What do you really need to know about PPC? Part 2!
Google Analytics: your new best friend! It’s impossible to run your PPC campaign without Google Analytics being installed, so first, ensure your website has it running. Next, make sure your AdWords and Google Analytics are linked to each other and you have goals (from Part 1 of this article – your ‘conversions’, what you term a success, as in what you want customers visiting your website to actually do) set up. That way you can grab specific insights quickly and make any adjustments you need to as the campaign continues over time.
A successful AdWords campaign will consist of a few key elements:
- The right keywords
Choosing which keywords to bid on is the single most important decision you need to make. You can bid on broad terms (e.g. ‘dogs’) which usually cost significantly more because lots of people are interested in them. Or you could go for what’s called long tail keywords (e.g. ‘specialist dog trainers’) which are a lot more detailed and specific, but likely to be cheaper because fewer people will be bidding on them.
To get it right you need to stop thinking about what you want people to search for in order to find you, and instead start thinking about what your potential customers might actually be typing into Google. In the example used above, a dog trainer may look at terms like ‘dog trainer Lincolnshire’ but what their potential customer actually searches for would be something different but related, like ‘how to make your dog stop barking’, or ‘how to control your dog on a walk’, for example.
Another set of basic keywords to include in your list is your own branded terms, like your company website, your company name and competitor websites. Just don’t get too carried away – unless you have a pretty large budget, as competitor branded terms can quickly eat up your money. When you’re starting out it’s always going to be more effective to build up your keywords gradually. Start with a small list and add more to it as you go along. Get some results in and then change your tactics based on the results – Google Analytics will be telling you what’s working and what’s not, so it’s vital that you use its reporting tools on a regular basis so you can tweak things as you go.
- The right ad text
You will only have limited space for your ad and to get your message across to secure that all important ‘click through rate’ – those are the % of clicks you’re paying for, so it’s important you get it right.
If what they are looking for doesn’t match what you are offering, then you’re really wasting your money as you’ll be paying for clicks that have no hope of ever leading to anything – plus Google will mark you down (quality score, more info below) if your ad search terms don’t match your users landing page experience.
The secret here is to realize that volume should not be your main goal. You’re not just aiming for high numbers and to get the most clicks you can, you’re aiming to get the clicks you really want and those that will spend money with you. That means thinking about the ‘spending power’ of a searcher and having an advert, landing page and call to action (your chosen conversion type) that is going to be relevant to them.
This landing page experience (ensuring that it matches the advert, for starters) is a particularly important point because it will also affect your quality score – a measure Google uses to calculate how and when to show your ad, and how much you’ll pay for it. The higher your score the better you’ll do in these metrics and the more Google will show your ad so you get more clicks for less money from having a properly optimised campaign.
The number of options you have may feel a little overwhelming at first, but try not to get too overwhelmed. If you simply begin by thinking about the narrowest possible search terms and an offer you can make, thenconcentrate on doing them really well that will be a great starting point for your first AdWords campaign.