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Pay Per Click – Pros & Cons

Pay-Per-Click PPCIf done properly, a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign can be a great marketing channel for many businesses. Like most options in business, as long as the ROI (Return On Investment) is there, it’s a good solution for getting your brand in front of potential customers and generating new business. However, it can be a challenge for companies that don’t have expensive services or high margin products because of the ROI.

Solo or Outsourcing PPC?

Managing a business is a full time job. A PPC campaign adds another aspect to the bottom line, but also creates a whole new level of consciousness and preparation. It’s quite possible to manage one on your own, but so is juggling your business, family, and any other kind of life you want to enjoy outside of the two. Outsourcing the work to firm who specializes in PPC campaigns helps increase the exposure to your business while freeing up time to effectively manage the rest of your business and other affairs. If you’d like to give it a go solo, here are some pointers for managing your own PPC campaign.

How to Create a Successful PPC Campaign

PPC campaigns are set up for three main reasons:
  • to incite action (transactions)
  • generate leads
  • build brand awareness
  • alert people of a specific event
If you’re a business owner and you’re looking to turn internet searchers into customers, then PPC is one of the best ways to accomplish this. The reason PPC is so effective is because, when people are searching for a specific product or service, they are already in “buy mode”. By showing up next to relevant organic searches, you have the likelihood of turning that person into a paying customer.
Pay Per Click Pros:
  • Highly Controllable
  • Easily Measured
  • Easily Budgeted for
  • Instant Visibility & Results
  • Sit in the Best Real Estate on the Search Engines
  • Easily Control Where Your Ads Show Up, Geographically
Pay Per Click Cons:
  • Only active while you are paying
  • Can be expensive and often hard to get a great ROI for lower margin products or services
  • Bidding system, which means competitive terms can get very expensive.

Planning

If you don’t know anything about planning, you don’t run a business. No one gets into business without sufficiently knowing how they’re going to carry out their objectives. The same is true with a PPC campaign. By not sitting down and knowing exactly what your goals are, you’ll never get anywhere. Sure, you’ll spend lots of money on PPC ads and feel like you’re accomplishing something, but you’ll be as lucky as someone who catches a fish without a worm or even a hook, for that matter. Knowing the objective of the campaign (brand exposure, sales, or event recognition) you’ll begin to think like your target market, which will help you in the first step: choosing pertinent keywords.

Keywords for PPC

Keywords are king of the online world. Whether you’re searching or marketing, the right keywords will bring your desired results. As someone who is trying to bring customers to your website through PPC, you need to step inside your potential customers’ shoes. Selecting the right keywords is the foundation of a successful PPC campaign. Google has some excellent tools you can use to find the best keywords or you can hire a firm with a proven track record to do the PPC discovery, launch and management/optimization process for you. When selecting keywords, pay attention to your budget. Your budget will determine whether you target vague/broad or more specific keywords. High revenue/high profit margin businesses may be served well by shooting for high-dollar, vague keywords and phrases to capture a larger share of the market. Again, this depends on what you discovered through the planning phase. If you’re a low profit margin business, you should temper your budget to more specific keywords, which are less expensive. I’ve seen costs as high as $50 per click for some keywords. I saw those researching personal injury attorney terms. On average I see a minimum of $1 per click and of those people that do click, only .5-1% turn into a sale or lead. Based on this, you’re looking at spending $100-200 cost per lead or item sold. Making a list of keywords doesn’t stop with the ones you want associated with your PPC. You should also make a list negative keywords. These are words that you don’t want your business associated with. If you own a restaurant and are running a local PPC campaign, you don’t want your business flashing an ad when someone searches for “worst restaurants in Los Angeles”. That kind of association can have a subtle, yet negative psychological impact on how people view your establishment.

Ad Groups

After you’ve chosen your optimal choices for keywords, as well as negative keywords to avoid, you’ll need to create groupings for the keywords. Each Ad Group in your PPC campaign should be generally specific. That’s a roundabout way of saying, specific enough to a group of inventory. Here’s an example: Let’s say you own a fruit stand and you sell all different types of fruit. One Ad Group would be apples, one would be oranges, etc. Then, within the apple Ad Group you would have different ads for Gala apples, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, etc. Once you set up your Ad Groups, you need to write the copy/content that goes inside the ads. If you’re going at this alone, enter the keywords into your search engine and look for other ads that pop up when you do so. Learn from what others have done and design your PPC ads so they inspire action among those who see them. Also, using keywords in your ads is “key”.

Landing Pages

Make sure your PPC ads link to corresponding pages on your website. You want to create a positive and easily executable experience for the consumer. Remember, the person who clicks your ad is in “buy mode”. This person has their credit/debit card out of their wallet and is ready to purchase. You don’t want to send them to your blog. You want to direct them to the most advantageous spot for you and the consumer to complete a transaction or whatever end result you are trying to solicit from them.

Settings

Global or Local? Who’s your target audience? This information should have been already decided when you sat down and starting flushing out ideas and the structure of the PPC campaign. You can also choose how often each of the ads you have crafted gets shown. An “optimize” setting allows better performing ads to show more often. A “rotate” setting distributes the ads evenly. If you’re new to PPC, it’s best to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible through your campaign. You’re goal is customer conversion, but by learning from your mistakes you’ll benefit more down the road. For this reason, “rotate” allows you to see the metrics behind each ad at the end of a campaign. You can then take what you learned and apply it to your next PPC ad campaign. From your first campaign you’ll learn in-depth and valuable information regarding your PPC quality score, conversion rate, and the cost per click. All of this is a process. It’s a long, discovery process of rinse, wash repeat.

Management and Optimization

Just like every other part of your business needs constant attention and improvement, your PPC campaign is no different. Once you’ve measured the success of different ads and taken into account all the metrics behind the campaign, you may need to tweak your targeted keywords, ad copy, landing pages and settings.

How do we help someone who is interested in PPC?

The reason PPC is so effective is because, as you can see, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. All this work allows you to zero in on customers who are searching for what you’re selling. It allows you to pinpoint your audience and put your product or service right in front of them at the exact moment they are looking to buy it. As a business owner, you alone know whether or not you have the extra time or energy to pursue a PPC campaign on your own. If you have staff you can delegate the task to, then keeping it in house may be a viable option. If you are considering PPC for your business and don’t have the time or staff to manage it on your own, we will consult with you and help determine if the return is advantageous to pursue PPC. If you sell a widget with a .50 cent margin, PPC probably isn’t right for you. If you’re a lawyer, for example, then your revenue per customer most likely means PPC will work well. As with most other things in life, you have options and we’re happy to be one of them to manage PPC for you.

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Austin Coulson

Web Design and Internet Marketing have been passions of Austin’s for many years. While starting out by creating websites for himself, Austin ascertained many of the fundamentals and theory that constitute professional website development. Through networking and word-of-mouth, Austin soon began building and marketing websites for many different businesses and industries.

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