Your 1st Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaign: Step-by-Step Guide

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an online advertising format that gives you control over your online marketing.

Yet, it doesn’t come with the heavy price tag of running full media campaigns.

You get to determine the price for each advertisement based on a cost-per-click basis.

In this article, you will learn the basics of PPC: how to get started and a few additional tips to hit the ground running.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Getting Started

In this section, you will learn how to begin your first PPC campaign.

For clarification, we will be using Google Adwords as the base example.

Step One: The Keyword Research

Keyword research plays an all-important role when using PPC advertising. The keywords you choose will ultimately determine which individual (and search query) your advertisement is displayed to.

There are two questions you should be asking when doing your keyword research:

  • Does this keyword fit my website and campaign?
  • Are my ideal customers using the keyword to find products and services to buy

The later is especially important.

There’s no reason to bid on keywords where a search engine users are merely doing general research – it’s best to focus on “buyer keywords”.

The process of keyword research breaks down into this:

  • Determine what customers want. Not researchers – customers. Figure out what people do and buy through your website. Use your existing analytics to track and compile data on the search terms and buying process.
  • Select a Few Main Keywords. Initially, start with a base set of main keywords for your PPC campaign. These keywords are short, such as “red shoes”, and generally are broad terms that people use for research but may also utilize when they’re ready to buy.
  • Drill Down to Secondary Keywords. From the previous point, use your main keywords as a baseline for finding new, secondary keywords. The secondary keywords are highly-specific, like “size 9 red women’s running shoes”; these are the terms that may not have a lot of search volume but are very specific on what people search for.
  • Compile your List. Export your findings into a spreadsheet or whatever tool you use to track business data. Associate your keyword with the specific pages that match the product the keywords relate to (your destination/landing page).

Open your Google Adwords account once you’ve completed the base keyword research. You can use the advertising platform as an additional tool for keyword research when you examine the suggestions for ads you plan to run.


Step Two: Crafting the PPC Ad

Now it’s time to craft your PPC ad once you have your list of keywords.

From within your pay-per-click dashboard, like in Google Adwords, bring up the ad editor or toggle the ‘manage ads’ to set up your first ad.

The following are the main areas to focus on when building your ads:

  • Headline. The main item people will notice; craft this, in conjunction with your keywords, to tell web users what you’re offering.
  • Body. The body needs to include additional information about the benefits of buying your products, information about your business, or even a discount code. Your body, after the headline, is what hooks the person and creates an urgency to learn about your product.
  • URL. Your URL should point to a specific product page on your website (definitely not the home page). Send people directly to your products and create a symbiotic relationship between the URL displayed (along with ad copy) so visitors completely understand where they are and what they’ve done.

Step Three: Performance Tracking, Optimization, and Expansion

After you’ve created and begun to run your PPC ads – it’s time to get tracking and make improvements.

The basis of your optimization follows these guidelines:

  • Measure your budget vs. take-away earnings (ROI)
  • Track which PPC ads have the highest click-through rate and conversion rate
  • Keep track of your ad copy that receives the biggest response and makes tweaks for future ads using the existing copy.
  • Research competition and do what they’re doing but better
  • Setup A/B testing on your PPC ads and your landing pages for constant testing
  • Begin to expand your advertising campaign onto different platforms and keywords

Testing, tracking, and optimization will give you a better understanding of which of your ads perform and convert to sales. In time, you can use your existing ads as a baseline for future ads.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising: The Conclusion

All-in-all, PPC advertising is a bit intimidating because money is on the line. Use the tips and tricks, when starting, listed in this article and you will be one step closer to running a successful campaign.

Don’t be afraid to try new campaigns with your PPC advertising; use your research and tracking to make intelligent decisions about where to expand and maximize your involvement.

Do you use PPC advertising? Describe your experiences below.