Welcome to part two of our introduction to PPC – not read part one yet? Read them in order – y’know it makes sense y’all
So last time we gave a brief overview of what PPC is. Today we’ll be looking at the planning stages you should go through prior to setting up your PPC Campaign.
Before you rush straight in there creating your account, picking keywords, creating ads and so on, it’s a really good idea to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Now’s the best time to get your house in order.
So what do you need to do first?
Decide what you are trying to achieve…
Now this might sound obvious, but it’s a really important step. Depending on what sort of business you run you might be looking to achieve one or more of the following:
- Sales / Purchasers
- Email sign ups
- Whitepaper downloads
- User registrations
This is by no means an exhaustive list, your own objective(s) might be different – but now’s the time to decide.
Check your website & internal processes are up to the job
All too often we see clients whose PPC campaigns have been ill-fated from the start, simply because their websites and/or their internal processes weren’t set up to fulfill their objectives.
You need to get this sorted out now. As soon as your campaign’s up and running you’ll be spending money, and that money will be wasted if your website or your internal processes aren’t up to scratch.
For example if you’re running your campaign because you want to generate sales leads – here are some key things to double-check:
- How can visitors register their interest in your product or service? If they need to complete an online form, does the form work? Is it easy to complete, or does it throw back endless errors? Does it ask for more information than you really need?
- Where do the completed forms go to – make sure they don’t get ‘lost’?
- What happens with the completed lead forms? How are they dealt with internally? Does just one person deal with the leads? What happens if they’re not in the office?
- Are there other routes to conversion? E.G. can visitors call you to register their interest? How are you going to track that? How will those leads be dealt with?
- How are you going to monitor how many of the leads turn into sales?
We really could go on (and on and on) about this – but I’m sure you get the general idea.
Think about what you can afford to pay per click
Again – this really is fundamental. So much so we devoted a blog post to the subject. You don’t need to set this in stone right away, but it is worth thinking about this now.
When you first start a PPC campaign it will be a steep learning curve.
It is unlikely that from the get go you’ll have a profitable campaign. You’ll need to test and learn as you go. You’ll also need to get commitment from others to do likewise.
As such it’s a really good idea to agree a budget from the outset. Ideally you should also gain agreement as to how long you’re going to give the trial. When we take on a new client we ask that they sign up for a minimum period of three months. This allows us to iron out kinks in the campaign, test, get rid of the bits that don’t work, maximise the bits that do and so on.
Above all, make sure that everyone’s comfortable with the budgets which have been agreed.
So, plenty to be getting on with
Next time, we’ll be looking at setting up your PPC campaign – same bat time, same bat channel (or something).