Search engine advertising can be extraordinarily effective when implemented correctly, but the road to understanding this seemingly convoluted strategy can be long-winded. That’s why we’ve outlined the process to get you started.
Why do you want to launch a PPC campaign?
The first thing you need to do is set your criteria. What’s your budget? And more fundamentally, what are your goals for your PPC campaign? Sales? Brand awareness? What’s the end game? Take Jerry, for example. Jerry owns a chain of costume shops, and with Halloween approaching, he has set aside funds to develop a PPC campaign to increase his costume sales. The way he goes about this campaign will be likely be different from someone whose goal is to bring attention to his brand or cause.
Figure out the structure
Within your campaign, you’ll want to create multiple ad groups. Each ad group pertains to different aspects of your brand. You’ll likely want to structure your ad groups to mirror your website. For Jerry, he might want to separate his “adult costumes” ad group from his “children’s costumes.” Keep in mind that you can develop as many ad groups as you would like, but they can all fall under the same campaign, and therefore draw from the same budget.
Image from: Search Engine Watch
Determine what’s relevant
Now that you have the skeleton on your campaign, you need to identify the keywords that will target your ads to the right shoppers. What topics are most relevant to your business? Your industry? Which of these words are most likely to help you achieve conversions? There are keyword tools to guide you through this process: take a look at Google Keywords and Wordtracket. Figuring out which keywords will work for your business can be a learning process – it takes time. Alternatively, by using competitive tools like Compete PRO our clients are able to quickly identify which keywords their competitors are working for their competitors and which aren’t. Once you understand the search tactics that are working in your industry, you’ve got a much better starting point and a leg up on other businesses just getting started with search.
For each of your ad groups, you’ll want a different group of keywords to maximize the number of clicks on the copy ads that your selected keywords will trigger. For his “adult costumes” ad group, Jerry should chose keywords such as “women’s costumes,” “sexy costumes,” and “couples costumes” whereas for his “children’s costumes” ad group, he should use “girl’s costumes,” “tween costume” or “kids costumes.” He also might want to branch out to more specifics, “girl’s princess costume,” “infant pumpkin costume,” “inexpensive kids costume.” Keywords like “Halloween costumes” could fall into either ad group, but to maximize the number of clicks, he should elect to use it for only one.
Vie for attention
Next, bid on those key words. Remember that budget? Here’s where it comes into play. Sift through that list of potential keywords and determine which ones you’re going to set bids on. Take a look at Google’s bid simulator and Traffic Estimator tools to get a sense of how much you should set them to be, keeping in mind the value of your potential conversions. Search engines then weigh the amount of your bid against your click-through rate to determine winning advertisers. This infographic should help to explain that process, but essentially what you need to keep in mind is that the advertiser who bids the most will not necessarily be the winning bidder. Jerry’s competitor may set a higher bid on the keyword “funny male costume” than Jerry does, but if his competitor traditionally has a lower click-through rate, Jerry may win the keyword auction.
Make yourself attractive
Just as important as selecting your keywords is crafting your advertisement. If Jerry’s copy ad is blasé, it won’t much matter that he won his top keyword bids. Make your ads as appealing as possible. Capitalize The First Letter of Each Word. Mention your unique selling points. Include keywords in the URL field (they’ll become bold and draw attention to your ad). Make sure your landing page is relevant to their keyword search. Taking visitors simply to your homepage is inconvenient for them, and ineffective for you. Above all, don’t try to fool visitors. If consumers click on your ad to find something different than they had expected, not only are you subjecting yourself to negative publicity, but you just paid for a click that didn’t yield a conversion and Google will drop your ad’s quality score
Keep up with it
Once you’ve created your PPC campaign, you work is far from over. PPC requires upkeep to maximize your ROI. You’ll need to regularly change your search and placement bids, add new keywords, test new copy ads, and reassess your landing page. It’s a process that requires maintenance, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be well on your way to #gettingdigitalright.