PPC advertising is not an exact or completely formulaic science and a lot of what creates success in any given campaign will be the result of plenty of experimentation, keyword tailoring, careful research and constant refinement.That said, there are certain key tactics and steps that should be followed for the sake of creating a campaign whose monthly costs are justified by high sales.
Researching your keywords and focusing on a few vitally important general campaign strategies based on what you find is what we’ll be covering here.
These 5 points won’t absolutely guarantee you a successful PPC campaign but they will dramatically increase your odds of achieving it.
1. Pick Your Niche
This may seem like an obvious first step to going about your PPC campaign but it can be surprising how many marketers fail to follow through with proper niche selection tactics before spending as much as thousands of dollars on Adwords. You as an online marketer need to define your niche carefully and also set out any related niches in which your service or product could be of interest. For example, if you sell security devices, your target markets could include police agencies, private security providers, security conscious political activists and possibly sellers of valuables.
Each of these represents their own sub-niche and there will be different advertising media and keywords that apply to each of these. Finding out what these niche combinations are is the very first step in proper niche definition. Furthermore, without a highly specialized market of target customers, your keyword bidding, competition and general efforts will cost you far, far more than they would with a very specific target audience with their own specific avenues of advertising.
2. Select Your Keyword Lists
Having developed your niche and all possible profitable Sub-niches, start in on keyword research for all of them. Like we had discussed above, you need to focus on niche-centric keywords that contain all probable combinations of words which you can use for select audiences of different types. There are both free and paid programs available on the internet to help you research keywords for your PPC campaign:
Google itself offer its Adwords Keyword Tool. Additionally, you can pay for a monthly subscription service like Wordtracker and use their far more powerful and complex array of keyword tools to find the best and most searched for word and phrase combinations in your niche market. There are also other online tools such as Ubersuggest and SEMrush available. You can also use your search engine to research your keywords and see what kind of competition you’re dealing with, but before doing this you must make sure that you have depersonalized your searches, cleared your cache and turned off location based tracking; otherwise, Google and other major engines will provide you with results tailored to your previous searches.
The importance of creating a very complete list of the most searched for niche specific words cannot be understated; this is the lynchpin of your entire PPC campaign. The keywords you locate for your niche and sub-niches through the above tools are the same words you will be bidding on in your SEM/PPC campaign; these are the same words and word combinations you will have to pepper throughout your website content (more on the importance of that shortly).
3. Use Your Keywords Effectively
Having established the best keywords to use in your marketing campaign, you can now begin to place them strategically into your content and advertisements. You won’t use all your keywords in all of your ads, the ads themselves can normally even be written without including any keywords at all and instead be focused on compelling readers to click. However, your website content will need to make use of the keywords your campaign is bidding on and do so in a way that smoothly flows.
Bidding on keywords requires that the pages your advertisements lead, contain those words; if they do not, you can suddenly find yourself punished by exaggerated per-click rates. Thus, when you create landing pages for the links in your advertisements, fill them with the keywords you are bidding on; add these keywords into the content in a smooth and natural way and make sure that they are not overused. An additional benefit of this entire process is that it will also help your organic results by slowly boosting your website’s SEO ranking.
4. Don’t Forget Long Tail Keywords
Your keyword research should also include a thorough listing of long tail keywords and word combinations that don’t collect many search queries but have relevance to your niche. These words will strengthen your campaign and help you pick up those smaller ends of your target market’s search patterns. Furthermore, most long tail keywords are much cheaper to bid on and if you have enough of them –each one collecting a small percentage of click-troughs, the overall effect can give a good boost to the effectiveness of your campaign.
5. Don’t Set your Campaign and Forget About It
This step doesn’t specifically cover the issue of keyword research, but is nonetheless deeply important; don’t set up your research based campaign and forget about it thereafter. You absolutely have to keep checking up on your PPC campaigns and regularly looking over your keywords again, evaluating their usefulness and looking for new phrases, words and word combinations to try out for better click-through on your ads.
Furthermore, your entire system of ads clicking to pages on your website should be constantly subject to testing and re-testing. Use differently worded ads that are geared towards different keywords and have them arrive at highly specific landing pages that contain your selected keywords – track which combinations provide the best click-through from the search pages back to your web pages. Try out split tests to find out which type of ad takes viewers to a certain landing page while another ad takes viewers to a differently worded page with different use of keywords; see which gives you better sales conversion results.
You also need to review your keywords on a regular basis for the sake of eliminating non-performers or words that are costing you too much per click but have low conversion. These are vital steps in keeping your PPC budget effective; you don’t want it to be drained by overpriced words that convert terribly for their particular search queries. In essence, keep refining so that you can build the best possible list of keywords which all have decent to good conversions and produce ideal sales conversion percentages that are in the higher single digit percentages and if at all possible in the double digits.