If you know what pay-per-click (PPC) is but don’t know where to start or how to develop a PPC strategy for your brand, you came to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of PPC, how to develop a PPC strategy, and reasons why you need your own pay-per-click strategy to drive measurable results.
Table of Contents
What Is a PPC Strategy?
Pay-per-click or PPC strategy is a type of digital marketing strategy that involves advertisers paying a fee to a publisher every time someone clicks on one of their ads placed on the publisher's platform. Advertisers set an ad budget and only pay when a user actually clicks on their ad.
Most PPC strategies function on an auction basis, meaning that you, along with other advertisers, bid on chosen keywords. When a user searches for these keywords, an auction takes place to determine which ad will be displayed.
Seven Steps on How To Develop a PPC Strategy
Following a step-by-step process can help you plan and effectively launch your PPPC campaign.
To develop your PPC strategy, follow the steps below.
- Define Your Goals and KPIs
- Determine Your Ad Budget
- Research Your Competitors
- Research Your Keywords
- Build Optimized Landing Pages
- Choose a PPC Platform
- Create and Test Ads
1. Define Your Goals and KPIs
What do you want to achieve with your PPC strategy? Before moving on with the next steps, you need to define your targets for your PPC campaign. Some of the most common PPC goals include:
- Drive sales
- Increase conversions
- Boost brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
When you figure out the specific goals you’re looking to achieve with PPC, you will define the most important KPIs you need to track to monitor your ad performance. All PPC platforms offer PPC reporting, but metrics vary.
2. Determine Your Ad Budget
Determining how much you’re willing to spend on your pay-per-click campaign is crucial. This is also why it’s important to define your goals so that you can direct your ad budget toward them instead of wasting money.
Focus on the keywords that are most likely to drive results and set your maximum CPC and your daily ad budget.
3. Research Your Competitors
Before you set up your PPC campaign, research your competitors and their strategies to see what methods they use and what drives success for them.
You can use Semrush or any other competitor research tool for this purpose, or you can simply use Google. For example, if you sell organic foods and you want to bid on the keyword phrase “organic foods,” do a Google search and see what paid ads appear at the top of the results. These are your competitors.
4. Research Your Keywords
Keywords are at the heart of a PPC strategy. Define the keywords you need to target in your pay-per-click campaign that is most likely to drive clicks.
You have researched your competitors by now and know what keyword they’re targeting, but you also need to think about your target audience and the terms they’re most likely to use when searching for a product or service.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool for researching keywords, but there are many other tools to help you with this as well.
5. Build Optimized Landing Pages
Build and optimize your landing pages before you set up your PPC campaign. Why is this important?
Because when users click on your ad, and it takes them to your website, they expect to find relevant content and clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons. If your ad takes them to a generic page that is not user-friendly, optimized, and aligned with your PPC efforts, you are wasting clicks because the user will leave your website without converting.
The best indicator of whether your landing pages are relevant and easy to navigate is your bounce rate. If it’s high, you need to work on optimizing them for user experience.
6. Choose a PPC Platform
When you know your specific goals and your budget, and you’ve analyzed your competitor’s paid search ads, you’re ready to choose a PPC platform for your business.
Some of the most popular PPC platforms include:
- Google Ads
- Microsoft Ads
All of these platforms function similarly. You set a maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click, and if you win an auction, your ad is displayed. But the platforms differ in features and functionalities.
If most of your target audience uses Facebook, this is a good choice for your pay-per-click campaign. If you’re targeting a very broad demographic, Google Ads is a safe way to go since it’s the largest platform with billions of searches per day.
7. Create and Test Ads
Finally, you need to create your ads and test them. Write your ad copy while making sure it’s clear and to the point. You have very little room to grab your audience’s attention, so don’t waste ad space with fluff.
Then, create two versions of your ad and test them to see which one performs better. You can try different headlines and decide on a metric you will use to measure performance.
Google’s A/B testing is a great way to test your ads. Based on that, you can optimize your PPC campaign to drive better results.
