-Guest Post by Jason Lancaster of Spork Marketing-
The elegance of the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising concept is striking. There aren’t many forms of advertisement that give you the ability to put your ad in front of exactly the right person at exactly the right time, and for that reason PPC advertising is very alluring to business owners.
To ensure that your marketing dollars are well spent, there are several questions you want to be able to answer before you dive into pay-per-click advertising .
5 Questions You Must Answer Before Starting a Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign
1.What are your specific, desired results? Do you want your PPC ads to generate a telephone call? An email lead? An order for a specific product? Answering this question as precisely as possible is a key first step in the process.
2. Do you have precise tracking in place? One of the main benefits of PPC advertising is that it lends itself very easily to precision tracking. With tracking in place, you can determine:
- Which keywords are most likely to generate a lead or result in a sale
- Which ad text is most compelling
- Which landing pages and/or calls to action have the best conversion rate
- Which days of the week or times of the day are most profitable
- …and dozens of other useful stats that can help you improve your return on investment
Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure: a good tracking system is an absolute requirement for any PPC campaign.
3. Do you have a landing page? When many businesses begin a PPC campaign, landing pages (the page on your site where you direct your PPC clicks) are an afterthought. Yet the landing page is the most important aspect of your PPC campaign. A good landing page will:
- Clearly identify your business and the service you’re providing
- Have content that matches the keyword the user typed in and the ad they clicked on
- Have a clear description of your product or service and the key benefits
- Connote trust through the use of recognizable symbols and logos
- Have a clear call to action
If your landing page has all of these items, your PPC campaign has a very good chance of generating a profit.
On the other hand, if your landing page is lacking, a good percentage of your pay-per-click visitors will “bounce” (a term used to describe a visitor who views your site and leaves in less than 30 seconds). As you can imagine, the return on investment of a PPC landing page with a high bounce rate isn’t very good.
4. What keywords will show your ads? If you’ve paid an SEO consultant for professional keyword research, then you should have a nice stack of keywords you can use for your PPC campaign. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to hire a PPC or SEO consultant to do some keyword research.
If you’re on a budget and paying for professional keyword research is out the window, you’ll want to dig in and do some keyword research yourself. SEOMoz has a Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research
5. Who will create and manage your PPC campaign? Pay-per-click advertising is deceptively complicated. While the concept is simple, the practical application requires knowledge, training, and experience. Whether or not you’ll want to hire someone to create and manage your PPC campaign will depend on the answers to the following questions:
- Are you buying ads on competitive keywords – are more than 3 or 4 people advertising on the terms you want to try?
- Is your average cost per click going to be higher than $1?
- Are you spending more than $500 per month?
If the answer to any of the questions above is “yes,” you should consider hiring a professional PPC ad manager. The reason? People who are new to PPC advertising platforms usually make mistakes, and the cost of these mistakes can ad up to hundreds or thousands of dollars in the circumstances listed above. By hiring a professional PPC manager, you’re saving yourself money in the long run.
Pay Per Click Advertising Works When Done Correctly
Bottom Line: Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising on the planet because it offers precision targeting and unparallelled tracking, both of which allow for continuous improvements in ROI. If you answer the five key questions above before starting a PPC campaign, your odds of success are greatly improved.
Finally, remember that while the concept of PPC is simple in theory, it can be very complicated in practice. If you intend to invest in PPC advertising, you should seriously consider hiring a professional to setup and manage your PPC campaign.
If you’re looking for someone to help you with your PPC campaign, Google has a network of certified PPC advertising experts that you can search hereSpork Marketing PPC ad management
About the Author: Jason Lancaster is President of Spork Marketing, LLC, a Denver Internet marketing company offering PPC ad management services.
Marketing Pay Per Click PPC Search Engine Marketing SEM