What You Need To Know Before You Start PPC
A pay per click campaign, or PPC advertising, is an effective tactic to consider for your marketing. With growth continuing and impressive statistics, PPC is a viable option to drive leads and sales. The granular nature of PPC allows you to target your prospects with sniper-like accuracy. Budgets limit the daily spend and you only pay when a user engages through a click. With more social media sites adding PPC options, opportunities continue to increase.
Buyer beware: understand the pay per click campaign landscape
Far too often, I engage with a client after they have had a bad pay per click experience. Stories include clients who spend far too much on a campaign that drives prospects to the home page. Or worse, to the contact page, leaving the users confused and frustrated.
Others have fallen victim to “predatory” agencies who over-promise and under-deliver. These agencies use smoke and mirrors to add to the confusion of the pay per click model. They often burn through hundreds of thousands of dollars with zero results.
Go into any partnership or start any pay per click campaign with your eyes wide open.
Here are several points to consider before starting your PPC campaign:
More Than a Feeling
As the saying goes: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Avoid the wishful feeling by taking the time to set up your goals and plans. Your strategic plan should include desired results:
- Brand awareness building
- Driving traffic for conversion
- Direct sales
- Remarketing/retargeting to bring users back
Understand your options and plan accordingly.
Short and Sweet
Be clear in your ads: what is the offer and what benefit will the user gain from clicking? Use intriguing headlines and copywriting to gain attention and conversion. Think of display ads as mini billboards and consider extensions that can increase conversion.
Ready Aim Fire
Use one of the key benefits of PPC to target your campaigns. Options include:
- Geolocation: serve ads by country, state, city, ZIP code, or radius from your institution.
- Demographic: serve ads by age, gender, or other demographics.
- Channels: buy ads on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or social media sites such as Facebook or Pinterest. Target your prospects where they are.
- Retargeting: buy ads only for those who have been to your site before. Serve up Facebook ads to only those who have come to your site (you won’t know that data, but Facebook does).
Open Your Wallet (or Coin Purse)
With your campaign targets, you will need to establish a daily budget. Depending upon your plan, your budgets may be simple as $25 per month to thousands of dollars a month. It depends upon your goals and your budget. There is room for all budgets.
Beware of agencies and individuals who approach your organization and “guarantee” PPC results. These guarantees are nothing more than promises to increase in traffic to your site. The nature of pay per click will drive traffic to your site. No one can guarantee conversion and beware of those who claim they can.
Coming in For Landing
One of the bigger errors I see in my consulting are marketers who invest in PPC and send the click to the home page. The user has no context on how to find the “payoff” for the ad they just clicked.
- Design your ads to provide a clear benefit for a click and send the user to a well designed landing page.
- Design your landing page page for one reason: conversion.
- Remove all other options (no navigation, no other options for engagement).
The best landing pages offer gated content available in exchange for minimal contact information. Keep it simple and easy to convert.
Testing, 1, 2, 3
Be sure to test versions of your ads to get the greatest impact. You should test all ads in your campaign for effectiveness. All PPC brokers provide A-B testing to determine the highest converting ads. Use these tools to best spend your budget.
Way with Words
Most know that PPC search ads are keyword driven. But, using broad matches or failing to use negative keywords can be costly. Be sure you or your partner understands how to set up a proper campaign or use Google Adwords Express.
Know Which Way the Winds Blow
Recent news of Apple’s ad blocking software have PPC providers such as Google scrambling. Ad blocking is a growing industry and will continue to affect this market. Before starting your next campaign, read more about this breaking news.
Follow up is critical after conversion. How will you continue to nurture these new leads? These users have “discovered” your organization and need nurtured to develop into warm leads. Use marketing automation for such work.
As you start to look at using PPC, be sure to understand the opportunities and possible pitfalls. It is easy to burn through a great deal of money in a short period of time without proper perspective and planning. But it can also a great opportunity to get a great return on your investment.
Do you have any words of wisdom in your own pay per click campaign experiences? Leave a comment below!