Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a crucial part of a good search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. While many different goals can be achieved using PPC, the main underlying factor behind anyone’s decision to use paid media is to grow their business. 

The basics of executing a PPC campaign are easy. But, it does take some planning and preparation to execute them successfully. Well-made PPC campaigns work great. Badly made PPC campaigns will take your money and run. It’s that simple.

So, you’ve got a product or service you want to sell. The question you’re now asking yourself is, ‘Where do I start?’.

Landing Page and Website Optimisation

Wordpress Web Design

So, ‘where do I start’ you ask. Well, you start at the end, obviously! You start by optimising the website page that the prospect will land on after they have clicked your PPC advert.

‘And why is that so important?’

When some clicks on your PPC advert, it’s because the ad captivated them. Something in that advert interested the prospect enough for them to click on it to learn more. But, if the link they clicked takes them to a page on your website that is generic or unrelated to the ad copy, then the chances of converting that visitor into a sale have already greatly diminished.

If your PPC ad was offering great prices on refurbished servers, then the landing page for that ad should be more details about the great prices offered on refurbished servers. It should use a simple design, have clear and persuasive calls to action and use compelling and attention grabbing copy and visuals. It’s no good taking the visitor to a hardware support page or anywhere else that doesn’t relate specifically to the ad content.

PRO-TIP: Marketers that run the most successful PPC campaigns have a secret – they don’t send paid traffic to their main website pages. Rather, they send it to high-converting landing pages to lower their conversion costs.

Set a Budget

One of the best parts of online advertising is that you don’t need a huge budget to start. Great results can be achieved with a limited budget, and you can retain close control over how much you spend on an ongoing basis. 

PPC budget

I’d recommend starting with a very small daily budget, while you tweak your ad copy, keywords and landing pages to create your very own winning formula. Then, once everything is working smoothly, slowly scale up your budget while keeping a close eye on your profit margin and cost-per-conversion figures. If you’re a total beginner be prepared to lose money at the start too. Practice makes perfect, and you are learning on your own dime!

PRO-TIP: Google Ads can charge up to 20% more than your daily budget cap on any one day. So if your daily budget cap is £100 per day, Google MAY display and charge for up to £120 per day of advertising.

Choose a Bidding Strategy

One of the first choices you need to make for your ad campaigns is between a manual bidding and an automated bidding strategy.  

PPC budget

If you’re new to pay-per-click advertising, I’d fully recommend starting out with a manual bidding strategy. Manual bidding allows you to cap your cost-per-click costs, but it doesn’t allow you to employ machine learning to optimise your bid strategy. With automated bidding there are numerous strategies you can employ, depending on what your goals for the campaign are. This can be quite an in depth process, especially for beginners, and works better with established accounts.

PRO-TIP: Bidding strategies can be quite an in-depth subject. You can learn more by clicking here.

Research Your Keywords

Keywords are the backbone of your pay-per-click campaigns. Selecting the right keywords for your campaign ensures that your online adverts display at the right time. People need to see your ad before they can click on it, right?  

PPC budget

Depending on your what you are advertising, keyword research could be a quick job or quite time consuming. I’ve ran campaigns that generated huge revenue from only 2 keywords. Or, it could take a week or more to research higher keyword volume campaigns. For beginners, I’d recommend starting with a few highly relevant keywords and slowly build up that list over the next few weeks to expand your reach.

There are many online tools which can greatly reduce the time it takes to build a quality keyword list. Some even predict the monthly search volume and cost per click statistics too.

Google Ads Keyword Planner
Google Trends
Moz Keyword Explorer
Wordstream Keyword Tool

Negative keyword lists also need building into your campaigns. These stop your ads showing if the searches include specific terms. Maybe you want your ad to show when people type in the term ‘blue widgets’ but you don’t want it to show when people type in ‘reviews for blue widgets’. To achieve this you would enter ‘reviews’ as a negative term for that advert. Now, if ‘reviews’ is part of the search string your ad will no longer show.

PRO-TIP: Consider using Modified Broad Match terms to identify additional terms and build your Exact Match keyword lists. More information on Adwords Keyword Match Types can be found here and more information on Modified Broad Match can be found here.

Write a Stonking Ad

You’ve done all the research. The landing page is optimised. The budget is set. You’re happy with your bidding strategy and the keywords are ready. Phew! Now for the final part; time to write a stonking ad.

PPC budget

While you don’t need to be a literary genius to write a good PPC ad, there are a few key points you should bear in mind. Keep it short and punchy, highly relevant to the landing page and don’t be too ‘salesy’. You aren’t entering for a Booker Prize, but you do need to grab attention and pique their curiosity. If you’ve got a unique value proposition, now would be the time to mention it.