So, you want to start a successful PPC campaign, but not too sure whereto start? We are here to give you the best tips to ensure your new campaign goes exactly how you want it to.
What is PPC?
In a nutshell, PPC (also known as pay-per-click) is the practice of creating a campaign for your business that you choose to ‘bid’ on in search engine results pages. Google Ads are the most common type of PPC campaigns, other types of PPC campaigns can include social media campaigns (such as Facebook Ads, LinkedIn etc.), Bing Ads (which is pretty much exactly the same as Google Ads but on Bing’s search network), and an array of other platforms.
You choose how much you would like to spend per day on your advertisement, along with choosing a maximum bid that fits within your budget. Many marketers believe that PPC is the way forward in terms of driving traffic to the site quickly and effectively, and as long as the account is optimised regularly and maintained, it can be a huge profit driver.
What is the Benefit of Pay-Per-Click?
This is a question that marketing agencies and marketers get asked all of the time, along with ‘why do I need PPC if other marketing strategies work for us?’ or ‘will PPC make me a tonne of money overnight?’ All these questions are completely valid, but realistically you should be looking at what the main goals for your business are and then determine if a PPC strategy fits in well with your goals.
A huge benefit of PPC is that it works quicker than any SEO campaign. Although SEO is permanent, PPC is a much more effective way to be shown at the top of page results quicker than other marketing efforts.
I Want to Try PPC, But I Don’t Have a Large Budget, What Should I Do?
We get a lot of clients who are eager to try out PPC for their business, but do not want to put a lot of budget behind the campaign, and realistically if you have an extremely low budget e.g. £150 a month, you are not going to receive the full benefits of a PPC campaign.
The way Google Ads works is by creating a daily budget each day (so for a £150 a month budget it is £5.00 per day). If the industry you work in has high CPC (cost-per-click) keywords, you are not going to see the advantages of PPC simply because you budget is going to be used on 1 or 2 clicks, as the name states you pay-per-click that your ad gets.
A budget of £500 a month is a good starting point, and if your business has the ability to put more budget towards it we highly recommend doing so. Having said that, do not let this put you off if you have a smaller budget, the CPC really varies per industry and is dependent on the keywords that you choose, so we recommend testing how that delivers for you.
Now that we have covered the basics on what PPC is, and how it can benefit your business, let's look on how to set up an effective and successful PPC campaign.
1. Get Your Ideas Together:
Before anything, you need to get your ideas together on exactly what you want to do your ad based on. We are going to use Office as an example throughout this blog:
The first thing you want to do, especially if this is the first PPC campaign you have done, is to look at the main offerings from your website. Looking at Office, there are an array of different options available for them; they might want to do a campaign based around Kids shoes, or maybe focus on brands, or even create a campaign based around the ‘new in’ section of the site.
Once you have got your initial idea together on which area of your site you want to create a campaign based around, you can then start asking yourself these questions:
- What am I looking to achieve from this campaign? - Is it that you want to increase sales on your site? Or are you looking for traffic increases? For Office, they may want to increase online sales of Kids shoes.
- What are my goals/KPI’s? - Is it important to hit a certain amount of conversions per month? Do you want to achieve a high amount of impressions and clicks in order to increase your brand awareness? Referring back to Office, they might set a goal of achieving 30 sales from PPC per month as a minimum.
- If I was a customer, what would I want to see? – You must put yourself in the customers shoes; get an understanding for how they might think and base your understanding around that. It will allow you to tailor your campaigns to your target audience and generate a better conversion rate. For Office, if they were doing a Kids shoes campaign, the target audience is most likely going to be parents purchasing new shoes for their child.
- What type of campaigns am I going to use? - Are you looking to list your ads on search engine result pages? Or do you want to have a visual image appearing on websites? Think about how your campaign types will help you achieve the goals you set.
2. Start Your Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most crucial elements when creating and optimising your campaigns. Proper keyword research and implementation will make or break your campaigns. When conducting your keyword research, keep in mind what you would search if you were your own customer, and ensure you are specific to what the landing page is advertising.
TIP: Some great keyword research tools we like to use are Google’s Keyword Planner, AnswerThePublic and AHrefs Content & Keyword Checker Tool.
