Five Steps to Demystify Pay Per Click Planning

Laptop Showing PPC Results from Pay Per Click Campaign

Pay Per Click campaigns can become a valuable revenue-generating part of your marketing strategy with some planning and know-how. But where should you start? Let’s demystify the Pay Per Click (PPC) planning process.

The first step to designing a successful PPC campaign is to think through your overall marketing strategy. How will a pay-per-click campaign fit into the larger picture? Remember, a marketing strategy is defined as the long-term plan to promote your business and its offerings. A pay-per-click campaign can become a valuable part of your strategy but it requires a narrower focus on specific product or service streams to be successful. Once you know how a PPC campaign will fit into your overall strategy it’s time to plan your very first campaign. Use these five metrics to help you build a strong and effective campaign.

A Strong Campaign Objective. To make the most of your PPC budget, refine your objective to focus on one specific outcome, like generating more website traffic or getting more phone calls. Use website and analytics data to help you determine which campaign objective best aligns with your prospective customer’s needs.

A Deep Understanding of the Audience. Keyword planning, an essential part of any PPC campaign, requires an understanding of your target market and the buyer’s journey. Take time to interview a few customers about their journey to purchase and what led them to you. Selecting keywords and long-tail keywords with your unique audience in mind ensures a better return on ad spend.

A Thorough Keyword List. Often small businesses compete for market share with larger, global companies using popular keywords which can feel daunting and expensive. But PPC requires a little bit of science and a little bit of art to find a keyword list that meets your budget requirements and returns solid leads or conversions. Use the traits you have identified in the last step to your advantage to find keywords that are cost-effective but at a lower bid price.

Budget Parameters. This step is always a challenge, especially as you begin your PPC marketing journey. A great way to get a sense of the budget requirements is to apply this formula to your refined keyword list. Number of Keywords *Cost Per Click * 100 Clicks. Remember this is just an estimate. Match this number against your internal marketing budget to settle on a daily budget that works for your business. Once your campaigns are live and you have data to review, you will have an opportunity to make adjustments that fit your budget needs. Even modest budgets can see a good return from PPC campaigns. As your business grows, so can your PPC budget.

Key Performance Metrics. This is often an overlooked step in building a successful PPC campaign. Without Key Performance Indicators otherwise known as KPI, it’s difficult to know if the budget and time spent on the PPC campaign were successful. The most important metrics to track are

  1. Clicks
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  3. Quality Score
  4. Cost Per Click
  5. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

For more tips on planning a pay-per-click campaign, check out Five Tips For Your First Campaign. Remember, your PPC campaigns are not set it and forget it. It takes time to accrue data to make business decisions. It also requires ongoing maintenance. But with some campaign planning and dedicated time to ongoing maintenance, pay-per-click marketing can be a productive and cost-effective piece of your marketing strategy.