One way of getting lots more visitors to your website is to use PPC. These are pay-per-click ads that target specific people who may be interested in what you’re selling.
You can set them up on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular sites, as well as Pinterest, Amazon, LinkedIn and many others.
The benefits of PPC ads for businesses are clear: you only pay when someone clicks on your ads, not when they just see them, and you can spend as little or as much as you want. Plus, there’s none of the wastage of traditional mass media advertising where you cast as wide an ad net as possible and hope to reach some people in your target audience.
And, unlike print and broadcast advertising, with PPC, you get reams of data about your ads and how they’re performing, allowing you to tweak them so that they’re more effective.
PPC analysis tools let you know with ease if you’re getting a return on your spend by comparing the cost of conversions with your budget.
It’s little wonder that businesses of all sizes have PPC ads running because they might struggle to get web traffic and online sales without them.
You can set up your own PPC ad campaigns and run them or have a digital marketing agency and their PPC department do it for you.
This is a preferable option for many companies who don’t have the time, knowledge or skilled personnel to run their PPC campaigns.
If you are doing it yourself, you first need to know how to create a PPC strategy that’s effective and works. We have some pointers for you.
How to Create a PPC Strategy That Gets Solid Results
Create Your Goals
A strategy is a plan of action, and you need a tangible, or measurable, end-point. There’s no point in devising a PPC strategy if you don’t really know what you want because how would you know your campaign is a success? So start by working out what you want from your PPC ads. It might be:
Getting more sales via your website.
Attracting more leads that turn into new customers.
Driving more people to a physical store.
Convincing higher numbers of visitors to take a desired action on your site, such as signing up for a newsletter (email capture for marketing purposes) or getting in touch.
Increasing corporate awareness or boosting the image of various brands.
PPC example: The first two results on this Google page are PPC text ads and marked as such so that visitors are aware they’re paid search results:
Define Your Audience
The next step in creating a PPC strategy that gets great results is to work out who, exactly, your audience is. You might have a general or vague idea, but you need to know all the details.
As a useful exercise, spend some time creating a buyer persona — the people who typically are your customers.
You’ll need to know the gender, age-range, and usual professions these people work in, and possibly their interests and spending ability patterns.
For guidance on how to define your target audience, read this blog post: How To Define Your Target Audience in 6 Quick Questions
You can use some online tools to help you figure out your buyer persona, and then you have a solid idea of who those people are. This allows you to effectively target your PPC ads to them and attract the right people to your website.
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Create Landing Pages
The most successful PPC strategies are based around landing pages, which are created to showcase specific products or services and are part of an overall website. There’s not much point in advertising a particular product but linking to your homepage in the ad — visitors might wonder why they ended up there as the product might not be visible, and they have to search for it.
So creating landing pages for your site with purchase, more information, or contact options on it will ensure you have as low a bounce rate as possible once you start your PPC campaign.
You’ll have higher levels of conversion because it’s clear that the page is linked to your ad copy. Ultimately, you’ll generate more sales from your PPC campaign and get a higher return on your investment.
Driving Conversions and Sales: This landing page from Lyft is simple yet effective.
Set Up Your Ads
Now that you’ve done the groundwork, it’s time to create your ads.
Which network you use might depend on your audience demographics: Facebook Ads might be better if your buyer persona is older, for instance, while Instagram Ads could be a better fit for younger people.
If you’ve never run PPC ads before, an excellent place to start is Google Ads, which like all the online advertising solutions, promises to help build your business:
You can set up an account with ease and experiment with different ad formats and copy, and set what budget you feel comfortable with.
Your ads can appear in Google search results as well as on YouTube, which Google owns, and across millions of websites that are part of the Google Display Network, which is mostly visual ads rather than the basic text ones that you see in search results.
Plus, you’re not tied into any contract and can stop any time you like, and you get lots of data about how your ads are performing.
Analyse Your Ads
Once your PPC ads are running, it’s definitely not a case of leaving them and forgetting about how they’re doing. You need to continually monitor and analyse your PPC ads for optimal performance because the platforms’ audiences can shift, more effective keyword targeting by your rivals might take some or all of your traffic away, and a myriad of other factors could see your ROI quickly diminish.
Using the reports generated by the ad networks you’re using, pay keen attention to the following metrics:
- The click-through rate: how many people are clicking on your ads, and is it going up or down?
- The cost per click: is there more competition for your target keywords and the cost of each click is going up? To get the best possible return on your spend, you want as low a CPC as possible.
- The conversion rate: how many people are clicking on your ads, arriving on your landing page and converting into leads or sales? If it’s low and falling, there may be something off about the page, and you may need to optimise it for higher conversions — a more compelling email capture form, for instance, or a time-limited offer or discount.
Ads Report: Google Ads clearly displays all the key PPC metrics you need.
Continually tweaking your PPC ads and optimising them and your landing page are the keys to a successful campaign that will get you results.
Expert PPC Advice from Exposure Ninja PPC Chief Lizzie Cross
“The main things to consider when putting together a PPC strategy for any business are how much you can afford to invest in initial ad spend and how much can you afford to pay per lead?
This will depend on your product/service profit margins. It’s important to calculate how much you can afford to pay per lead, so you can work out what sort of conversion rate you’d need to make the campaigns profitable for your business based on your available budget.”
Flexibility Is Key
Ideally, it’s best to be as flexible as possible with the budget, but it’s worth considering that you’re likely not to make a ROI from any small PPC campaigns for the first two or three months.
So it’s important to set an affordable budget that isn’t so low that the campaigns don’t have the necessary spend to create any traction.
Once you have an initial budget in mind, it’s crucial to assess the most suitable campaigns for your business — for example, a shopping campaign for eCommerce sales, display campaigns for building brand awareness.
Ideally, with any PPC strategy, you should be prepared to extend a good level of flexibility. Every business is different, and while some strategies will work well for certain businesses, you may find a very different result can be achieved with another, very similar business.
Give It Time
There’s likely to be lots of testing needed in the first six to eight weeks of setting up the live campaigns. It’s also important to ensure that you give any optimisations or set-ups ample time to collect the necessary data and kick in properly before making any significant changes.
There will be other hurdles you may need to prepare for as part of your strategy. For example, you may notice that the traffic seems valid, but the campaigns struggle to gain leads or convert.
This could be due to multiple issues, the main ones being: conversion tracking, problems with the overall purchase/lead funnel, and this can also be the actual CRO on the site/landing page.
Beginnings of ROI
All of these things will need to be addressed as part of your strategy so that you can give your PPC campaigns the best start possible.
We advise setting your initial PPC strategy out over three months, to begin with. This should give you enough time to test and find the most appropriate campaigns and make continual optimisations, which will allow you to gradually see a ROI from your PPC campaigns.
Want help with creating, running, monitoring and optimising a PPC ads campaign? Let the PPC experts at Exposure Ninja give you a big helping hand.