’t show a positive ROI right away. That’s particularly true if they’ve set the campaigns up themselves in the belief that it doesn’t require any skill or experience. What they tend to find out pretty quickly, though, is that other competitors are getting more clicks, at lower prices, making it difficult for new ads to pay off.

These types of difficulties don’t present an overwhelming challenge. It might seem that way at first, but you just have to know how to squeeze the most from every dollar and click. To show you why the little things matter so much in online advertising, here are a handful of minor details that can actually make or break your PPC campaigns…

Bidding for the Right Search Positions

Every marketer knows the top bid positions get the most views and traffic. However, they are also the most expensive. In a lot of markets, it simply doesn’t make sense to outbid your competitors. Instead, it’s a good idea to secure the position that’s most efficient in terms of cost versus results. That’s especially true when you consider lots of people will click on the first few PPC ads they see when they’re researching but don’t have any immediate intention to buy.

Using Search Keywords Within Ad Headlines

On Google and the other major search engines, users will see an exact-match search string bolded if it shows up in an ad. That means some ads will literally seem to be jumping off the page, while others are just part of the background. Given that the majority of searchers will devote their attention to the organic listings, this small difference can be crucial. In fact, it’s not unusual to find that adding exact-match keywords to add headlines can double or triple click-through rates.

The Opening Paragraph of a Landing Page

When someone clicks on your pay-per-click ad, their research is just beginning. They don’t know about your business, the value of your products and services, or your reputation – they simply have a question or challenge that needs a solution. If the opening paragraph of your landing page doesn’t match the messaging in your ad, and convince them that they can find what they’re looking for if they keep reading, you can bet they’ll take their attention elsewhere.

Visible Trust Indicators on Sales Pages

The lack of knowledge and familiarity that searchers have with your company can show up as skepticism, as well. They may be hesitant to accept your claims or share something like an email or credit card number with you. A good way to combat that is by adding visible trust indicators to your sales pages. Use Better Business Bureau badges, video testimonials, and money-back guarantees to let searchers know they don’t have to worry about getting ripped off by your company.

The Use of Secondary Conversion Techniques

No matter how good your landing pages are, some customers aren’t going to be ready to buy from you or make contact with a member of your sales team right away. For that reason, it’s good to have a secondary conversion goal. Ask searchers to download a report, sign up for your email newsletter, or follow you on Facebook. It might not be as good as a sale, but this kind of smaller conversion can lead to bigger opportunities later.

Google and the other pay-per-click platforms make it easy for you to set up your ads and get them running in a few minutes. But, if you want to use PPC profitably, don’t take a rushed approach. Instead, get the details right so you can generate a good return on every single click.