PPC advertising (pay-per-click) can be an effective way to help get your company at the top of search engine results. While website SEO is an important foundation in any online marketing strategy, growing your organic traffic does take time, whereas PPC campaigns can produce instant visibility. This is why PPC advertising is especially suited for advertising any specific, time-sensitive offers such as an upcoming sale, new product release or time-limited promotion. PPC advertising is also great for attracting more traffic to your website and boosting your brand’s online exposure.
A Brief Overview of Both the Benefits and Drawbacks of Using PPC Advertising:
- Quick results: get on the first page of Google instantly.
- High visibility: more people see your brand via your ads.
- Perfect for time-specific offers: new product announcements, sales and promotions.
- Complete control over ad content: you can adjust it mid-campaign or whenever is necessary.
- Ability to set limits on ad budget: you can choose whether to increase or decrease your campaign budget, depending on how your campaign is performing.
- You can measure results: unlike traditional forms of advertising, PPC advertising lets you track and measure how your ads are performing so you can make adjustments if and as needed.
- Requires trial and error: testing your ads for effectiveness and learning through experience.
- Finding targeted keywords can be difficult: and competition can make the keywords you want to target especially expensive.
- May have low ROI until you’ve optimized your campaign: knowing what to do to optimize your campaign usually comes with experience.
- Working with a PPC expert is ideal: which means devoting a portion of your ad budget to access the expertise required to help ensure your campaign is a success.
PPC takes time and flexibility to master but can produce excellent results when done right. If you’re a DIY marketer and want to know what steps to take to best ensure your next PPC campaign is a success, read on.
How to Set Up a PPC Advertising Campaign:
#1 Define Your Goals:
First, you need to determine if a PPC advertising campaign can really help you accomplish your goals.
One of the key things that PPC advertising does best is to help increase your brand’s online exposure: People will see your ad even if they don’t click on it or visit your landing page.
And repetitive exposure over time yields top of mind awareness: People who’ve never heard of your brand before start to perceive it as being familiar and, if and when the time comes that they want or need what you have to offer, they are more likely to think of you first and foremost.
Since search engines like Google make money when someone clicks on your ad: it is in their best interest–and to your benefit–that they ensure your ads get great exposure. The more people who see your ads, the more clicks your ads will get, and the more money the search engine receives. Thus, an effective PPC advertising campaign allows you to reach a very wide audience, yet only pay for a fraction of these views.
However, to see conversions, you need to offer value: If customers never click on your ad, or worse, click and then bounce, your PPC advertising campaign will only lose you money. Use PPC advertising for time-specific sales or promotions in order to see the biggest return on your investment.
#2 Prepare Your Website:
Before beginning a PPC advertising campaign: we always recommend that your website be properly search engine optimized and prepared for a sudden increase in traffic. Your web host should be able to handle an increase in numbers. Contact them to make sure. And, more importantly, your content should be tailored for an incoming audience, complete with well-planned calls-to-action that guide visitors through the next step in your sales or conversion funnel that you wish them to take.
If your website doesn’t already have high rates of conversion: it’s a good idea to create a landing page customized for your PPC campaign. In order to keep the customer on your page, use your landing page to offer a specific, valuable product or service. Provide easy navigation for new customers to get more information from your website as needed. If you can, get an employee from another department or an outside party to test your landing page and give feedback on its usability before you go live.
#3 Research Keywords:
Spend time researching the best possible keywords for your campaign: PPC operates by placing your ad at the top of a search engine results page for the keywords you specify. There are two components to consider when choosing keywords: real use and competition.
There’s often a disconnect between the language businesses use and the language customers use to find businesses: Conduct research on the keywords your target audience actually uses. It might not be what you expect.
Competition is also an unfortunate but vital point to consider: If a keyword is popular among businesses, you might face steep competition and end up in a bidding war to get your ad placed. If your first-choice keywords are highly sought after, it might be best to reevaluate. Long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific, can be just as effective in attracting customers.
#4 Decide on Key Metrics:
Once you’ve laid the groundwork to start using PPC, you need to pave the way for easy analytics. The metrics you choose to track will tell you the ROI on your campaign and give insight into how you can improve upon your next one.
Many PPC platforms like Google and Facebook have analytics software built-in to their ad platform or are simple to set-up, such as linking your Google Analytics account to AdWords. Test your set up beforehand and check to see exactly what kind of metrics are provided in the analytics reports your PPC platform generates.
#5 Be Flexible:
It’s hard to run a stunningly successful campaign on your first try. Instead, be prepared to make slight adjustments even in the middle of your campaign. If your first analytics report reveals that an ad isn’t getting clicks, adjust the formatting or targeted keywords. Just be sure to make one change at a time so you can take note of exactly which change led to a more successful campaign.
#6 Be Prepared:
We always recommend ensuring your website is properly optimized before investing any of your ad budget in online advertising: Everything from page load speed, transaction barriers, missing calls to action, placement of content, imagery and the content itself can make the difference between someone bouncing off your page versus converting into a paying customer.
#7 Know When to Call in The Pros:
DIY SEO and PPC advertising can be complicated: but once you lay the proper groundwork and tracking, the bulk of your work is simply monitoring the campaign and making tweaks as needed. That said, sometimes the most savvy move a DIY marketer can make is to know when to draw on the help of professionals–doing so can mean the difference between running an ineffective campaign that you chalk up to being an expensive learning experience, versus a successful campaign that delivers a return on investment.
For help getting started on a successful PPC advertising campaign, optimizing your website and preparing an effective online marketing strategy: contact our team of professionals at McAllister Marketing today for a no-obligation quote and to learn how we tailor our services to your exact needs and business objectives.