Let’s go back to Office and conduct some keyword research for their ‘Kids Shoes’ campaign.
Firstly, you want to gather together a good number of keywords that are generic about what you are advertising. Some keywords I would start with for a Kids Shoes campaign are:
- Kids shoes
- Shoes for kids
- Children’s shoes
- Shoes for children
- Kids trainers
- Trainers for kids
- Children’s trainers
- Trainers for children
We then want to use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. To get to this, go to your PPC account, click ‘tools & tettings” in the top corner, then click onto ‘Keyword Planner’. Once you have done this, you will be greeted with two options to choose from:
To start, you should click onto ‘find new keywords’ to get ideas based on the keywords that you have already come up with. Paste all of the keywords that you are considering in the box and click ‘get started’ to see what other keywords are closely related to your list.
As you can see from the image above, there are multiple different keyword ideas that are given to choose from, along with data such as average monthly searches, CPC (cost-per-click), competition, and other metrics. From this, you can start to narrow down your keyword ideas based on the price of the click, competition, how many searches the keyword has per month and more.
Once you have completed this step, you then need to decide which type of keywords you are going to use. There are four main keyword types:
- Broad: This is when you input the keyword as normal text, and opens a lot of different opportunities to different keywords to be shown for e.g. kids shoes
- Phrase: This is when you would like to be shown for search terms that are more phrase related, and you must put speech marks e.g. “kids shoes” would show for ‘where can I buy kids shoes?’
- Exact: These keywords tend to perform the best and are usually cheaper than the latter. This is because your keyword is the exact match to what the potential customer is searching – these must be inserted as such: [kids shoes]
- Broad Match Modifier: These keywords include a + symbol in front of each word, and allows your ad to show for all results that include the keyword you are targeting – e.g. +kids +shoes will show for buy kids shoes or cheap kids shoes etc.
Compile a list of different types of keywords that you would like to use from your new keyword list that you have gathered.
NOTE: it is worth mentioning that your negative keyword list should not be neglected! This is a list of keywords that you do not want your ads to be shown for in order to reduce wasted ad spend. An example for Office would be to add ‘how to fix my kids shoes’ as a negative keyword.
3. Start Setting Up Your PPC Campaign and Decide on a Bidding Strategy
So, you’ve got your ideas in mind, you have solid keyword research, you’re now ready to start your first steps to actually creating the campaign! Just go to the campaigns tab, click the blue + button and select ‘new campaign’ to get started. You will then be greeted with this page:
As you can see, there are multiple options to choose from that will reflect your goals, so for Office, we would be looking to increase sales, therefore I am going to choose ‘Sales’ as the campaign goals.
Once you have chosen your goal, you will then be given the option to choose which campaign type you want to use – For our example, it will be a search campaign, although a shopping campaign would be highly effective. Then you need to choose the ways you would like to reach your goal.
You will be shown a selection of different settings to choose from, but for this section I want to focus on choosing the correct bidding strategy. You can input the budget to spend per day that fits with your monthly budget, as an example I am going to put a budget of £50 a day because I would like to have a budget of £1,500 per month.
Underneath that, there is the option to choose a bidding strategy from the following:
- Conversions: A bidding strategy that focuses on potential high-quality conversions which determines the CPC
- Target CPA: This is where you want your budget to be used to help increase conversions by targeting a specific cost-per-acquisition
- Target ROAS (return-on-ad-spend): This is where you enter a specific value that you would like in return for the budget spent, e.g. you want to gain £10 per £1 spent.
- Maximise Clicks – This is a bidding strategy that targets click over conversions, and ensures the budget is being used effectively for clicks
- Manual CPC – This is the most common bidding strategy, you get to set the max bid, and you are in full control of how your budget is being spent.
You can choose from other bidding strategies Google define for you on the interface. For my kids shoes campaign, I am going to be using the Manual CPC strategy, and from my keyword research, I can see that the average CPC is £1.50 so I will set my bid at £1.60.
