6 practices for PPC perfection

A pay per click (PPC) campaign is a great way to get your business noticed among your customer base, drive traffic to your website and most importantly generate solid sales leads.

The classic anecdote of a £12 million air conditioning contract win converted from a few pennies spent on a Google ad is a story rolled out very often by the ecommerce brigade. This sort of return on investment is fairly rare but there is no question that a targeted PPC campaign should be considered as part of your marketing activity.

So how do you go about creating a successful campaign? We?ve put together a simple six step plan to put you on the path to PPC success.

1. Identify

The first step is to identify your goals – which pages on your website would you like your audience to engage with and what do you want them to do. Do you want to drive newsletter signups, encourage downloads of an industry guide or simply get people to pick up the phone?

Once you know what you want to achieve you should start developing a list of phrases and keywords that you believe your audience will type into search engines when looking for your offering.

It is important to think about long-tail keywords (three words or more) as visitors are more likely to use them when they’re closer to a purchase. They can be counter-intuitive as they will target a lower search volume but will provide better results.

For example if you sell camping equipment, it is unlikely that your audience is going to search simply for ‘tents’. But if you specialise in high performance equipment then keywords like ‘High performance mountain tent’ will more reliably find consumers looking for that product.

2. Research

Before starting the campaign do a bit of research and test your search terms. Google Adwords has a tool that allows you to find out the search volumes for your phrases – this should be your first port of call as building a webpage and putting budget against an unused keyword is simply a waste of resource.

If you’re selling to other businesses, there?s nothing wrong with asking your current customers, especially those you have a good relationship with, what they would search for when looking for a supplier.

3. Set targets

Having a good idea of what success looks like is important. If this is your first foray into PPC then it may be better to view the first few months as a test or learning phase that forms the foundation of the ongoing campaign and guides your future targets.

Your targets are up to you, but they could include increases in web traffic, specifying a number of sales leads generated from the campaign or an uplift in online purchases. It is important to ambitious but realistic.

4. Budget

Setting your budget can be a challenge if you?re new to PPC. Once you have targets in mind and know what each click is going to cost, this will give you a sense of the budget required. This can be anything from £10 to £10,000 depending on the nature of your business and audience.

5. Monitor

Monitoring the effectiveness of each of your keywords is vital. This isn’t limited to checking the number of clicks a PPC ad gets, but ensuring that the advert is delivering your end goal.

If one of your ads is only clicked 10 times, but each of those visits results in a solid sales lead or purchase, then this ad is working more effectively than one that is clicked a thousand times but results in no leads at all.

6. Amend

Finally, don’t let your campaign stagnate, make sure that the keywords are delivering consistently and make changes accordingly.

If one of your ads isn’t working – pause it. If there is a general decline in the number of clicks – review and change your keywords. If one search term is proving to be very successful then put more budget against it.

A well thought out and effectively delivered PPC campaign can deliver exceptional results for your business.

Pelican Communications are specialists in the environmentfood and drinkoutdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people developmentContact us for marketing and communications expertise.