Google Ads are one of the quickest ways to acquire new customers while generating a positive ROI.
The question is, what constitutes an effective PPC management strategy?
This beginner’s guide will teach you how to plan, execute, and optimise your PPC strategy. You’ll be up and running with profitable PPC campaigns in no time, from goal setting to campaign structure and optimisation.
Before we get started, let’s define PPC management and what it means for the savvy ROI-driven marketer.
What exactly is PPC Management?
PPC management is the oversight of a company’s entire PPC ad strategy and budget by a marketer (or team of marketers).
An in-house team of marketers and media buyers can handle this.
A PPC expert (or agency) is typically responsible for the following tasks:
- Keyword research entails locating and identifying the keywords that your target audience is looking for.
- Channels to target: Choosing which paid media channels to pursue.
- Google Ads, Bing Ads, display networks, and even social media advertising are examples of these.
- PPC monitoring: Evaluating the effectiveness of each campaign and keyword to ensure that PPC efforts are yielding a positive ROI.
- Competition analysis: Investigating what the competition is doing, which keywords they are targeting, and the ad creative they are employing (to uncover gaps they can fill in on their own).
- A/B testing of new ads and landing pages on a regular basis.
- Experiment on a regular basis across the entire PPC funnel.
Not every company has the funds to hire an in-house PPC manager.
As a result, hiring an agency may make more sense, especially if you’re new to the world of PPC (and media buying in general) or don’t have the in-house resources to handle it yourself. Now that you understand what PPC management is, let’s take a look at how to do it effectively in these four key areas.
1. Establish Realistic and Data-Driven Goals
Clear roadmaps are the foundation of successful PPC campaigns.
In other words, before you begin, you must know where you’re going and what you want to accomplish.
The first step is to understand your key business metrics.
- Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
- Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Average Deal Size
- Product Margins
Whatever your “true north” metrics are, it’s critical that you use them as a barometer for the success of your PPC management efforts.It is also critical to understand how each of these metrics affects the others.Just because you have a 500 percent ROAS doesn’t mean your product margins are healthy. It’s also important to keep your expectations in check.
It’s important to be optimistic about your PPC ROI and aim for the stars, but expecting a 1000 percent ROI right away is unrealistic.
So, what do you hope to gain from your PPC campaigns?
Among the possible objectives are:
- Increasing the number of purchases: If you sell digital products or run an ecommerce store, your primary goal is to get website visitors to make a purchase.
- Increasing lead generation:
Lead generation is most likely your top priority if you sell B2B, high-ticket products or professional services. Your PPC campaigns’ goal will be to convert these visitors into qualified leads that you can nurture later. You can reverse engineer each tactical element of PPC to achieve these strategic goals if you keep these strategic goals in mind.
Begin by setting revenue targets.
For example, your objective could be to generate an additional $100,000 over the next quarter. Then, determine your average LTV or Average Order Value (AOV) to determine how many new customers you’ll need to meet your revenue target. If your AOV is $170, for example, you’ll need to acquire 589 new customers to meet your revenue target. Using LTV, on the other hand, may be a more realistic metric.
It can significantly reduce the number of customers you need to generate because it represents the average amount a customer will bring in over the course of a year (or several years).With this acquisition goal in mind, you can start creating campaigns that will help you achieve it.Determine which keywords have a high enough volume to attract the right amount (and type) of traffic. Predict PPC conversion rates using data from your existing products and landing pages.
2. PPC Structure: Pay Attention to Google, But Don’t Follow
When it comes to planning your PPC campaigns, Google can be a great source of information. The issue is that your interests and theirs are not the same. Sure, the information they provide will make an excellent guide. However, you should not simply blindly follow them.
After you’ve completed the initial setup, you can begin optimising and structuring your PPC campaigns to maximise their effectiveness.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
When you first start out, your keyword strategy will look like spaghetti on the wall. To put it another way, you’ll have to see what sticks. You can create ad groups that target specific keywords after your campaigns have been running for a while. This will have a significant impact on your entire PPC marketing funnel.
Create a campaign that focuses on specific aspects of your product or service.You could, for example, have one for branded terms, several for your various product categories, and yet another for competitor terms.
- Ad Groups: Ad groups, which are located below the campaign level, allow you to group ads together.
This is used to control which ads are served with which keywords.In a campaign for a specific product category, for example, you would create ad groups for each of your products.
- Ad Copy: Your ad copy must be optimised in order to attract users who are looking for your target keyword.
This includes including the keyword in the headline as well as copywriting elements such as benefits, social proof, and urgency to entice them to act.
- Ad Extensions: Use Ad Extensions to take up more SERP real estate.
Location extensions, call extensions, and site extensions are examples of these.
- Landing Pages: For each of your campaigns, you must create a unique landing page.
This is significant because it connects the searcher’s query to the conversion.
Addressing the specific needs of the searcher (which means understanding their intent) increases your chances of gaining trust and converting them to customers.
- Analytics: You must track every stage of your PPC funnel.
