What does it take to achieve PPC success?
There are plenty of organizations who’ve devoted a large chunk of their budget to pay per click campaigns—and while a good chunk of those will achieve success, plenty will pour money into a pit by neglecting some of the basics.
There are some fundamental tips that can make your PPC dollars stretch further and supercharge your advertising reach. Here’s how you can make your campaigns effective.
1) Start Conservative
Especially when you’re just starting out, it can be easy to get overzealous. You have money in your pocket and a chance to bring in some fresh eyeballs—what’s not to like?
Well, for one, you don’t really know exactly what your clickthrough rates are. You probably aren’t completely aware of every key performance indicator you need to track, either.
If you dump a whole lot of money into a PPC campaign immediately instead of keeping a narrow budget, you could blow all your money in a day and have very little to show for it.
As you’ll probably find out when you start your campaign, it can be hard to tell up front how much each keyword will cost you. There’s plenty of experimenting to be done, and good PPC takes some tinkering to get right.
Don’t stumble out of the gate by biting off too much too early. Once you’ve had some success and built up some data (preferably after you’ve reached some benchmarks you’ve set for yourself), you can start planning bigger.
2) Don’t Oversell Yourself
Remember when Groupon was first becoming popular and a lot of small businesses were jumping on board? There was a small crop of horror stories that came out of those first few years, like this one of a neighborhood bakery having to make 102,000 cupcakes at a loss—because their product became so popular overnight that they were overwhelmed.
You can do the same thing with a PPC campaign.
Take stock first and figure out the amount of demand you can handle. If you’re selling something that doesn’t really suffer from high demand, go wild. If you’re getting a four to one return on your advertising dollars it won’t affect you.
However, if you’re selling a product or service that’s time-consuming, factor that in to your PPC campaigns. Stay on top of them and monitor them to make sure your demand doesn’t outpace your supply. It’s a good problem to have, but you might have to slow down or stop a campaign occasionally to keep abreast of things.
3) Focus On Your Outliers
As your number of campaigns goes up, you’ll have more to keep track of. It can be hard to figure out what to focus on first.
The answer is simple: focus on the outliers.
Once you get a few campaigns going, it’ll be obvious which ones are doing well and which are just not cutting it. Your good campaigns are worth plowing more resources into—try increasing bids and pumping more money into them and you might see even better results.
On the other end of the spectrum, try a few different things to see if you can get more performance out of your worst-performing campaigns. Sometimes fresh creative direction or a change in keywords or audience can make a bad campaign into a great one.
If it doesn’t work, feel free to cut it. Prioritize your best and your worst, and let the middle take care of itself till you have the time to get to it.
4) Use the Power of Remarketing
Remarketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal, particularly Google’s RLSA.
Simply put, remarketing is just keeping contact with people who’ve come in contact with your business, and with your newfound PPC budget, you’ve got the tools in hand to make the most of it.
Once you’ve started generating some traffic through PPC campaigns, you can use remarketing to touch those customers again. It usually takes multiple points of contact with a potential customer before you actually make a sale, so the more you can get in front of them, the more likely that you’ll increase your conversions.
Google allows several different remarketing options, including customized bids for people who’ve visited your site before or adjusted keywords that let you reach a different segment of their searches. Take advantage.
5) Measure, Measure, and Measure Again
PPC allows for a dizzying number of metrics, and you need to keep track of them closely and constantly if you’re going to be effective. Some of the most common metrics include impressions, clicks, costs, conversions, cost per conversion, ad performance and keyword performance.
You’ll want to measure these against each other from month to month so you can keep an eye on trends—and decide which of these will be your key performance indicators (KPIs). To quote the famous axiom of carpenters everywhere, “measure twice, cut once”. Save yourself time and money.
6) Don’t Dump Money Into PPC to Cover Bad SEO
Especially for startups, the urgency of showing results now can be an easy pitfall.
Search engine optimization is long-term and unglamorous. PPC can get you results now—but is it worth it? Count the cost first and figure out what the most effective use of your resources is.
Maybe it is worth paying for a keyword you don’t rank in. Just don’t use it as an excuse to ignore the long-term strategy that will help you build organic results.
PPC is a powerful tool when used effectively, and if you have a good budget for it and are willing to stay on top of your campaigns, you’ll be able to leverage it to supercharge your business. Use these tips to make sure you’re ahead of the game.