You have a company, and you are excited to start bringing in potential customers via the internet. Where should you start? Consider this your freshman year college-level pay-per-click (PPC) course — PPC101.
1. Create a Website: While this may seem like a no-brainer, you would be surprised how many people come to JumpFly to spend money on digital advertising without having a website in place. To advertise on the internet, you must have a website to direct traffic to from the ads.
2. Set Up Conversion Tracking: To effectively manage PPC efforts, it is vital to have some type of conversion tracking in place on your website. You can tailor your conversion goals to your business objectives. Whether you want to drive calls, purchases, or form fills — there is a conversion action for that. Paying for clicks and not tracking conversions is not advised. A recommended way to set up conversion tracking is to use Google Tag Manager. This allows you to easily insert and update conversion tracking codes on your site.
3. Establish a Marketing Budget: Having a budget in place before setting up your PPC campaigns is crucial. If your business is brand new, this may be an uncomfortable topic. How can you spend money on ads if you aren’t bringing in any money until you start running ads? Consider your marketing budget an investment into your business — we all know the old saying: “you’ve got to spend money to make money.” And that is as true in PPC as it is everywhere else.
4. Create Your Shopping Feed: If you want to advertise an ecommerce site, make sure that your shopping feed is set up before you start running ads. Having a feed in place will make it easier to set up shopping campaigns via Google Merchant Center.
5. Designate Which Products or Services to Focus On: When thinking about paid search ads, you want to get the most bang for your buck. Keep in mind which products or services make you the most money, and start your efforts by focusing on those things. Once you see if your money makers can bring home the bacon by converting, you can expand your efforts to other product or service tiers that you offer.
6. Decide What Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Will Be: Your USP makes you stand out from your competitors and makes your ads pop on the search engine results page (SERP). Will you offer free shipping or a free gift with purchase? What about free returns, guaranteed price matching, or a money-back guarantee? All these are USPs that you should highlight in your ads. Ensuring that this USP messaging is in place will help your ads perform better among competing ads on the SERP.
7. Choose Which Location You Want Your Ads to Target: If you are a service provider and want to advertise your business online, it is essential to have your target business areas in mind before you start running ads. Geotargeting can help with keyword research since you may find location-specific keywords when setting up your account.
8. Select Your Keywords: Having a concise list of dead-on keywords is an excellent place to start. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers — what would you type into Google if you were searching for a company like yours? Start with this list, and use the keyword research tools provided by paid advertising platforms to build upon it. It is best to start with a very tight list of keywords — you can continually expand and add more. At the beginning of this process, focus on keywords that are precisely what you offer.
While this is not an exhaustive list of what you should do before you start PPC, these are important steps to take before beginning your paid search adventure. By making sure these eight steps are complete, you are giving yourself a head start when it comes to getting your ad campaigns built. Plus, if you hire an agency to manage your ads — they will love you if you already have all of this figured out!