“I’m just not sure Google AdWords is worth it,” said a client the other day. “I’ve been doing it for months, and I haven’t seen a great return on investment–or my time.”

This isn’t the first time a conversation like this creeps into my day, and I know it won’t be the last. When done right, successful pay-per-click campaigns are the holy grail of digital marketing. They show up exactly where audiences are looking, provide information on a silver platter, return a high ROI, and – bonus, they give businesses important performance insight across sales and marketing platforms.

The trick, of course, is doing them right (or finding someone who does).

Since we specialize in media marketing, we know a thing or two about creating PPC campaigns that show up where leads do. If you’re looking to improve your PPC campaigns, the following tips can help you make sure your strategy works as hard as you do.

There is more to PPC than Google Adwords.

Google may get more than 65% of all searches, but Yahoo and Bing tend to target better buyers–and deliver 3x the conversion rate to prove it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use Google Adwords; it means you should use Google Adwords and also publish on other search engines. After all, so much work has been put into creating the campaign thus far – clear copy, keyword research, and daily monitoring. Now make sure it’s firing on all cylinders.

At MediaSpark, we use custom software to publish to multiple search engines seamlessly, because if you are only targeting one, you–and your potential leads–are missing out.

Monitor daily rates for better monthly performance.

Rates for keywords will vary daily, depending on actions taken by both you and your competition. The beauty of digital campaigns is in their quick-footed agility; you can adjust and tweak on the fly to optimize cost and outcome. Of course, that also means PPC campaigns require ongoing attention to ensure your budget works hard all month long. If your company doesn’t have the bandwidth to commit to this task, the quality and the quantity of leads can be affected.

Click-to-Call is so much more than a buyer-friendly tool.

That little “Click to Call” button not only makes it easier for your leads to contact you, but it also helps identify strengths and weaknesses of your sales strategy. Click-to-call leads are tracked as PPC, and those calls are recorded and monitored to assess the types of questions being asked AND how they are being answered. These calls are a great way to hone your PPC campaign as well as help identify best practices with your sales teams, so they can be better equipped when they answer the phone.

You don’t need to be a top search result to achieve top results.

I know, this part can be a bit surprising, but the truth is that sometimes being #1 on paid search results means you could be paying too much. Working with a strategic third party can help you identify the right words to include–and exclude–so that you are making the most of your budget and your results. At MediaSpark, we help clients determine how to use their keyword budget based on their goals, and we can provide budget recommendations that can place them as Representative, Competitive, or Prominent in the market.

The true measure of a successful PPC campaign isn’t the number of clicks–it’s the number of quality leads and a healthy ROI. These leads may take time to develop, but you’ll know you are on the right track when users click on meaningful ads, engage with your website, and seek out more information.

Could your PPC campaign work harder for you? Find out here.