PPC (pay per click) advertising is a marketer’s best friend, because it’s inherently results-driven and allows them to keep a close eye on what they’re spending and what results they’re obtaining as a result of it.
But even though setting up a PPC campaign is as simple as choosing a few keywords, setting a budget and creating an ad, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a success. You first need to know what success looks like, which is where this article comes in.
What is a PPC campaign?
Pay per click marketing is a form of digital advertising in which you bid to place your adverts in front of people and pay a flat fee every time someone clicks on them. For example, an accountancy firm might bid to run their ads to people who are searching for terms like “tax returns online”.
It’s a popular form of advertising because you only pay when someone clicks on the ad (as opposed to paying every time it’s displayed), and you can also track what people do once they arrive on your website.
What a successful pay per click marketing campaign looks like
This ability to understand exactly what people are doing after they click on your ad is what will allow you to create a successful campaign. The holy grail for PPC campaigns is to run ads that generate a positive return on investment (ROI).
For example, if you’re spending 50 cents per click and one in ten of those people is buying a product that nets you $10 of profit, you’re effectively doubling your money by spending $5 to bring in $10. If you’re able to set up a pay per click campaign that delivers a positive ROI like this, you can scale it up and add new targeting options.
Bear in mind that you’ll also need to monitor your PPC campaigns, as it’s likely that their performance will change over time. It’s also a good idea to carry out A/B testing on your most popular ads to see whether you can further improve their performance.
A/B tests are also known as split tests and multivariate tests, and they’re an essential part of running a successful pay per click campaign. The idea is to carry out a scientific test by changing a single element, such as the text you use for the ad’s headline, to see whether it improves performance. You’ll simply run the ad and then make the highest performer your new default.
Making Friends with Google
Brace yourself, because Google is about to become your best friend. It has a whole heap of tools that are designed to help you to develop a business website, and we’re going to go through a few of them here.
First up is Google Analytics, which is a must-have for anyone running an online business. It allows you to gather data on what people are doing on your website and where they’re coming from. The idea is that Google Analytics will provide you with all of the information you need to streamline your marketing and to focus your efforts where they’re making a difference.
Then there’s Google AdWords, a self-service pay-per-click advertising platform that will allow you to pay to put ads in front of people who are searching for your keywords. It’s a great way of bringing in immediate traffic, and if you’re strategic about the keywords that you target, you can also reach out to people who have demonstrated their intent to make a purchase.
One thing to bear in mind with Google AdWords is that while it does allow you to use their default settings when you create a campaign, it’s usually not worth taking them up on that. Sure, it can save you a little time, but you’ll sacrifice relevance and customizability and you might as well just take your ad money and set it on fire. At best, the defaults are only really useful for gathering initial data that you then build upon.
Google Shopping can also be super useful to tap into, because it’s essentially a search engine that’s dedicated to online stores. The downside is that you’re going to have to pay if you want to compete against the established players like Amazon, but it shouldn’t be discounted entirely and can be a worthwhile addition to your approach to online marketing.
Google Keyword Planner:
Google also offers a Keyword Planner, which is worth checking out when you need a little inspiration for keywords to target with your SEO and PPC strategies. KeywordTool.io does a pretty good job of things, too.
The goal should be to figure out what performs and what doesn’t and to take away the ones that aren’t delivering the goods while increasing your spend on those that do.
There’s plenty more to running pay-per-click campaigns, but it all comes back to the core ideas of tracking what people are doing when they click on your ad and testing as much as you can. It’s also a good idea to regularly target new keywords and to spend some time removing those that aren’t performing well or that have witnessed a recent drop in ROI.
Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable carrying out your own PPC campaigns, you can always find an agency that can handle it for you. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you out!