PPC marketing is perhaps one of the most popular online advertising models in the world. No other form of advertising allows you to drive instant traffic that is both targeted and highly relevant to your landing pages.
Even for a brand new website.
PPC advertising simply cannot be taken lightly. And there is a reason why some of the largest corporations in the world include it in their marketing budgets.
It allows businesses to:
- Instantly reach a worldwide audience
- Target local regions
- Split test ad copy
- Drive targeted traffic
- Set marketing budgets
- Sell more products
- Test new offers
- Increase subscribers
- Track conversions
And much more.
For more companies, PPC is often synonymous with Google Adwords. It’s not hard to see why as Google commands a significant majority of the online search market. Other PPC advertising platforms exist including Yahoo! Search Marketing, Bing Ads and Facebook Advertising.
But it makes sense to be where the traffic is.
Total spending on advertising for Google AdWords amounted to $42.50 billion in 2012 alone. The figures are significant and are only going to continue to rise.
It’s clear that marketing PPC campaigns are highly effective but what about other methods?
SEO: Search engine optimisation is the practice of increasing a website’s rankings in the search results for certain keywords. But it often takes weeks, if not months for a measurable ROI to be evident.
Social media: Marketing on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are highly effective at building brand awareness and increasing reach. The only downside is that a strategy takes time to fully implement and see results.
Blogging: Blogging is one of the most effective ways to attract targeted traffic by providing exceptional content that gets shared and indexed by the search engines. But creating engaging content requires continuous effort to be successful.
This is not to say these methods should be thrown out. In fact, a holistic marketing approach that incorporates all of them is necessary to succeed online today.
Whether you own a business or simply want to test new ideas, you can literally get started with the AdWords marketing program in less than an hour.
And that’s also part of the problem.
Without the right knowledge or sales funnel in place, your campaign is essentially doomed to fail from the start. Setting up a PPC marketing campaign is easy. But creating a profitable campaign is an entirely different story, something which most eager business owners neglect to acknowledge.
6 Steps to Creating a Profitable AdWords Campaign
Creating a profitable AdWords campaign can be broken down into the following six steps.
2. Keyword Research
4. Landing Pages
5. Conversions & Tracking
Careful planning is absolutely crucial for a campaign to succeed. But most business owners simply jump in without doing their due diligence. The following are more details from each step to get you started on the right track.
Advertising on AdWords can help you reach your business objectives faster but clear goals need to be set. They can include:
- Selling more products
- Generating leads
- Building followers on social media
- Increasing subscribers to a newsletter
- Raising awareness for a event
- Asking for a donation for a charity
There are numerous other options and these are some of the ways that people use Google AdWords for. Setting objectives lays a solid foundation for your PPC marketing campaign.
This step cannot be taken lightly.
2. Keyword Research
The Google AdWords program is driven by keywords. Users type in a search query and relevant results are returned based on a complex algorithm.
The top and side portions of the results are where the ads are displayed and are only triggered for bidded keywords. You only pay each time the ad is clicked on, allowing you to carefully track the results over time.
One of the biggest misconceptions about advertising on AdWords is that advertisers can bid their way to the top positions.
This is not true.
And it makes sense when you consider that Google aims to deliver the most relevant results in its search engines. And it holds true for the ads.
A user searching for “PPC services in Perth” is looking for something specific. And advertisements that display “SEO Marketing in Perth” are less likely to appeal to that user.
And Google knows this.
The AdWords program actually rewards advertisers with higher position the more relevant their campaigns are. This is done using a variety of metrics including click through rate (CTR), quality score and overall relevance.
Which is why initial keyword research is so important.
Highly relevant ads increase CTR which then result in higher ranking positions and more likely a conversion will take place. But ads which are not relevant to the search are likely to be ignored or be a complete waste of marketing dollars.
Fortunately, Google provides an easy to use tool for keyword research, absolutely invaluable for creating a PPC campaign. Enter a keyword related to your business and it returns results on competition levels, suggestions for related keywords, and global and local monthly traffic figures.
Bidding on every single keyword may seem like a good idea to maximise traffic but doing so will only result in poorly optimised ad groups.
Every keyword has different intentions behind it. Some are more valuable than others.
Buying keywords: The intent behind searches such as “buy Canon cameras” or “dentist in Perth” are clear. The searcher is looking for something specific and wants to make a purchase.
Information keywords: Keyword phrases such as “how to build a website” or “increase business leads online” are examples of information type keywords. The searcher is still in the research phase but could end up making a purchase if those needs are met.
Local keywords: Consumers are increasingly turning to search to find local destinations such as restaurants or certain businesses. AdWords allows advertisers to target specific areas, perfect for local companies that want to attract more business.
Keyword research is essential to identify keywords your target audience is searching for. Even a cleverly crafted ad or well designed landing pages will fail to convert without the proper research.
The next step is to set up the PPC campaign.
3. AdWords Set Up
The more thorough your initial keyword research, the easier it becomes to build a profitable PPC campaign by:
- Creating focused ad groups
- Crafting powerful ad copy
- Matching ad groups to the right landing pages
- Identifying negatives keywords to use
Relevance at every step of the way is absolutely important not only for better conversions but for higher positions. Setting up a new campaign can be overwhelming the first time but gets easier once you start on your own.
After creating an AdWords account, Google makes it easy for you to get started once you sign in:
Start by clicking the Create your first campaign button and you will be taken to the following page:
The campaign page is broken down into the following sections:
The campaign name and which networks to display ads on can be set here.
More details about the Google Search Network are shared here. Be sure to carefully review each option as it is set to Search & Display Networks by default.
