Q1: I want to build a PPC strategy for my website, but I don’t know where to start. What should I do first?
The first thing you should do after deciding to build out a PPC strategy is decide on goals for your campaigns. Take a look at what the overall goals are for your company and how PPC can help to achieve these goals. Here are some questions to ask yourself.
• Are you trying to create brand awareness?
• Are you trying to increase sales?
The goals you establish will help to shape your PPC campaign focus and structure.
Next, you will need to determine who your target audience is for the campaign. Will it be a B2B or B2C focused campaign? What types of keywords will your target audience be utilizing when they search for your product or service? Defining this audience will be essential to building out a successful campaign.
Don’t forget: Consider your budget. How much are you willing and able to spend on your PPC campaigns? This budget will determine the number of and type of keywords you can bid on and the number of campaigns you run.
Q2: So what do I do next? How do I set up my campaign?
After you determine what the focus of your campaign will be, you will need to create a keyword list. This keyword list will help structure your campaign. When creating your list you will want to select keywords that are most relevant to your product or service.
A good way to start is to review the relevant page on the site and pull key terms from the copy. For example, if you are a shoe retailer and your focus is going to be on your line of women’s shoes, you’ll want to use keywords like “womens sandals”, “womens sneakers”, “womens shoes”, and so on. After creating your initial list of keywords, you can utilize tools like the AdWords Keyword Planner to get suggestions for other keywords and search volume for each term.
Once you have your completed keyword list, look for keywords with common themes that can be grouped together. These groups of keywords will become your ad groups. In our shoe retailer example, you could group all keywords related to women’s sandals together to create a women’s sandals ad group and group all women’s sneakers keywords together to form a women’s sneakers ad group. After the ad groups have been created, you can write ad copy for each one.
With so many companies utilizing paid search ads these days, it can be a challenge to make sure your ads stand out from the rest. Writing effective ads will encourage users to click on your ad over competitors ads. Your ad copy should:
• Include a specific call to action
• Be informative and relevant
• Focus on your value proposition
If you have any incentives or discounts to offer you will definitely want to include this information in the ad as it will help you stand out from your competitors.
Q3: Ok, I’m ready to launch my PPC campaign. What are some things I should think about before the campaign is live?
Before launching your campaign, you will want to confirm that you have some form of conversion tracking in place. Conversion tracking can be done using Goals from your Google Analytics account or by implementing the AdWords conversion tracking code snippet. Having this tracking in place will show you if users are performing the desired action after clicking on your ad or if they are clicking on the ad and then bouncing from the landing page without performing this action.
Q4: My PPC campaign is up and running, but how do I optimize it?
Once you have launched your first campaign, you will want to let it run for a few weeks to gather data. After a few weeks, you can begin to analyze performance and make some initial optimizations.
A good place to start is the Search Term Reports. This report will show you the search terms used that triggered your ad to show. Some of these search terms may be irrelevant and you will want to add them as negative keywords so that your ad no longer shows when these search terms are used. For example, if you are advertising your new line of women’s sneakers, you would not want your ad to appear when a user searches for women’s winter boots, so you would add that search term to your negative keywords.
Next, review your keywords and look for ones that have a low-quality score (1’s or 2’s). If these keywords are converting, you may consider leaving them running, but if they are bringing no value to your campaign they should be paused. These low quality score keywords will bring down the overall quality of your account.
Another report to take a look at is the Dimensions Report. Review the ‘Day of the Week’ view to see if there are any days of the week that have poor performance. If you notice a trend over time, you will want to implement ad scheduling so that you can bid down on those days to ensure you are using your budget effectively and spending more on days that produce a higher ROI.