Danielle St. Cyr
How-to Guide for Getting Started with PPC
So, you’ve decided you want to dip your toe into the pay-per-click (PPC) waters…what’s next? PPC can seem incredibly overwhelming and hard to quantify at first, but don’t despair – it’s actually not too hard to get your company started on the right foot. If you follow this simple how-to guide, you’ll be well on your way to positive ROI!
Step 1: Define your goals
If it seems like we at Biorach Marketing are always pushing for this, it’s because we are, and it’s one of the only ways you’ll know if any of your efforts have been successful. Are you having trouble ranking organically? Do you want brand recognition? Would you really like more email signups or orders? Each of these will impact the way you create your ads, the language you use, and even your Call-to-Action (CTA).
Step 2: Make sure your site is ready
This is the downfall of many a SMB who gets into the PPC game. They create exciting ads that get clicks, but then the landing pages that a potential customer clicks onto are not optimized, messaging is unclear, or the page doesn’t directly correlate with the stated goals. Landing pages are just as important as the ad itself, and absolutely impact the effectiveness of your ads. Take some time with your landing pages to make sure that only relevant information is listed, and there is an obvious CTA. It’s important that your landing page mimics the overall look and feel of your site (read: header, footer, and colors), but don’t feel constrained by the exact layout on other pages. Remember, the point is to drive people to take a specific action.
Step 3: Research
This may be the most important part of PPC. In order to create effective ads that produce ROI, you have to understand not only what your audience is searching for, but the words and phrases that they are using to search. Think about what a potential customer might use to search for your product or service. Sometimes it’s helpful to do a few of these searches and variations of them yourself and look at the results. What (and who) pops up on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)? Are your competitors there? What CTAs are they using? Are there many competitors or just a few? All of this information will be helpful when it comes time to actually write your ad copy and your CTAs. You want to find out what people need and then give it to them with your ads.
Step 4: Dive in
Using the keywords you have just discovered, set up a few ad groups and monitor them closely. You want to be looking at Cost-Per-Click (CPC: the amount you will be charged each time someone clicks on your ad), the Quality Score (QS: the number between 1-10 assigned to each of your keywords; higher is better and will help your CPC go down and your changes of ranking go up), and most importantly, Cost-Per-Conversion (the amount you have paid for advertising, or Ad Spend, divided by the number of conversions). These need to be monitored every day, preferably several times a day, to make sure you are not wasting your money. Bids and keywords should be constantly adjusted based on the results that you are getting from the ads.
It is absolutely possible to manage your PPC strategy inhouse – if you have the time, money, and the right person for it. If you’d rather have an experienced professional manage your PPC efforts, we are just the agency for you. Contact us so that we can discuss strategy and find out if PPC makes sense for your company!