In traditional media buying, you’d need to have a budget ready or get it approved, get in touch with sales or media departments of major publications (news, magazines, television, and radio), get the help of an ad agency, produce ads, and run these ads over time. Traditional marketing can be expensive, and can have too many things happening at once.
PPC is Pay Per Click marketing – the digital equivalent of paying money for getting in front of as many people as you can when they are looking for you (or sometimes not, like in Facebook Ads). By default, PPC is even simpler than media buying that most traditional businesses are used to.
But then, there are things you ought to know before jumping into PPC, and here are some of those:
1. Ignoring basics can be expensive
Most PPC experts don’t know, understand, and implement irrefutable basics when it comes to PPC advertising. If such is the state of affairs with “PPC experts”, what might be happening inside the accounts of unaided businesses?
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the basics. Take keyword selection, for instance.
PPC is only a matter of picking the right keywords that your potential audience is like to type for. For instance, if you are a real estate broker in Chicago, the likely keywords your customers might type are:
“Apartments in Chicago”
“Apartments Lake Michigan”
“Real estate consultants Chicago”
But you wouldn’t want your ad to show up when the following unrelated keywords (negative keywords) are typed in:
“Trump Tower Chicago”
“Trump Real estate empire”
Not using negative keywords while letting your ads run is a major mistake and it’s primarily the reason why so many businesses burn their advertising dollars before they see single nickel coming in.
Negative keywords are only one of the many ways you could go wrong.
2. The Winning secret is in testing
Out of the keywords we used for the real estate example in Chicago above, how do you know which of those three keywords brings you results? You could guess. You might assume. Or your experience could tell you what works and what doesn’t.
In PPC marketing, you can’t rely on theory, ideas, experience, knowledge, or even gut. You can use all of those but the decision-making should be based on testing.
Also called as A/B testing, every ad is testing against another version (likewise, every landing page and even entire websites are tested).
Testing gets you closer to winning ads, landing pages, and profitability.
3. It’s not “Shut it and Forget it”
Most businesses we consult with or talk to have this feeling that Google Ad words (or even Facebook ads) are a “set-it-up-and-grab-a-coffee” affair. They assume that it’s all one-time and they also expect that agencies charge one-time fees for PPC marketing services.
PPC marketing is a game of setup, strategy, analytics, continuous testing, tweaking, data mining, and some more tweaking. Ever wondered why a few businesses succeed within an industry (for a specific location) while others flounder, even though it’s the same platform (Google AdWords) that all these businesses have ads on. Success with search engines demands a relentless workflow of keywords, ads, landing pages, copy, testing, and more.
It’s all about how the campaigns are managed.
How do you manage your PPC campaigns?