You don’t have to be running a business very long before you realize that pay-per-click campaigns have the potential to make or break your business. There is a tremendous amount of traffic flowing through systems like Facebook and Google and many smaller platforms. To get your business in front of most of those potential clients, you have to pay for them to see your business.
The best type of advertising online in terms of cost and ROI is pay-per-click advertising; you only pay when someone actually engages with your ad. If someone is going to take the time to consume your ad’s content and click through to the landing page, there is a good chance that they are interested in responding to the ad with a purchase decision.
So, if pay-per-click marketing indicates user intention and reduces costs to only pay when someone has expressed interest, what do you need to do to have a successful pay-per-click campaign?
Identify Your Target Group
In inbound and content marketing, they are called buyer’s personas. For placing ads, you need to think of the group of people you want to target with the advertisement. Without an understanding of your desired audience, you will not be able to create your content or find the right channel to advertise on.
When selecting your target group, consider psychographic data like things your audience enjoys and desires. Also, consider the more generic demographic trends that help you select a location: younger users tend to avoid Facebook in favor of Instagram and Snapchat. Business users tend to use LinkedIn for business-related networking. If you have a general understanding of your audiences’ age, gender spread, desires, and pain points, you can select the best channel and create a campaign that reduces your costs and increases revenues.
Select Your Pay-Per-Click Channel
With an understanding of the group of people you are targeting with this campaign, you can select a channel. We will look at several channels below, but you can also search recent research as to the best channel for reaching your selected target.
Google search engine is the 800-pound gorilla in pay-per-click marketing. Since people use search on their desktops, laptops, and on many mobile OSs, Google search provides you the reach for everything from casual users browsing for better deals to someone who is ready to make a phone call and purchase right now.
Before you select Google AdWords for a search marketing campaign, you need to plan through how you are going to engage your users. Are they looking for your business at a point of decision where you can use search and mobile search to reach them when they are ready to buy? Or, are they looking for more information and starting the process of research for their solution?
Either way, a Google search PPC campaign needs to be answering a basic question that someone will ask regularly in the process of deciding to purchase your product or service. More complicated questions and problems should focus on different PPC channels; Google search is powerful but limited.
The second most-used search engine in the world is YouTube, and it provides you with a different PPC platform from Google search. People on YouTube are looking for entertainment, for music, for tutorials, and for more in-depth product information than they can get from just reading about it. Because of the immersive nature of YouTube, PPC campaigns on YouTube are best for reaching a target group that is looking for that immersive experience.
The Google display network is a powerful system for reaching people with advertisements earlier in the buyer’s decision process. Google display network delivers ads on websites, social platforms (including YouTube), and apps that are part of Google’s display network. When using remarketing and targeted audience ads, the Google display network is a great place to deliver specific, targeted ad campaigns to well-defined target groups.
The world’s largest social media platform, Facebook has multiple pay-per-click options for targeting potential customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Video advertising allows you to provide immersive and content-rich ads to people who are watching videos on Facebook while advertising in the news feed is ideal for capturing leads from the billions of users who are spending hours a day scrolling their Facebook newsfeed.
In the last few years, Twitter has become a platform for real-time access to individuals of note. If you are in politics, media, or need to connect with people who are, Twitter is a great platform for reaching your audience and engaging them.
Instagram PPC advertising is great for reaching people in the health and fitness industry, travel and leisure, as well as significant numbers of Gen Z.
As you can see, the channel you choose depends on who you are reaching and what their motivation will be for clicking on your ad and giving you permission to contact them with your products or services.
Target Your Ideal Customer
When you have selected your target group and your marketing channel, you need to further refine your buyers’ personas down to an ideal customer. This is essential for selecting keywords because the terms people use to search changes depending on the needs they have. Further look at what your customers were looking for when they found your business.
These terms help you plan out your keywords, or the words that a PPC ad shows in response to.
Identify Your Keywords
Using a keyword planner tool (most channels have their own, but Google keyword planner is an excellent place to start), create a list of the keywords you are going to use to send your ads to.
The cost of each keyword changes depending on how many businesses are trying to purchase an ad on that same space on the same channel. When you are selecting keywords, think about unique keywords that signal more intent for customers to purchase from your business over others. These long-tail keywords will be more affordable and may have better conversion rates.
For example, if you are selling custom made leather mocassins, targeting running shoes might be too expensive, but targeting custom made running shoes could reduce your costs and find an ideal customer who is more likely to purchase from you.
With the list of keywords you will send your PPC advertisements to, you need to plan out the content that will get them to not only click on the PPC campaign but to make a purchase decision or give you their contact information with permission to contact them. This strategic content is necessary for building trust and engaging your customers.
Think through what will convince them to click on your ad, what questions they will have once they do click on an ad, and what pain points you can answer in order to help them make a decision to move forward with your business.
Landing Page Creation
At this point, you will need to place your content and optimize it for user experience and conversion. When you have differences in landing page design or content, create and manage split tests (more on that below). Your content at this point needs to be valuable enough that your potential customers are finding value just from being on the page. No one likes to be sold to by a pushy salesperson, but everyone loves to be served by a joyful servant.
Your landing page needs to be a joyful servant giving your potential customer enough information that they feel like their time was not wasted looking through your marketing materials.
Starting Your Marketing Campaign
After you have selected the channel, the keywords, and created the ad copy and the landing page, you are ready to start sending traffic to your CPC campaign. For many businesses, this is the point at which they set it and forget it. Setting and forgetting is not a good way to reduce costs and increase revenues. You need to continually review your quality score; review, react, and repeat; and audit and test your marketing campaigns.
Reviewing Quality Scores
Your ad quality score is highly personalized and focused on your own business needs. But to do it you need to track your metrics in the campaign including conversion rates, customer retention rates from new customers, your cost per click (CPC), and other metrics. We talk more about the information and metrics you need in our post on tips to double your CTR and optimize ROI.
Review, React, Repeat
With the right tracking, you need to regularly review your results, and react to them. You can change your campaign or enact A/B testing where you change one aspect of CPC campaign and track the results. As you go through the process of complete iterations of your marketing, you repeat the review and react process in a system of continuous improvement that reduces your costs per lead and increases your revenues from your marketing campaigns.
Get Your PPC Audit
Finally, you want to not get so focused on your own system that you lose track of changes in the digital marketing industry, changes on social media platforms, and areas you may be able to improve. Whether you have successfully done all of the previous items or are just starting your PPC marketing, an audit will help you find out where to improve your business systems. For your business PPC audit, contact us today.