Advanced techniques for PPC Marketing
How To Build Landing Pages for PPC Campaigns
Not all websites need a separate landing page for a campaign. Well-defined sites may have existing pages with a core message and a clear call-to-action. But for many campaigns or events, a dedicated landing page is needed and there are several best practices to consider. For example, I used to be a freelance agency to manage digital marketing and strategic planning for real estates distributors, they have their own main websites, but for each project we created several landing page with different layout and design which aimed to reach different target groups. In fact, in real estates industry, the sales funnel is longer in the fast moving industry, especially in the stage of search, consideration, and comparison. They always look for different sites for the same project. By maximizing the presence, the share of voice of the company is still higher in a specific period.
One core action
Do not confuse people with too many possible actions they can take when they come to your website. Providing too many options can actually paralyze people, known as the paradox of choice. You also cannot present every option in your ad so it does not make sense to have multiple options on your landing page either. This is also a reason for us to think of creating different landing pages. Not only for landing page, you can try with facebook fanpage, you can advertise with the same target group but the people each fanpage reaches will be different. By creating different pages can help us maximize REACH.
Refrain from including extraneous information on your landing page. If an image, video, download, link, etc has nothing to do with your offer, then it should not be included. Remove the standard navigation because you want people to stay on your page until they complete an action.
Ensure your images are at high quality and related to the page content. This is not the time to use the same stock images that you see everywhere else. It should support the message on the page.
When people are uncertain about a decision, they look to others to help determine their next step. This is where trust signals such as testimonials come into play. Include testimonials on your page from customers who are glad they worked with you.
Targeting Your PPC Campaigns
There are many targeting methods available for ads. With some platforms, such as Google, Bing and Amazon, you can target based on keywords. With the Google Display Network, you can choose placements. And with Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin you can target specific audiences. Most channels have multiple options. When you decide which channels to use, explore the different targeting methods because you may not always want to use keywords. When you do keyword research, the right keywords depend on your offer. If your campaign is focused on awareness, then you will have more high volume and low intent words indicating people are in the early stages and just beginning to do their research. When your campaign goal is a conversion, you want people in the later stages. Those keywords will be lower volume but a higher intent indicating people are closer to purchasing
There are similar considerations with audience targeting. When you retarget and reach returning audiences, they are more likely to convert so you can have a lower-funnel CTA. With a B2B offer, you might choose an audience in the beginning stage of the research process with one ad message. Another ad could be geared to users who are the decision-makers, such as executives on LinkedIn.
If you target by placements, look at trends and your data to determine the best solution. On Facebook, I sometimes exclude the right column because it is more expensive for people to convert. With Google Ads, I exclude mobile apps as a placement because I think those are too often hit by accident. Consider trends about performance in different placements, but it’s always worthwhile to test because you may have a different experience based on your industry.
How To Create PPC Campaigns
Determine the structure
Determining the structure in advance will make your campaigns easier to manage. The campaign is the highest level of your account and each one may be created based on budget and geographic location of your audience. Each campaign has one or more ad groups in it.
For example, in Google Search Ads, each ad group is set to a specific theme with relevant keywords such as men’s shirts or women’s shirts. In this example, you would not promote both product lines in the same group because it’s too broad. Each ad group has one or more ads which is what users see on the relevant channel. Ads are for users. The ad groups and campaigns are behind the scenes and not something users see.
A helpful structure regardless of the channel is to organize your campaign based on the structure of your website. If we return to the idea of a clothing retailer, they might have sections for men, women and kids. It could also be organized by seasonal clothing, clearance items, etc. Looking at the navigation on your website is a good place to start.
Enabling conversion tracking on your website enables to see if your PPC campaign goals are being met because it shows what happened on your website after someone clicked your ad. A conversion is an action that you define as being important to your business such as a phone call, purchase, or filling out a lead-generation form. View the guidelines for each platform to see what is required to set up conversion tracking, such as with Google Ads or Facebook Ads. How To Create PPC AdsCreating ads is the fun part – for me anyway! This is where your creativity can run wild as you determine which images to use and messages to promote in your ad. Whether your ad is an image or only text, the CTA should be a verb. All ads should be clear on what the user should do once they click on it and the CTA helps guide that. If your ad invites them to a free download, when they click on it and arrive on the landing page, they should immediately see the download option and not have to hunt for it.
Good ads speak to the audience using their language and their needs. It is easy for brands to talk about why they might be better than other companies or what is special about what they offer. While there is a place for that with testimonials on the landing page, these are not things that an audience cares about initially. The audience has a specific problem and wants to know how you would solve it for them.
