This short guide – “Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising Fast-Start Guide: How To Create PPC Advertising That Sells ” – will show you how to create PPC advertising that get results, in 5 quick and easy steps, even if you have never done PPC before.
Although the examples used later are taken from Google AdWords, the principles are applicable to other paid search networks such as Yahoo!/Bing.
So lets begin.
1. Get Inside Your Customer’s Mind.
This is a fancy way of saying you should find out what words and phrases your potential customers type into search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex, duckduckgo, etc.) when they are looking for a solution or solutions to their needs, problems, wants and desires.
Keep this thought in mind, it is very crucial to your success with paid search advertising.
Behind each search query is a human being with a real need, looking to fill that need.
On the other hand there is you – the advertiser – offering to help the searcher fill the need they have.
How do you communicate that to the searcher, so that they click on your ad instead of the other 10 ads served up to them by the search engine?
That is the challenge we are looking to solve with this guide. That, and to find out how once they land on your website or page, it is possible to get them to do what you want them to, like fill out a form, make a purchase, pick up the phone and call you etc.
There are several ways of getting into your customers mind (aka doing keyword research).
Use tools provided by the search engines.
- Google keyword tool – The Google Keyword tool can be found inside Google AdWords.
- Google trends – Free Online tool from Google.
- Bing keyword search tool – it has an Excel plugin.
- Google alerts
Use other free & paid third party keyword research tools, like:
Use competitor keyword spy tools like:
Look at search engine results pages – do a search on Google, Yahoo & Bing to see who is appearing for both paid and natural search results.
Copy the website urls of the first five paid results and the first 10 natural and stick them in a note pad.
Investigate those in the paid results using the the spy tools above.
For the natural results, look at the phrases they use in their descriptions.
Use SEO keyword tools – For sites appearing in top 10 positions of natural search use SEO keyword tools tools to investigate them. The SEO keyword tools will show which keywords those sites are trying to rank for.
This should give you suggestions of more keywords to include in your list.
Some SEO keyword tools include:
- Moz tools – Rank Tracker, On-page grader, keyword difficulty
- Screaming frog
Use informal surveys and chats – ask members of your team or members of the public what they would search for if they were looking for a solution to the problem you solve. You will get a lot of insight from this. Sometimes you get ideas you would never have come up with by yourself.
Your competitors’ websites and other online properties – Your competitors are definitely good sources of keywords. Look at their site source code and see the – keyword tag, description tag, and the other metas. You usually just get their best keywords this way because those are the keywords they are optimising for.
Reviews – Look at reviews on amazon and other popular review sites, to see the words people are using when reviewing similar products or services like the one you are selling. Again you will gain a lot of insight by looking at real customer reviews.
This is my secret sauce for keywords and ad copy ideas.
Social media – you just have to use advanced twitter search to find out what your market is talking about, the exact language they use, etc. This would not only give you keyword ideas, but also ideas for your ad copy. Ads work well when they resonate with you target audience.
One other social tool I often use is topsy. I can often sort and filter results as I want.
2. Merge all your keywords into a long list of keywords.
- After you have gathered the keywords from all sources above, use a spreadsheet like Excel to clean, sort and filter keywords by removing all duplicates, and less relevant keywords.
- Group your keywords into tightly related groups of between 10~25 keywords per group (these become your ad groups).
- Pick and match the most relevant page on your site for each ad group to send traffic to.
- If there is no appropriate page, create one! Avoid sending visitors to your homepage (except maybe for your brand keywords, but you are better off having a separate landing page even for your brand keywords.)
- Write 2 -3 ads for each ad groups. Your ad copy should be informed by the keywords, landing page copy and your offer.
Pay per click advertising works best when the searcher’s queries match the words in your ads and your landing page answers a the question they have in their mind and is offering them something valuable in return for the action you are asking them to take.
3. Set up tracking to monitor conversions and other key metrics for your campaign.
All major PPC networks like Google AdWords & Yahoo!/Bing advertiser and now Facebook advertising, offer a conversion tracking pixel which you can place on the “thank you” page of your website. This is the page users see when they have completed an order, purchase or just any action on your website.
You can also set up tracking and monitoring using free tools like:
- Google Analytics.
- Open Analytics
- Piwik Analytics
Something which I strongly encourage you to do.
Two recommendations for you:
Do not start any form of PPC advertising unless you have tracking properly set up.
If you are advertising with Google AdWords, link your Google AdWords account to your Google Analytics account as a matter of priority.
All future optimisation of your PPC campaign depends on the critical step of setting up tracking and measurement.
