How to Build Successful PPC Campaign

Pay per click (PPC) advertising, such as Google AdWords, is still one of the best ways to reach new customers, increase revenues and stay top-of-mind to retain customers. PPC can increase brand awareness by 80% as well as generating 80% more foot traffic into a local brick-and-mortar store. But as everyone embraces the power of the Internet and its meaning in our customers’ lives, running a successful PPC campaign is getting more difficult.

With the average cost per click (CPC) now around $3 and the average direct ROI a slim $2 for every $1 spent, simply setting up ads and then letting them run unattended no longer achieves results. For too many businesses, it ends up being a very costly mistake.

But by taking some important steps you can build a successful PPC campaign. Here’s how to get started. 

1. Optimise Your Website First

We can’t emphasise this enough! Starting a PPC campaign when your website is slow, hard to navigate, or appearing outdated is a complete waste of money. You pay for that click regardless of whether a person stays, buys or flees immediately. So put your best face forward to increase your chances of converting this traffic.

Don’t think your website is that big a deal? Kissmetrics reviewed the performance of 1000’s of sites and found that for every additional second it takes a page to load, you lose around 5% of your traffic. 

Run a free website speed test using a tool like Webpagetest, which allows you to check your speed from multiple devices around the world for free and gives you detailed analysis on what may be slowing your site down. 

Search Engine Optimisation focuses on speed and user-friendliness. So investing in SEO will prepare your website to get the most out of your PPC campaign. Plus, while PPC doesn’t directly improve your website ranking, it can generate repeat traffic that will contribute to your search engine optimisation efforts.

2. Design a Budget

When you think of PPC, cost per click is the first to come to mind. But a lot more goes into a successful PPC campaign. Plan ahead to realise the highest ROI.

Some budget elements to consider include:

  • Creating the ads, including variations for testing
  • Doing keyword and other research
  • Creating landing pages that align with your ad copy and are conversion rate optimised
  • Monitoring and optimising campaigns

Keep in mind, you’ll pay for each of these in either time or money. So make sure you have that time and/or money set aside before you begin.

The great thing about PPC is that when done right you can get great results with a limited budget. Start with as little as $10-$25/day in ad spend plus around two hours of labour a day and work your way up.

As you increase your budget, that time demand will also rise so make sure you have someone ready to take on that role when you outgrow PPC for beginners and start to see the real benefits of PPC.

How to Determine How Much to Spend on Ads

First, you’ll need to know some numbers. 

  • The average conversion rate on PPC is around 3.75% on text ads and .77% on display ads. This varies some by industry. Use your known conversion rate when possible but know that that rate may be lower with PPC because of the greater chance for misclicks.
  • What’s your average order value (AOV)? 
  • How much do you need/want PPC to increase your revenues?
  • What’s the average cost per click (CPC)? Since you haven’t launched your campaign yet, you’ll need to go with Google’s estimates found in the AdWords keyword planner.

Now, divide your anticipated revenue increase by the AOV. You now know how many conversions you need to generate those revenues.  

Next, divide the number of conversions by .037 (or your actual conversation rate). This is the number of clicks you’ll need to generate the desired revenues. Now, multiply your max cost per click (CPC) by this number. This is how much you’ll need to spend on ad clicks to generate those revenues. 

Is the number out of reach for your business? Don’t despair. Start small. It may just take a little longer to achieve your revenue goals than expected. But your success will build on itself. Consider working with a professional who will know the fastest and most cost-effective way to help you reach that goal.

SEO v PPC: Which is Better for Small Business

3. Choose Keywords Wisely

The keywords you choose can make or break your campaign. The ideal words for your campaign are:

  • Highly relevant
  • Well-aligned with your ad. You might choose a set of less relevant keywords as long as they align well with your ad and landing page to convert those clicks. 
  • 2-6 words long. You need a little length to show intent
  • Getting decent volume. Use a keyword tool like AdWords Keyword Planner to determine the estimated monthly volume.
  • Are used by your target customers
  • Lowest competition possible. Unless you have a large budget, you need to choose words you can reasonably compete for. Low competition words may not always be the most relevant. So you may need to select of combinations of Low/Medium/High competition

Google will constantly suggest that you add new words and broaden your campaign. But this is rarely in your best interest. They are just suggestions after all.

How to Use Negative Keywords

Don’t forget to track and add negative keywords as you become aware of them. Negative keywords are words that could be used with your chosen keyword in a search but change the meaning so that you know this is not a target.

For example, if you sell luxury retirement homes in Australia, you might use the keyword “retirement homes in Australia”. But you would not want to appear in the search of a person who searches for “Affordable retirement homes” or “Retirement homes in Singapore”. One word can completely change the meaning of the query. 

4. Select a Bidding Strategy

You have several to choose from. One of the most popular and effective among those new to PPC is manual bidding. It works well for people who have a limited budget and can’t afford to “accidentally” spend all of their money on an ineffectual strategy.

In this strategy, you’ll set a daily cap such as $50. When the money is spent, you will no longer bid on ad spots. As you become more familiar with PPC, move away from these caps. They do hinder your ability to optimise. Why? You appear in the first searches made during that time period, not the best ones.

Additionally, you should generally bid using “broad match” unless the keyword phrases you choose are very common. Combine this with your negative keyword strategy discussed above to show up in the best searches.

5. Retarget Visitors

You only have around a 4% chance to convert when someone clicks your ad, but that conversion rate goes up to 70% with retargeted ads. Retargeting ads can be run through AdWords or Facebook/Instagram and usually cost much less than regular ads. Retargeting is showing targeted ads to people who have already visited your website. 

This one-two punch can increase your conversions and revenues significantly.

6.  Test and Optimise Your Campaigns

When creating copy, you’ll have the opportunity to mix and match several headlines, benefits and CTAs. These should be well-aligned the keywords in that campaign. And the landing page should be a clear extension of that ad.

To this end, it’s important to test variations and analyse the results to see what works best. You want to know:

  • Which have the highest click-through-rate
  • Which have the highest conversion rate

Pay attention to the relevance of ads that perform poorly. Are they not well-aligned with the keywords, landing page or your target customer? What can you do to improve relevance. Make some adjustments and test again.

7. Understand the Impact of the Quality Score

Never let PPC campaigns run unattended because, over time, this will lower your Quality Score. The AdWords Quality Score impacts how much you pay for ads.A poor Quality Score could lead to AdWords charging you 400% more than your competitors, which is completely unsustainable. So it’s very worth your while to listen to what the numbers are telling you about how people respond to your ads and continually improve your PPC campaign.


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