A previous study conducted by Wordstream established that small business owners spend at least $1200 on PPC on the average. The problem however is that these businesses wastes a fourth of that budget on campaigns that do not produce results. The problem is not that PPC does not work but in how these business owners and digital marketers plan and execute a successful PPC marketing campaign.
There are key factors and very important parts in PPC marketing that many business owners neglect or overlook that are vital to generating high quality ads and campaigns. The quality of PPC ads generated and how the PPC campaign is conducted and executed will mean the difference between wasted marketing budgets and digital marketing campaigns that generate favorable and profitable results.
On top of that, many business owners commit a lot of mistakes in their PPC campaigns that result in poor campaign performance and wasted marketing investments. Digital Marketing Philippines tries to help business owners avoid this and help remove the guesswork in identifying the important elements and parts that make up a successful PPC marketing campaign.
1. AD Relevance and Quality Score
It is very important to emphasize at this point that it is very relevant for business owners to focus on their PPC ad relevance. Relevance here is established by how the targeted keywords you used in your ads are associated to the landing pages these ads point to and how relevant they are to the search users. How relevant your ads are is a very important factor in generating high Click Through Rates (CTR) from your ads as well as determining your Quality Score.
The Quality Score as defined in the Google Adwords system is scored from 0 to 10. This score is calculated for every search that matches your keywords. The higher the relevance of your ad to a search user, the higher the Quality Score that your ads will generate. A maximum Quality Score of 10 is of course what you should be aiming for – as this will mean better positioning as well as lower Cost Per Click for your ads.
The success and performance of your PPC marketing campaign will depend highly on your Quality Score. A better score performance will lower your cost which could translate to better and faster Return on Investment (ROI). On top of that, your PPC marketing campaign will reach its full potential with high Quality Scores because of the following:
- Your ads will enter and perform better at ad auctions but at lower cost. You incur less cost for every click allowing you to stretch your PPC marketing budget.
- Your ads may show up in first pages and good positing in relevant search results if you have high Quality Scores. On the other hand, your ads may not appear in relevant searches because of poor quality score.
2. Keyword Management
Many business owners and digital marketers are aware that Keyword Management is very important to the success of their PPC campaigns, and yet many tend to overlook or exert insufficient focus in this vital element of their marketing campaign. The result would be ineffective PPC campaigns that deliver poor results as well as eat up important marketing budget.
On top of that, your business may also be wasting investments performing repetitive tasks that do not create favorable results. To avoid such scenarios, your business should focus on effective Keyword Management which includes the following:
- Keyword Research
Researching your targeted keywords is the most basic but most important aspect in PPC marketing, but many business owners don’t put as much effort as necessary into this element. Many rely simply on the general information provided by traditional keyword research tools which are simply based on unreliable estimates.
Effective keyword research goes beyond these mere estimates and generalizations. It involves trying to identify the actual search terms your targeted customers are using and are searching for, and create appropriate ad groups based on these keyword lists. Doing this manually can be a very tedious task so make use of third-party applications that can sort, organize and identify the right keywords that will match your site content with targeted audiences.
- Keyword Grouping
A very important element that can drive PPC success is Keyword Grouping, an activity in keyword management many business owners fail to perform, resulting in poor PPC performance. The process involves grouping down keywords identified by your research according to important segments or categories that you can focus on in your PPC ads.
Targeting and focusing on specific groups will increase the relevance of your ads and landing pages with your targeted audiences. This can result from streamlining and prioritizing your content and keywords based on subject matters that are relevant to your targeted audience. What this will bring your campaign if done right is higher Quality Scores and better conversion rates.
3. Campaign Settings
Setting up your PPC campaign is of course a basic step in this marketing channel however, there are certain settings, aspects and elements that many business owners overlook or disregard that may be key to the success of your campaign. Many tend to rely on default settings from ad networks like Google Adwords.
You should realize however that Google gets at least 85% of its yearly revenues from their paid advertising channel, so it is most likely that default settings are set to what will deliver more revenues for the company. So it is important that you have a clear understanding of these settings, allowing you to optimize your ads towards campaign success.
