They say the average person needs to see or hear about something 7 times before he or she will remember it. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one way to get your company in the line-of-sight of your target audience so that they will begin to recognize you. It's also an incredibly valuable way to get instant traffic to your site if you're unable to focus on search engine optimization.
Like it sounds, a pay-per-click campaign is based on advertisements with carefully selected keywords that people click on to see more about your product or service. Each time they click, you pay a bit. PPC advertising has gotten really smart and it allows you to fully customize your campaign for your target audience. Step 1, then, is to figure out who your target audience is.
Like any new advertising campaign, you’ll want to first decide how you want your brand to come across, who you’re trying to reach, and how many resources you’re willing to spend.
Your brand identity and target audience go hand-in-hand. Having a solid handle on both are imperative to a successful PPC campaign. If you’re looking to redesign your brand or are not sure where to start with a new brand, check out our guide to buyer personas and guide to creating a brand identity.
What makes PPC campaigns so powerful is the keywords behind them. It’s a simple three-tier setup: each campaign has ad groups and each group has ads, which are loaded with those magical keywords.
PPC advertisements are highly condensed and the competition is fierce for potential customers’ attention. Generating the right keywords can be the difference between a 1%+ click-through rate (considered good) and losing money. Google Trends and Autocomplete are two powerful tools that can help you to see which keywords are trending right now and which additional keywords are provided to users when they search, respectively.
Perfectly crafted copy.
PPC advertisements are broken down into 3 main areas: headline (top line, bolded and linked), display URL, and targeted copy.
Your headline should include specific keywords that target a very specific audience. For example, if your business is music lessons, you should have a different ad group for each instrument. The copy after the URL can be the same for many of them, if you like, but headlines should be distinct. For example:
The copy should set you apart from the dozens of other companies offering music lessons. How are you different? Oh, I can learn how to play in just 30 days? Also include an incentive or benefit. Free first lesson? 30% off a new guitar? Sounds good.
Notice the last thing in the ad is a call to action (CTA) statement, which will help people to know what next steps to take and know what to expect should they click on the advertisement. Since people are seeing your ad at the exact moment of their interest in it (when they searched for your keywords), a sense of urgency is paramount.
Someplace soft to land.
That link below the headline, that’s just as important if not more so than the advertisement itself. That link will take people to a landing page, where they will decide whether or not they want to buy your product or service.
Your landing page should not be your home page. It should be a page setup specifically for each targeted PPC ad that matches the message of the ad and delivers what was promised. Don’t dump your potential customers directly into a shopping cart or registration page. The landing page is meant to offer more information about your brand, product, or service and will help them to make the decision whether or not to convert to you. Once they agree to take the leap, then take them to a page to register, buy, or swap personal information for an offer (eBook, webinar, or white paper, for example).
Test and retest.
Use your web analytics tool of choice (we love Google Analytics) to closely monitor your campaign and conversion rates. If it’s setup correctly, you should be able to clearly tell is converting as a result of your PPC campaign versus other marketing efforts.
Don’t be afraid to make changes to your PPC campaign. Adding or changing keywords, tweaking the landing page, and adapting to new tools and technologies is all part of it. The good news is, Mediacurrent will be here for you every step of the way.