Best practices for a successful PPC campaign
If you are currently considering engaging in any type of search marketing campaign, it’s important to identify the type of campaign that aligns with your goals and provides the best overall ROI.
The goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns is the same – to drive targeted users to a website and into the sales cycle using the various search engines (Google, Bing, etc.). The difference lies in the methods used to capture the users’ attention.
- SEO campaigns rely on organic methods (non-paid) and focus on creation and optimization of website content to capture users.
- PPC campaigns use paid, targeted advertising to engage the users.
Ideally, the two campaigns will be engaged in tandem, as the tactics of each serves to help further optimize the other. For example, showing up organically for the same keywords being bid on in a PPC campaign will help lower the overall cost-per-click and optimize targeting for the organic campaign.
However, budget and timing often dictate a choice of one or the other. In B2B, the sales process can be notoriously long and complex and a PPC campaign can help shorten the process. If you have decided to pursue an adwords campaign, know that a campaign that is poorly managed can cost a company a lot of time, leads and money. To ensure a successful campaign, avoid these common mistakes:
Not using ad groups. One of the basic rules of adwords is that the ad shown – it’s copy and associated landing page – should match the keyword being searched. No one wants to click an ad and be taken to a website or landing page that isn’t relevant. Create separate campaigns and break down ads and keywords into like groups – one for products or each product line, one for content, one for branding, etc.
Broad, phrase or exact match – people don’t know the difference. The match type you select will affect the impact of your ads. The impact should be judged based on your campaign’s goals, whether it’s total impressions (for branding) or generating high quality conversions. Broad match – matching any related search to your chosen keyword – might increase your impressions and click, but may be too generic for generating specific leads.
Not including negative keywords. Negative keywords allow you to further control the searches that trigger your ad by letting Adwords know the keywords that don’t match your products or services. For example, if you are focused on attracting companies in need of ‘healthcare it” but don’t want to show up for someone looking for ‘healthcare it careers’, add careers to your negative keyword list.
Forgetting to bid on your own brand. Competitors can bid on your brand, and likely will. Advertise for your own brand so you don’t lose visitors to your competitor.
Ignoring the competition. Take some time to educate yourself on what your competitors are doing. Pay attention to the keywords they’re using, the ad copy and tone and what their landing pages look like. Compare that information with your own information and use it to improve where possible.
Taking the time to test. Adwords campaigns are dynamic. The validity and success of each campaign as well as the cost changes over time in response to the paid search market, and within each industry. Campaigns need to be tested and optimized on an ongoing basis to net the best results and ROI.
Undertaking a paid search campaign is time consuming and constant optimization of keyword lists and ad copy is the key to a successful campaign. Dodge can help manage these campaigns and help integrate paid search efforts into larger PR and marketing efforts. For more information, download our datasheet on SEO and PPC.