PPC Strategy or Pay Per Click Strategy can be just as varied and complex as social media strategy, but just like social media strategy there are some basics that apply in most situations.
Just like any other strategy out there, when creating your PPC strategy you need to first set your goals. Do you want to raise the conversion rates of your current PPC ads? Do you want to get more sales? More clicks? What is it you’re trying to accomplish with your PPC campaign?
Much like social media PPC is just a way to get people to your site. The final conversion happens on your site so you need to have your site optimized. PPC and social media are actually much more related in their purpose and abilities than most people think, but that’s a topic for another post.
Whatever you’re strategy is will be defined by the goals. You will build your strategy based on them and your strategy will be supported by tactics. I’m going to use 2 sample goals here on established campaigns to briefly go over some possible strategies and tactics.
Increase conversion rate and lower bid cost
This is one of the most common goals that PPC strategy can stem from. It’s something that we all want when dealing with any kind of internet marketing, more people buying our stuff, signing up for the site, etc.
Increase conversion rate by 15% in 3 months
Conversion rate stems from customers finding what they are looking for and led to from the ad. Bid rate is based on the relevancy of the ads to the landing page, and popularity of the keyword. Converstion rate and bid cost are symptoms of the landing page, ad wording, and target keywords. Each need to be optimized and tested to discover the best combination resulting in more customer purchases, signups, etc.
So here strategy = campaign optimization
Landing page optimization – Make sure all of your basics are covered and remove any unnecessary distractions from this page. The landing page from your PPC ad has one purpose and one purpose only. Make a conversion (how ever you’re defining that).
- A/B testing – This is where you test different versions of your creative to find which one works the best.
- Check out Google Website Optimizer
- SEO – Make sure all of your SEO basics are taken care of so that when Google checks everything you get a good quality score on the site side of things.
- Ad copy testing – You should have multiple versions of your ads with slightly different wording to see which one catches peoples eyes the best.
- Optimization – Make sure the keywords you hit in your landing page are also covered in your ad copy. If they are vastly different Google will penalize you, however if it’s the same and Google see’s exactly what you tell them they will with the text of your ad it can help you get the lowest possible bid price.
Testing will help you determine what people are looking for and which ads catch their eyes the most. Structure and wording is everything
- Example: “Warning! Don’t buy TotallyAwesomeProduct until you visit this site.”
- It’s an ok ad, that tries to get people’s attention and get them to your site to buy the TotallyAwesomeProduct. However it could be even better by changing the verbiage.
- New Example: “Don’t buy TotallyAwesomeProduct until you read this (hurry before it sells out again!)”
- “Don’t buy TotallyAwesomeProduct until” – Presupposes they are planning on buying TotallyAwesomeProduct (which they should be because they were searching for it)
- Hurry before it sells out – presupposes it will sell out, and with some products that is a concern (even if it’s an artificial scarcity)
- Again – presupposes it’s happened before so it’s likely to do it again.
- Even better example: “Before you buy TotallyAwesomeProduct read this! (hurry before it sells out again!)”
- The reason is that starting the ad with “Don’t buy” can sometimes lead to people not buying.
Check your keyword density in the site copy to ensure the search engines are picking it up for the right words and that your ads have those keywords. Keyword density isn’t a huge deal in SEO, HOWEVER, it’s good to help you see other keyword opportunities and to understand how mush you’ve used your keywords on your landing pages.
- Optimization – Here we’re melding the optimization done in both the Landing Page and the Ad Copy. Do the keywords you’re focusing on make sense? Are they the right ones? Is everything worded properly?
- Tools – use online tools to help you determine what you should focus on and the optimization tactics will follow.
This is just an intro to PPC Strategy and isn’t the end all be all. Your strategy will ALWAYS stem from your goals and not the other way around. It’s the same for social media, SEO, email marketing, banner ads, etc. The strategy you create will be a direct result of the goals you set.
Do you have any tips, tricks, or advice on PPC strategy? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters
image by nolifebeforecoffee