If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to get you on your way to building successful PPC campaigns that drive converting customers to your site, then this is the guide for you. In it, we'll go over what exactly PPC is, how it works, and what steps you need to take to ensure your PPC marketing campaign is a success.

What is PPC?

PPC, which stands for pay-per-click, is a digital marketing model. At its core, it's a means for advertisers to create ad campaigns, and when one of their ads are clicked, the advertisers pay a fee. In other words, it's a way for advertisers to pay for site traffic rather than trying to drive traffic to their site in an organic way.

There are a number of companies that offer PPC advertising, many of them social networks. But the specific branch of PPC we're going to be focusing on is search engine advertising. Search engine advertising allows you to bid on ad placement in a search engine's sponsored links when a user searches for a keyword you're targeting in your PPC campaign.

As an example, if we're targeting the keyword "digital marketing guides", and someone searches this keyword, a sponsored link will show at the top of the search engine results. If our link is clicked, we pay a small fee to the search engine. If the person that clicks on our link goes on to spend hundreds of dollars, then this is a successful conversion and our PPC campaign is working well.

With that said, there's a lot to consider when building a successful PPC campaign. Here are just a few of the things you have to consider:

  • Researching and selecting the right keywords
  • Organising your keywords into ad groups
  • Building PPC landing pages optimised for conversions

Another thing to keep in mind is that search engines reward advertisers who create smartly targeted campaigns and relevant content. If your advertisements and content is useful to people, search engines charge you less per click. Next, we'll take a look at some of the factors you need to take into consideration when building successful ad campaigns with Google Ads.

Google Ads

Google Ads is, far and away, the most popular PPC advertising platform in the world. Running a successful ad campaign with Google Ads will result in your ads appearing at the top of Google's search results when a user searches for a keyword you're targeting.

As an advertiser, when you start a new marketing campaign, you'll bid on keywords and then pay Google for each click you get on your advertisement. When a user searches for a keyword you're targeting, there are a few different factors that determine whether your particular ad is shown in the search results. The long and short if it boils down to this: the marketing budget of the advertisers and the relevance of your advertising and content.

As previously stated, the relevance of your advertising and content is of great import when Google makes the calculations to decide which ads are shown. At the end of the day, Google wants to give its users what they're searching for.

The second major factor is your marketing budget. This is your CPC (cost per click) bid. When you create a campaign with Google Ads, you're able to choose the maximum amount you want to spend on a click. So assuming you and your competitors have relevant content, the one whose ad gets shown is the one with the bigger budget. This is determined by an advertiser's Ad Rank, which is a metric Google uses to calculate whether or not your ad is shown.

  • CPC Bid
  • Quality Score

There are a a good number of factors to take into account when crafting a successful PPC campaign, but you can go a long way by focusing on the following:

  • Keyword relevance: Creating relevant keyword lists, cohesive keyword groups, and solid advertising copy.
  • Relevant Content: Having relevant landing pages with excellent ad copy with a clear call-to-action
  • Quality Score: Advertisers with higher quality scores get higher volume of ad clicks at lower costs.

With that said, let's take a more in-depth look at doing keyword research for PPC campaigns.

PPC keyword research

Keyword research for PPC campaigns is a bit of a different beast compared to doing keyword research for organic traffic. But as with organic campaigns, PPC keywords are immensely important. Your keyword list is the cornerstone of your campaign, and for your campaign to be successful, you need to be committed to continuously growing and refining your list of keywords. If you limit yourself to only the initial round of keyword research, you'll be missing out on a plethora of keywords that have the potential to drive even more traffic to your site.

When doing your keyword research, your keyword list should be relevant to your products, services, and content. As stated previously, this is approximately one half of your Google Ads Quality Score, so focusing on having great content and relevant ad campaigns is just as important as your marketing budget.

Your keyword list should also be extremely thorough. You want to pay special attention to long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are less common than short keywords, but they're also highly specific, so they result in a much higher engagement by users. If you have an exhaustive list of long-tail keywords, you're going to see your conversions continue to climb.

Finally, your keyword list should be ever-evolving. Don't simply create a list and then rest on your laurels. Continue to do research, pruning away keywords that aren't working and experimenting with new ones. Keyword research should be something you dedicate a good amount of time to over the long haul. To be successful, you have to continue to adapt and grow.

Just as with your keyword research, performing continuous management of your campaigns is crucial if you want to see success.

Campaign management

Just as with your keyword research, performing continuous management of your campaigns is crucial if you want to see success. There a lot of different ways that you can continue to refine and perfect your campaigns.

During the course of your campaign, continue to research keywords, removing ones that aren't working and finding new ones to add to your campaigns that are relevant. Additionally, you can also add negative keywords to your campaign to improve the relevance of your ads and reduce cost. Another way to reduce keyword cost is to weigh the benefits of expensive keywords that aren't performing well. If they aren't giving you conversions, don't be afraid to nix them.

Another way to improve your campaign is to split your ad groups into smaller campaigns. This can give your more relevant keywords which you can use to create target ad copy and landing pages.

Last, but certainly not least, is the content and landing pages that your ads are sending your potential customers to. As you continue to refine your campaign, be sure you build multiple landing pages with engaging calls-to-action that are relevant to the keywords you're targeting.

Wrapping up

There's a lot to consider when running a PPC campaign. It takes a lot of hard work and time to run a successful one, but if you follow the tenants in this guide, you will see success, and you'll soon be showered with new customer conversions for your online business.

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