For many years, businesses have been launching inbound marketing strategies to promote their brand and products to generate revenue because of its long-term benefits. However, not all companies have the luxury of time to wait for these marketing campaigns to deliver, especially in this New Normal.
According to a recent study published by McKinsey, it can take at least five years for businesses in specific industries to recover from the losses they incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of this, many businesses have started incorporating Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing and other outbound marketing campaigns to get those much-needed quick wins.
This article will share the steps to develop and launch an effective PPC marketing campaign, even if you’re a complete beginner.
What is PPC Marketing?
PPC marketing is a type of outbound marketing strategy where Google and other search engines display your link in strategic areas of their search results pages (SERPs) for a fee.
You can quickly spot these on SERPs because you can find the word “Ad” on top of the link.
How Does PPC Marketing Work?
Unlike content marketing and other inbound marketing campaigns, PPC marketing campaigns don’t require you to consistently publish high-quality content offering valuable insights so that people can click on your link.
Instead, you craft an eye-catching ad, choose which keywords where you want your ads to appear, how much you’ll pay the search engine each time someone clicks your ad, and the parameters when you’ll be charged.
Once you submit all the information, Google will review them and tell you whether or not your ads are approved, and start running your ads.
Benefits of Launching a PPC Marketing Campaign
You Get Results Faster
Inbound marketing campaigns like content marketing usually take about six to nine months to generate results.
For many businesses, that’s an extremely long time to wait, especially in the New Normal.
On the other hand, you can expect to see significant results from your PPC marketing campaigns as early as the third month of running your ads.
But even if that’s the case, it’s still possible that your paid ads will start bringing in people that match the target audience you specified when you submitted your ads.
It’s Not Affected by Changes in Google’s Algorithm
We know that SEO is essential for the long-term success of your website; that’s why you comply with SEO best standards and practices. With the frequent and significant updates to SEO, achieving the desired results often requires a lot of expertise, time, and patience.
But one of the best things about PPC is that once you have established the most effective campaigns, you don’t need to worry about Google and the changes to its ranking algorithms.
Gets You In Front of Your Target Audience
One great benefit of PPC is that it allows you to target your perfect audience based on specific keywords, interests, geographic location, and behaviors.
You can choose specific terms that people will most likely use to search for a product or service that you offer.
You can select a goal for both your audience and relevant keywords in your PPC campaign approach. You can also target your PPC ad to new, old, and current customers. This is a significant benefit that cannot be overlooked by any means.
With the right keywords, you can directly target customers who are already ready to buy rather than those in the research phase; hence, you are highly likely to realize a higher conversion rate and, thus, higher revenue.
As a result, PPC is critical for every online business to gain greater exposure and better-quality leads.
Easy to Track and Measure
PPC advertising also makes it easier for you and your team to track and measure your campaign’s success using Google Ad tools and Google Analytics.
This is crucial because your company’s paying Google each time someone clicks on an ad you’ve published. So, it’s not enough that you generate more traffic to your website and landing pages, and you need to make sure that most—if not all—of your site visitors match your ideal customer profile.
More importantly, the metrics you can derive from these tools can help you determine the customer lifetime value (CLV) for each ad you publish. In turn, you and your team can then choose which ads to discontinue and which ones to invest in more.
Steps to Create Your First PPC Marketing Campaign
1. Have a Specific Goal
Setting goals is essential to maximize the ad budget allocated for you to use for your PPC marketing campaign.
The first detail ensures that your PPC goals align with your present marketing goals. For example, if driving traffic to your website is the “Q2 goal for 2022”, the pay-per-click goal should be the same.
Next, the focus should be that your paid ad marketing efforts do not meddle with your current SEO efforts. Chances are, you’re already getting a reasonable share of organic traffic from specific keywords.
Keep these keywords off your PPC keyword list if they are already doing the job and not waste the online advertising budget on the keyword that ranks organically.
To identify goals, you need to specify KPIs. These can help guide your PPC strategy for maximum conversions.
For example, if you want to increase leads in “Q2 goal for 2022”, KPIs could be the number of conversions that are sales qualified earned from a paid online ad.
Have specific PPC goals and goals that align with your overall marketing and SEO strategy.
2. Create a Clear Buyer Persona
Before you can even market to your target consumers, you need to understand them. You need to know their pain points, wants, demographics, shopping habits, and the search terms they’re likely using.
This is where having a clear buyer persona comes in.
A buyer persona depicts your ideal customer, and it’s developed by combining data with educated assumptions.
Having a clear buyer persona is vital when launching a PPC marketing campaign for two reasons.
First, it’ll make it easier for you to specify the audience you’ll be targeting when you submit your ad for review.
Second, it’ll help you choose the most suitable ad format to create, significantly improving the chances of your ad capturing and converting your target market.
