Doing PPC the right way requires an intricate blend of knowledge and skill. Success will depend largely on developing and perfecting your methods through testing and hands-on experience with the different elements of a PPC campaign.
So before you put on your PPC gloves and jump into the ring, be wise to the fact there’s more to it than simply creating an AdWords account and watching the money roll in. Affiliates need patience and discipline to make real progress. Campaigns can sometimes take unexpected turns or months to yield any significant return.
That being said, some established business practices are already in place for you to use as a guide on your road to success.
Pick your products wisely. Know your products. When you know your product or service first-hand you can promote it more authentically using targeted, effective messaging. Build your marketing initiatives around products you personally use or, at the very least, products that you believe in.
If you follow this simple rule, your marketing efforts will be naturally infused with the personality and authority of a trusted source.
Study buyer behavior. You need to understand what need you’re fulfilling with the customers you are targeting. Ask yourself questions such as “What is my prospect looking for?” and “What will convince them that I have what they’re looking for?”
Don’t shy away from doing some research. Find out what other products your prospects buy. Learn what words they use online. Get inside their heads. Having this information will prove invaluable to your success.
Build a strong campaign structure. Campaign structure involves building your keyword list, geo-targeting, setting your daily ad spend, and keyword bidding. Out of these, budget settings are probably the best place to start building your campaign.
If you know what you have to spend and build out from there, your campaign structure will always be sound, and you won’t run out of funds prematurely. It will also help you decide what keywords you are realistically in the market for and how granular you want to be in creating their permutations.
With practice, you’ll be able to manage all your settings simultaneously and eventually set a separate budget for multiple campaigns. As a general rule though, you want to keep your campaigns as simple as possible in the beginning.
Write great PPC ad copy. Writing great PPC ad text is a bona fide art form. It requires a level of finesse and precision that goes beyond ordinary copywriting skills because the writer has a mere 70 characters to let his or her prospect know what product the company is offering and why the customer should choose this ad over others.
In general, creating high-performance PPC ad copy requires practice and a willingness to explore your creative side. PPC ads thrive with bold, compelling statements that state the benefit in a clear way.
So what’s the secret to getting your PPC ad writing up to snuff? Practice, practice, practice!
Employ strong graphic design. This is the visual complement to your PPC ad copywriting. It’s also one of the main components of landing page optimization. A large part of strong design is not just working with a good designer, but also staying in touch with your creative side when testing different versions and placements of buttons, images, offers, and text.
Once you’ve analyzed the data on your landing page performance, you’ll want to transform it into changes that increasingly spur your customers to action.
Test, test and test again.
Underlying all these success elements is the need to develop a culture of testing. Every element of a PPC campaign can and needs to be tested –- not just your landing page. The benefit of this is knowing, with time and commitment, you will be able to discern which ad copy results in a higher CTR, which product leads to a higher ROI and which page design encourages more viewers to follow your call to action.
Careful, planned and documented testing can make the difference between a successful campaign and a costly one.
Analyze your stats. Proper stats analysis is the foundation behind PPC campaign optimization. Being able to interpret data within your account is essential. You can gain this valuable skill by testing your own ideas, studying various help files and tutorials, joining forums, and asking poignant questions of other marketers.
The knowledge you gain from studying your stats will improve your campaigns with the end goal of creating higher converting PPC ads. And remember, the better the click-through rate on your ads, the higher your quality score and the less money you pay-per-click. It’s all connected!
Original article written for Adotas.com on October 29th, 2009