The 5 Secret Keys to Understanding PPC
Having a tough time wrapping your head around PPC?
Don't give up! All PPC campaigns though have common elements and concepts that can help make all the pieces fall together as you start creating your first ad campaigns.
No matter which PPC system you choose to start with, if you can grasp these concepts, you’ll be miles ahead of the newbie competition.!
Here’s the short list of five concepts that will make everything easier to understand:
1. Geographic Location
Figure out where you want to show your ads. Many PPC ad platforms will leave their “system defaults” set to more countries than your product or offer applies to (or ships to depending on your business).
Action Step: Pick the countries you’d like to advertise in ahead of time so you don’t accidentally end up showing your ads to the wrong people. Start with these countries and these countries only when launching your first pay per click campaigns.
2. Search vs. Content Ads
Before you start your first campaign, figure out if you want to start by placing your ads on people’s searches, placing your ads on websites in your niche, or both. Most advertisers start with search only. It’s usually the best way to hone your ad writing skills, and figure out what types of keywords don’t net sales.
Google is notorious for “opting you in” to advertising on their network of content websites when you think you’re only advertising on search.
Action Step: Decide on what types of ads you want to run beforehand. This will help you watch out these tricky campaign settings.
3. Proper Ad Budgeting
Estimate how much you could afford to spend on PPC each month and divide it by 30 to get your daily ad budget. Most PPC ad platforms allow you to set a defined budget on a daily (or sometimes monthly basis). Giving forethought to a realistic daily ad budget and carefully setting up the budget settings in your new campaign ensures you start at a pace you’re comfortable with.
Action Step: Take the time right now to figure out how much you could spend each month on PPC if your were getting at least a 20% return on your ad spend.
4. Ad Scheduling
Knowing what days of the week to run your ads is critical. Running your ads when no one is around to take orders or when your customers are off for the weekend can sink your profitability.
When setting up a new ad campaign, be sure to use the networks’ ad scheduling features to ensure your ads show up at the right time in front of the right eyeballs.
Action Step: Be sure to look out for ad running times when launching your first campaign.
5. Goal Tracking
No matter which ad platform you choose, you’ll need to make sure you can keep track of what’s making sales and what’s not.
Google Adwords, Yahoo Search ads, and Microsoft AdCenter all have tracking codes ready-made that you install on your site that feed back successful sales or lead counts to their system so you can see down to the keyword-level what should be cut.
Action Step: Find the "Conversion Tracking" codes tab or section on the PPC platform you're using and make sure it's installed properly on your site per the detailed instructions.
Help in Visualizing PPC Decisions
PPC goals vary from advertiser to advertiser, but there’s plenty of decision points along the way. We’ve created a PPC decision flow chart to help make the elements of successful PPC easier to visualize.
Click to enlarge, and please feel free to save this to your hard drive as a handy reference. :)