The most important thing to do when planning a PPC campaign is to clearly define your company’s goals for the campaign/s, whether that be to increase subscribers, rise sales or even to create brand awareness. It is important to know what you’re expecting to get out of PPC campaign to be able to create a clear aim and direction to work towards as a team. Another important factor is to choose a search engine to run the PPC on, the most popular choice is using Google Adwords as it is the most popular search engine and widely used. Other less used or less popular search engines are also available and so are other platforms such as Facebook and Linkedin, it is worth noting that running a campaign on these options may be considerably cheaper than running one on engines such as Google and Bing. When choosing a platform it is also wise to consider the habits of your audience, and their browser of choice, depending on your goal or capabilities, their favourite device may also be wise to consider.
Once you know what direction your expect your campaign to take, it is then time to consider the creation of your budget. Pay per click can get out of hand due to its unpredictable nature, as it is in the name that you pay per click. So it is wise to set an overall daily or monthly budget you are willing to spend on your advertising. It is good to keep this budget within your usual marketing budget if applicable and to begin with at least, make it an amount that the company can give into the campaign without any immediate ROI being expected to avoid a disadvantage to company funds. Doing so will ensure the amount is sustainable, and that the company will be able to account for not making a profit straight off the bat, or at all if the campaign doesn’t end up as successful as originally planned due to unknown factors.
With all the base plans and budgeting out the way, the content for the actual keyword part of the campaign needs to be created. List keywords based that are appropriate not only to your company but also your overall goal and make them as specific as possible. Keeping keywords specific will increase the chance of them being successful by bringing in shoppers who are looking for exactly what your advertising, and may also help them be a bit more attainable when concerning price if they are not as popular as shorter more broad keywords for your industry. If you are in doubt on how to create a strong and specialised list of keywords, take a look at our blog on selecting and utilising keywords. Once you have your narrowed down list, if you haven’t done so already try splitting those that relate to each other into groups based on things such as a related product, service or topic. These groups will be helpful later on.
Unfortunately keywords are not the only thing that you need to make PPC a success, you also need to create content for the actual advert that will draw your customers in. Where possible, adverts need to be as visually attractive and possible and be paired with an amazing headline. Both the headline and other text content of the ad need to be compelling, something that will encourage buyers to click through to your store. Include a call to action button and even the keyword they searched where applicable to ensure the best chance of a click. This is not enough to convert any clicks you do get however, you will also need to work on making some breathtaking landing pages which are just as relevant to your customers needs as your tailored advert. The landing pages need to take the customer straight to the item or service they are looking for, this increases efficiency and reduces the chances of distraction on their part. Another call to action button on this page is also recommended to draw their attention to their purchase.
With a great list of keywords and an irresistible advert by your side it is time to start bidding on them. If you have many, start with those most relevant to your business or the products you are trying to sell, if any. Remember to apply your daily or weekly budget to these adverts as they become expensive and a set budget will help keep a cap on your spending. For example, if a click were to cost £1 and your daily budget was £100 per day, after 100 clicks in one day have been attained, your budget will stop your ad from being entered for advertising until to following day, when the campaigns allowance of £100 would be restored. A monthly budget would work in the same way, but over a longer time period and may result in longer periods of time at the end of each month with no adverts being shown if an advert is particularly successful in bidding.
Effective bidding comes from having a good price to offer for each advert. As if your bid price is lower than another from a company bidding for the same keyword, that other company is going to win the advert placing. Costs for PPC vary and are very likely to be driven by your market, being quite high if the nature of your industry is quite competitive such as the fashion industry. Loss of profit or an unsuccessful advert are common side effects of having a too low bid for adverts but do not let your competitors bidding abilities decide yours, if your competitor can afford more than you for a particular keyword, let them have it and work on others for yourself. This is because the maximum cost per click (CPC) your business can offer should be worked out based on its own incomes and outgoings, not on those of another company.
One way to work out cost of a click is to work it out relevant to your desired profit margins or budget. For example, say the average sale on your website after your expenses are deducted is worth £500 and on average you get one sale per every 100 visitors. That means for every 100 visitors you will likely only make £500. However from this, to survive your company would have to take away a profit, say your ideal profit is 50% of any sale. This would cut your £500 budget to £250. For this reason every 100 visitors become worth a total of £250 so to work out the average profit from each visit your would have to divide your visitors overall value by their volume, in this case that would be 2.5, meaning each individual visitor is worth £2.50 each. When worked out properly, this £2.50 should be a viable maximum bid for a PPC campaign.
Average sale price per (x) amount of visitors (£500 per 100 visitors) – Desired profit and company expenses (50%) = Overall worth of (x) visitors £250
Overall worth of (x) visitor’s (£250) / Amount of (x) visitors (100) = Individual visitor worth (£2.50)
Individual visitor worth = Amount available as maximum CPC
This method does vary however on whether all leftover earnings after deduction of profit are to be put toward marketing. For example, if your earnings were the same and your company kept 50% of it as profit but only wanted to use 20% of the remaining budget for advertising, the worth of each shopper would be worked out with this deduction made,
Average sale price per (x) amount of visitors (£500 per 100 visitors) – Desired profit and company expenses (50%) = Overall worth of (x) visitors (£250)
Overall worth of (x) visitors (£250) / Appropriate amount to find desired percentage (5 to find 20%) = Desired percentage of overall worth of (x) visitors (£50)
Desired percentage of overall worth of (x) visitors (£50 ) / (x) amount of visitors (100) = Individual visitor worth (£0.50)
Meaning each shopper / click would be worth 50p instead.
If your list of keywords left you with a large amount of options to choose from and you simply cannot narrow it down any further it may be an idea to run multiple ads at once. This can be difficult but also helpful, as it can broaden your campaign’s reach and provides even more data for you to narrow down the adverts based on their productivity over time, leaving you with only the most successful ones. This could even lead to more conversions further down the process as you will be seen in more places and have more of an idea of what your customers like to see. Doing this properly will usually mean using multiple campaigns and adgroups to separate your keywords and ads (this is where your grouped keywords come in handy) Use your premade groups as different campaigns or adgroups and create more specialised adverts that cater to your customer on an even more personal level. Doing this will also help with organisation of your many advertisements.
Once your campaign has been started you should keep an eye on it, whether hiring professionals to do so or doing the best you can with existing in house staff. Make the most of analytical tools to help your organisation capture and interpret data on the success of each of your advertisements and use this info to optimise your campaigns and make changes to them to improve how they perform. If one campaign in particular is failing and analytics help find a fault in its process but any improvements do not yield changes after a long period of time, it may be an idea to drop that ad. However this does not mean that well performing ads will not have their faults either, fixing these could make them even more effective. Doing this can help narrow down the amount of campaigns you are running if you feel you are running too many, and even help to increase conversion rates when done properly.