How to run an effective PPC campaign.

google-adwords

As far as web traffic generators go, pay-per-click (or PPC) is about as direct as you can get. A potential customer types the service they want into Google and your company comes up, complete with a link to the page where they can buy your product. The revolutionary thing about digital marketing generally is how you can quantify your success, and PPC is a great example of this. Because of the direct nature of PPC, it is the sniper of SEO; a highly targeted advert with a high conversion ratio.

Research

However, you’re never going to get those conversions if you don’t know your audience. This is the fundamental of all advertising, and whilst it might seem obvious, this can be really important on unexpected levels. Knowing the psychographics (the influencing factors and the behaviours) of your customers means that you can pre-guess their search style.

Let’s take a hypothetical example. If you run a company that sells children’s toys, and set your keywords as “buy toy convertible”, that would seem logical. However, you do some research and realise that in 2013, computer savvy kids are the ones who are directing their parents to their Christmas presents….so changing the keywords to “cool toy car” is more like a search the child would do, before showing your website to their parent.

Be Focused

Focus is the make-or-break of PPC. Anybody can contribute towards AdWords’ huge revenue streams, but it takes a savvy marketer to profit from them. The process of refining your keywords to perfection is numerically described by your quality score (or QS), which is based upon your keyword’s relevance to the ad text, a normal search query, and your landing page, as well as being influenced by other factors such as click-through-rate. This score is effectively the be-all and end-all of PPC, so make sure you know it and work hard to improve it.

To improve it, there are a few things you can do. As above, you need to understand your potential customer base, but on a more general level, attaching modifier words (e.g. “best” or “awesome” depending on your audience) and your area to create specific search phrases can be a very effective way of boosting your QS. Oh, and boosting your QS pays in more ways than one: a high QS rate means that your cost-per-click goes down.

Understand the Medium

PPC is a great tool if you know how to use it. Whether you’re an estate agent, debt collector or cleaner. Once you’ve understood your audience and have started producing successful campaigns, it’s time to get inventive. PPC is an open platform: understanding how best to exploit the arrow between search -> purchase can be a game-changer. A common tip is to include common misspellings, or ‘fat finger’ typos, into your keywords. If you’re feeling cheeky, you might even want to try and have your competitor’s brand name as a keyword, cleverly snatching those that didn’t even know they were looking for an alternative.
Finally, try and find to ways to use the advertising space without paying for the clicks. If your service works largely over the phone for example, try and place your phone number on the second line of your advert, so that someone interested in your service can ring you directly, bypassing AdWords whilst still increasing your cashflow.

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