By: Marshall Slaton – Bayshore Solutions Director of Digital Marketing
The music group Ylvis recently coined, “What Does the Fox Say?”, to which there were many suggested responses. The same can apply to setting up and starting an effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign for your business or organization. There isn’t a specific answer that will all of a sudden increase your lead generation or revenue, but there are definitely methods by which you can create an effective campaign that will work specifically to satisfy your goals. We will quickly highlight three basic things to consider when starting your first campaign – organization, negatives, and bidding.
The first step to a good PPC strategy is planning how you want to organize your campaigns. This is similar to walking into a grocery store and seeing that similar items are grouped into aisles, and then by shelf. A Campaign can consist of a type of food item, an Ad Group is a variation of that item, and Keywords are the individual identifiers of that item. For example, a Pasta campaign would have an Ad Group like Rotini or Fusilli, and keyword variations such as Whole Wheat, Gluten-Free, or Organic. Organization is the first step to an effective strategy, as it will make it easier for you to manage the campaigns, and Google and Bing will reward you with better quality scores, which eventually lead to lower bidding costs.
The next step is very important. Most businesses activate campaigns and go through an entire budget quickly with minimal results. The likely culprit was giving Google and Bing free reign to show your ad to any keyword searches that were closely related (or not sometimes) to yield clicks. You have to educate the search engines that there are words and related items that you don’t want to bid on. A great example is if you were a motorcycle dealer. If you sell Honda motorcycles and bid on the word Honda, you would have to consider negatives such as generators, mowers, cars, vans, scooters, etc. The same goes for your ad group segmentation. If you sell Honda motorcycles and Honda motorcycle parts (two different ad groups), your Honda motorcycles ad group should have the keyword parts as a negative. This goes back to why you need to have organized PPC campaigns – the more your campaigns mature, the more adjustments you will need to make to be effective.
The last step to consider is “How much should I bid on my keywords?” Given unlimited resources, you most likely would bid the highest amount possible, but we understand that is not realistic. Every advertiser has a budget limit, the key is to know how to exploit your resources. If you want quick results, you spend the maximum amount you are comfortable with to gain enough data in the shortest amount of time. For example, if you have a $2000/monthly budget and you sell pool supplies, you should plan to spend the $2000 in 15 days or less to gain more than 90% impression share and generate as many clicks as possible. You will then have data to analyze and make decisions from such as additional negatives you need to consider, expanding your campaign if you did not spend out, or narrowing your focus so that you can plan for $2000/month generating effective leads and sales.
These three tactics – organization, negatives, and bidding, are just starting points for building an effective PPC strategy. The key to success is persistence in managing the campaigns, and also recognizing that at some point, your success is going to need the next level of strategy – that’s where Bayshore Solutions comes in. We can work with you to help you achieve your goals – Contact us today!