How to put together an awesome PPC strategy

20 Jan 2021


Helen Crompton

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For short-term and more immediate results, ecommerce PPC is the game. Google is continuously updating and tweaking to make online shopping more relevant, easy and enjoyable for digital consumers. Let a talented PPC agency like us give some insight into how to put together an awesome PPC strategy that creates wins. First, let’s take a look at how Google’s Smart Shopping Campaigns tie into a smart PPC strategy.

Google’s Smart Shopping Campaign

Google set up Google Smart Shopping Campaigns to help businesses get the best out of their ads by:

  • Making them far easier to set up
  • Making them more cost-effective, as they require minimal efforts
  • Automating bidding to generate more revenue with your budget
  • Allowing automatic optimisation to return ad spend
  • Increasing conversion rate
  • Incorporating remarketing
  • Allowing you to lower/pause products that don’t provide a good enough ROI and push budgets through ‘best sellers’
  • Combining existing product feeds and assets with Google’s machine learning to show a variety of ads across networks
  • Using Smart Shopping Campaigns with any Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) that you work with (in Europe), showing ads on general search results pages and on any other surfaces that the CSS has opted into

Putting together a PPC strategy

1. Deciding goals and budget

To begin any efficient PPC strategy, it’s important to define your goals and budget beforehand. What do you specifically want to achieve? By knowing exactly what you want to achieve, your PPC campaigns can run more efficiently and smoothly; you will also be able to choose the right platforms and ad types to suit your marketing objectives. 

Here’s a few PPC objectives you might want to consider…

  • Increase traffic flow to your website
  • Lead generation
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Sales and conversions

PPC and Google Ads are perfect avenues if your aim is conversions. For raising brand awareness, increasing traffic flow and lead generation, using paid social media is a great strategy to reach new and lookalike audiences. For instance, Facebook’s lead generation ads offer highly targeted marketing tools for lead capture, magnets and scoring.

2. Targeting your PPC campaigns to the right audiences

Google Ads

Using search engines – particularly Google, the most popular – is one of the smartest ways to market to specific audiences online. Capturing the right leads to convert involves a process of understanding and using search intent i.e. what’s the searcher’s objective? Understanding this first, before you target, will set you up for a more successful PPC campaign. 

So what else do you need to consider when targeting your ads in your PPC strategy?

  • The keywords you should bid for
  • How ads should be displayed
  • Are landing pages needed? If so, how should they be designed?
  • Are content, keywords and landing pages matching the position of individuals in the sales funnel?
  • Do your keywords fall into: informational, transactional or navigational search intent?
    • Make sure you understand the search intent that aligns with your business and goals when bidding for keywords. So, if you’re a shoe business, are people wanting to learn where ‘pink shoes’ came from (informational), or where they can buy them (transactional)? If you’re an app developer, chances are searchers are wanting to navigate to your app (navigational) 
  • With affinity audiences, you can create custom affinity audiences using types of places, keyword phrases and URLs to define interest categories
  • In-market audiences can reach people who are actively researching services or products like yours
  • Do you wish to reach audiences based on important life events? With YouTube and Gmail integration, you can reach audiences on these platforms
  • Create custom audience categories based on URLs and keywords relating to what your ideal audience is researching online – this is where machine learning helps
  • Would you like to reach audiences that have already engaged with your company’s offering? You can use remarketing campaigns to hook them back in

Social media

Each social media platform has its own data insight and marketing tools, but with Facebook, you really do get a high level of targeting options. Used with Facebook Pixels, the business tools on Facebook allow you to target with incredible detail, as well as remarket to those who have already visited your website or who show ‘lookalike’ behaviours and interests. With Facebook, you can create:

  • Custom audiences: Using website traffic, customer contacts and your mobile app, you can create a custom audience full of online users who have already shown an interest in your business or offering that you can market to
  • Lookalike audiences: Using data from your custom audiences, you can create lookalike audiences to target and reach new people who show similar interests, behaviours and demographics with those who already like your page, who have converted and engaged with your business
  • Saved audiences: You can save commonly used targeting options for easy access and reusability 

Using this kind of data allows you to finely tune your targeting to capture the most valid leads to generate more conversions. 
Whether it’s LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram (Instagram being under and integrated with Facebook), you can reach your ideal audiences with a paid social media agency who knows how to navigate through all the data tools!

4. Creating great ads

Once you know who you’re targeting and what keywords you need to focus on, you need to create enticing display ads that are useful and can be easily read by Google and searchers. This also comes with testing and trialling. That means creating some variations for Google Ads to rotate and test for you – just make sure you set your ad rotation optimisation to automatically prefer the best performing ads. 

What does a Google ad typically consist of?

  • Display URL
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Extensions / calls-to-action

And if it’s an ad displayed on a carousel, it will be a condensed version of this with an image, descriptive headline, price, brand or business name, a ‘by’ line navigating to the place it is listed on and sometimes a review star rating.  

With Facebook, you can also test out different ad layouts and experiences and can use A/B testing to see which one performs better. And with Facebook’s Dynamic Creative, you can automatically deliver high-performing combinations of creative assets to audiences.

5. Analysing and optimising your PPC strategy and campaign

The best PPC campaigns are ones that are adaptive and monitored closely. With continual analysis and optimisation, you can get the best out of your PPC campaigns and make them more cost-effective. 

What are the key metrics to consider and optimise?

  • Click-through rate (CTR): Can help you determine how relevant the content of your ads is to your keyword or audience targeting for social or display.
  • Conversion rate: If your conversion rate is low, this could be because your ad spend is better suited for higher-performing keywords
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): How competitive is your keyword? Is it worthwhile to invest in, factoring in profit margin from conversions?
  • Cost per click (CPC): What’s your ideal CPC? Analyse what’s worth it 
  • Quality Score (for Google Ads): An aggregate of the effectiveness of a variety of factors, including landing page relevance, ad relevance and click-through rate
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): You can use this metric to determine what to push, pause or change in your PPC campaigns after analysing the effectiveness of ad spend against results

Finally, after all of these stages have been followed, it’s about learning and re-evaluating your campaigns, goals and strategies. What worked, what didn’t, what opportunities you may have missed and how effective the content of your ads was. 

The resources from Google and Facebook provide great insight and analyses for you to work out what kind of ads perform better, but to make sure you’re using the tools correctly – especially when it comes to paid advertising – you will do best to use an experienced PPC agency who can look after your PPC accounts and campaigns with complete optimisation. 

And here at TAL Agency, we implement awesome PPC strategies and campaigns daily; it’s our passion! Want to understand a bit more about how we help businesses get more conversions and what’s involved? Get in touch with our friendly PPC geeks and technicians today.

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