How To Create a Strategic PPC Plan

PPC Strategy

Pay Per Click Strategy

Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most powerful tools that a web marketer has at their disposal.  It can provide instantaneous traffic to a website and allows for very specific targeting of internet users.  As with any type of advertising campaign, having a well-defined strategy for success will help you know when you have reached your goals and help you get the most out for your PPC budget.

Know Your Target Market

In traditional advertising, communications are aimed at a target market.  If you are trying to sell to a specific subset of the population, your message must be tailored to that audience and you must use channels that the audience will be in front of.  The same is true for PPC advertising.  The only difference is that a PPC program can take advantage of highly detailed user information gleaned from the internet.  Many of the most popular PPC platforms will allow you to target certain geographic locations, times of the day, and specific websites for ad placement.  Some PPC platforms based on social networks even allow you to select age ranges, interests and gender of their users for targeting.  No matter which platform you use, the success of your campaign and how you configure your account will depend heavily on how much you know about your target market.  This information will determine any keywords you use in a PPC campaign, what the ad copy looks like and what your landing page will be like.

Define Your Target Keywords

Once your market is defined, you must discover which keyword phrases they are using to find you.  Choosing the right keywords and having a sound PPC keyword research strategy is imperative to success.  Common mistakes are choosing words or phrases that are not relevant to what you are selling, selecting ones that are out of your price range, choosing too many keywords or picking ones that are far too competitive.  Ideally you want a set of keywords that are moderately competitive, within your PPC budget and that are very relevant to what you are trying to promote with your campaign.  Choose words that are quality (i.e. ones with moderate competition and high search volume), avoid misspelled keywords, and don’t try to use every variation you can find of the keywords you are targeting.  The more targeted your keyword list the better.

Design A Great Landing Page

Aside from pay per click management, this is a step that many novice online marketers overlook their first time around.  The web page your visitors land on after they click an ad is perhaps the most important part of the whole process.  If a visitor lands on a page that is not relevant to ad copy or the keywords they used to find the page, they will abandon the process.  Make sure the action that you want visitors to perform is the most obvious thing on the page.  Also make sure that it is easy for them to complete this action.  Factors such as too many irrelevant elements on a page, an ambiguous or confusing process or simply having an action too far below the page fold can result in lower conversion rates.  Your target keyword or keywords should also make an appearance on the page in a very prominent location.  The internet by nature is a space devoid of boundaries.  While this makes the web easy to navigate, it also makes it easy to get confused about where you are.  Keywords, images and other elements help users determine that they are in the right place.  If these elements are hidden or hard to see, users quickly become confused and frustrated.

Measure Your Success

If you don’t have a method for determining when you have reached your goals, how will you know you have reached them?  The answer to that question is, you won’t.  Having an analytics platform to track your website or telephones is crucial to measuring the success of a PPC campaign.  Many analytics platforms allow for URL tracking so you can see a visitor’s path from when they clicked your ad, arrived at your website, and performed the action you wanted them to perform.  There is also third party software available that can track phone calls into your business.  These are extremely effective if your PPC campaign is centered around driving people to a page where they may get a contact number instead of converting online.  Whatever your method, analytics is what will help you tie your PPC spend back to your return.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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