What is Pay-per-click (PPC)? – The Ultimate Guide

Choosing the right keywords for your business is the stepping stone to success when it comes to your PPC campaigns. Get them wrong and you’ve just wasted a whole lot of your monthly marketing budget. But get them right and you’re in for a treat. Let’s look at the steps you need to take to ensure your PPC campaigns are bringing in the right leads for your business and you can prove its ROI.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is a model of digital marketing which allows marketers to pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it allows companies to ‘buy’ visits to their website, only paying when a visit is completed.

Identify your PPC goals

Just like with all your marketing campaigns, every keyword needs a goal. You need to be clear on your end goal and how you will get there, including budget, tactics, frequency and the keywords that are available to you. In order to identify your keyword goals, you are looking at a two-part strategy:

Part 1: How many people are searching for the keyword? This is your volume metric. Think about your target audience; your persona’s, your killer values and your top target accounts. Will these keywords apply to all of your prospects or maybe just a few that meet certain criteria? Think about all the different variations of the keyword there are and how you can utilise all of them to rank higher. Remember the industries you are targeting; does each industry use different wording or different variations?

Part 2: Realistically, are you in with a chance of ranking for these words? You want to target keywords that have low competition, that way you have better odds to rank higher. Think about your company’s competitors, look at what they are ranking for and use different variations to rank higher than them. Think realistically though. Are these the right words for your business, your services and your target audience.

Once you have identified and set your goals, you can be confident that your PPC campaigns will be bringing the right traffic to your website.

Utilise the keyword research tools available

There are a number of search engines out there, which means there are a number of tools you can use to improve your PPC campaigns success. Once you have identified the specific search engines you are going to target, take a look at the tools they offer. We use Google mainly as we believe it holds the most data for our target market. So, we would recommend the following Google tools:

Google AdWords keyword planner

Suggests phrases and shows estimated numbers for how many people are searching for the phrase monthly.

Google Trends

Shows trending for specific phrases over time. It also suggests a few phrases and allows comparison.

When used together, these tools really complement each other to maximise your results and is a powerful way to stay ahead of the game when it comes to both SEO and PPC.

Do a broad search

Now you’ve identified your goals and you’ve got your tools ready and waiting, its time to set you on your way to PPC success. Before you begin, be sure to complete a broad search of keywords first. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, what is it they need to know, what are their pain points? Start with generic keywords and then move onto the specifics.

This search allows you to identify keywords that more specifically relate to your topic, not just a generic, blanket phrase. There are a whole host of specific keywords around your main keyword you could also be using, as well as lots of different variations. Alternatively, you could find new phrases that have a similar meaning that you weren’t necessarily thinking of originally. So, it’s worth doing that broad search first to identify all the keywords you could be targeting.

Take this opportunity to grab keywords from other places too. Use Google Search Console to identify keywords and phrases that are already driving traffic. On top of this, use Google Suggest which will tell you what has previously been searched in relation to your topic. This will give you a much better mindset of what your target audience really want, what they are trying to achieve and what they really need to know.

Running Your PPC Campaigns

We live in a tech-savvy generation and Google is at the very beginning of most our journeys. However, there’s a lot to be said about the ROI from PPC campaigns, yet most businesses are unable to prove its worth. Let’s take a look at the do’s and don’ts of running successful PPC campaigns and how to identify it’s ROI.

1. Identify your PPC leads

If you are running PPC campaigns you need to be able to identify your clickers. This is where the cost justification lies. There is simply no point throwing money at a campaign that you are going to do nothing with.

IP tracking software, such as GatorLeads, identifies the source of your website visitors. So for example, you can see that business A came via your PPC campaign.

But wait, there’s more! Delve a little further and follow the individual around your website. See which pages they visit and the content they engage with. From here you can track what their interests before you call.

2. Follow up your PPC leads

Well duh, obviously! You’re paying a lot of money for them, so of course you’re going to follow up. One day.

You would be surprised at how many businesses are either unable to, forget or just don’t follow up on their paid for leads. Ludicrous I know! Hence, most businesses can’t prove its worth.

Treat them like any other lead and then some: identify, score, and track their journey on your website. Essentially, we recommend you spy on them until you know for sure they are ready for a sales call.

You don’t want to scare off such valuable leads. Trigger a nurture campaign with relevant content to keep them keen.

3. Be patient

Typically, PPC leads come with a longer sales cycle. Just because you’ve paid, doesn’t mean to say they don’t need nurturing!

Conversions from PPC campaigns generally relates to downloading free content or signing up to an event. This isn’t buying intent.

Identify the keywords that are bringing in the sales, not just the form fills, and focus on those. But be consistent and stick with it so you can reap the rewards when they do come flooding in.

So, when your MD or Finance Director asks where all your marketing budget goes, whip out your reports and let the stats do the talking. Take a look at how to track your ROI on your Google AdWord campaigns

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