Did you know that 65% of users in the market to buy will click on a PPC ad?
As a business owner, you have tons of options for marketing your business, but when you’re looking for traffic that is ready to convert, a PPC ad is a great investment.
In this article, we’ll show you how to run a successful PPC campaign to reach the right traffic, get more conversions, and boost your bottom line.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an advertising strategy where you run ads on a paid advertising platform and pay the platform each time a user clicks your ad. It’s a great way to direct targeted traffic to your site through relevant keywords.
PPC ads run on various search platforms (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) as well as social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), among others.
Marketers use PPC advertising because it’s really effective at getting your brand in front of the right audience. Plus, the results take a lot less time than building organic traffic to your site.
In fact, when you create a PPC campaign the right way, you can see increased traffic, leads, and customers almost as soon as the ads start running!
On the other hand, it can take months for your organic SEO efforts to pay off.
Of course, where organic traffic is “free,” PPC campaigns, while they can be cost-effective when planned and executed properly, still cost money.
Ultimately, if you know how to run a successful PPC campaign, you’ll be able to capture the right audience without breaking the bank. This article will teach you how to do just that.
Let’s get started creating your best PPC campaign yet.
Here you’ll learn how to run a PPC campaign successfully, from keyword research through analyzing your campaign’s performance.
Keywords are the foundation of search marketing. Finding the keywords that result in traffic and conversions takes work, though.
We recommend using a keyword research tool to find keywords to target with your PPC campaigns.
Once you’ve chosen a keyword research tool, a simple brainstorming session is a great way to start.
You’ll want to start with broad keywords (“socks”) and move into more specific keywords to narrow your targeting (“women’s knee-high compression socks for running”).
You can use something like Found’s PPC Keyword Concatenation tool to come up with tons of specific, targeted keywords.
After you have a long list of potential keywords, you’ll want to put them into your keyword research tool so you can check out things like search volume, keyword difficulty, related keywords, and more.
Aim for keywords with high search volume and low competition.
Before running your own PPC campaign, you’ll also want to take a look at what your competitors are doing with their ads. Your keyword research tool and even Google Ads can help you here.
To find out about your competitors using Google Ads, login to the platform and go to Campaign > Auction insights.
The Impression share column will show you how your competitors are bidding and the keywords that are benefiting them. So you can swoop in and steal their thunder.
Setting a budget is vital to your PPC campaign. And, don’t worry, you can run a competitive PPC campaign even with a limited budget.
But how do you figure out the right amount to spend?
Start by calculating the traffic you’ll require to meet your goal. This is calculated by dividing the number of customers needed by your conversion rate.
Once you have a number for your required traffic, you can multiply that number by the average cost-per-click (CPC).
To get high and low numbers, just use the formula twice:
Lowest Traffic Needed * Lowest Average CPC = Lowest PPC Budget
Highest Traffic Needed * Highest Average CPC = Highest PPC Budget
Now that you have your budget figured out, you can use that information to pick the right bidding strategy.
Most PPC advertising platforms let you choose between manual and automatic bidding. We recommend sticking with manual bidding if you’re not super experienced with PPC.
Manual bidding lets you set a cap on how much you’re willing to spend per click so you have more control over your overall budget spend. The drawback is that you can’t optimize your bids.
Automated bidding reduces the amount of time and effort you’ll put into managing your PPC campaigns, but you’ll probably end up paying more.
The bidding strategy you choose will also depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish with your PPC campaign: increased traffic, brand visibility, or getting more sales.
Take a look at the bidding strategies available for specific PPC advertising platform you’re using.
Before you start running any PPC campaigns, you have to optimize your site and any landing pages that will be part of your advertising campaigns.
Remember, when people click on your PPC campaigns, it’s because it drew them in, they liked something you said or how you said it, and they want to find out more.
If your ad dumps the onto your homepage or a generic landing page unrelated to your ad, you just paid for nothing.
Your PPC campaigns should direct users to a landing page optimized for that specific ad.
You want to create a coordinated and cohesive feel from your ad to your landing page. That means using the same language, the same imagery, and the same overall vibe.
To optimize your site for conversions, you can:
After your ads are running, you can’t forget about them. It’s important to track the performance of your PPC campaigns to ensure that they’re performing the way you want them to.
