There’s 2 camps when it comes to PPC. Those who think it’s a waste of time and only want ‘Free’ clicks through organic SEO (which isn’t really free). Then there’s those who are on the fence, going back and forth about whether to try it out. Rarely do you come across the client who wants to charge forward into PPC, full speed ahead. That’s understandable.
Done wrong or rashly you can burn through your budget quickly, with little to show for it. That’s why you need to approach it with some solid pre-planning and thought so you can head that off. In many cases PPC is worth a shot, you just have to be step forward smartly. Here’s 3 questions you need to answer BEFORE you put down your credit card.
1. Do you have someone who knows the system running your campaign? This is very important. It’s more than just pasting in a list of keyphrases you think are relevant. For instance, there are different matching options, such as whether to show your ad only if the searcher uses that exact phrase in that exact word order or if they match only some of the words. Not using those match options is a ticket to blowing through your money in no time. That’s just one aspect of running a campaign. There’s a lot more besides. You need a professional who is experienced in running PPC campaigns or else it can be like playing poker blindfolded. Get someone in there who knows what they’re doing, just as you would with any other marketing and advertising effort.
2. Where will you send the searcher(s) when they click on your ad? The mistake many make is to send everyone to the same place – your homepage. Wrong. In most cases you have specific products or services you are selling, each with its own customers. An accountant has tax preparation, tax planning and even separate personal and business tax services. You want to not only target keyphrases in each of those areas, you also want to send each area’s ad click to a page specifically about that service. Don’t add an extra step by sending everyone to the homepage and expect them to find their way to the service they need. You’ll lose customers with each added step you make them go through. Send the directly to the content that talks directly to them and you raise the rate of success immediately.
3. What do I say in the ad? If you hire a professional they will probably handle this for you, but you should still take a look at what they’ve come up with. #1 on your list here is using the keywords in the ad that your targeting. When they match up, Google will bold them, making your ad stand out more. Second, you need to give a benefit. Are you the fastest? oldest? #1 Seller? Tell them! Generic statements like ‘we work hard for you’ won’t hook anyone. They just get lost in a sea of ‘Me Too’ pitches that line the Google results, making you anonymous and unremarkable. Be specific about how you will uniquely benefit the customer. Finally, have a Call To Action. Visit Us, See Now, Click Here. There’s not a lot of room in an AdWords ad, or any other PPC, so this is hard to get in sometimes. Still, there’s something about an urging to the reader that raises the Click Thru Rate so use that space and tell them what to do next. Or else resign yourself to letting them go onto the next ad – your competitor’s.
There’s much, much more to a successful, profit-busing Pay Per Click campaign, but these will give you a sold foundation for starting. If you are determined to dive in and handle it yourself, I highly recommend you do some reading online or read a book by Perry Marshall. Make sure that the sources you consult are recent, though! Things change fast in PPC, just as they do in SEO. It’s not an easy road, but it is rewarding, if you have the right person in charge.
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