In general settings, important elements to consider is the name of your campaign and the type of campaign. A descriptive name is important for easily managing your campaigns particularly if you are running multiple projects at the same time. The types of campaigns you can choose from include:
- Search Network Only – In this network, your sponsored text ads appear or are triggered according to their relevance to a particular search query in the search engine network. If you are new to PPC, it would be best to start with the Search Network first for better chances of campaign success
- Display Network Only – In this network, your text or image ads appear on publisher websites depending on your settings and relevance to the site’s content
- Search and Display Network – your ads appear on both relevant search queries and publisher sites
Google’s Search Network is huge, cornering up to 67% of the market share with other networks like Bing (18% share) and Yahoo (11%) following still far off. This search network includes other Google properties like Google Search, Groups, Images, Maps and Shopping. If you are just starting with PPC marketing, it would be best to opt for a Search Network only campaign.
Google however, also has affiliated search partners like About.com and AOL.com. If you want to increase your impressions and reach a bigger search volume in your campaign, you can opt to include these search partners in your settings. Just remember however that spreading your reach to a bigger network may decrease the quality of traffic your ads will generate – and paying for.
The proliferation of web-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets should make business owners and digital marketers consider throwing in mobile advertising to their overall PPC marketing campaign. They should, as mobile is eating away on the overall search pie, as evident in the 105% increase in mobile ad spending last year which will continue to grow by 75.1% this year.
Google still dominates the mobile search engine market with a 90% market share so it would be important to consider including mobile bids in your PPC campaign. This would however depend on the mobile behavior of your targeted market to establish how much you will allocate on your mobile bids.
Choosing the geographic location for your PPC campaign will depend on your market. It would do you no good if you sent your default to the whole of North America if you’re only targeting customers from a certain locality. In a similar manner, it would not be wise to select a global target if your business can only cater to customer locally or within a specific geographic location only.
Just like location, setting your language locally will be good if you are only targeting local customers. Changing the language will depend on your needs however and who your targeted audiences are.
Bidding and Budget
Controlling your expenses is very important for the sustainability and success of your PPC marketing campaign. You can set your daily budget, as well as how the bid levels of your chosen keywords will be determined – whether you do it manually or have Adwords choose it for you. We advise you do it manually.
4. Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)
While PPC marketing depends on how you identify and choose your keyword groups, what will set your campaign apart from competitors is your Unique Selling Points (USP). Also called Unique Selling Proposition, USP is an important part in your content and advertising copy that may provide the main reason why targeted customers will convert into leads or sales. Don’t fall into the mistake of thinking that your slogan is synonymous to your USP, for they are not necessarily the same.
5. Effective Call-To-Action
A very important element in your PPC ads is your CTA or Call-To-Action. It should be clear and concise and will tell exactly what your targeted audiences should do as the next step. This will increase your CTR or Click through Rates, either to generate leads from targets wanting to know more information or send them directly to sales for targeted customers who are already looking to buy.
6. AD Extensions
As mentioned earlier, higher Quality Scores will activate the use of other Ad forms as well as enable Ad extensions that will increase Click Through Rates (by up to 30% according to Google) and conversions rates as well. This is one important part that many advertisers are not utilizing that may be crucial to the success of their PPC campaigns. There are many types of extensions and each one have specific results that can be generated. For example is the 8% increase in Click through Rates in mobile PPC campaigns that have call extensions activated. Other extensions include location, special offers, and products among others – and your choice will depend strongly on the nature of your business.
7. Split Testing
One important part of PPC marketing that digital marketers and business owners should perform is Split Testing. The principle is to test small changes or variations in your ads and check which variation will generate the best Click Through Rate. Small variations can include changes in your Calls to Action, ad copy, description and even your display URLs.
8. Effective Landing Page
The chart above is a clear indication that majority of PPC professionals will go for focusing on conversion rate optimization. 85% will go for this option and will depend largely on how well you setup your landing page and how it will generate favorable action from your targeted customers. Important aspects in your landing page that you should heavily focus on are:
- Relevance – Your landing page should be relevant and highly associated with what your PPC ads are saying. You will never generate a favorable result if you are talking about one thing in your PPC ads (which enticed targeted audiences to click on our ads in the first place) and another matter in your landing page.
- Call to Action – Just like the importance of the CTA to your ad, having a clear and concise Call to Action with your landing pages will spell the difference between generating leads or sales and people leaving your page – simply because they do not know what to do next.
- Tracking and Monitoring – Tracking the performance of your ads is important in your overall PPC marketing campaign to enable you to gauge if your program and campaigns are running smoothly and delivering results according to your plan. You can make use of analytics provided by your ad network or use third party analytics packages that can help you track traffic and conversions among others.
PPC marketing is still a very important and effective digital marketing tool that business owners and digital marketers can fully utilize to help them boost the success of their overall marketing campaigns. Knowing the process is simply not enough as you need to know and be familiar with important parts that are key to PPC marketing success.