How to Run a PPC Campaign

Forget what you’ve seen on AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Cocktails and haircuts don’t sell the goods – good research and accounting does. This article will explain how to set up a PPC campaign that attracts customers and hooks them in.

Pay Per Click (PPC) is perhaps the most cost effective form of advertising because you pay for authentic interest. Running a billboard on a busy street is not targeted -- PPC is. Don Draper may be good at writing catchy print for Sterling Cooper’s clients, but how do we know that passersby actually look. Contrary, advertising in the digital space of the internet allows the marketer to easily track effectiveness. For that reason the marketer should be ever more attentive to metrics. Your competitor is, so why shouldn’t you?

The First Step: Remove Google Goggles

Google may dominate the search engine space but this does not mean that Google is going to be the most effective platform for marketing your business. Eddie Machaalani of Interspire Developers says “A lot of online entrepreneurs will tell you that Google Adwords is better for more technically orientated products or services, including software, hardware, web design etc. Yahoo is more suited for general consumer products, including insurance, toys, music etc.”

There is no definitive answer on which outlet is best suited for your advertising until you test market. Proliferate across multiple channels to determine which is best for you.

Key Words

Attracting potential customers is like shouting in the streets. What will you shout?

Broad: As per Google AdWords Support,Google AdWords system automatically runs your ads on relevant variations of your keywords, even if these terms aren't in your keyword lists. Keyword variations can include synonyms, singular/plural forms, relevant variants of your keywords, and phrases containing your keywords.”

This logic could work for someone advertising “cars” because some searchers might enter “automobile”. However, imagine if you’re a real estate broker. There are many types of brokers, real estate, insurance, etc., so honing in on a specific niche might be best.

The greatest benefit of broad key words is that during testing you can clearly see which words work best.

A broad search term will have NO punctuation surrounding the term.

Phrase: “cheap car insurance” or “surf lessons” are examples of phrases that searchers might use. When entering your keywords, using quotes around a specific phrase will capture traffic in which the specific phrase was used.

Think of a few phrases that customers might use when looking for your product or service. If you sell car insurance and you can beat the competitor’s price, then something like “cheap car insurance” might be a good start.

Exact: To enter an exact search term you will enter the term or phrase and surround with brackets, ex. [best pizza in Santa Monica]. With these words together and in brackets, you could filter out people searching for Best XX in Santa Monica where XX could be anything from tacos to tire rotations

Landing Page

This is where Don Draper comes in. However today we will use the expert knowledge of Greg Howlett, CEO of Vitabase. Below are five key things to consider when designing your landing page.

Copy: long if you’re selling something that is expensive or complicated. Short if it’s simple. For example, if I am a management consultant I will have to clearly justify the cost/benefit of my billable hours – why you should hire me and why I will help your bottom line. This will obviously take some well crafted paragraphs. Contrary, if I am selling $10 400 count bed linens, then my copy would be pretty self explanatory.

Incentivize: This is basically the sales pitch. What is it about your product or service that makes it stand out? Why should the visitor buy?

Motivate: What is the cost of not buying? If you’re the management consultant this could be evidencing that forgoing this service could cost the company money.

Proposition: What are your terms? Be clear and specific as to what the customer has to forego in order to acquire your good or service. Avoid using “$”. Instead use numbers and terms like “19.95 + SH” or “150 dollars per service hour”. Great synonyms for price are “rate” and “consideration”.

Comfort: Let the customer know exactly why they don’t have anything to lose. Do you offer a convenient return policy or satisfaction guarantee?

Accounting

This is the key to effective PPC advertising programs. Reason: you should be experimenting with multiple keywords and ad copy. Tracking results during a pre-determined testing period will allow you to clearly see which strategy worked best for your business. You will want to focus on metrics such as clicks to impressions (CTR) and if you are able to, track conversions. Tracking conversions can be difficult which is why some retailers use coupons with code numbers as tracking beacons.

Photo courtesy of Si1very via photopin.

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