Business owners have always preferred to use Pay-Per-Click advertising over other means of online advertising to generate leads by enhancing their online exposure so as to increase their conversions and sales over time. And Pay-per-Click has proved to be successful if used appropriately and added to that the easy setup and the ability to get hold of immediate results also makes it a favoured choice for business owners looking for instant advertising. Of course, according to a few reports PPC has proved to be disastrous for a few businesses but it is also true that nothing works well without a proper strategy in place and great management.
For a solid PPC strategy, it needs a lot of cash and time and it helps if you see it as an investment for your business rather than write it off as a risky expense. So to ensure that you don’t lose all the money you’ve poured into this, take a strategic approach:
1. Do some research to understand who your target audience is;
2. Once you have the right audience worked out create an outline for your PPC marketing plan
3. Finally, using the data collected from your research identify any new opportunities that your competitors might have missed and include it in our PPC marketing plan.
Though this is very basic, these three steps are the foundation of creating a fool-proof PPC marketing plan. So let’s elaborate it and find out all we need to ensure that we have the ultimate PPC marketing plan which will give us the desired results and how to do that in just 10 simple steps.
1. Set goals for your PPC campaign
For any campaign, the first thing you’d do is set proper, achievable goals. Well, PPC marketing campaigns are no different and will need you set goals to help in designing the workflow of your PPC campaign. Most of the time, our energies are completely focussed on increasing sales to make a profit and while being aware that PPC is the way to do it we generally tend to be ignorant about focussing on the key metrics that can ensure proper returns in PPC. So to set a proper goal, you can answer these three questions:
1. What is your Google AdWords spend and what exactly are you trying to bring about with that amount?
2. To ensure that your business is profitable what metrics do you think play a significant role?
3. What is the result you expect from your PPC campaign?
It is not just business goals that affect the success of a PPC marketing plan, other goals such as goals related to your PPC campaign, goals for your spend plan also affect them. Here are some common examples of PPC common goals
1. Increasing the Traffic to the Website
Your PPC marketing plan to increase website traffic (goal) should be to focus on CTR (Click-Through-Rate).
2. Increasing the leads generated and sales
If increasing leads that are generated and sales through that is your PPC goal, then your focus should be upon conversions; this will be your PPC plan.
3. Increase in Brand Awareness
Your PPC Plan to achieve the goal of increasing the brand awareness should be to make use of the Display Network & Remarketing.
2. Identifying marketing platforms that suit your PPC goals
The two most main PPC platforms that most businesses use are
Google’s AdWords which was launched in October 2000 has since taken over the world of advertising to become one of the largest pay-per-click platforms and because of its ease of use it has gained popularity and has become the most preferred platform that all kinds of businesses like to utilize. It runs on Google, Display Network sites and other Search Partner sites too.
Bing Ads is another pay per click platform which displays ads on the Yahoo and Bing networks. It uses several different Search Parents and is Keyword based advertising
Of late, there are several other PPC Online Ads that are gaining popularity and they are
3. PPC account structure and it’s key elements
A good PPC account structure has several different elements, which are listed below:
Campaigns and Ad groups
To execute a proper PPC plan you should start by picking the keyword themes and then according to that create individual PPC campaigns. For instance, if you’re going to use PPC for a Business that sells Sewing Machines, then you can use “Sewing Machines” as your campaign theme. In themed categories, you can try using “Sewing Machines”, “Wooden Sewing machines”, “Lockstitch Sewing machine”, “Hi-Speed Lockstitch Sewing Machine” etc.
You can also fit in different variations of these themed Keywords like, for Each of these ad groups may also fit in different themed keyword variations, like, for “Wooden Sewing Machines” the Ad group can also include Sewing Machines wooden, Sale on Wooden Sewing Machines etc.
To make sure your PPC ads are visible to your audience you have to identify those particular keywords using which people often search for products on a search engine. The keyword of your choice can either make or break your business which is why it is so crucial. Each time when your PPC ads are shown, your PPC Ads’ Keywords will ask for a match type that answers different queries based on which your ads will show.
There are seven different keyword match types incorporated in a PPC Account structure:
- Exact (Close Variant)
- Phrase (Close Variant)
- Modified Broad
- Broad (Session-Based)
The table below shows you the different match types with using “Sewing Machine” as an example.
|Match Type||Keyword||Potential Search Query|
|1. Exact||[Sewing Machine]||Sewing Machine|
|2. Exact (Close Variant)||[Sewing Machine]||Sew Machine|
|3. Phrase||“Sewing Machine”||Sewing Machine for Sale|
|4. Phrase (Close Variant)||“Sewing Machine”||Sewing Machine on Sale|
|5. Broad||Sewing Machine||Stitching Machine|
|6. Modified Broad||+Sewing +Machine||Machine for Sewing|
|7. Broad (Session-Based)||Sewing Machine||Embroidery Machine|
Negative keywords are used in PPC to eliminate traffic that doesn’t qualify. For instance, if ‘Free’ is added as a negative keyword, your Ad won’t be included in the search results for queries like ‘Free Coffee Tables’. If you are selling High End or luxury products, then words such as “Cheap” or “Bargain” will be a useful negative keyword.
