7 steps to PPC success
Pay Per Click ads drive traffic to your website. And more visits should mean more enquiries and sales – right?
Wrong! More visits will only generate more sales if you’re attracting the right kind of visitors and then doing everything possible to encourage them to enquire and buy.
This guide explains 7 key elements of PPC advertising to make sure you get it right.
1. Select the keywords that customers use
Think about the words and phrases your potential customers will use when searching online.
- Decide on the right keywords for your business – these are the words and phrases most potential customers use when searching for your kind of business online
- The holy grail of keywords are those with high volumes, high intent and low competition!
- In practice, it’s a balance between more expensive commonly used terms which deliver volume and less expensive niche terms – known as the long tail
2. Get the money right with your bid prices & budget
Set your budget and bid price for keywords
- Decide on the right bid for different search terms. This may begin as an educated guess, or for an agency it’ll be based on analysis and experience, but over time you’ll have clear views about the relative value of different terms
- Decide what to pay when for instance a weekend enquiry for a restaurant booking may be more likely to convert than a weekday one so you’ll be willing to pay more
- You can modify this as you discover which keywords and times convert to sales the best
- Decide on your maximum spend so there are no surprises
3. Get organised with campaign settings
Think about keyword matches, ad groups and geographic parameters
- Decide if you only want your ad served if your keywords are matched exactly or broadly. Exact matches will be lower volume but more relevant and vice versa. If you go for a broad match, decide whether to use a broad match modifier which means that your ad will show on similar phrases and close variations of the keyword. Close variations include things like misspellings, singular and plural forms and abbreviations.
- Use negative match keywords – in other words the phrases you want to exclude so for a commercial office cleaning business exclude ‘domestic’ cleaning or for high quality capital equipment exclude searches with the word ‘cheap’
- To be able to manage your campaign organise your keywords and the ads that relate to them into different ad groups. For example group ads by your products or by specific offers.
- Select whether your campaign is local, national or global.
4. Improve ad relevancy
Write your ad so that it reflects the keywords customers are searching for.
- Consider exactly who you want to click on your ad and make sure the ad speaks to them.
- With limited words it’s important to make every word count with well written well targeted copy.
- If it’s a product search then your ad should be about your product more than your company.
- If you have a specific sales territory make that clear or people outside your area will click and you’ll pay for that.
5. Tailor your landing pages
Make sure your PPC ad leads to web content that takes this interest further.
• Unless the keywords you select and your ads fit exactly with your existing website, consider creating high conversion landing pages with a strong call-to-action.
• Pages can be created to reflect the advertisement, the visitor has seen. So a search for industrial premises in Cambridge’ should lead to an ad about ‘Cambridge industrial premises’. This ensures a logical flow and encourages conversion. Sometimes existing website pages are too general to do this as effectively.
- Campaign landing pages are quick and cheap to produce but must look good.
- Pages can be created which work for people accessing your website from mobiles and tablets as well as PCs.
- For your ‘call to action’ don’t simply look for an immediate sale with a ‘buy now’ button. Consider other actions too, which are appropriate to your business, such as, register your interest, try the demo, call for information or download the white paper to build trust and sales for the long term.
6. Integrate re-marketing into your PPC activity
You’ll have seen these ads yourself – for example on Tuesday you looked at a Swiftmotors website because you need to upgrade your transit fleet. On Friday you were checking financing options for a transit fleet and an ad popped up for Swiftmotors – that’s remarketing!
- Use remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) which take account of people who have looked at your website in the past (they aren’t known as individuals but their device is tagged by a cookie).
- Remarketing works because your past web visitors are more likely to convert.
- When setting up your campaign decide which lists are worth targeting, for example, people who went to your shopping cart or who visited more recently, are likely to be more valuable than people who read your ‘about us page’ some time ago.
- To an extent these past visitors are pre-qualified – in comparison to regular PPC ads. There is a real opportunity to create targeted ads with content or offers that reflect this, for example if they spent time on specific product pages then serve up a specific product advert.
- It may now become financially worthwhile to bid even for broad match search terms because by their past behaviour you have an indication these visitors are in your marketplace.
7. Track and refine your PPC ads
Monitor and refine your PPC activity
- Check the bid price per keyword and adgroup and vary it up or down depending on how well its performing in terms of clickthroughs and conversions to enquiries and sales
- Keep on top of the competitiveness of keywords – some will become cheaper to buy and others more expensive – make sure you know which way its going and change your bids to suit
- Refine your adverts to improve their relevance – you may need to make changes in any case dependent upon your current offers or seasonal messages
- Consider your geographic targeting and time targeting. Make adjustments to uplift performance.