The Internet has revolutionized the way people all over the world communicate, conduct business, and search information. The term “search” actually connotes a different meaning in this highly interactive and interconnected world. People used to manually browse through volumes of manuals, encyclopedias, and yellow pages to look for information about a brand, product, or service. In the age of the Internet – this can be achieved with your choice of keywords and a click of a button.
This evolution in how people search for information prompted businesses to make adjustments accordingly and focus their marketing around keywords. This gave birth to Search Engine Marketing with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising utilized as the most effective tool of reaching out to targeted customers using effective keyword strategy. With PPC, your business can gain more exposure and a wider reach with your targeted market. See this infographic on why you should use PPC to your business
Setting Up a Pay-Per-Click SEM Marketing Campaign
The following provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for businesses and Internet marketers for setting up a PPC campaign that will create a big impact on your bottom line – which is to increase business profits.
1. Select a Good Keyword Research Tool
Keywords lie at the core of any PPC marketing campaign and selecting the best set of keywords for your campaign is probably the most important aspect in your online marketing project. The key to an effective selection of keywords is to find the words and phrases your targeted customers are actually using to look for the product or service you are marketing.
You can achieve this by using a good keyword research tool. There are several available for marketers to use. Some are freely available to use while others require a purchase or a monthly subscription fee. The following lists some of the more popular among these tools:
Top Free Keyword Research Tools:
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner (formerly Google AdWords Keyword Tool)
This keyword tool provided by Google is the most popular and most widely used tool among marketers used in conjunction with AdWords, Google’s main advertising platform (you must have an AdWords account to use the Keyword Tool). The original keyword tool underwent a transformation and was renamed the Keyword Planner. Aside from keyword suggestions, the Keyword Planner offers a wide variety of synonyms and other keyword variations that you may find useful. On top of that, the tool also provides statistical information and cost data per click among other things.
- Bing’s Keyword Research Tool
As part of Bing’s webmaster tools, the Research Tool is offered free to use for keyword research, providing information on what people are actually typing in using Bing for the last six months.
This tool will give you a very long list of keywords, either in a numerical or alphabetical listing, based on variations from an original keyword you can type in. Adding the prefix “bounce house ab, ac, ad” to your entry will return even more keyword variations that you can use.
- SEO Book’s Keyword Tool
Powered by Wordtracker, a paid keyword research service, SEO Book provides AdWords price estimates as well as suggested daily search volumes, with links to other available tools you can use.
- WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool
Using long-tail keywords can be effective and very profitable for your PPC marketing campaign, and this keyword tool can help you identify what would be best for you to use among the more than 1 trillion choice of keywords available from the tool’s database.
If you want to know the most popular keyword phrases people type in from several search engines using only the root word for the keyword you are interested in, Soovle can be an effective tool to use
- Keyword Discovery
This tool has a free and a paid premium service. The free version allows only 50 search entries max, providing you with thousands on keyword phrase ideas based on the original root term you entered.
Paid Keyword Research Tools:
- Moz’s Keyword Analysis Tool
This service provides premium membership after a free 30 day trial period. Premium subscriptions are paid on a monthly basis for 20 keyword searches, returning information that includes difficulty, average monthly search volumes, and top ten ranking websites using the set of keywords you used.
This research tool can give you more variations from what Google search suggestions can provide using only minor variations from your reference keyword. It also provides negative keyword ideas, Amazon suggestion terms, synonyms, sort functions based on popularity and export-to-spreadsheet features.
- Raven Tool’s Research Central
This is a paid premium tool with a free 30 day trial that provides in-depth keyword research information powered by databases from Majestic SEO, OpenCalais and SEOMoz.
Want to know what your competitors’ keywords are? SEMrush can let you take a peek using only your competitor’s domain name, returning specific organic or paid keyword combinations they are using.
It would be great to know what your customers are using when searching for your products or services, but it would really be profitable to know what keywords they are actually using when they are ready to avail of these offers.
- Keyword Eye
Another paid research tool that lets you see what you competitors’ websites are using for both paid and organize keyword searches, aside from analytics and incoming search links information.
- Advanced Web Ranking’s keyword research tool
This tool offers either basic or advanced keyword research packages for a fixed lifetime license fee. The power of this tool lies in putting together search data from other research channels that includes AdWords, Google Trends, Google Suggest, Google Webmaster API, Yahoo Related Keyword Search API, Wordtracker, SEMRush and 7Search.
2. Find the Right Set of Keywords to Use for Your Campaign
Now that you have selected the right tool for you campaign, the next step is to go ahead and use that tool to build a keyword set that you will actually bid on and use for your PPC marketing program. The key here is select keywords that will drive targeted traffic and you can do that by choosing keywords that majority of your targeted visitors are actually using during searches. Selecting the right set of keywords is very crucial if you want to have a profitable PPC campaign. If you choose the wrong sets of keyword, you may either attract only a few targeted visitors or drive traffic that will actually not interested in what you have to offer.