Your audience is essentially the groups of users who are segmented in different ways. They are created as per the data showing specific page views, pages per visit and time spent on site.
4. Available ad copies and how to create a killer ad copy
Your main aim is to get people to click on your ads, read through and take action. Your PPC ad shouldn’t just be attractive enough to make them want to click but it also should encourage them to take action by responding to the call-to-action button. An attractive PPC ad is one that is descriptive, suitable for your audience and gives legit promises to the visitors that it will provide the right solution to their needs.
Before you go about creating your perfect PPC ad copy, you need to understand the different types of PPC Ad Copy:
You are all set to write your ads after you’re done creating the Ad Groups and choosing accurate keywords from the targeted keyword theme. A great PPC Ad should include a targeted keyword theme, CTA and any other value ads that will make the ad more attractive to the audience.
Next you need to pay attention to the Ad structure and character limits of AdWords text ad. They are as follows-
- Up to 25 characters (including spaces) for the Headline of your ad copy.
- Your Display URL can only have up to 35 characters (including spaces).
- The Description Line 1 of your ad copy should not exceed 35 characters (including spaces).
- And, the Description Line 2 can contain a total of 35 characters (including spaces).
The Bing Ads text ad structure is quite akin to AdWords ad, but unlike AdWords in Bing Ads the Description lines 1 and 2 can include up to 71 characters.
Avoid using excessive capitalization or punctuation in Text Ads and also the root display URL should match with the root destination URL. For example, a display URL of www.abcsewingmachines.com has to direct to a page on the domain of www.abcsewingmachines.com.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs)
Product Listing Ads are square units which are mostly used in E-commerce PPC campaigns, which consist of product titles, prices and images. These Ads should be connected to a Google Merchant Center account and they also use Google product feeds. Whereas in Bing Ads, they include similar feature called Product Ads for which you have to use the Bing Merchant Center account. The image above is an example for Product Listing Ads (PLAs) for “Coffee Tables”.
You have to use image ads for Display Network PPC campaigns. Thousands of sites across the Display Network show Image Ads within and around their content. And image ads can be of 19 different sizes which are as below:
200 x 200, 240 x 400, 250 x 250, 250 x 360, 300 x 250, 336 x 280, 580 x 400, 120 x 600, 160 x 600, 300 x 600, 300 x 1050, 468 x 60, 728 x 90, 930 x 180, 970 x 90, 970 x 250, 980 x 120, 320 x 50, 320 x 100.
5. PPC ad setting’s key elements
Then there’s the key elements of a PPC ad’s setting and the different elements are as follows-
1. Search Network
2. Display Network
3. Search Network with Display Select
4. Shopping: Product Listing Ads
- Item ID
- Product Type
- Custom Attributes
For your PPC campaign you can do the Device targeting on different devices like Desktops/Laptops, Tablets and Mobile Devices.
The same bid is applied to platforms such as Desktops, tablets and laptops because search engines consider them to be similar. While Mobile devices on the other hand, can use a bid modifier.
Location targeting in PPC campaigns can be used to show your ad easily in the desired location. Going all the way down to zip code level for location targeting makes for a highly effective PPC Marketing Plan. You can easily show your Ad in desired location by using location targeting in PPC campaigns. And based on the locations you can also setup the bid modifier. Down below is an image of a sample location targeting.
As per your business needs you can choose to run your Ad at the time of your choosing with the help of Ad Scheduling. For instance Ads an E-Commerce campaign should run 24/7, while for a silver jewellery store, your Ads should be shown during business hours. Ad Scheduling also lets you set Bid Modifier accordingly for both days and hours.
The budget for your ads should be created based on your account goals and for each individual campaign you can pick the daily budget.
While making a PPC marketing plan you can choose between these two delivery methods for your PPC:
The standard delivery method shows your Ad based on your preference. So if you have budget restrictions standard delivery method works for you.
If budget restrictions don’t hamper you and you want to ensure your Ads to be shown for all the queries then this delivery method one is good for you.
Google’s Ad Delivery offers you these four options:
- Optimize for clicks
- Optimize for conversions
- Rotate evenly
- Rotate indefinitely
6. Ad extensions in PPC
Your audiences sometimes need to see additional information about your business and ultimately optimizes your PPC ads so Ad extensions can used as additional details that let your audiences see that information. It also aids in improving the CTR of your Ad’s headline. Listed below are some of the notable Ad Extensions in PPC:
Sitelink extensions are manual additions which need to be relevant to the search term and these extensions also aid the searchers to navigate deeper into your website. The term enhanced Sitelinks are used for Sitelinks which have descriptions.
Location extensions are used to display the address of your business.
Call extensions allows your PPC ads to have the ability to click-to-call, this ensures that mobile searchers can call your business easily.
If your business is considering optimizing app downloads and engagements then this extension is best for you.
Consumer & Seller Ratings Annotations
These help in promoting your business ratings based on the customer surveys. This extension is found only in Google and a business should have at least 30 unique reviews for it to show on Google’s results.
