Time to push your website on the search engines? Or have you just received a £50 voucher to spend on Google Adwords? Whatever your reason to start a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign on Google, or other platforms, you need to be in a position to be able to manage the process. You need to be able to see what works and what doesn’t. You need to understand the sales process for your business – otherwise you are likely to piss your money and lose market share.
From managing PPC campaigns across various industries I have found the following issues need to be resolved before setting your PPC campaign in motion:
1. Develop an understanding of the sales process & suitable call to actions for your site
As a business you have a sales funnel and it is so tempting to put the step closest to the sale as the call to action on your website…. sadly with many products and services consumers use the web for research and the evaluation of options once they have identified a problem or need. In these cases your call to action needs to be “safe” and non-committal for the consumer – something like a brochure request / request for more info / quote in return for contact details. Once you have the contact details, your offline sales processes can kick in. By making your call to action a step away from the penultimate point in your sales funnel you will, in many industries, generate more leads. Even e-commerce sites allow you to “add to basket” until the user is ready to buy. In all industries a clearly defined call to action will increase leads and ultimately sales.
2. Set proper tracking in place
Once you are clear on what you want your users to do once they have arrived on your website, the next step is to tag your calls to action so they are recorded as Goals in your web tracking software. If you use Google Analytics, these goals will be transferred to “conversions” in your Google Adwords account once a keyword in your PPC campaign leads to a conversion. Linking the two accounts also makes it easy to analyse your paid traffic in Google Analytics by looking at Bounce Rate and other useful metrics (NB Google Analytics is currently a free service for analysing your website performance). If you do not use Google Analytics you will have to put the necessary Adwords conversion code so you are able to see which parts of the campaign are working.
3. Check out your competitor activity & thoroughly research your negative keywords
Now that your website is ready – it is time to start building your campaign. When you start building your campaign, there are two things that you may want to consider:
i. What sort of strategy your competitors are adopting
ii. If there are any phrases that you do not want to trigger one of your advert (known as negative keywords)
My previous post on how to build a negative keyword list provides some pointers so you are able to use you keyword tools and other free tools provided by Google to seek out the types of keywords that are not relevant to your business. For example if you sell “writing paper” a significant negative might be “cigarette” so your advert does not appear for people looking for “cigarette papers”. To get an idea of your competitor’s keyword strategy, Keyword Spy will give you a rough idea of what keywords your competitor is targeting. It also gives you the opportunity to see the style of ads they are using within their campaigns.
4. Plan which “triggers” to test in your first set of ads
From looking at your competitor’s adverts and the understanding that you have of your business, you are now ready to decide what “triggers” you want to test in your first round of ads. If you are working with an agency or sole trader, you should expect a questionnaire or meeting to establish key selling points, any promotions on offer, how you wish to position your product or service, etc. “Cheap widgets” may get additional clicks but may not sit well with your marketing strategy.
5. Build landing pages
Pay-per-click is about the relationship between the keywords you have chosen, your adverts and the page on your website that the user arrives at. The page that users arrive at needs to match the user’s expectation in relation to the keyword and the advert. If you are advertising your services in Manchester, make sure you send them to a page about the level of service in Manchester rather than a generic UK page. This matching of content to user’s search intent will help increase conversions and ultimately sales.