5 simple rules to make the most of your PPC campaign

PPC campaign

Strong pay-per-click campaigns can be the difference between breaking even and breaking records.

PPC can be costly and ineffective if the campaign is not carefully planned and managed properly, but when executed correctly it can generate a positive return on your advertising investment.

Here are a few simple rules to keep your PPC campaign in check, also known by the acronym S-T-O-R-M:

Structure – Setting up your account

It is important to plan the structure of your campaign before setting up and going live. Once you have completed the task of carrying out keyword research this will help you organise the account structure by placing products and services within common themes into campaigns and ad groups. You will need to bear in mind that some settings can only be set up by campaign, such as budget and location targeting. Any products or services that have a higher monthly search demand will need their own campaign and budget to ensure these products do not negatively affect the performance of other products within a campaign. Be sure to read up on account settings to plan the account to perform effectively.

Target – Knowing your audience and segmentation 

Who are you looking to promote your products and services to? Who is your target audience? When are they active online? What time of day or day of the week are they most likely to make a purchase? Understanding your audience and their online behaviour will help to formulate your strategy to make the most of the targeting options to optimise and increase the likelihood of conversions and purchases.

Objectives – Defining your goals

When determining the success of your campaign it is important to outline clear objectives from the start. While sales are the ultimate end goal for many advertisers, there are other conversions that can be considered ‘wins’ too for example, how many email signups you get to grow your database and generate revenue via e-mail newsletters.

Research – Identifying strong keywords

Carrying out extensive keyword research using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner will allow you to find out if there is search demand for the products and services you are offering. The keyword planner provides average monthly search volume and suggested bid prices, identifying how competitive keywords are i.e. low, medium and high. Using the Google Keyword Planning Tool to review keyword stats, you can calculate if the keywords you want to bid on are going to be profitable advertising options, and put together a budget plan to estimate traffic, conversion and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Messaging – Ad content and optimisation

To ensure your ads stand out in the paid results and increase the click through rate (CTR) to the site, the ad copy needs to contain relevant keywords that users are searching for with a strong call to action. Successful ads may include a variety of added features to entice a user to click through to your site such as offers or discounts, call extensions, sitelinks, ratings and reviews. Unfortunately, PPC campaigns don’t run themselves, which means the account and ad messaging requires regular re-evaluation and optimisation to achieve your set objectives.

PPC advertising requires a significant commitment, so it is important that you have enough time and resource to manage the account activity in house. If you want to launch a PPC campaign for your business but don’t have the capacity internally, consider hiring an agency if the budget allows, ensuring you always get the best ROI from all your PPC spend.

Karen Ryan, Senior Search Executive at Fast Web Media