If you do not yet have a buyer persona, it’s time to build one. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your buyer personas:
- Segment and analyze your existing customers
- Run an interview or surveys
- Use customer feedback from reviews and customer support requests
- Speak with your customer-facing teams
- Create your personas using templates to ensure your buyer insights are easy to understand and recognize.
- Share your personas across the entire organization
- Focus on those buyer personas that present the most value for your business
- Never stop observing and updating your personas
Here’s an example of a compelling buyer persona:
Once you understand whom you’re targeting, you can move on to the next step.
3. Set Your KPIs
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics that give you and your team a way to track your campaigns’ performance and progress. After all, as I previously mentioned, you want to ensure that you’re catching an accurate return on your overall investment in your PPC campaign.
By setting PPC KPIs, you can build goals in Google Analytics that connect with your Google Ads. And have visibility into your campaign performance and begin correct sourcing data right from the start.
When determining what KPIs to track, ensure you’ve clearly defined what you’re trying to accomplish with the campaign.
For example, suppose you’re creating a top-of-funnel campaign to raise brand awareness or distribute information about a new service or solution. In that case, you may want to concentrate on direct clicks more than conversions.
Here are some of the standard PPC marketing KPIs used to measure a campaign that can give you a better idea of what to focus on when considering your campaign.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR)
- Cost per click
- Cost per conversion
- Conversion rate
Having these helps you measure success and better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your campaigns. And you can build a solid plan to help ensure your goals are met.
4. Choose Your Keywords Carefully
Each ad group you make needs to be assigned a set of keywords to target. That’s how SERPs know when and where to display your ad. Remember always select between one to five keywords per ad campaign, and those keywords should be highly relevant because your Quality Score depends on them.
Select keywords that are close to the specific theme of your ad group. If you find keywords you want to target that are not aligned on one theme, you should make an individual ad group for them.
It’s essential to note that you don’t have to be committed to the keywords you start with. On the contrary, you’ll need to closely observe the performance of your keyword list throughout your campaign. That way, you avoid wasting money on keywords that aren’t delivering you the results you expect.
5. Set Your PPC Marketing Budget
Since your business can’t run a PPC campaign on an unlimited budget, you’ll need to remove any keywords out of your price range or not worth the cost.
Now that you have concluded your chosen keyword list get your PPC campaign up and running. However, you can’t run a PPC campaign on an unlimited budget, and you’ll need to remove any keywords from your price coverage or not worth the cost.
Set the highest CPC for each provided keyword to avoid overspending. Here’s a simple formula you can use to work out a maximum CPC based on your conversion rates, revenue per consumer, and estimated revenues margin from advertising:
Using this formula will help you get started.
6. Choose the Right Ad Format
The most common types of ad format are ad extensions. It is one of the best ways to make your ad stand out and attract consumers to click on your link.
It allows you to include additional details in your ad that will appear when someone does a relevant search.
Here are some types of ad extensions that you can use on your PPC marketing ads:
- site link extensions allowing you to have more than one link;
- call extensions for a mobile number;
- price extensions;
- app extensions will enable you to link directly to a mobile app;
- location extensions for businesses with a physical store, and
- structured snippet extensions to highlight specific factors or features of your product or service.
Here’s an example:
Screen capture from Google
This online handbag store uses site link extensions to allow potential customers to find what they are looking for quickly.
Making life easier for consumers to search is one of the best ways to convert them into leads through PPC. If they can visit all the information they need and find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, they’ll be more likely to stay around on the site longer and make a purchase.
This online handbag store uses site link extensions to allow potential customers to quickly find what they are looking for.
Making life easier for consumers to search is one of the best ways to convert them into leads through PPC. If your site visitors can visit all the information they need and find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, they’ll be more likely to stay around on the site longer and, eventually, make a purchase.
7. Craft Your PPC Ad Copy
As with any marketing strategy, your PPC ads’ copy is everything. Even if you’ve created a buyer persona and narrowed down your keyword list perfectly, you won’t get anywhere if your copy is dull.
Return to your buyer persona as you write your copy. What would appeal to that person? What would make them engage? What kind of tone and speech speaks to them?
Your ad copy should have at least three segments:
- Compelling Headline. Your headline should be short, snappy, descriptive, and attention-grabbing.
- Description lines. Include your unique selling proposition in the description. Why should the consumer buy your product over any of your competitors’? Why should they click on your link instead of any other results?
- Display URL. Make sure you include your brand name in the display URL, but don’t make it too long.
8. Include a Relevant CTA
The call to action (CTA) is where you tell a prospective buyer what you desire them to do. The CTA is perhaps the essential part of your ad and can make or break its success. Therefore, spend time developing a compelling CTA.
“GET” and “BUY” are the two most-used actionable words, which attract clicks and give conversions very frequently and quicker than others.
Others like “Shop,” “Try,” “Free,” “Save,” and “Best” attract your target audience to your ads by indicating urgency, short-of-stock, consciousness, and personalization.
