PPC Campaign Checklist

PPC campaigns are an effective digital marketing strategy to advertise your business, service, or product on major search engines. PPC refers to “pay-per-click”, meaning advertisers pay a sum of money each time an ad is clicked. This means you’re only really paying for your advertisement when it’s actively being used. PPC marketing is often used to supplement any lack in organic traffic, driving potential clients to your site in hopes of converting their click into a sale. In order to set up an effective PPC campaign with a high conversion rate, there are a few steps you should follow. 

Develop a Strategy and Set Goals

Before launching your PPC campaign, it is important to outline what you want to get out of it. Identifying your goals and developing a campaign strategy is key to ensuring that your campaign is successful. Your campaign goals can range from wanting a certain number of visitors to your site per month to a specific number of form-fills. Whatever your key objectives may be, having clear intentions can help you set up a roadmap with specific steps to achieve them. 

When it comes to strategy, a few variables to consider are audience demographics and platforms. When building an effective campaign, consider your prospective customer base as a whole. Who are they? What do they respond to? This is critical in selecting the right messaging for the highest chance of conversions. The platforms you’ll choose to push your PPC campaign will be directly influenced by your audience profiling. Each platform has specific demographics that can help you avoid spending time and money targeting the wrong group. 

Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research, or lack thereof, can make or break your PPC campaign. Conducting thorough keyword research is essential to reaching your target audience and achieving your established goals. Because PPC marketing uses major search engines, like Google, to display their ads, it is important the content you develop matches commonly searched keywords. Conducting keyword research means using online applications or marketing software to identify which of the most commonly searched keywords overlap with your services and messaging. 

A few things to remember, choose keywords that are actually relevant and organically apply to your business. You want your ads to directly answer or supplement a user’s google search. If you simply try to reach as many high-ranking keywords as you can, without considering their relevance to your product or service, you may end up spending a lot of money with little to no conversions. Additionally, from a cost perspective, aim for long-tail keywords over short-tail ones. Long-tail keywords refer to longer, more specific keyword clusters as opposed to shorter, more general ones. Short-tail keywords are much more competitive and in turn, are more expensive to target. 

Create Optimized Landing Pages

Your landing page is the first thing a potential customer will see after clicking on your ad, thus it should be eye-catching, relevant, and conversion-driving. Optimizing your landing page means offering relevant information associated with the searched keyword, having a call to action, and ensuring that it loads quickly and effectively on desktop and mobile devices. Poorly designed landing pages can result in little audience retention and wasted money. Because you are paying for every click on your ad, you want to ensure that your landing page is compelling enough to retain the attention of the user and hopefully result in a conversion.

As aforementioned, your landing pages should be optimized for all devices. This means that the page should load quickly and clearly on desktop and especially mobile. Recent statistics show that over half of web traffic happens on mobile phones, and half of those searches are abandoned if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load. Ideally, you should aim for a 1-2 second load time. 

Bidding Strategy and Setting a Budget

PPC campaigns are generally chosen because they can be rather cost-effective when compared to other marketing strategies. However, mishandling your budget and not doing adequate bidding research can run you dry without any results to show for it. The two main options for bidding are manual and automated. When selecting a bidding strategy, consider your budget, your experience in running PPC campaigns, and the goals you established early on. Manual lets you set up a limit to your cost per click, giving you more control over the money you spend. This is best if you’re new to PPC. Automated is more time-effective in that you don’t need to constantly be monitoring and manually managing your campaign. But you don’t have as much control over what you spend because the campaign will adjust on its own. 

When setting your budget, there are a variety of ways to go about it. One of the benefits of PPC marketing is that you can make an impact without spending a ton of money, some say as little as $25. Ultimately, you’ll want to decide how much of the profit you make per conversion can be sacrificed while still making your campaign worthwhile. If you need a place to start, many PPC experts recommend this rule-of-thumb formula: potential volume of clicks x average CPC (cost-per-click) = potential ad spend. 

Create a Compelling Ad

The effectiveness of your ad will ultimately determine whether or not a potential customer converts or not. While half of PPC strategy lies in determining your audience and budgets, the other half rests in how your ad performs when a user is looking at it. You’ll want your ad content to focus on the value asset that your product or service provides, this boils down to the unique placement you have in your industry when compared to your competitors. The next step is to tailor your advertisement to your target demographic. While it may seem like the broader the better, studies show that audience-specific messaging is more successful. Be sure to include all your relevant keywords in these ads. You want your advertisement to be directly related to what is searched in google. If you’re selling running socks, you want to come up with searches related to “running clothing”, not searches related to “how to get in shape for running”. 

Set Up Conversion Tracking

Not all marketing efforts produce immediate results, so it is easy to get discouraged when you feel like nothing is working. The best way to see your success and the effect your ads are having is to track your progress. Setting up conversion tracking is not only an effective way to measure how your campaign is doing and where you need to adjust your efforts but it also shows you the difference between your starting point and now. There are a few different ways to set up conversion tracking, but one of the most common is through Google Analytics. Google Analytics houses a lot of relevant information about your campaign including average time spent on the page, sessions duration, and bounce rate.

Additionally, this platform can help you track the effectiveness of certain modifications that you may make to your ads and landing pages. Let’s say you decide to add a form-fill or more videos and images, Google Analytics can show you how these modifications are positively or negatively impacting your success. PPC campaigns involve a lot of testing and trying out new methods before finding what works great. It’s important to track your growth so over time you can get a better idea of what to keep or change for future campaigns.

Achieve PPC Success With Epic

An effective and successful PPC campaign can make a major difference in your company’s growth and user conversion. That’s why it’s important to hire a group of experienced marketers to help you strategize and build out a campaign that is unique to your product or service. For nearly 16 years our team at Epic Marketing has been tackling digital marketing campaigns, including PPC, conducting thorough research, and developing strategies that are uniquely built for success. If you’re looking to start new or upgrade your digital ads, give us a call today.

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