The basics of PPC – Part 1
What do you really need to know about PPC?
Pay-Per-Click (or ‘PPC’ as it is commonly known to save us all time, is the fastest available way to drive web traffic to your company’s website. Every time you do a Google search, the first (and last) few entries on Page 1 are paid-for-adverts. And as we all know, 92% or internet searches don’t go beyond page 1 of Google so paying to be on that first page will more than likely earn you your money back, and then some.
Google estimates that businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. Not a bad ROI to shout about, although results do vary by industry so be careful and liaise with your digital marketing agency about what results you can expect to see.
As the name suggests, PPC is basically a form of Online advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. This may be a set amount per click, or you may need to bid against rival companies on how much you’re willing to pay to secure pride of place beside the search results – again your digital marketing agency will consider your budget, anticipated conversion rate, profit per conversion, and of course your keywords before advising on what type of campaign you should be running.
Before you go splashing your cash, it’s important to know what you’re doing (or you could quickly find your budget has vanished but you have nothing to show for it!). Here we’ll give you some valuable pointers on how to get started with your own PPC campaign – of course if you’re not very ‘tech savvy’, the correct course of action is to turn the whole thing over to a digital marketing agency from the start. In which case, use the below as a guide to get you more up to speed with the basics of PPC.
The first point to cover is strategy. As with anything in marketing, in order to be successful, you need to think about what you want to achieve and to have a solid strategy in place. There’s no point wasting your money by not planning, so planning the campaign becomes your first port of call. Here are some key questions you need to answer before you get going, in order to ensure you set everything up correctly.
- What constitutes a conversion for you? What specific action do you want visitors to perform in order to record their visit as a ‘success’? Do you want them to download an e-book, purchase a product, activate live chat, subscribe to a newsletter, etc etc? You need to be clear what a conversion is, and make that clear to your digital marketing agency.
- How are you going to record these actions, (Google Analytics?) and are they being pulled through into AdWords?
- What figures do you need to achieve? Is there a target CPA (cost per acquisition) at which point the campaign will be profitable? (This is obviously a vital point: if you spend £1,500 pcm on AdWords to generate 13 ‘conversions’ and each conversion is worth an average of just £100 then you’ve not broken even….so you must be clear on your figures when setting your budgets, including what you expect to earn per conversion).
- Are you willing and able to commit for a six month period? As you’ll need to set a budget and stick to it for a minimum of this period in order for the campaign to be properly refined and optimised. Ideally, we’ll sign clients up to a 12 month PPC campaign with a break clause at month 6 because by then we should all be seeing the benefits. So you need to understand from the get-go that this is a long-term commitment and it takes time for results to be refined.
So to summarise, the first and most important thing you need to do for a new PPC campaign is to outline why you want to use PPC and what your goals are: this will help you set up your campaigns well from the start.