Leverage The Principles of InfluenceWhen writing ads, there are psychological principles you can use to influence people to buy from you. The key here is influence, not manipulate. Influence: The psychology of persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini is a book every marketer should read because it helps you understand how people make decisions and why people do what they do.
The reciprocation rule happens when you are offered something for free and then feel that you need to make a purchase. Ads have a free offer because that gets you into the pipeline and once you take that first step, you are more inclined to continue in the funnel.
We are also familiar with the limited-time one where you have an offer that ends at midnight or is only available to the first 50 people. It puts pressure on people to purchase before they miss a deal.
Comparison pricing is another popular one. If you are offered a new piece of technology for $500 it’s hard to know if that’s a good price or bad price. But if that price was previously $1,000 then it does look like a good offer. But this can be manipulative when this is not an actual change in price but just an attempt to look that way. Customers will catch on to this and not be happy. However, if you are legitimately offering a good deal you do want to highlight a significant price decrease so customers do see the value.
The other one I want to mention is social proof. We look around to see if other people think we should do or buy something. The benefits of social proof can be seen on landing pages when advertisers mention awards or testimonials.
Remember – if you manipulate people to buy you might get a customer one time. But not only will they not come back, they will tell all their friends not to visit you either. It never worth compromising to get that one sale. How To Maintain Your PPC Campaigns
If your PPC campaign is keyword-based, you need to monitor the cost and performance of the keywords in your campaigns. If a keyword is not performing well but is important to your overall strategy, you may not want to remove it from your campaign. Instead, you could put it into its own ad group and create new ad copy to better incorporate that keyword. You ould also have a separate landing page is more targeted to that specific keyword. If you’re not sure about the importance of the keyword, you could pause it temporarily so it does not impact your overall ad performance while you decide if you should keep it.
Compare ads in each ad group to each other. If an ad is low-performing, you may want to pause it, duplicate a high-performing ad, and then make minor edits to the duplicate so you can slightly modify the new ad copy. Do not change too many things in your ad copy at the same time because you will not know what it is that people respond to. For example, you might change only the headline of an ad or you might keep the copy exactly the same and change the image. Although you need to give ads time to perform, you don’t want to keep them running if they do not resonate with your audience.
Another tactic for maintaining your campaigns is viewing the performance differences based on where the ad is seen. With Google Ads, you have the Search Network, Display Network and Search Partners. With Facebook, you can see how your ad does in the news feed versus the right hand column. Or compare the Facebook performance to Instagram performance. It is good practice to test multiple networks and placement options because you cannot always predict how your ad is going to perform, but you can learn very quickly which options are best for your account
Also watch how your budget is being used over the course of a month. If you blow through your budget quickly and the campaign is doing well, it’s ideal to add a little bit more to it. If you are underspending and need to spend a specific amount each month, then you can revisit your keyword strategy and find new words. If you have a maximum cost for each click set in your account, you could also raise that to spend your monthly budget. We have several additional tips to avoid under and overspending your budget.
Reporting PPC Marketing Performance
When it comes time to report on your PPC campaign results, you need to think back to what your original goals were to determine if your campaigns were successful and ensure you report on the right data. If your goal was to increase awareness, then a metric such as impressions is important. If filling out a form is your key conversion, then you want to know not only how many people filled out the form but also how many people visited the page yet did not fill it out. A significant difference in those numbers could indicate a problem with the design or language of your landing page.
After you run campaigns for a while, you want to include historical data in your reports. This way, you can see if campaign performance is improving or declining which could happen for a number of reasons. One reason for a decline is if more competitors enter the space. When there’s more competition, the budget may no longer get as many results as in the past. Performance can also decline if there is fatigue with your ad. If you approve your ad copy one time and don’t make any changes to it, people see the same ads over and over and they become blind to them. If you’ve been watching your campaigns – managing keywords and making appropriate changes based on performance – then you should see an improvement in your campaigns over time.
Although the recipient of your reports does not need to see every detail, you – as the analyst – should go deeper so you have solid recommendations going forward for the campaign. Beyond the basic metrics, it is useful to know when the campaigns do well. Many B2B campaigns run Monday through Friday which makes sense because that is when most businesses are open. It can still be useful to test weekends for a short period of time. For example, a campaign may do well on Saturday morning as the workweek often extends into off-hours and people are catching up. Or a Monday through Friday campaign may be best, but most clicks happen towards the end of the day. In that case, ad scheduling is a good tactic.
Each channel, such as Facebook or Google Ads, has basic report features built into the platform so it is a good place to start if you want to see the performance on one channel. With Google Ads, you can use a script to pull your ad data into a presentation with the Google Slides API.