PPC — Shall I build the account?

People think that pay per click, or PPC as it is better known, is easy to set up. Pick a few words, add some money to an AdWords account and away you go; leads and ultimately sales will follow. It’s not quite as simple as that. To start, a PPC campaign should be an integrated strategic part of your overall marketing campaign; everything needs to work together and inform each other.

Any campaign takes both time and effort to get right. When it does work, then the increase in click-through rate (CTR) will increase the conversions and ultimately decrease your cost per click (CPC); thus yield the maximum return on investment (ROI) possible.

The one thing that Google is looking for is a thing called quality score, and the better the quality score in Google’s eyes, the better the campaign. Having a better quality score means you can pay less for your clicks than your competitors. It is this that an agency can maximise for you.

At the beginning, and to ensure your PPC campaign is given the best chance of success, there are a few elements that must be in place. First you must have an appealing website. There’s no point driving people to a site that doesn’t say what you do or how to get in touch. Google AdWords will only attract traffic; it won’t convince that traffic to stay and ultimately to convert. It’s therefore vital to have a well-designed and optimised site.

Before setting up an AdWords account, there must be a solid strategy with set goals that good KPIs can be tracked against. This will enable you to understand what success looks like and indeed if you have attained it. Finally, pay per click will only be effective if there is commitment to the campaign in terms of both budget and time invested.

A business with a good website, a well thought out strategy and commitment to increasing your visibility has a strong base to start any PPC campaign. Here is how to kick-start your campaign the right way.

Keywords

Keywords form the basis of PPC. These are the terms users will input into their search engine to look for your products and services. Do not forget that their relevance also affects quality score. The best keywords are those that are relevant to a business’s products and services, so the company website is a good place to start when researching keywords. Focus should be on quality rather than quantity, and terms shouldn’t be too general. Broader keywords will have a lot more competition and be more expensive.

There are a number of keyword groups however and there are three specific areas to consider.

First is exact match — these are keywords that are used exactly in order by the searcher. For example, if the searcher searched for ‘men’s blue jeans’ and your ad included this term in exact match, then your ad would be displayed.
The next area to look at is broad match — this time the ad will show if you include the words they have searched in your ad, but in any order. For example, the searcher searches for ‘men’s blue jeans’ but your ad says ‘medium men’s jeans in blue’.

The final group, and a really important one not to forget, are negative keywords — keywords that do not trigger your ad and when written in context with the other two groups, this is the ideal way to set up your campaign.
Bidding — to start with, budget should be divided by the number of days in the month and then split across campaigns, as you want your budget to run for the whole period of advertising and not to be all used up on the first day. Once the campaign has been allowed to run, it will be easier to allocate money accordingly between days. For better control over the budget when bidding, companies should focus on clicks and manually bid for those clicks.

Tracking and Testing

PPC is ultimately measurable and provides almost immediate data which allows businesses to track and evaluate progress. This highlights which keywords are working and which aren’t, which landing pages convert and how users interact with the site in general. Testing different elements through A/B testing can provide insight into how the campaign can be improved.

Ad Text

Ad writing has to attract attention using only a small amount of text, so it must be good. The title must stand out because it is competing not only with other ads but also organic results. Keywords should be included in the headline and the copy to increase relevancy, and in turn maximise quality score. Please remember, these ads must be written for the user. Never forget the call to action. This tells the customer what to do, for example ‘shop now!’ or ‘special offer’ for users who are ready to buy.

These are the very basics to work with in order to maximise your PPC campaign. Of course, the ideal way to build a campaign is to use an agency that already has these skills as an everyday part of their tool kit. You wouldn’t ask your doctor to fix your car so why try and maximise your PPC campaign yourself? It is imperative for the agency you choose to understand about the integrated nature of a campaign and to ask the simple question — what is your goal? It is this that we are all trying to hit!


Originally published at www.accordgroup.co.uk.

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