PPC management is not dead. The fierce competition is just getting started. You need a solid plan to ensure you dominate your niche and the ads bring leads.
Here is a five-step guide for an incredibly successful PPC campaign.
2023 PPC Strategy Template to Grow Your Brand Fast
The Internet is chaotic and noisy. You have more brands, including big ones, allocating bigger budgets for digital marketing. Your audience has more options and decisions to make.
As a marketer, your role is not only to bring your brand in front of your leads. You are also responsible for reducing the clutter and helping your prospects make smart choices while making the most of your budget, scaling your business, and increasing conversions.
You can do all these—and more—with a PPC campaign strategy designed for 2023 growth.
1. Audit Your PPC Campaign Strategy
You can never design a reliable PPC marketing plan unless you know what areas to focus on, change, or even remove.
To learn how to improve PPC performance, consider tracking and auditing these nine elements:
- Budget. Are you spending more than you should? Are the numbers aligned with your marketing objectives? High-value campaigns might need the lion’s share of your spending.
- Keywords. Do they reflect how your prospects search for products or services? Do they match the landing pages? Have you been using negative keywords efficiently to exclude irrelevant traffic?
- Metrics. What are your numbers for click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates? How about your cost per lead or acquisition? How do these figures compare with your niche’s average ratios and percentages? Are the ones you are tracking still relevant to your goals?
- Account structure. Is your structure simple and consistent? Are you using ad groups to target different audiences with specific ads and keywords?
- Ad copies. Are they converting and compelling? Do they align with the keywords and landing pages? Do they follow ad policies, or have you updated them to reflect new ad types, formats, and rules?
- Quality score. What is your score, and how does it compare with your performance over the past years? What areas are bringing it down or increasing it?
- Competitor analysis. How do your PPC ads and campaigns fare when compared with your fiercest rivals? What have they been doing that you can adopt or modify?
- Landing pages. Do they provide a satisfying user experience? Are they optimized for conversions?
2. Define Your Marketing Goals
At this stage, you already have the data to support your decisions. The next step is to define clear objectives for your PPC campaigns.
Digital Authority Partners says that having a clear PPC goal can help organize your work better. It also keeps you focused to ensure that you fulfill them.
But how do you set PPC marketing goals? Consider this system:
- Clearly define your campaign using SMART. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Instead of “I want to increase conversions,” say “I want to increase conversions by 15% in three months.”
- Break down these objectives into short- and long-term goals. The statement above is already clear, but it can still feel overwhelming and may lack direction. Split it into actionable steps you can accomplish semi-annually, quarterly, monthly, and weekly.
- Create a flexible PPC marketing plan. Many things can happen between now and the time you reach your goals. Design a resilient PPC management program that can pivot and still fulfill the objectives.
3. Consider the Customer Journey
The most vital part of your PPC campaigns is your understanding of your customers. To be more specific, you should have a clear idea about their buying process:
- What keywords do they use to find your products or services or competitors?
- How long do they take before they buy?
- Do they split their journey into several visits to your website before they purchase?
- What information are they looking for?
- How much do they spend on your products and services?
To match your PPC marketing campaigns with your customer journey, explore these ideas:
- Know your target audience by heart. Be specific about your leads. Where do they live, and what job do they hold? What are their challenges or pain points? Create a buyer persona that will serve as your guide in crafting PPC campaigns.
- Understand the lifecycle of your customers. Are they first-time buyers or repeat purchasers? How often do they purchase, and what keywords do they use in searches? Do they need convincing or assurance before making a decision?
- Track their journey from search to purchase. Analyze how keyword variations, ads, and landing pages influence their decisions. For instance, if a customer sees an ad for a one-off purchase, what happens when you change it to subscription?
4. Get Smart with Responsive Search Ads
As of June 30, 2022, Google has officially retired expanded text ads. It might not take long before Bing follows suit.
While you can still run your existing text ads, new ones will now be responsive search ads (RSAs). RSAs are copies that work alongside Google’s machine-learning model.
- Google combines various ad elements, from headlines to calls to action (CTAs), and displays the most relevant messages to your prospects.
- RSAs also learn over time. This way, it constantly optimizes your copies, making them more targeted, refined, and attractive to your intended audience.
Sounds neat, right? Yes, until Google publishes copies that will not make sense to your leads. This happens when many of the elements do not match.
So learn to optimize RSAs with these tips. For example, let us say you have a business called Joint Benefits, a brand-new physical therapy clinic in New York.
- Identify the best keywords for every marketing campaign. Use platforms such as Google Keyword Planner to get an idea of the keywords related to your offerings or brand. Start with three: “physical therapy,” “physical trainer,” or “sports rehabilitation.”
- Add the essential elements to your headline. Google recommends including the brand, product or service, keyword, and benefits in the headline. So the best ad headlines should have “Joint Benefits,” “physical therapy clinic,” “sports rehabilitation,” and “pain relief.”
- Craft headlines, CTAs, and descriptions based on your keywords and other essential elements. The goal is to ensure that each element makes sense and comes together to create a coherent message. Maximize what is allowed. These include 15 30-character-limit headlines and four 90-character-limit descriptions per ad group.
- Test the ad variations. Do not miss this! Run A/B tests to help you assess whether your ads can provide higher click-through rates, conversions, and other performance metrics regardless of their combination.
- Know their ad strength. This one measures how well your ad follows PPC best practices. These ads can produce the highest conversions and clicks. Google suggests running one or two high-ad-strength RSAs per ad group.
5. Use Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Your Advantage
Most experts think that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will play a big role in digital marketing in 2023 and beyond. For this last step, the focus is on learning to integrate these new technologies to scale PPC marketing strategies quickly.
Consider these ideas:
- Set up automated rules to optimize campaigns, bids, and budgets. Analyze user data and other metrics to quickly identify changes in customer behavior. Then react accordingly to ensure you get the best results from your campaigns.
- Use AI-powered tools for ad optimization. AI can help marketers automatically create campaigns based on their goals. It can also identify high-performing keywords and ad copies that are more likely to generate clicks, conversions, and other user actions.
- Integrate machine learning for smart targeting. With machine learning, you can easily target users based on their browsing behavior, demographic information, and other data points. You can also use it to customize bids depending on each user’s search context.
- Personalize the user experience. AI can help you provide relevant and personalized experiences to users. This way, prospects are more likely to take action as they see ads that accommodate their needs and interests.
Winning PPC does not follow a single formula. Instead, it is a by-product of a cohesive plan composed of updated, brand-oriented, customer-centric marketing strategies. This five-step guide is a perfect example of that.
In the end, it all boils down to what your business needs and how you can use the best PPC practices to get the most out of your campaigns. Work with a digital marketing agency to ensure you have the right setup for success.