Desktops & laptops, mobile devices and tablets
Advertisers can choose to specifically target ads to display on desktop or laptop devices. Ads can also be targeted towards users of mobile devices, a great option for local businesses.
Creating ads that will appear in America makes absolutely no sense if your primary business services a local area in Australia.
Bidding and budget
This offers advertisers a lot of flexibility in terms of their marketing budget and how much they want to spend.
A new AdWords feature that allows advertisers the opportunity to include additional information to their ads such as address, phone number or special offers.
Really take the time to fully understand these sections as a single mistake could cause a lot of confusion later on. These settings can always be changed later on.
Once everything is set, click Save and continue. The next step is to create an ad group:
Crafting ad copy that sells is difficult. And what makes it even harder are the limitations. For each line, Google only allows:
- 25 characters in the Headline box
- 35 characters in the Description line 1 box
- 35 characters in the Description line 2 box
- 35 characters in the Display URL box
You have a very limited amount of space to capture the attention of researchers, so use this space wisely.
After creating an ad, the next step is to insert your list of keywords. The reason keyword research is so important is because that research will be used to form relevant ad groups. Ad groups allow you to further optimise your campaigns.
A page that sells outdoor fire pits might target the following keywords:
- outdoor fire pits
- fire pits for sale
- outdoor fire pit for sale
- buy outdoor fire pits
The following words might be relevant but are probably better left for another ad group:
- diy outdoor fire pit
- outdoor fire pit designs
- build outdoor fire pit
After creating your ad, it gets displayed in real time to you can accurately see how it looks:
Once the ad is finally created, click on Save and continue to billing or Set up billing later.
This is perhaps the most important page of your AdWords account. This is where all details related to your campaign can be viewed and changed as needed.
But before your ads go live, another crucial aspect that will determine the success of your campaigns are your landing pages.
4. Landing Pages
Your job is far from over even when a campaign goes live. Landing pages are what visitors see after clicking through to your offer. These pages are equally important to the actual ad so they need to be carefully designed to maximize conversions. If your page looks like this:
You can bet that visitors will leave immediately. The page is too cluttered and overwhelming. You only have a few seconds to make an impression, so make it count.
Effective landing pages that convert:
- Offers a Unique Value Proposition (UVP) that instantly grabs the attention of a visitor
- Communicates in a clear way that defines the offer
- Has a clear Call to Action (CTA) of steps for visitors to take
- Builds trust through strategic branding
- Provides an incentive for users to follow through
- Details all the facts about the offer
- Are well designed and pleasing to the idea
Landing pages do not necessarily need all of these together but become more potent with a combination of these factors. The following from Square is a good example of a highly effective landing page that demonstrates in a clear manner how visitors benefit and what steps to take next:
Each ad group consists of its own set of keywords and should also have its own landing page. An ad group that focuses on “PPC marketing in Perth” would fail to convert if that landing page is optimised for “SEO services in Perth”.
The two are related in that they focus on aspects of online marketing but the intent between them are different. Keyword research is done, ads are created and landing pages are in place.
The next step is to track your campaigns.
5. Conversions and Tracking
PPC marketing campaigns are measured by how much traffic they generate and number of conversions that take place. Tracking this data allows you to know which:
- Keywords are profitable or unprofitable
- Ad groups are performing the best
- Ads have the highest CTR
And more. But it also allows you to carefully track your budget and conversions.
How it works
To tracking your campaigns you need to first add a piece of code to a page that signals a conversion has taken place. This could either be a “Thank You” page after purchasing an item or a page that visitors see after subscribing to a newsletter.
To get started, click Conversions under Tools and Analysis:
The following pages then describe how to get your tracking code to put onto your pages. You can then be able to track the results of your campaign in real time.
Which sets the stage for optimisation.
AdWords campaigns must be constantly tested and optimised to increase conversions. The standard for optimising is through A/B testing, which compares the results of ads with different variations. These variations can include changes to the:
- Body text
- Displayed URL
- Keywords used
The whole objective is to see what changes works result deliver a more positive response. An ad that highlights a special deal may outperform an ad that doesn’t. But would never know without actually testing it. The following are best practices to follow to optimise a campaign.
Only test one change at a time
Comparing two ads with multiple changes will make it practically impossible to identify exactly which one had the most impact. This can be as simple as changing the headline and measuring the results. Or it could be slightly changing the wording in the description lines.
Most business owners are eager to get started with their own AdWords campaign but often fail to set up proper optimisation strategies from the beginning. Optimising campaigns requires a significant amount of effort but just a one percent increase in conversions can make a tremendous impact.
Focus on the data
Numbers do not lie. If an A/B test reveals that a certain headline increases click through rates to the landing page, then it’s clear that headline is a winner. But sufficient data also needs to be collected so results can be accurately assessed.
Never stop testing
An increase in conversions is a huge win but there is still plenty of work to do. Advertising on AdWords means that campaigns must be constantly optimised and tested for results. And it also means that all the details need to be carefully analysed.
Even landing pages can be tested against each other from headline changes to a new design. Creating an effective PPC campaign that converts requires consistent effort to be successful. Advertising on AdWords is no guarantee that conversions will take place.
Which is why constantly optimising campaigns are so important for results. But managing everything can be a challenge, especially if you are a small business owner.
And we have the perfect solution.
At Smart R.O.I. we specialise in delivering comprehensive online marketing services. One of which includes setting up and managing AdWords campaigns for you, so you can focus on growing your business.
We recommend a holistic approach that encompasses Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) and Analytics to tie everything together.
The result is a powerful marketing campaign that delivers bottom line results to your business. We also offer these marketing solutions as standalone services.
Contact our team today to get started and we will build a marketing campaign to fit the objectives of your company.