Navigating the world of paid search can be complicated. From understanding different campaign types to performing related research, knowing how to get the most out of your campaign is essential to growing your business. Paid search can help you generate leads and traffic to your business, but done poorly, it can also cost you thousands of dollars and produce minimal results.
At VIG, we’ve seen several of our clients run their own Price Per Click (PPC) campaigns. Some have excelled, others have fallen down a dangerous path. To help our clients both new and returning, we’ve put together our list of PPC do’s and don’ts that can help anyone get started on the right foot. Let’s take a look.
Define Your Target Market
The first step we recommend when putting together any form of paid advertising campaign is developing a clear understanding of your target market. This goes beyond simply knowing who your customers are to understanding their unique goals, preferences, and buying habits.
From a marketing and advertising standpoint, you need to understand why your customers buy your products/services and what specific needs these offerings fulfill.
For example: If you manufacture electrical components for various applications, you should start with understanding the reasoning behind your customer’s decision to buy your products. Are your products the most affordable? Do they offer a differential advantage over your competitors? Or are they buying from you because you have a distribution agreement with their dealers?
Answering these questions will help you tailor a message around each market segment you serve. This understanding will help you deliver a more effective campaign message and produce a higher return on your advertising investment.
Determine Ad Groups
When putting together a PPC campaign on Google AdWords you will have the opportunity to show your ads to different segments of users. These segments are called Ad Groups. Many times, our clients form ad groups around their various target markets or website visitors.
Going back to the electrical manufacturer example, you could form ad groups around different markets that use your product. This could include schools, government facilities, or even residential applications. The choice is ultimately up to you.
By creating different ad groups, you can send ads with tailored messages to your most promising clients. From this, you have a better chance of cutting through the clutter and making a strong impact on your campaign.
Set Clear & Attainable PPC Goals
Many of our clients come to us with interest in creating and launching a campaign for their business. Usually, when we sit down with our clients during a discovery meeting they have general ideas about what mediums they want to use, a general budget, and sometimes examples of campaigns they’ve run in the past.
One of the areas we see many of our clients struggle is in setting clear and realistic goals. If you’re putting together your first campaign, you need to do your research on different metrics like Clicks, Impressions, and conversions. This will give you a better understanding of how agencies measure the success of a PPC campaign and prepare you to ask questions and form goals.
If you’re working with a PPC agency or freelancer that doesn’t provide these key metrics or asks questions regarding specific goals, don’t walk, run!
Through understanding these components, you’ll be able to set realistic goals for your campaign and be better prepared to calculate the ROI of your campaign.
Timing is Key
Like any other paid advertising campaign, PPC ads need to be released and leveraged as a tool in conjunction with your other promotional mediums. If you have a new product you are releasing to your clients or are getting ready to highlight holiday deals, its important you schedule your ads accordingly.
If you’re trying to build interest for a new product or drive leads to a dedicated landing page, it doesn’t help to release ads six months before the product comes out. Furthermore, it doesn’t help to put a campaign together for holiday deals only two days before a major shopping holiday.
Every campaign, client, and company are different. How you schedule your ads and campaign will be based on your industry, customers, and market trends. Sitting down and asking yourself “When”, “Where”, and, “Why” your ads will be posted is a great way to start.
Do Your Homework
If you’re trying to put together a campaign on your own, there are several areas you should research first. Google offers numerous tools that can help you plan, implement, and measure paid search campaigns for your website. Whether you’re looking for ideas for new keywords, or want to understand how Google Analytics measures traffic for your website, there are training modules to guide you every step of the way.
At VIG, we use Moz and Google as our go-to sources for the latest industry updates and tools. Usually, if you have a specific question, there are forums and online chats through their websites that can connect you with industry professionals around the world who might be able to answer your questions.
Paid search campaigns can be one of the easiest ways to generate leads and arrive at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Whether you’re a local small business or are a Fortune 500 company, PPC campaigns from Google AdWords can be a powerful tool to grow your business.
Want to grow your business with a dedicated PPC campaign? Think VIG!