3. Create Keyword Groups for Your PPC Marketing Campaign
Once you’ve identified different keywords that you can use, the next step is to group these keywords together for use with your individual PPC campaign. You can either do this manually, or use a grouping tool like the one provided by WordStream. Good groupings can give you better scores, higher conversion rates, and more accurate market segmentation. Grouping involves putting together keywords that are semantically related, which means the words are basically actually referring to or accurately describing the same thing.
4. Create Persuasive and Targeted Ad Campaigns
The next step is to create the actual ads that you will use for your PPC campaign. Your ad copy should be written well and not sounding too generic in order for you to attract targeted customers. Making your ads too generic or vague would only attract non-buyers, wasting your click-through and your budget. The ad copy should be clear, descriptive, compelling and with a precise call to action and drive them towards your landing or sales page.
5. Choose the Type of Search for Your Keyword Groups
Once you have your keyword phrases and ads ready, the next step is to determine the type of searches you want your ads to appear. There are basically three types, namely:
- Broad Matching – This type of query will let your ad appear whenever someone searches for any of the keywords you used, regardless of what order they appear when the search is made or if other words where included in the search phrase used.
- Phrase Matching (“ symbol) – For this type of search query, the term should match how your keyword group are arranged or ordered. It can appear in longer search terms with additional words before or after the search phrase as long as the words in the phrase are in the proper order as what you paid for.
- Exact Matching ([ symbol) – If you want an exact match between your keyword group and the actual search term, then this type of search query can be your choice. Your ad will only be included in search results if the search term used is an exact match in terms of words and orders with no additional words included.
6. Create an Optimized Landing Page that Sell
The landing page is where you want your targeted visitors to go to after clicking on your PPC ads. This is where the real action takes place, where people can actually buy or subscribe to a product or a service you are offering. It can also be a site where you can get the contact information from your visitors and re-direct them to your official sales page. The main purpose of a landing page is to solicit an action from your visitors. It should be designed for this purpose, with content that will make people want to stay and take action. It is created not only to accept targeted visitors but to convert these visits into a profit or a lead.
KISSMetrics, a website about analytics, marketing and testing, has a good description of what it means to have a compelling landing page that CONVERTS:
C – Clear Call to Action
O – Offer
N – Narrow Focus
V – VIA (Very Important Attributes)
E – Effective Headline
R – Resolution-Savvy Layout
T – Tidy Visuals
S – Social Proof
These techniques among others will be discussed in greater detail later in future articles. At this moment, the important next step is to discuss about budget, a very important element of your PPC campaign.
7. Establish Your SEM Marketing Campaign Budget
PPC marketing is paid advertising. That fact should be very clear as you need to set a specific budget for your marketing campaign. The cost of your campaign is determined by how many people clicked on your PPC as and the cost-per-click (CPC) of your ad. Naturally, you would not want to spend more than what you planned for your budget. To ensure that you will not go overboard, you must specify your monthly or daily budgets through the appropriate budget settings provided by AdWords or Bind Ads. For Bing, budgets can be directly specified on a monthly or daily basis while AdWords computed the monthly maximum spending allowance based on your daily budget setting.
8. Monitor Your PPC SEM Marketing Campaign
Once you’ve rolled out your PPC SEM marketing campaign and have your landing pages ready to receive traffic from your PPC ads, the next step is to check and monitor your marketing progress. You can monitor the performance of your ads based on the following key indices:
- Quality Score
- Average CPC
- Average Click-Through Rate or CTR
- Average Position
The purpose of monitoring your PPC campaign is to continuously improve on your ad campaign and keyword phrases, focusing on search terms that actually bring in quality traffic, focusing on ads that entice your target market to click more on your ads, and discontinue use of words that do not deliver results. If you managed your campaign carefully and provide better user experience for users than any other advertiser in your niche. The PPC network will reward that work by giving you lower CPC or cost-per-click and always make your ads to be positioned at the top. So, this is very crucial to keep in mind because this can make or break your PPC campaign. You only want to spend money to those activities that produces results for your business. And monitoring your PPC camping at least once a week is one of them!
As a final thought, it is important to reiterate that the purpose of PPC SEM marketing campaigns is to attract targeted visitors to your landing and sales pages for the primary purpose of converting these visits into actual sales and making profit. These visitors use search engines to look for answers to their problems and needs, and your PPC ads can show them the way to your websites where they can find these answers. That is why PPC campaigns are very effective marketing tools for creating targeted advertising that actually deliver targeted and profitable results – if the set-up process was done right.
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