7 Step Quick-Start Guide to PPC Search Advertising

June 14, 2016 by Ashley Poag

You’ve always known that when it comes to SEO content is king. You’ve traditionally put a heavy emphasis on gaining organic traffic to your site. However, this takes time. Most SEO professionals recommend 3-4 months of monitoring your content marketing strategy before you see results. What happens when you want to catch a buyer right when they’re about to make a purchase decision? For e-commerce sites the high conversion potential of PPC advertising can be critical. For publishing sites looking to drive brand recognition, the different types of Google PPC ads can drive an average 80% lift in top-of-mind awareness.

Balancing Your Digital Marketing Plan with PPC
PPC ads can increase the success of your marketing efforts. But it can be overwhelming, especially now that you have decided to spend money on this portion of digital marketing. We want to help with a simple step by step guide to follow each time you approach a campaign.
In this guide you will learn best practices for setting goals, campaign organization, keyword selection, establishing a budget and more.

Simple steps for success.
Step 1
Set Specific Goals
Why do you want to do PPC advertising in the first place? One philosophy that I’ve found immeasurably useful when approaching all things digital marketing is having a narrow heavily defined focus.
Many times when I ask CEOs, managers or business owners “why do you want to do SEO, why do you want more likes on Facebook or why do you want to do PPC Ads?” I get answers like…” I need more site organic traffic or I want more followers.” This still doesn’t answer the question in a way that allows for success. Your answers to “why” needs to directly translate into a tangible business goal.
Goal example 1: Traffic “We want 300 additional site views over the next 30 days, for stronger brand recognition.”
Goal example 2: Leads “We want 200 additional leads for our sales team in the next 90 days.”
Goal example 3: Sales “We want to sell 160 additional sofas over the next 60 days.”
Step 2
Determine your budget

Essentially your PPC budget will be what you would like to spend over the course of 30 days based on a per day amount. For each campaign, decide what you would like to spend on a daily basis. Use Google analytics’ historical data to determine conversion rates. Then plug your numbers into the following formulas.
*If you do not know your conversion rates and average customer value due to lack of data, use your industry standard.
Estimated Click Worth Formula: Leads Based Goal
Estimated Click Worth Formula: Sales Based Goal
Traffic required formula: customers needed / conversion rate = traffic required to meet your goal
traffic required * Estimated Click Worth = total Estimated budget
Step 3
Select your Keywords

When determining keywords, you want to revisit our first rule. In an attempt to zero in on your target audience, use long-tail keywords that are narrowly defined and focused. An entire book can be written on how to choose keywords. To make this step easier keep in mind Google AdWords 5 match types and make good use of the keyword planner tool. Pay attention to each phrases estimated volume and value and compare to your budget and goals.

If your site focuses on a variety of keywords refer back to your narrowly defined goal. Using our sofa example here is a list of keywords.

A few Keyword best practices are:

1. Use the broad match type to start.
2. As you begin to collect data use the search terms report to identify keywords with high conversion rates and set those to exact match.
3. Negative keywords are words that seem relevant but drive irrelevant traffic.
4. Select about 5-20 keywords per campaign.
Step 4
Organize your Campaigns

One of the biggest challenges DIY PPC advertisers run into is organizing their account. If your account isn’t well organized, data can quickly become confusing, difficult to track and near impossible to analyze.

First you will have your campaign, which is essentially a goal. Within the campaign you will have ad groups. Ad groups are basically a grouping of related keywords. Your ad groups will break down into 2-3 Ads.

PPC Ad example organic traffic
You can also use your website setup as a guide for campaigns and ad groups. If your website sells computers and it’s broken down by desktops and laptops, then perhaps your campaigns would be desktop and laptops. Your Ad Groups would be Dell and HP. Your goals might be that you are trying to sell 60 more Dells and get rid of a few clearance HP computers.
Step 5
Write Your Ad Copy

There are four key factors to keep in mind when writing your ad copy; structure, character count, relevance and CTA. Below is an example of how all search PPC ads are structured. PPC for Google also has a few editorial rules concerning capitalization and odd punctuations. Remember to keep it natural and relevant. Highlight key opportunities like sales and free shipping.

PPC ad example organic traffic 
Step 6
Create Landing Pages: Simplicity

Don’t treat your landing page like an afterthought. It’s critical when Google calculates your AdWords quality score. Use images to get your point across and reiterate key selling features. Simplicity is very impactful. Make sure the clicker isn’t confused by what they should do next because they see several different messages. Go for one clear concise CTA. Your CTA that’s bold and clickable. Also make sure it allows the clicker to recognize your brand.
Step 7
Prepare to Monitor Your Campaigns
Google provides metrics and reporting that allows you to monitor the performance of your campaigns. Use these three basic guidelines to determine the success of your campaign and how to improve.
Conversation Rate: Increasing your conversion rate can directly impact meeting or exceeding your goal. If you see that the rates are low, start by testing different versions of your landing page. Perhaps certain images, keywords or buttons work better than others.
Cost Per Conversion: How much does it cost you to gain your end action? Revenue minus this determines your profit. So, lowering the cost per conversion allows you to gain more profit or spend more to increase conversions.
Quality Score: We’ve mentioned your quality score before. It directly impacts where your ad appears on the Google search page. To improve your position and lower your CPC, work on improving your quality score.
To drive traffic from sources beyond organic much planning needs to go into your PPC campaigns.

There is a lot more to be discussed with Google PPC AdWords. We hope this guide at least gets you moving in the right direction. By following these steps, you will be on your way to a very successful PPC campaign. Let us know if you’ve found our guide helpful or post any questions you have below in the comments.

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