Remember the saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
- 4. Now that you have your keywords, ad groups, multiple ads per ad group, landing pages ready and your tracking setup, log into your Google and start creating your campaigns.
Step-by-step, what you have to do in the account Interface:
Click on “+ Campaign” button
Choose the campaign type – Search Network with Display Select (SNWDS), Search Network only, Display Network only, Shopping, or Video.
(For this example, I am going to select “Search Network only”)
Make sure you select “All features, “include search partners” and the give your campaign a memorable name, not something like “Campaign #1”.
If you don’t select “include search partners” you will be missing out on a good amount of traffic.
Targeting – Devices, Locations & Languages.
There is not much you can do about device type, Google will automatically show your ads on all devices.
Having said that you should use bid prices to control how you pay for visitors from smartphones and other mobile devices with full browsers.
(Pro tip: Bid enough to get your ads into positions 1 or 2 on smartphones and other mobile devices with full browsers).
However you can target exactly which location(s) you want.
This is a massive banana skin, it has tripped many a would-be PPC advertiser, who for have inadvertently selected “All countries and territories”.
This is one of the top mistakes PPC advertisers make.
Even if your product/service appeals to everybody in the world, make sure you create separate campaigns for each country, territory or region.
So select your target country, city, region or postcode for your campaign.
Next choose the language your audience speak. Choosing “All languages” is not such a bad idea if have got your geographic targeting right. Think of city like London and the number of language spoken there.
Bids & Budgets
Set your daily budget wisely (what you can afford to spend each day).
If you have a budget of say £1,000 for the whole month, divide that by 30.5 days and that is your daily budget.
You can let Google set your bids for you (not recommended for new advertisers).
You can manually set your bids (recommended).
Once that is done, set your default bid.
If you are a pro and you know what you are doing, you could let Google set bids for you initially, but watch the campaign like hawk for the next 48hrs to see the positions your ads appear and how much you are paying per click.
Note of caution – if you are letting Google set your bids, make sure you set a maximum bid limit.
If you are a location based business, then it is well worth including location information.
If you can track phone calls, then add a phone number. It is always a good idea to give your prospects more than 1 way to get in touch.
Site links are very important and contribute to your quality score, so I recommend you add ad extensions to every campaign.
Next click “Save and continue”.
- Create your ad group
- Enter keywords
- write your ads
- enter your destination url
5. Review and put live.
Once you have created your ad group, go over the whole campaign again to make sure you are happy with:
- Bids, etc
- Before you set it live.
Pro tip: Never set a campaign live on a Friday when you are going away for the weekend or when you can not babysit for the first 72 hrs.
Here is check list for you, make sure you have:
- Carried out comprehensive keyword research
- Filtered all the keywords
- Grouped the keywords into tightly related groups
- Written between 2 – 3 ads for each ad group
- Identified (or created) the most relevant pages to send visitors to
- Set up tracking, to measure the performance of your PPC campaigns.
- Set up your targeted campaign, created an ad group and inserted your criteria
There you have it!
In as little as 15 minutes, you can have PPC sending highly qualified and targeted traffic to your website.
Bonus – PPC Advertising Campaign Optimisation
Now that you have your PPC campaign up and running what’s next?
Let your campaigns run for a while (48 – 72 hrs.) , and then check back when the campaign has had a good number of impressions and clicks and then start to optimise.
PPC Campaign Optimisation Tactics
- Keywords – peel & stick poor performing keywords into new ad groups and write more relevant ads for them.
- Ads – After your ads have received at least 30 clicks each, delete the poor performing ads and replace them with new ones, each time trying to beat the winner.
- Monitor the position of your keywords and ads.
This an ongoing process to help you continuously increase your Click through rates, quality score, keyword & ad position and conversion rates.
On-going Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign Optimisation
As mentioned above, PPC campaign optimisation is an ongoing process, not a do-it-once and forget.
Here are just some of the things you have to do on an ongoing basis – daily, weekly, monthly, etc. depending on the size of your campaign.
- Continuous split-testing of ads
- Continue to peel & stick – refining your ad groups, trying to get keywords into tighter ad groups
- Continuous mining for and researching new keywords (the best place is from your own campaign – the search query report. That is also a great place to get negative keywords (collect keywords which are triggering your ads but not converting as negative keywords)
- Continuously weed out keywords that are not converting directly or leading to conversions
- Continue to improve (optimise) your sales conversion process.
One place to start is A/B split testing your landing pages.
Hopefully this short guide will have given you everything you need to get started in the world of Pay Per Click advertising. By following this advice, you are giving your business the best possible footing from which to build success.
Copies of the PPC Fast Start Guide in eBook format are available on request, to keep for your reference. Click Here To Request Your Free Copy