We sat down with our Vice President and Director of Web Technology, Brandon Capwell, to discuss what pay-per-click campaigns are really all about.
Q: What is PPC?
A: PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, is a form of digital advertising that allows you to buy prominent listings in search engines based on the searches of a potential target audience. Search engines, like Google and Bing, provide tools to build campaigns and advertise on their search platforms. Your paid search ad appears above “organic” search listings (unpaid listings) and are customizable to increase the chance of attracting visitors. The search engines use different types of data to price each click, it is critical to understand the data and follow the correct steps to develop a successful PPC campaign.
Q: What is the standard PPC workflow?
A: 1. Identify Campaign Goals and Target Audience
For a PPC campaign to be successful, it is important to have a clear goal and understand your target audience. Keyword research and ad concepts are driven by what you want to accomplish and who you want to reach. A review of the searcher’s challenges, specific needs, geographic region, etc. provides information needed to determine which keywords best fit the searches they make.
2. Keyword Research
Having identified our goals and target demographic, we next need to compile a list of terms. In a PPC campaign, keywords are ranked by monthly searches, quality, and competition. These ranks are used to create the “Cost Per Click” (CPC). If competition is high (others are building campaigns around it) and the term is heavily searched, the cost will increase. Because of this, keywords need to be carefully inspected to ensure they are appropriate, effective, and not too costly.
3. Landing Page Creation
With any PPC campaign the user clicking the pay-per-click link will need a place to go. The effectiveness of the landing page is directly related to the quality of the content and its relationship with the keywords chosen. Your landing page should speak to the goals and have a clear way of converting your visitor (signup form, trackable phone number, etc.) A well built landing page will improve the effectiveness of the overall campaign and ultimately help to reach your campaign goals. It is important to keep in mind, you are paying for these clicks, make it a great first impression.
4. Develop Ad Variations
This is your first impression and should reflect the goal of the campaign. Ads can be text-based or display-based depending on budget, goals and target audience. Text ads appear on search results pages while display ads appear in ad networks and display on web pages as advertisements. An effective PPC campaign involves the creation of multiple ad variations and ongoing reviews of the success of each ad to determine which one to keep using.
5. Review Analytics
With the core components of the campaign now in motion, the results of the campaign are monitored and the data reviewed. Not only are the number of impressions (how many people saw the ad) and clicks (how many clicked on the ad) reviewed, but also the keywords they used to get to that ad.
Q: How do you refine the campaign afterwards?
A: A typical campaign contains various ad versions and keyword options. During the review of the analytics we may find one ad is performing much better than the other or we may see a large amount of clicks for a keyword, but a small amount of conversions once those visitors visit the landing page. If one ad is performing much better than the other, we pull the underperforming one, leading more traffic to the ad that is working. If a keyword is drawing traffic but that traffic is clearly not interested in what we are offering, that keyword can be deemed a negative keyword and that will help to eliminate unqualified visitors. This way, the budget can be honed in on visitors who are qualified and interested in your service or product.
With these adjustments to the campaign, we can improve performance, potentially reduce the cost per click, and ultimately make better use of the budget. Contact Archer today to see how a pay-per-click campaign can help strengthen your business!