As experts in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online advertising (Google, Yahoo, Bing), one of our specialties is to create and manage advertising campaigns for our clients. Most of these campaigns use a pay-per-click system (PPC = pay-per-click), this means you pay only if a visitor clicks on your ad. In this article we will explain the different steps we put in place when creating and managing a PPC campaign.
The basic principles for running your PPC campaigns
Whether we launch one or more campaigns, each one must have a single overall goal. Before considering a PPC campaign, ask yourself the following questions: What is the goal of this campaign? What do I want to achieve? For example, your goal may be to target a new audience, sell more products, increase the number of subscriptions to your newsletter or generate more leads.
To answer the question “why do you want to launch a PPC campaign? “, most clients respond “to increase visits to my website”. This answer is obviously incomplete, as you do not invest several thousand Dollars/Euros in a PPC campaign to simply increase your visits. You need to think about the actions you want your visitors to accomplish once they arrive on your site. This step is crucial as it will determine how we will organize your various campaigns, how we write your ads, choose your broadcast medium, keywords and how we build your landing page.
The most effective ways to organize your PPC campaigns
As explained above, the purpose of your campaign will influence how we organize it. Here are the most common organizational scenarios:
♣ By theme or product range: for example coffee, tea, hot chocolate / entry-level, mid-range, high-end products. Depending on the return on investment of each of the products you sell, we can adjust the bid strategy on the corresponding keywords.
♣ Depending on the structure of your website: for example, by category (purchases, information, registrations, etc.) and if you wish to control all stages of the buying cycle for your future customers.
♣ By brand (X, Y and Z): your brands surely have different customer bases, pricing systems, and different images. The way in which we communicate about each of these brands must therefore be adapted.
♣ Geographic location: our clients often want to extend or restrict their campaign to one or more specific regions. If your area of coverage concerns only certain regions and your profits are concentrated largely in a particular region, it is customary to adjust the allocated budget accordingly.
♣ By language: If you decide to launch an international campaign, language-based organization will ensure that the language of each ad, keyword, and landing page matches the target country.
♣ Broadcast preference: you can choose to show your ads only on search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), on the partner sites of their display network, or both simultaneously. The display network corresponds to all the websites that have agreed to receive advertising content and have been approved by the search engine.
♣ According to your allocated budget: as explained above, depending on your product range or your area of coverage, you can choose to allocate specific budget amounts. We can organize your campaigns according to the budget you wish to spend.
Keyword selection for your PPC campaigns
To run an effective ad campaign we are going to need to compile a list of keywords that are commonly typed by Internet users when searching for your product. Remember that people who search for you do not all have the same level of knowledge and may not know that your products/services meet their needs. It is therefore necessary to use a mix of specific as well as general keywords words so that Internet users can find you easily.
For example, if you sell all types of auto parts, it is of course advisable to list all of your products, but don’t limit yourself to keywords such as “B2FS34 air filter” or “G3N6 strap” because your customers may not know what kind of part they need. Do not forget more general keywords such as “car air filter”, “timing belt” etc.
Do note: As a rule, Internet users want to get straight to the point; they type in a keyword and want to arrive on a page that perfectly corresponds to their search. The landing page of your ads must therefore relate directly to keywords you choose. The more the chosen keywords relate to your landing page, the higher the quality level of the ads will be (= quality score) and the lower the cost per click rate will be. It is therefore the responsibility of your campaign manager to ensure that the keywords chosen are consistent with your intended goal.
Our experience has taught us that the keywords that perform best are usually two or three word ones. Make sure to put yourself in your visitor’s shoes as they are the ones who will actually carry out the keyword based searches; also make sure to list all possible scenarios your visitors may encounter. It is worth mentioning that you can also use the Google Keywords Planner tool located in the “Tools and Analytics/Keyword Planning Tool” section on your Google Adwords account. Watch out, as this tool is not enough an end to all your questions… you need to use common sense, and draw upon your experience and knowledge of your target audience to discover the keywords that are likely to be searched.
Keyword matching options
When selecting your keywords, five options are available (on Google) to decide when and how your ads will be shown.
♦ Broad match (default): This correspondence includes exact keywords, related queries (synonyms), and misspelled words. The goal is to reach the widest possible audience. The negative point of this type of correspondence is the acquisition cost, which is not always optimal.
♦ Broad match modifier: This matching option is intended for the most experience ad campaign managers. Technically, it is a question of adding the + sign in front of each word. This allows selected keywords to appear in any order.
♦ Phrase match: This allows you to target your audience more precisely by avoiding appearing on related queries. For example, if your exact phrase keyword is “hats for women,” your ads will not appear if a customer searches for ” hats for tall women” in Google. However, words may be added before or after the expression. So your ad will be be shown if a customer writes “green hats for women” or “cheap hats for women”.
♦ Exact match: This allows you to target your audience even further, meaning that no additions will be made to your keywords. Like this you will need to think about all possible scenarios because Google will stick to the keywords you’ve chosen.
♦ Negative match: You may not want your ads to appear for given queries. If we take our example of hats for women, you can exclude the keyword “green hats for women” if you do not sell green women’s hats.
Note: After some time, you will need to analyze your chosen keywords to know the ones actually used by Internet users and look at the best click and conversion rates in order to modify your campaign accordingly.
The landing page choice for your PPC campaigns
As explained above, your landing pages will have a strong impact on the quality of your ads, your PPC (pay-per-click), and your conversion rate (the ratio of the total number clicks obtained in relation to the number of clicks that lead visitors to performed a desired action). If you set up a PPC campaign in order to sell a particular product, the worst mistake would be to redirect your visitors to your homepage and to let them find the product they are looking for themselves. Most of the time, we advise our clients to create a specific page on which visitors will find the information they are looking for so that they can most easily perform the action you want from them.
Be aware that it is also possible to carry out an A/B test, which is to propose several variants of the same marketing strategy, which differ according to a single criterion (for example, the color of a packaging) in order to determine which version gives the best results to consumers. This technique is particularly used by online communication strategies as you can test several versions of the same webpage, the same email or an advertising banner in order to choose the one that is the most effective. You can then choose to use the best results on a lager scale.
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