Six steps for a successful PPC campaign

When you are entering the pay per click marketing field, or if you are just trying to start a new PPC ad campaign, having things aligned properly can make a difference in whether you see huge success, or if your campaign falls flat.

In this article, we are going to outline the seven steps that are necessary to see success with your PPC campaign. If you pay attention to all the details, you will have the opportunity of seeing your business grow to a new level.
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Step 1: Choose your offer carefully. Some people already know what product or service will sell well online, and thus are ready to get started as quickly as possible. There will be others, however, who must decide what they plan to sell.

Try to look at your offer, regardless of whether it is a physical product or a service, from the viewpoint of a potential customer. In many cases, the main problem with an unsuccessful PPC campaign is not due to the ad or the landing page; it is because of the actual product or service that you are trying to sell.

Step 2: Do your keyword research. At the heart of your pay per click advertising campaign are the keywords that you are going to use. There are a number of methods that help you discover those keywords, including Google's Keyword Planner, and even some third-party keyword/competition spying tools such as SpyFu. Even though you can get a significant amount of data from a single source, you should try to keep things as simple as possible when getting started.

Rather than trying to branch out in as many directions as you can, focus on the basic keywords that are at the heart of your offer. This will give you the opportunity to test those keywords effectively, and from that point, after you have discovered the winners, you can branch out to a larger keyword list.

Step 3: Use ad groups. Another mistake that many new advertisers make is that they tend to lump all the keywords into a single ad group. Don't make the same mistake! Try to break down your keywords into smaller, related groups, even if they only contain two or three keywords. Each of those clusters of keywords should use its own ad group. Doing so allows you to focus on the specific audience that is associated with a particular keyword group, which has its own ad, and may even have its own landing page.

Step 4: Test your ads. As you probably know, testing your advertising campaign is the best way to get the most out of it. When you tweak a campaign, you will quickly see what works well and what is not working. Your ads are one of the primary elements that should be tested; fortunately, Google makes it very easy for you to test them. When you're first getting started, test one specific ad against another, to see which one works better for your campaign.

Make sure that you look beyond the number of clicks that each ad is receiving, because that number can be deceptive sometimes. It is not the number of clicks that the ad generates; it is the conversion rate of those ads that will make a difference.

Step 5: Optimize your landing pages. Now that you have your ads in place, you want to pay close attention to your landing pages, before your campaign goes live. The landing pages are the first elements of your site that are seen by the website visitors. If you have them set up properly, they can boost your conversion rate significantly.

It is also important to make minor changes to the landing pages, and then track the conversion rate changes. Continue to test one page against another, to see which one provides your website visitors a better experience. You should then choose that page as a winner, and test it against a new landing page, to see which one works best. This type of split testing should be done on an ongoing basis.

Step 6: Reporting. Google provides several free tools, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console, which were designed to help you determine the type of traffic you are getting, and what people are doing once they land on your website. Don't overlook the benefits of paying close attention to those numbers; they can really make a difference in your overall success.

It is a good idea to have a traffic reporting system in place before your campaign goes live. This way, you will be able to tell from the very start what is working and what isn't.

When you take advantage of these six steps, I guarantee that you will see a positive difference in your advertising campaign.