4. Set-Up Your Extensions
For me, extensions are the holy grail when it comes to Google Ads. This is a beneficial feature that allows you to extend (hence the name) your ad for no extra price! Essentially, you are gaining double the amount of ad copy and able to show off your services, but it wouldn’t cost you a penny more than what it already does. There are a range of different extensions to choose from such as:
- Sitelink: This extension allows you to add additional links to your ad, improving a user’s experience as it cuts out them having to click through your site to get to the page they are interested in. For my kids shoes campaign, I would add sitelinks such as ‘Adidas kids trainers’, ‘Nike kids trainers’ and ‘Clarks children’s shoes’.
- Call: This extension allows you to add a number to your ad to allow easier access for the customer to contact your business.
- Callout: Got something to show off about your business? Or maybe you offer specific discounts based on spend etc. This is where you can state it all!
- Promotion: This is pretty self-explanatory, if your business currently has a promotion on what you are writing your ad on, make sure to add promotion extensions.
There is an array of other extensions you can use such as structured snippets, message extensions, location, app, and others.
5. Put Your Keywords into Practice
This step is pretty self-explanatory, however its worth mentioning. Once you have got to the next page, you will be greeted with a screen that looks similar to this. This page is where you can add your keywords from the conducted keyword research, along with adding your default bid. DO NOT FORGET to use different types of keywords like previously mentioned.
6. Write and Optimise your Ad Copy
Now we get to the important bit; your ad copy is the first thing that the customer is going to see before clicking onto your site.
As you can see from the example above, you have multiple different boxes you need to fill:
- Headline 1: 30-character limit and will be shown at the beginning of your ad. This needs to show what you are advertising e.g. Kids Shoes.
- Headline 2: 30-character limit and will be shown within the middle of your ad headline. This should be something to entice the customer e.g. Stylish Shoes for Children.
- Headline 3: 30-character limit and will be shown at the end of your ad headlines. This tends to be a brand name or an added benefit of their service e.g. Office Shoes OR could be ‘Free Next-Day Delivery’.
- Description 1: 90-character limit which is where you need to show off your product. Make it sounds amazing and entice the customer.
- Description 2: 90-character limit which I tend to relate to the company itself.
There are also different types of ads that you can create:
- Standard text ads – which is the example shown above.
- Responsive search ads – this is an ad type that allows the user to input 10 headlines and 4 descriptions. Google will dynamically rotate the headlines and descriptions dependant on the customers search term.
- Call only ad – pretty much what it says on the tin, an ad that focuses on phone calls.
Top tip: ENSURE YOU ARE USING CALL-TO-ACTIONS THROUGHOUT
Using call-to-actions will entice the customer and persuade them to click on your ad. What is a benefit of your business you could include? Maybe you offer free delivery on all orders, or £5 off when you spend £50? There are multiple different ways you can implement CTAs. Remember, write your ads as though you are the customer, what do you want to see?
7. Make Sure Your Landing Pages are Optimised Properly
A properly optimised landing page will work wonders for your campaign. When placing your ad on search results, Google takes into account your bid, ad rank and quality score. Essentially your quality score and bid make up your ad rank.
So, what is a Quality Score?
A quality score is a score out of 10 that google rates your keywords which determines how well the ads will perform and how much your CPC will cost you. This higher the quality score, the less your CPC will cost you. Quality scores are made up of three factors – ad relevance, expected CTR and landing page experience. This is why it is extremely important to ensure your landing page is optimised to the best potential it can be; does it include the keywords you are looking to be shown for throughout the page? Is it easy to navigate around? Are there options to click through further into the site and is it easily accessible? All of these factors are important and determine how well your campaign is going to perform, so make sure your landing page is the best of the best and extremely relevant to what your ads reflect.
So, you now know the benefits of PPC, how it can help your business, how to conduct keyword research and how to perform the steps needed to launch an effective and successful PPC campaign, you are now all set to go! Of course, there are multiple other factors and best practices that are needed in order to really set your ads soaring above competitors, however, here is an overview on how to set up your first PPC campaign and how to do it correctly.
If you would like more guidance or help with your PPC account, our team would be more than happy to hear from you! Get in touch by calling us on 0113 237 5100 or by filling out our contact form.
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