This enables you to determine which keywords, ads, and landing pages are effective.
And once you’ve determined what works, you can re-allocate your budget to those areas to boost your ROI.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Over Budget Early
Marketing is frequently a game of constant testing, particularly when trying new ideas. You won’t always hit home runs unless you’ve collected some data to work with. PPC management is no exception.
When you start creating campaigns for yourself and your clients, you’ll have to spend some money to see what works. But don’t worry: if you do it correctly, you can make it all back with a good ROI.
During the first 30 days, it is critical to cast a wide net in order to gauge the market’s pulse. The data you acquire during this time will inform your long-term strategy, determining which keywords, adverts, and landing pages to focus on.
One approach is to start with both exact and broad match modifier (BMM) keywords.
The BMM keywords will cast a wide net for you, allowing you to determine which exact match keywords are driving conversions (to refine future campaigns). This can help with budget allocation from the start because you can commit money to both and acquire two quite distinct sets of data to support with strategy while not going over budget.
During this critical first month, keep a close eye on your search query reports.
Keep an eye out for the following:
- New keyword ideas: Are there terms that are performing well that you did not consider targeting during the setup phase?
- Negative keywords: Google will show your advertisements for keywords that are unrelated to what you offer.
Add them to your list of negative keywords, which are keywords you don’t want to appear in your campaigns.
- Highest-performing keywords:
These are your “money” keywords – the ones that bring in the most sales. Once you’ve found your top-performing keywords, put them in their own ad group. You will improve your quality score by doing so.
A high quality score translates to a higher ranking in the SERPs at a reduced cost, resulting in a higher ROI. Be careful to track click-throughs and landing page performance within the first 30 days.
This includes the following:
- Ad variant click-throughs: Which ads are the most effective?
Split test your text to improve the click-through rate of your headlines and copy.
- Landing page engagement: Are some landing pages “stickier” than others?
Look for variations with a lower bounce rate and a higher time on page.
Finally, which of your landing pages, advertising, and campaigns are the most effective in terms of conversions?
Look for trends in landing page design and ad language to replicate in your other ad groups and campaigns. With all of this information at your disposal, you can ensure that your long-term PPC management approach is perfectly tuned. Add any irrelevant keywords to your list of “negative keywords” to get rid of them and save money. Then, focus on your top-performing assets and double-down on those that generate the most conversions and sales.
4. Continuously Measure and Optimise to Boost Results
It is your responsibility to optimise your campaigns for long-term success after you have a solid long-term strategy in place.
There are two approaches to this:
- Increase the number of campaigns, ad groups, and target keywords in your PPC plan.
- Run split tests on your existing assets to improve performance.
For increased success, each stage of your PPC marketing funnel can be optimised:
- Experiment with fresh keywords to see how they compare to existing (but relevant) keywords.
- Test new ad versions with different headlines and description copy.
- Test landing page components like headlines and calls-to-action.
Before you begin testing, decide which measure you want to improve. Is it the CTR, the CPC, or the conversion rates?
Your experiment will be defined by the metric you select. For example, a CTR optimisation trial will most likely revolve around target keywords or ad language. While a test to enhance conversion rates will necessitate the optimisation of your landing page.
It’s time to define your hypothesis once you’ve determined what you’re optimising towards. This is essentially a prediction for the outcome of your A/B test. For example, “By improving and testing fresh headlines, we will enhance our quality score and minimise our CPC.”
Your hypothesis should then guide your A/B test concepts.
Using the above hypothesis, these thoughts could be:
- Including the target keyword
- Including social proof, such as the number of clients served
- Various value propositions or USPs
- Customer feedback
Choose your concept by weighing the idea’s impact if it works, your confidence that it will work, and the ease of implementation (also known as the ICE framework). With this in hand, it’s time to put the test to the test.
Determine your sample size and the length of time the test will run.
You can accomplish this by deciding on a certain timescale or by terminating the experiment when statistical significance is reached. When running new ads, Google has a cool new feature that makes running experiments easy. In Google Ads, head down to “Drafts & experiments” in the left-hand menu:
Then, under “Ad Variations,” select “New Experiment.” This is where you’ll create your new ad variation against an existing ad from the campaign you’re looking to optimize.
For landing page experiments, Optimizely is a great tool you can use to easily split-test various elements. Simply add the short code provided by Optimizely to your website and you can test new elements on your landing pages with ease:
It’s time to measure findings when your experiment has ran for the specified time (or gained statistical significance).
Which variant has emerged as the clear winner?
If your experiment proved successful, make it a permanent adjustment.
Then repeat the process.
PPC management, as you can see, is a strategic undertaking, not a collection of growth hacks or a bag of tricks. Profitable Google Ad campaigns rely on data to inform, optimise, and expand over time.
This tutorial should set you on the path to profitable PPC management. Use the available data as well as what you collect over time to continuously boost your ROI.
If you really want to make the most of your campaigns you may also want to think about professional PPC management