With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you have the advantage of top of the page results and only pay whenever someone clicks on to your ad. It’s the system that Google uses to place ads at the top of search engine results pages as well banners and product shopping ads.
In theory, a PPC campaign is a really good way to ensure that your ad spend is proportional to your conversions and sales, because -- if it’s done right -- you should see a really strong ROI from the campaign in place.
But we urge anyone starting a PPC campaign for the first time to be careful. When setting up an AdWords account there are many default settings that are put in place, meaning that Google can take control of your budget to spend it all far too quickly and can serve ads in the wrong places. If you’re thinking of setting up a few keywords and letting the ad network do the rest, you might be creating a rather costly experiment that could drain your bank account in a matter of weeks.
What Makes a Successful PPC Campaign
Here’s the first rule of PPC campaigns. They should never be run in a haphazard way. If you’re throwing mud at a wall to see what sticks, you’re doing it wrong, and it’s definitely costing you money.
In fact, a really successful PPC campaign is the result of a culmination of SEO and marketing tactics, including:
- Great ad copy that accurately describes the offer
- A solid understanding of searcher intent
- Strong and relevant calls to action
- Focused keywords to display ads at the right time and in the right locations
- With banner designs, ensure visuals match the branding on your website and there’s a clear user journey
- Good user experience on the website itself – the landing page of your ads is just as important as the adverts themselves, and can have a huge impact on your Quality Score
- Consider landing pages that are developed specifically for a set of adverts
- Ensure the path to a conversion is clear and user friendly
- Constant monitoring of ad spend, conversion rates, and the ROI on the AdWords account.
Few businesses have the resources to cover all of these bases in-house.
Sure, it’s possible to set up a few fluke ads that get a reasonably good click-through rate and a pretty healthy conversion rate. But if you’re guessing at each stage, it’s highly unlikely that will happen. The more likely outcome of guesswork is a very expensive bill and a load of traffic that never converts.
It’s also frighteningly easy to sign up for AdWords services that you don’t want, and that will never yield any uplift in conversions.
The Pros and Pros of Outsourcing
It’s common to see businesses going it alone because they fear the cost of outsourcing. But they never factor in the money on wasted ads.
When you outsource PPC, you’re handing the controls to people that are dedicated to keeping their knowledge up-to-date.
When businesses outsource PPC, it’s important that they aren’t locked out of their account. Communication and updates for clients is crucial, and so to is feeding their input back into the campaigns.
Working with an agency can be a huge benefit for your PPC by also integrating it into your overall SEO and marketing strategy. Many businesses forget that every type of inbound marketing is interconnected, and it really helps to outsource PPC to people with that holistic knowledge.