Majority of online advertising are built around pay per click ads. As the phrase implies, you pay for the ads on a per click basis. How much you pay for each click will depend on the competitiveness of the keywords in the ad. If there are more advertisers targeting the same keywords, per click cost will also be higher. It works like a bidding process. In some cases, however, the costs of ad clicks are fixed. Creating your own PPC ads is a great way to market your products, services, websites and blogs online. The great thing about it is that it’s not too expensive. In fact, you can run a PPC campaign with just a few dollars, because of its tendency to run on autopilot mode after initial installation.

It is hard to draw a battle line between an automated PPC campaign and one driven manually by human. In the preliminary stages of the PPC campaign human efforts will definitely be required to:

  • List down your goals. What are you planning to accomplish? Where do you want to go? It’s very important that before you start your PPC campaign, you should make clear what your goals are. Is it more web traffic? Is it more profits? More sales? There are different types of pay per click ads, each of which has pros and cons depending on your goals. So think of what you want to achieve before you begin setting up your ads.
  • Learn to do keyword research. This is the most important aspect of the ad creation process. The success of your ad campaign is hugely dependent from this step. If you get your keywords wrong, you will surely lose money. If you get them right, you have great chances in achieving your goals. There are several keyword tools online that you can use to find the appropriate keywords for your ads.
  • Identify who your target market or audiences are. Put yourself in the shoes of your target market. If you are looking at your ad, will you click on it? So learn everything you can about your audience then create ads that should be appealing to them.
  • Take into consideration your advertising budget. PPC ads have varying price points. For instance, image-based banner ads are usually more costly than simple text link ads.
  • Test, track and measure your pay per click advertising campaigns. There is no other way to determine if you are getting positive results from your campaigns other than to track and measure your progress.

After the preliminary stages the PPC campaign can take care of the following on autopilot mode:

  • Ad Copy – Who is writing the ad titles and descriptions? Your agency should be looking at competitors’ messaging, tailoring each ad group to the stage in the buying cycle, and constantly test new creative.
  • Budget and Bidding Strategy – Are the strategies articulated and flexible? Budgets should be flexible enough to move between search engines/content networks/campaigns as necessary. Bid strategy for each campaign should be clear – maximum clicks, highest click-through rate, most conversions, highest cost per conversion, highest ROI, etc.
  • Day to Day Management – What measures of performance will trigger day to day changes? Levers such as match types, dayparting, geo-targeting, accelerated delivery and more, should be evaluated on an ongoing basis. Keywords and negative keywords should continuously be added or paused based on their performance.
  • Content Network – Is the content network available and who makes the creative decisions? The copy in content ads should be different to grab the attention of someone reading an article rather than actively searching for a product.
  • Landing Pages – Will the ads point to landing pages on the main site or custom landing pages? Ideally the landing pages should be targeted to each individual category of keywords and should be designed with usability best practices in mind.
  • Lead Generation – If a company has a lead generation site, how will success be measured? In addition to online lead forms filled out, phone call leads should be tracked, recorded and evaluated for internal training purposes. PPC data should be synced with CRM data to calculate a true ROI.
  • SEO Synergy – Will there be synergy with search engine optimization efforts? Keywords should be strategically targeted between paid and organic so the site dominates search engine results. Web analytics data from organic searches should be constantly reviewed to find keywords to be added to PPC campaigns.
  • Account Structure – What level of service will be offered? Each account should have a dedicated account manager who is accessible and responsible for paid search. In this evolving market, on-going training should be a top priority.
  • Reporting – An automated PPC campaign has the tendency to provide reports and feedbacks with actionable options to its user.

Creating and managing pay per click ads can be rather intimidating at first but once you get more experience with it, it gets easier and simpler. Sometimes, you can even fully automate the process. It’s a very effective strategy in getting the word out about your business. Your business will be exposed to a wider audience, and a targeted audience at that. Provided, of course, that you used the appropriate keywords when you created your PPC ads. PPC advertising also has its risks. If you do it the wrong way, you might end up losing money instead of gaining it. So invest time in researching and setting up your ads to minimize the risks. Automated pay-per-click services certainly have their place in an expanding SEM market, and they may be the only option for small companies. But we believe that the human touch is crucial to manage PPC properly and maximize results, so no one wins really, they both win.

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