Pay per Click Advertising is no longer the great shortcut to low cost lead generation like it was 1-2 years ago. PPC ((Pay per Click) Advertising has matured and its getting more expensive every day for many vertical market segments; but, still effective, if done properly. Fundamental strategies for leveraging pay per click advertising:
1) Check out your competitors and ascertain what’s working for them and what isn’t SpyFu has a great service that is “freemium” based with a low cost upgrade for much more insightful analysis and competitive intelligence.
2) There’s a huge range of PPC Advertising companies and platforms; the big three are usually at the top of every-one’s list: Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. We find not all traffic is equal - you may want to test PPC campaigns via all three and others to see which vendor(s) delivers the best traffic that “converts” (takes a specific action you are looking for).
3) Understand your objectives going in to the campaign and set up your back end so you can measure your return i.e. Sales, Lead Generation, Newsletter Sign ups, Social Media Engagement. Make sure you have Google Analytics set up via your site, regardless of which Ad Platform or company that you use.
4) If you are using Google’ Ad Words Platform, be prepared to spend time setting up your campaign. Google no longer offers customer service support for “smaller campaigns” via direct contact with a sale rep on the phone. And, their Ad Platform is very sophisticated and can take some real time to understand and leverage the intricacies of their system.
5) Leveraging Pay per Click Advertising means much more than just setting up the actual PPC campaign - it now encompasses your landing page, what text is on this page (especially important for Google), testing different ads with multiple landing pages, offers, sense of urgency generated, etc.
6) PPC Advertising should not exist in a vacuum by itself. It should complement Social Media Marketing and Awareness, Organic Search Optimization, Public Relations, Blogging, YouTube and even Print Media.
7) Look for keywords that target your potential customer when they are at a phase of the buy cycle that matches where you think your greatest opportunities are.
8) You may be targeting leads or ecommerce conversions but make sure you have “calls to action” on your web site that give the visitor a way to connect and communicate - they may not be ready to buy, but engaging with your brand is a great thing via a Social Media Follow, Newsletter Sign Up, Subscribing to your Blog, etc.
9) Do extensive testing and conversion measurement - you want to test your Ads, Landing Pages, Keyword mix and Calls to Action.
10) Budget sensibly - start with a small budget and analyze your traffic carefully. You can burn through lots of funds quickly before you realize the traffic is not converting if are not careful.
11) Be aware going into the process your in a bidding situation with other competitors, that the ad reps you are working with, although helpful and friendly, are acting in their company’s self interest and not yours.
Exec Summary for Leveraging Pay per Click Advertising: Budget, Test and Test again, Install Analytics, Competitive Analysis Important, Integrate PPC with other Advertising Processes to extend the campaign’s reach and leverage marketing return on investment.