News flash: your business needs a strategy for brand awareness and promotion. The revamped savvy of pay per click search ads are the way to go, now that Google has changed their algorithms. Not convinced? People click on them more than any other form of digital advertising. PPC is where to invest in the world of SEO; think content-driven marketing made affordable. Here’s some food for thought for growing your customer base and lowering costs with finesse before you throw your money at pay per clicks.
- Plan. Every game plan needs a purpose, especially if you’re investing time and money. Decide on your business goals before you even begin down the road of pay per click. Do you want your company to be the front-runner and top of the list on Google searches? Need to maximize your resources? Address some widespread customer feedback? Or is profit your main focus? These kinds of questions will let you narrow down on where your business needs a boost, and you can cast your net wide over them. Your investment should take your brand as far as possible.
- Competitive Research. Use your newfound goal(s) to research what your competitors are doing and what keywords they’re using; those in your industry, but also those outside of it to see how they’re approaching pay per clicks to achieve the same ends. A thorough reading of an array of ad copy will prep you for your own – both what to do and what not to do. Also, discovering and selecting your main keywords will be the biggest takeaway here, as these highly targeted words can make or break a campaign.
- Develop. Now that you’ve decided on your focus and did your research, developing your campaign is in order. It should be structured around the themes of your purpose and should contain the most effective keywords. At this stage, it’s pertinent to be aware of your Quality Score. This often gets overlooked and it’s a great way of managing the cost of your campaign. Your ad could be in the #1 spot and cost half as much as the #2 spot because of a high quality score. Your score is based on the relevancy of your ad to the content you’re linking to, and is measure by keywords, click through rate, and landing pages. That’s where the next steps come in.
- Target. Hone in a demographic – middle-aged women, techies in Singapore, 20-something liberals, etc., to narrow in on your word choice and approach, so that it reads the way it should for who it should. This will coincide with what your business goal is as well as taking into account the research you did. Regardless of who your audience is, a call to action via text and images is essential. Identify those key words, create closely related keyword groups, and designate negative ones. Ad copy is all about inspiring AIDA –Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
- BID. Yes, bidding calls for capital letters demanding your attention. If you’re paying for the top ad position, you’re probably paying too much and not getting the number of conversions to justify it. Although, bid popping is a great strategy. This entails paying for a higher ad position for a week or so. It will result in higher CTR to quickly establish a high Quality Score and therefore, a lower CPC. Also, it will help you gather data about your keywords and determine if they’re worth running with. Then you can step the bid price down until you find an optimal position that balances conversion volume and CPA.
- Design. What’s the point of investing in pay per clicks if it leads consumers to a less than effective landing page? PPC is a path, not a destination, so shape up the destination. Your keywords should be deeply linked to a very specific landing page, and the landing page should be appealing and clean, user friendly (that means as few clicks as possible), graphic oriented, and have a subscription box. You paid to lead your consumers to this point; the worst thing you could do is drop the ball here.
- Launch. Add campaigns, optimize ad groups, and tweak your keywords on AdWords; it’s time to share your ads with the universe. This also means setting up for mobile, as mobile search queries will only continue to rise. Mobilizing is more crucial than you may think; if you don’t, you’ll miss almost half of your market. Google now allows you to adjust this bid with a +/- amount for mobile based on your desktop/tablet bid. For example, if you bid $4 on a keyword, you can adjust this bid up or down for mobile to keep your costs in check while maintaining your average ad position (mobile is effectively still less expensive to advertise on than desktop, so most of the time lowering your mobile bid makes more sense. But keep in mind that most mobile users only discover the first two ad positions in a search, so if volume is important, you may not want to modify your bids lower – but higher!).
- Analyze. Just like other tools for business growth, tracking is essential to show ROI and should be done using Google Analytics and Addion for both online and offline tracking. Addion is a great tool that provides a simple dashboard for analytics that most people would understand, as well as powerful optimization items like bidding to position and bidding to an average CPA. That way you can measure what needs to be improved and use smart, transparent tools to get your there – all while keeping your budget in check.
PPC is evolving; don’t fall behind without an updated strategy. This marketing model offers instantaneous results, highly targeted advertising, cost control, and transparent tracking and reporting, so your time and effort is more than worth it. Investing wisely will do wonders for your business; your goals will be achieved, and more importantly, your consumers will be brought in. As Bryan Eisenberg notes, think of PPC as pay per conversation.