PPC campaigns have become an important part of every brand’s promotional efforts. When we say pay per click by definition we include social media, not just search. For example, when you type in a word the platform will return a number of results. Some of those links are organic and some are paid for. The ones at the very top, side or bottom with the word “ad” next to them are the result of a PPC campaign. The advertiser is only charged when someone clicks on that link. These types of campaigns should be viewed as part of an overall strategy and not as a single solution. In this post we examine where and how your ads appear.
Unlike other forms of advertising, PPC ads are auction-based. That means the top spot goes to the highest bidder. Your budget along with the quality of your text will determine the length and the results of your campaign. Your keyword bidding strategy is going to determine where you appear. The search result ad appears when a user looks up a phrase that includes the words you are targeting. Some popular providers include Google Ads, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Bing, Pinterest and why not Quora. The majority of funds from most budgets go towards Google and Facebook so most of this post was written around them.
A very basic form of a campaign is all text. That includes two headline sections and a description. You can also include a link, phone number and location extensions. On Facebook you can add images or videos. Another option for e-commerce is product listings with Google Merchant and image ads for the display network. Which brings us to types of campaigns and where you can post them. We have the search network (desktop and mobile), the display network (banners on websites) and shopping or video campaigns.
How To Set Up Your PPC Campaign
Now that you know the basics around PPC let’s take a look at how to launch an ad. Structure wise it would be a good idea to give your campaign a format like the one below. This will make the results clear and enhance performance. Example:
Campaign 1: Men’s clothes
Ad Group 1: Shirts
Ad Group 2: Jackets
Ad Group 3: Shorts
Deciding how much you want to spend on your digital marketing efforts is a good first step. It will define a big part of what you’re trying to do as you will set a daily average and bid for words. Set an amount you are comfortable with. You can choose between smart bidding (CPA, ROAS, max conversions, ECPE) CPC bidding (maximize clicks, manual CPC) or focus on impressions (target search page location, target outranking share, CPM)
Here you need to determine which keywords you want to target. Google’s keyword planner is a useful tool for this task. There are three types of matches you can get. Broad match, phrase match and exact. Always avoid broad and focus more on phrase and exact matches. You can also look at keywords that bring traffic to your competitors and include them on your list. Of course, popular terms have a higher level of competition as many businesses want to rank for them.
Location & Device Targeting
You have the option to target by city, zip code, or mile radius. This can be useful for ads that want to reach users who live nearby. With everyone on the go, there seems to be a big push for mobile. That always works pretty well but depending on your vertical some industries see better conversions on desktop.
Tips For Managing After The Launch
Optimize Landing Page
The page content has to match the user’s search intent. Google will assign a score to your page and if its too low other ads will show more than yours. Stay relevant to increase the likelihood of better conversion rates.
Remove Negative Keywords
Find terms that are underperforming, irrelevant or too expensive and remove them. If your ad is giving you negative matches you can block these words and your ad will not appear again when people look them up.
Continue to work on your keyword research after the launch. There are always terms that will come up that you can add. We prefer a maximum of 10 keywords per ad group. That makes for a well defined and better-targeted campaign.
Monitor Conversion Rates
Track KPI’s to see if your ad is doing what it’s supposed to. Either you are looking for more subscriptions to your newsletter or better sales numbers. Adjust accordingly to optimize for your ad spend.
Pay per click campaigns are not like traditional advertising. You can pause and edit the campaign as you see fit. It’s not like running a tv or newspaper ad. We do recommend letting it run for at least 3 months before you can derive any conclusions. Many businesses have attempted this on their own with mixed results or have a family member that does it for them. We highly recommend hiring a professional to manage your digital marketing. You will be able to see the difference on your dashboard when the campaign ends.