The steps your business should take before starting a PPC campaign need to be carefully considered. Sound, effective and meaningful planning will be the differentiator between average response rates and highly successful campaigns.
Achieving and exceeding desired results in terms of the promotion and marketing of your company, products or services is certainly no easy task, but by taking the following into account you will create a sound base for this vital part of your marketing strategy.
An understanding of the PPC process:
Far too many businesses launch PPC campaigns without sufficient knowledge of the PPC process. This lack of understanding undoubtedly impacts on the success of the campaign. It needs to be understood that when approached correctly, PPC is a highly effective business tool.
It is important for someone within the company to have a basic understanding of PPC from start to finish. If this resource is not available in-house then there are many benefits in utilising an outsourced Pay-Per-Click expert. The cost for such services is viewed by many as a sensible business investment due to the extensive knowledge and individually tailored approach an experienced PPC campaigner provides.
Key questions that need to be addressed before any paid search campaign begins should include:
- Advertising platform: Which platform(s) will be of most benefit. Will it be a search engine platform, social media platform or a combination of both?
- Objective: Ensure you have a clearly defined objective in terms of the campaign you intend to publish.
- Keywords: We have all heard about them, but selecting the most effective is far more difficult than it first appears. Just as importantly, far too many campaigns overlook the inclusion of negative keywords. The set-up and onward management of negative keywords is a critical step to take into account and actively monitored during the life of a campaign.
- Number of advertisements: Have a clear number in mind relating to how many times and advertisement will run. An important factor in this decision will be:
- Budget available: This will differ from company to company and campaign to campaign, but those new to PPC advertising may wish to keep a keen eye on the total cost of a campaign against returns. A properly implemented and targeted PPC campaign should show generous returns. This being the case, it is worthwhile considering a related percentage increase in budget for future campaigns.
Once the campaign is formed and ready to be launched there are a whole host of factors that need to be taken into account and understood. Three of the most important are:
Campaign tracking is an absolute must if you are to get a clear picture of its effectiveness. Common tracking tools include ‘Google AdWords Conversion Tracking’. This is a relatively easy way to track ROI (return on investment), but do not stop there. Google Analytics includes the strongly recommended ‘Goal Tracking’ which offers advanced tracking features. There are a variety of other tracking tools available and those experienced in PPC marketing campaigns should identify and implement those most appropriate.
Default ad rotation settings need addressing. The default ad rotation settings are set to ’optimise for clicks’. At the outset of your campaign this should be changed to ‘Rotate Evenly’. This often-overlooked change allows for important analysis in terms of most and least effective ads.
By implementing AdWords Ad extensions, you are allowing additional information relating to your company, product or service to be displayed within your existing ads at no extra cost. This gives visitors specific information such as location(s), contact details, sitelinks, app extensions offering valuable links for those using tablet or mobile devices, and any ‘special offers’ or coupon schemes you are running.
Getting it right!
The steps your business should take before starting a PPC campaign need to be carefully thought through and structured as an integral part of a successful marketing roadmap. Those who take PPC campaigns seriously are seriously increasing their company’s prospects of a positive increase in profile, increased lead generation and a generous ROI.