Your chosen CTA must be relevant to your proposal. Don’t be afraid to try out different versions and see which one is most impactful. A minimal change to your CTA can result in a significant improvement in your results.
9. Create a Landing Page to Match Your PPC Ad
The most effective PPC managers draw a strong link between audience targeting and landing page optimization. The more relevant a landing page is to the initial search intent or audience demographic interest, the more likely site visitors will click through, sign up, or make a purchase. In other words, a good landing page can lead directly to more prospective customers seeing your ad.
Here’s an example of an ad from a handbags store.
Screen Capture from Google
It takes those who click on its ad directly to a landing page advertising its current sale.
Screen Capture on Michael Kors landing page
This immediately increases the visitor’s chance of purchasing since they won’t want to miss out on the limited-time offer.
You can increase this sense of urgency by using a countdown timer to end an offer or sale. This influences the fear of missing out (FOMO) and makes buyers more likely to click the “buy now” button.
10. Track and Monitor Your Results
Paid advertising is not “establish it and forget it.” You need to manage and regularly monitor your ads to ensure that you’re reaching optimal outcomes.
Managing, analyzing, and tracking is crucial to a PPC campaign because they provide valuable insights and help you construct a more effective campaign.
Ad agencies like Grow My Ads that help you monitor and track your ads, take lackluster and underperforming Google Ads campaigns and maximize the potential of search, shopping, and display ads.
Identify where money is being wasted and cut it. This means excluding, pausing out, and reducing bids and spending on paid search campaigns that are bleeding money.
In addition to that, they also doubled down on keywords and other performing variables, looking at an 80/20 ratio. And will never dispose of ad campaigns that are working until you have something better.
PPC Marketing Best Practices
1. Optimize Your Website
Optimizing your website helps increase site traffic, improve user experience, and helps convert visitors into prospects and customers.
Improve your website’s performance. You’ll want a website that loads quickly, as users are more likely to abandon websites that take more than 2 seconds to load.
If you want to inspect how fast your website loads, use tools like Google’s Pagespeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom Tools.
Also, ensure your website’s secure and accessible. An accessible website is easy for visitors to read through and browse.
In addition to that, Opt for HTTPS instead of HTTP. Search engines like Google penalize unsecured websites, which could harm your PPC campaign performance or lower visitor trust.
2. Have a Negative Keywords List
As you’re deciding which keywords to focus on in your PPC campaign, you should also pay attention to anything you deliberately choose not to target. These are called negative keywords and will exclude that category of audience, which has nothing to do with your items.
For example, if you created an ad for drinking glasses, you might remove words like “eyeglasses” and “sunglasses.” Including the right negative keywords will substantially increase the quality of your ad targeting.
3. Update Your Keywords Regularly
You most likely had several keywords to cover when you put out your first PPC marketing campaign. Because you spend a certain amount per keyword, revisit the performance of each one, then remove those keywords that aren’t performing as well.
You can divert your budget for keywords that aren’t performing well for new keywords to your best-performing PPC ads.
4. Optimize Your PPC Ads and Landing Page for Voice Search
According to a study, 71% of people prefer searching through voice-over searching by the keyboard, which gives you an idea of the potential voice search has. In fact, nearly 40% of all internet users in the US are voice search users.
Writing as we speak is a simple but effective tip for optimizing voice search. Instead of using many nouns, use descriptive sentences in your headlines, tag lines, and other SEO-relevant segments of your website.
Take a look at how Grow My Ads wrote the copy on its landing page:
Writing this section’s heading as a question does two things: It echoes a question its site visitors will have as they read the copy on its landing page.
At the same time, it’s written in a format that’ll be asked by people searching for information about PPC ads or Google ads.
5. Make A/B Testing a Habit
You need to know what works for you and your audience because no matter how smart you are, you can’t possibly understand what your audience will respond to on the first try.
The best method for doing that is to do A/B testing with your ads. Try out ads for the same link with slightly different wording, a different CTA, or various extensions. Pay attention to what happens.
For example, if using a call extension means you get more calls than you did when directing people to a page highlighting your phone number, that’s helpful information.
Or if you get more clicks from a “Book A Call Now” CTA than a “Schedule A Call” one, then that tells you something about what works for your audience.
Create several mini-tests in your ad campaigns to gain little data over time that help you construct increasingly effective PPC campaigns.
Launch Your PPC Marketing Campaign Today!
Done right, PPC marketing can be a powerful addition and complement to your overall marketing strategy.
The steps and best practices shared in this article will help you launch your very first PPC campaign and fast-track your ability to generate leads and sales for your business.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should expect any dramatic results overnight. As with any marketing strategy, PPC marketing needs time to really provide you with the results you’re expecting. So give it time and be willing to tweak this now and then so you and your business can fully reap its benefits.