During our last blog on this topic, we explored the first 3 steps to building a solid PPC plan with Google AdWords. We talked about the necessity to set solid foundations by being clear on what objective you are trying to achieve, understanding your audience and conducting keyword research before launching your AdWords campaigns. In this blog we cover the last 4 steps to activating a successful PPC strategy.
STEP 4: Set Your Budget & Bids
Now you’ve determined which keywords to bid on, it’s time to decide what budget you wish to allocate. Choose a bid amount that works for you. As you’re just starting out in AdWords, you’ll want to go with a budget and bid amount that you’re comfortable with.
There are four key questions you need to ask yourself when determining your initial AdWords budget:
- How does AdWords fit into my current marketing strategy?
- What (and where) are my competitors spending?
- What are the CPCs for the keywords I’m bidding on?
- Which KPI matters most to me?
Set your bid by thinking about how much an ad click is worth to you. If you’re unsure what bid to start with, try setting a maximum CPC bid of £1. The beauty of the AdWords platform is that within a few days you will quickly see if this works or not and you can then adjust your spend accordingly.
Once answered, you’ll be ready to dive into bidding, optimization and expansion. Make sure to spend most of your AdWords budget on keywords that convert at a high rate. Make room for testing and brand building too but try to put most of your money in the places that will earn you more.
STEP 5: Structure Your Account
The name of the game is relevance. Your account is made up of campaigns, each with distinct goals. Within each campaign you need tightly knit ad groups, each featuring just a handful of keywords and hyper-relevant ads.
By aligning your AdWords account with the stages of your existing sales funnel and current offerings, you can ensure that early stage prospects (who typically respond to cheaper low-intent keywords) are served ads for informational offerings. Similarly any searcher who adds words like “buy” to their queries can be given the opportunity to do just that.
STEP 6: Write Killer Ad Copy
Not every advertiser also happens to be a copywriting expert. The key to success is a healthy balance between qualitative and quantitative components. To write copy that converts, focus on maximising click-through rate by ensuring every text ad has a pair of compelling headlines, a call to action and includes the keyword you’re bidding on. Use extensions where possible to make your ad bigger and more informative.
Part of writing killer ads is to ensure you’ve designed a great Landing Page, ensuring that your customer follows a strong call to action and embarks upon a sound customer journey and experience with your brand, hopefully converting into a sale. Follow these 5 guidelines for high performing Landing Pages:
- Minimise form fields
- Focus on benefits, not just features
- Use multiple high quality product images
- Make your call-to-action really clear
- Make sure your Landing Pages work on a Mobile device. If you cannot do this or you do not have a mobile-friendly website, change your call to action to be a phone call
Emotional ads get more clicks, so when you’re writing your killer ad think about conversion tracking, which is a powerful tool in AdWords that lets you identify how well your ad campaign is generating leads, sales, downloads, email signups and other key actions for your business.
The data recorded by conversion tracking allows you to identify which areas of your campaign are working and which are not, so you can optimise your bids, ad text and keywords accordingly. The whole process relies upon placing a ‘tag’ on your website and then watching conversion data roll into AdWords. It sounds easy enough, but it can be tricky to get this linked. Getting it right is something you really want to do, because the only thing worse than no conversion tracking is inaccurate conversation tracking.
STEP 7: Grow Your Remarketing Lists
A remarketing list is basically a list of customers whom you are going to go back to or in other words ‘remarket to’. It’s important to build your remarketing lists as early as possible. This will allow you to keep your product or service in front of prospects even if they don’t convert on their first site visit.
If a prospect comes to your site from a low-intent keyword (something broad that indicates they aren’t quite ready to buy) that prospect is still incredibly valuable. Through remarketing, you can serve hyper-relevant ads to previous visitors based on the pages they saw, actions they took, duration that’s passed since their last visit or just about any other distinguishing characteristic.
Poised for Success
Following our 7 key steps will ensure that you have all the key factors in place to deliver an effective PPC campaign. Remember to build your foundations with research into your audience and keywords as this will pay dividends. Test your ad copy and landing pages and finally adjust bids based on keyword performance.
FREE GOOGLE ADWORDS RESOURCES:
As you explore Google AdWords, fine-tune your Web site, and gain knowledge about maximizing your Web presence, it never hurts to continue your learning as the digital world is changing and evolving constantly.
The following list offers some suggestions for some free resources to help you out:
- AdWords home page – To sign up for AdWords and to log in to your account.
- AdWords Help Center – For answers to frequently (and not-so-frequently) asked questions.
- AdWords Learning Center – For text and multimedia AdWords lessons. You can watch short videos, take quizzes, and even become a Qualified Google Advertising Professional.
- AdWords Editorial Guidelines – Reminds you what not to put in your ads.
- Google Group for AdWords Help – To connect with more than 11,000 AdWords users to ask questions and receive answers from Google-approved experts (free registration required).
- Companion website for AdWords For Dummies – Includes videos, and updated information.
- Vitruvian ongoing support – Offers free articles, forums, and teleseminars and video tutorials, as well as information on all the stuff we do for money.