Social Extensions Annotations
This displays the number of Google Plus followers your business has.
7. Tools that best fit your PPC marketing plan
To run a powerful PPC campaign you’ll need the help of the best tools available and here is a list of tools we think are best
- Change history is a PPC Tool from Google AdWords and Bing Ads which records any past updates including bid changes, Sitelink additions, etc.
- The log in email or the alias responsible for the modification along with the time and date of the change is included in the Change History data.
- When you’re in the stage of learning and planning PPC campaigns, keywords, and ad groups, the Keyword Planner is quite helpful.
- Keyword planner comes in handy when you’re approximating performance data and can also be used to estimate starting bids and budgets for your PPC accounts.
- It aids in designing Display Network campaigns and also lists websites, topics, keywords, and interests based on your target audience.
Ad Preview and Diagnostics
- Ad Preview and Diagnostics help you in determining your ads performance for any particular search term and will let you know of any display issues pertaining to a particular search term.
- To use this in the AdWords Interface you only need to enter the location and language and the tool will run in the background and give you the results.
- Labels act like “Post-It notes” and are built-in documentation for PPC campaigns, keywords, Ads and ad groups. It can also be used for ad creation dates, to know the best performing keywords etc.
- Labels can prove to be very useful if you have accounts with multiple account managers.
- These can run on a schedule and are set by means of number of performance criteria and is also helpful in alleviating the task of account management.
8. PPC AdWords’ shared library
Advertisers can manage the different changes across different PPC campaigns with the help of shared library. There are different elements of the PPC shared library, which are:
Ads can be used during several PPC campaigns.
Audiences can be added to Display along with Remarketing, and Remarketing Lists for Search Ads campaigns.
Automated bidding is ensured by Bid strategies wherein search engines have the control. There are different kinds of bid strategies:
- Enhanced CPC
- Target Search Page Location
- Target CPA
- Maximize Clicks
- Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
The shared budget feature helps you in saving time spent on monitoring individual campaign budgets by shifting fund between campaigns.
Campaign negative words
Campaign negative words lets you add negative keywords to multiple campaigns and saves time too.
Campaign Placement Exclusions
A list of campaign placement exclusions can be added so you can share the list of websites that don’t convert well across multiple Display campaigns.
9. A landing page that is high performance
Now that your ad’s click worthy, how’s your landing page? When a visitor clicks on your ad they’ll be redirected to your landing page. Is it worth paying any attention to?
PPC advertising isn’t just about getting exposure and click worthy ads; your ads should be legit meaning you should be able to fulfil your ad’s promises. Which is why when you’re obsessing over your ads you should not forget about your landing page. Because your visitors should be satisfied even as they get redirected to your own website.
Our landing page should be professional, trustworthy with carefully crafted content and provide a great user experience for the visitor. Of course, you need to pay attention to a lot more other concerns as well and that is why it is prudent to invest in perfecting your business pages early so that when you launch your PPC campaign, you can flaunt them fearlessly. Adding a call to action button will make your readers act accordingly and allow them to translate their visit into an action or conversions.
10. Track conversions, measure results and monitor it closely
You need to measure results of your PPC campaign and there are different factors related to measuring, they are
Tracking conversions is necessary during a PPC campaign because they serve as markers and eventually bases through which you can gauge whether PPC has worked for your business or not. Have conversion increased since PPC? What are the changes so far? All these questions and more can only be answered if you keep track of conversions.
You must create conversion goals to determine your account performance. You can place code snippets provided by PPC platforms on key pages such as ‘Order Confirmation or Thank You’ pages, these will help you understand if your ad clicks are successfully turning into conversions.
The different types of conversion tracking in AdWords are-
- Calls from ads using call extensions
- Clicks on a number on your mobile website
- Mobile or tablet app
- Calls to a Google forwarding number on your website
- Imported goals (from third party platforms like Salesforce)
Knowing your Post Click Behaviour your PPC planning sheet will help you understand the conversion funnel and is one of the important parts of successful PPC marketing plan. You can link your AdWords accounts to Google Analytics by entering your AdWords ID number in the “Admin” section of Google Analytics and the connection can be confirmed by using the “View details” section under “Linked accounts” in “Account Settings” to see the link.
You can see how ads and the organic listings work by linking the account to Webmaster Tools.
Google Merchant Center
To see the Merchant Centre information you need to connect Google Merchant Centre to AdWords run Google Shopping campaigns or PLAs, enter AdWords ID into the “Settings” section of the Google Merchant Center. The information will be displayed in the ‘Tools’ section of AdWords.
And finally, keep an eye on things.
Like we’ve reiterated often, it isn’t enough to just launch a PPC campaign; you need to keep an eye on things and check on them often. Like every single thing on this earth you can never be too sure of anything because they are so many things affecting them which means they are bound to change. And in PPC, however certain you are about the keywords, your superior skills as a marketer, you still need to check from time to time.
And always keep in mind that your competitors will be investing a lot too in designing the perfect PPC plan and one mistake on your part will get them ahead of you. So learn about and maintain your PPC campaign to avoid overshooting your budget and get the best bang out of your advertising buck.