Using the analytics that come with the ad platform you’re using, you can see how much traffic you’re getting from your ads, how much you’re spending, and how well traffic from your ads is converting.
This data will help you understand the ROI of your PPC campaigns. Plus, you’ll be able to start testing different headlines, ad copy, images, and calls to action to improve the performance.
So far we haven’t talked much about different PPC platforms. Obviously, you’ll need to choose an ad platform to run your ads, but the platform you choose is largely dependent upon your goals and where your target audience spends its time.
Let’s briefly take a look at some of the larger PPC advertising platforms.
With Google Ads, you can run Search Network campaigns, Display Network campaigns, Shopping Ads, Video campaigns, or App campaigns. These ads all give you the chance to appear before the organic search results on SERPs.
Google Ads lets you set an ad budget, create a very targeted audience, and choose keywords where you want your ads to show up.
On Facebook, you can run sponsored posts that show up in newsfeeds or the sidebar for your target audience.
Your objective will determine the types of ads and placements that are available to you, but Facebook has five ad types:
As for objectives, you can choose from brand awareness, website traffic, and visits. Then, fine-tune who sees your ads by setting a target audience and budget.
On Twitter, you can choose from Promoted Tweets, Video, Cards, and Brand ads. You’ll also get to choose your objective: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Each objective includes more targeted objectives (so, for a consideration ad, you could choose video views or followers, for example).
Running a successful PPC campaign can have an incredibly positive impact on sales, reach, and conversions. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your ads get the best return possible.
1. Create a Compelling Call to Action
A strong call to action attracts clicks and gets conversions. All of your content should be written with a call to action in mind, but for PPC campaigns your call to action is particularly important.
We recommend using power words in your calls to action.
Power words like “free,” “best,” “get,” and others create an emotional response in visitors. Throw in words like “special offer” and “limited time offer” to indicate urgency and really push visitors to act.
Your calls to action are what tell your visitors what to do next, so make sure that they’re clear and compelling.
2. Include Negative Keywords
When choosing your target keywords for your PPC campaign, don’t forget negative keywords.
Negative keywords tell your advertising platform that you don’t want ads placed on pages when those keywords are used.
Here’s an example from Google:
In this example, you see a list of search terms with “blue tennis shoes” and “running shoe” selected as target keywords. This means that ads will show up on SERPs for those keywords.
The other keywords are negative keywords. This means that the ad will not show up on SERPs for “blue running shoes,” “shoes running,” or “running shoes.”
This lets you skip audiences searching for certain keywords (like products you don’t sell).
3. Use Microconversions
Microconversions are a great way to get a better grasp on how your ads are performing. By breaking down visitor actions into smaller actions, you can pinpoint where people are leaving your sales funnel.
When your ads aren’t converting as expected, there are a few things to start tracking that will help you get to the bottom of it—and fix it.
Time on Site
If visitors are spending just a few seconds on your ad landing pages before bouncing, your targeting might be off.
If visitors to your ad landing pages aren’t getting very far down your page, trying shortening your landing page or moving your call to action up to an earlier point on the page.
If they’re scrolling pretty far and still not converting, you might need to add a little extra incentive lower on the page to get them to convert.
Form Field Completion
If visitors are abandoning forms it’s a great opportunity to test out different formats. Can you ask for less information? Can you switch to a multi-step landing page so your form is broken up a bit?
If people aren’t clicking your buttons, make sure they can see them. Seriously. Something as simple as a color change to make your buttons stand out more can result in better conversions.
If that’s not the problem, maybe try different wording for your call to action.
Focusing on smaller visitor actions can help you figure out what parts of your ad campaign and landing pages is causing friction. And, once you know, you can fix it.
Are you ready to run your first PPC campaign?
PPC advertising isn’t hard, but it can be a lot to manage and requires a decent amount of knowledge to perform with success. Plus, if you want the best return on your ad spend, you’ll need to tackle PPC campaigns through planning and research.
Not to mention optimizing your landing pages and setting a budget.
Can you do it on your own? Sure!
Should you? It depends on how much time you have to devote to it.
If you want to run the best PPC campaign and get the best return on your investment, we’ve got you covered. Check out our PPC management services and get a free PPC analysis today.