Pay-per-click, or PPC, is one of the major digital advertising methods. Essentially, an advertiser creates an ad campaign through a service like Google AdWords that targets certain keywords to attract certain users. The user clicks, the advertiser pays a small fee, and then hopefully the user completes the desired action. Whether they do or not depends on a variety of factors.
If PPC is working correctly, the fee for each click becomes trivial, because the visit is worth more than what you pay for it. In other words, if you pay $2 for a click, but the click results in a $100 sale, then you’ve made a hefty profit.
But that if is a big one, and it’s what makes good PPC management so important.
While it may initially sound simple, building a winning PPC campaign requires a lot of upfront work. A good campaign targets exactly the viewers you want, so you’re only paying for clicks from well-targeted potential customers. Google and other search engines even reward you by charging you less per click if your campaign is intelligently designed and useful to users. PPC Management: Creating a Campaign
The best way to understand PPC management is to try it. So, let’s walk through a campaign piece by piece.
Here is an extremely simple example
Let’s say you’re selling custom made tables. Your tables cost $100. They’re made of reclaimed wood. They come in two shapes, rectangular and oval, and they come in three shades: oak, pine, and redwood. You have a website and you have ok sales, but you don’t have a shot of making it to the first page of the search results organically. So, you set yourself a budget of $180 dollars a month.
As you sit down at your keyboard, all of this knowledge swirling around your head. And then what?
WHAT NOT TO DO
Your instinct at this moment of “now what?” may be to simply throw together a campaign like this:
Headline: Tables for Sale
Text: I make great tables at a good price. Order your table today!
Cheers! You think to yourself as you click run on the campaign. But a month goes by and nothing has converted. You’re out $180 and you aren’t sure why.
Simply put, if it were that easy, everyone would make boatloads of money with Google AdWords. But not everyone does. PPC management is more complex than that, and it takes more skill. So where’d you go wrong?
Keywords are the word, words, or phrases you use to target customers. The best way to think of keywords (and everything else) is as a customer yourself. Keywords are the things you type into Google. Even “Is Brad Pitt still single” – or more like “Brad Pitt single still” – are keywords, although I’m not sure how you’d monetize those.
The volume, or number of people searching for your keywords each month, matters. But how well your keywords match the people who benefit from seeing your ad matters more. Your keywords must target. This is at the heart of PPC management
Copy is just the industry term for the actual words in your ads. What are you conveying with those words and how can you convey it better? You want to include the advantages of whatever it is you’re offering. What’s the thing that makes your widget better than other widgets. This is, again, all about knowing your audience.
Headline goes together closely with copy. What is the thing that will grab someone’s attention? Does it tell the person that you have what they’re looking for?
WHAT TO DO
Know your customer and be specific to them. Imagine you knew from your experience on your website that your tables sell really well to young, first-time homebuyers.
As an aside, maybe you even know that most of these individuals tend to live in or around certain major cities. You can localize your ads as well, but more on that in a different article, but I wanted to open your eyes to the possibilities. For now, let’s focus on the first-time home-buyers. The full PPC management toolkit is a big one.
You do your research, you talk to a few friends of yours who are young and buying a home. Then you reach out to some former customers. In the end, you find out that these people care about the environment. They want to purchase things for their new home that are unique, but not too expensive. Armed with that knowledge and the skills you learned from this article, you craft a new ad.
YOUR NEW AD
Title: Give Your New Home A Unique Touch
Keyword: [first home furniture]
Copy: Looking for the perfect piece for your first home? For just $99, you can have a coffee table custom-made entirely from reclaimed wood. I make these tables by…
This time you did a few things differently. People looking for a cheap table from a big box store won’t click on your link because your table is outside of what they want to spend. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the whole idea of a good ad is that you only play for real leads. They weren’t going to buy the table either way, but at least now you aren’t paying $2 to find that out.
The people that do click through didn’t balk at the price. And something about custom-made and reclaimed wood probably piqued their interest. Only 700 people a month (your keyword volume) search for “first home furniture”, but you believe most of those people are in a buying mood and that they’re looking for a product like yours. Good PPC management isn’t just about volume. 300 great clicks beat 30,000 ok clicks.
If your landing page is well-developed, which is an entirely different article, than your likelihood of finding people looking for what you’re selling is a lot better. This does two things. First, it makes conversion more like and second…
A NOTE ABOUT COST.
…it can make your ads cheaper. Google doesn’t want to show people irrelevant ads, so the more relevant you can make your ad, the more Google will reward you by charging you less per click. Most other PPC platforms are the same.
This month, you get 90 clicks, and you make 5 sales. That’s actually a decent conversion rate. More importantly, you’ve paid $180 to make $500. As your ad and landing page get better, your ads will cost less and generate more.
Unfortunately, this is just the basics of PPC. Good PPC management takes a lot of upfront effort. As easy as it is to be seduced by promises of easy money rolling in while you sleep, that doesn’t happen until your campaign has undergone hours and hours of work over the course of weeks or months. But it can be worth it! Not everyone has the time to learn and perfect this skill while also running their business. It’s one of the reasons we offer PPC management at Cameron Digital Consulting.
There are a lot of other factors and considerations that you should take into account to make your ads even better, and we’ll continue to explore them to help you get better over time. If you’re interested in our services or want to learn more, feel free to reach out to us.
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