If you’ve decided to run a Google AdWords or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign online, you need to have a clear-cut marketing strategy in place to identify avenues and opportunities that help you maximise your efforts for optimum results. In order to succeed with your PPC efforts, you need to undertake comprehensive research to fully understand your target market as part of your marketing framework. Here are some ways to make your PPC campaign support the core objectives you’ve outlined for your business.
What Is PPC Advertising?
As a form of paid search advertising, PPC is part of the overall search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. Along with SEO, PPC is a good way to target particular people using search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing to respond to questions, solve problems and provide general information about the products and services offered.
PPC advertising is essentially what is known as sponsored links on the pages of search engines. Companies listed here pay to have their ads appear and linked to particular search phrases, but they only pay for when people actually click on the ad.
This is a form of targeted advertising that caters to specific search terms, which makes them more relevant and useful to the target audience – rather than just following a one size fits all advertising strategy.
PPC ad costs are generally driven by market competitiveness, product value and marketing spends, so there is no defined amount from the start – and will entirely depend on the type of campaign you’re looking to run. If you are part of a more competitive market with higher priced products, then it’s likely that your spends will have to be higher to feature prominently in the Google ad listings.
The general idea of PPC is the targeted approach it takes by directing your ads to a pre-determined demographic, while allowing you to pay only if someone actually clicks on your ad. PPC has made a big impact on businesses, and will continue to do so in the near future, which is why it forms an important part of the overall SEM strategy.
Identifying Your Target And Competition
You cannot run a successful PPC campaign without adequate knowledge of your target market and competition. Consider the following to define your objectives, competition and target market:
- Are you seeking to create brand awareness?
- Are you looking to make a sale?
- Are you looking to generate subscribers to your newsletter?
- Do you want to add more followers online?
- Are you looking for leads for a future product?
- Do you know who your customer lifetime value?
- Do you know how much you are willing to spend per lead?
- What does your competition invest in? How many PPC campaigns do they run?
If you notice that your competitors are already appearing in search terms you want to optimise for, then clicks could be slightly more expensive. But if not, then it could be the perfect way for you to fill the gap and reap the benefits for your business.
Researching Keywords Smartly
According to SEO Shark once you’re able to identify what your competition is up to and have a clear picture of your target market, you must start researching the right keywords you want to optimise your website for. These keywords are the ones that will likely help you achieve the ROI you desire. Consider the SEO Shark marketing tips by following:
- What are the specific search terms people are looking for in relation to your business?
- How many people are searching for those terms online?
- What are the estimated click costs per keyword?
- Can you create ad groups for closely related keywords?
Keep in mind that research tools and keyword planners exist as a guide to give you an estimate, but the final figure may vary from what you see online.
Planning The Budget For Your PPC Campaign
Your overall marketing budget will determine how much you can spend on PPC campaigns every month. But to arrive at a specific budget, you need to actually run the campaign to properly evaluate click costs and search volumes, without which you will only have estimates – and that is not an ideal situation for you. Consider the following:
- Start with a test budget
- Check how many clicks and conversions you’re getting from your test budget
- Scale up or down based on the results you’re achieving
Planning a budget for a PPC campaign can be tricky without the right planning in place. Make sure you take into account an estimated test budget at the start to help you benchmark your final spends based on results of the test campaign.
Structuring A PPC Campaign To Reflect Your Overall Marketing Objectives
Once you’ve managed to finalise your budget and list of keywords through your research exercise, you need to start structuring the campaign to reflect your overall marketing objectives. Consider the following:
- Are you targeting people in different countries and speaking in different languages? You may need to then create isolated campaigns based on geographical location, preferences and language.
- Are you covering multiple products and services with different objectives? You may need to design separate campaigns with budget allocated to each one individually.
- Are you talking to different age groups using different tones of voice? You may need to isolate the campaign to reach out to each target age group individually.
Structuring your campaign will enable you to effectively reach out to your target audience with a tailored campaign designed to represent their specific needs. A PPC marketing expert can help you structure your campaign in a manner best suited to your particular objectives because there’s no one size fits all policy that can work here.
Building Your PPC Campaign
Once you plan and structure your PPC campaign, you will actually need to start building it in Google. This requires careful thinking, so that you incorporate all your initial groundwork. You can use the following platforms:
- Google AdWords Editor
- Bing AdWords Editor
You will need to sign up and create an account with them before building your online campaign.
Testing Your PPC Campaign
Once you build your campaign, you will need to test it to check whether it is in order and linked to your Google analytics account.
- Set a budget based on the amount you want to spend and stick to the budget as much as possible.
- Keep checking your campaigns at least once a day, but don’t try to make changes too soon.
- Consider making changes if your campaign is not delivering the results you desire over a period of time.
Optimising Your PPC Campaign
After your campaign has run for a certain period of time and you’ve received some impressions and clicks, you will be able to better understand how much each click costs. You’ll also have clearer understanding of the ad’s performance and your competition. Consider the following to help you make the right decisions:
- Are you spending what you originally intended per click?
- What are you intending to achieve with these costs per click?
- Have you identified your click through rate?
- Should you change bids to improve your click through rate?
- Can you change the ad to drive more conversions?
- Is your call to action clearly identified on the ad?
- What are your ad’s on-page metrics looking like?
- Are you seeing adequate engagement or are people bouncing off faster than you expected?
Once you’re able to answer these questions, you’ll be in a better position to optimise your PPC campaign to improve overall marketing performance, and manage your budgets better. Testing and optimising the campaign will be an ongoing process throughout its lifespan. You cannot just set it up and leave it alone because you will fail to achieve the outcome you desire, which makes your spends futile. In order to maximise the value of the dollars you spend, always dip into the analytics and tweak your campaign.
Examining Your PPC Campaign Regularly
Using online tools will help you keep proper tabs on your PPC campaign, so you don’t end up spending more or less than you should. These analytical tools allow you to see the following:
- Where your visitors come from?
- How much time they spend on your website after clicking through from your ad?
- How effective your ad was in generating your desired call to action?
- Are your visitors the right demographic you’re looking to target?
- Which search phrases were successful in helping your ad get better click through rates?
Knowing the channels that were most successful will assist you in your quest to refine your PPC campaign approach and will help you create more resources that work best for you.
While every PPC campaign is unique to a business, a successful campaign must run on basic fundamentals to get it right. It must follow an organised and logical structure with comprehensive research and ongoing management.
Many business owners fail to understand the benefits of a PPC campaign, and as a result miss out on some big opportunities to grow their businesses online – in a controlled and clever manner.