A useful tool for creating ads is Facebook’s Dynamic Creative Ads, which automatically generates optimized versions of your ad based on your components, including image, title, and video.
Four Main Types of Pay-Per-Click Strategies
Pay-per-click marketing strategies are very effective provided that you choose the right type of PPC ad type for your business.
The most common ad types include:
1. Search Advertising
Paid search ads are the most common type of PPC ads, and the most popular paid search platform is Google. With Google Ads, you can choose keywords that you want your ad or ads to rank for. You bid on these keywords by setting a maximum cost per click CPC, which is the amount you’re willing to pay for a click.
When a user enters one of those search terms into Google, your ad appears at the top of the organic search results, provided that it’s relevant and that you outbid your competitors.
To determine which ad will be displayed, Google conducts an auction considering the maximum CPC, your ad relevance, and the keyword’s search volume.
2. Display Advertising
While search ads appear when users are searching for a product or service, display ads appear when users are browsing websites related to your business. These can be image, text, or banner ads that target a particular audience.
Google has a Google Display Network where you can target your audience based on demographics, interests, hobbies, and other factors. Display ads are a great way to reach a specific audience that has shown an interest in your ad/product and are likely to convert.
3. Social Media Advertising
Social media ads are displayed to people browsing social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.
Given the fact that social media platforms have 4.8 billion users worldwide, they are a great opportunity to get more exposure and reach your target audience — especially when you have a solid social media campaign in place to further drive engagement on them.
For example, if your target audience is made up of various professionals and entrepreneurs, LinkedIn might be a good choice. If your audience tends to be younger, Instagram ads are a great way to reach them.
Choose a social media platform where your target audience is most likely to see your ad.
4. Video Advertising
Video advertising utilizes one of the most widely consumed content formats: video. Ads in video format are displayed to users on YouTube, websites, and apps.
For example, YouTube shows skippable and non-skippable ads and you only pay if a user chooses to watch at least 30 seconds of your ad or clicks on it. This is a great way to reach wider audiences who are not yet aware of your product/service.
Benefits of a Pay-Per-Click Strategy
Whether it’s a PPC search strategy, video ads or display ads, there are many reasons to use PPC in your marketing efforts. A PPC strategy is:
One of the biggest benefits of PPC is the fact that you can drive results very quickly. For comparison, increasing your rankings organically through SEO can take months or even years. With a pay-per-click strategy, you can build a website, create an account on your PPC platform of choice and get more traffic right away.
PPC tracking allows you to track and measure results based on your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). You can measure the click-through rate, impressions, website traffic, conversions, and other metrics.
Another benefit of PPC is budget-friendliness. Most platforms allow you to set a daily budget and set your maximum CPC based on what you think a click is worth. When your daily budget is spent, the PPC platform will stop displaying your ad for the day. This allows you to control your ad budget.
Combining your PPC and SEO efforts is very beneficial. Your PPC strategy can help you test keyword groups and see which performs better so that you can refine your SEO strategy to focus on these keywords.
Wrapping Up on PPC Strategy
Pay-per-click advertising brings many benefits to your brand, including fast and measurable results, cost efficiency, and the fact it works well with SEO. You also have plenty of options, from search ads, display ads, video ads, and social media ads to a combination or all of them, if that makes the most sense for your brand.
To develop a PPC strategy:
- Define your goals and KPIs
- Determine your ad budget
- Research your competitors
- Research keywords
- Build optimized landing pages
- Choose a PPC platform
- Create and test your ads
Following the above steps will help you plan and execute an effective, detailed PPC strategy that is guaranteed to bring great results.
Outsourcing to the best PPC companies as well as hiring Google Adwords agencies can greatly help you in making the most out of your next social media campaign.
1. What are the 4 main types of pay-per-click strategies?
The four main types of pay-per-click strategies are Branded campaigns, Solutions campaigns, Retargeting campaigns, and Conquest campaigns.
2. What are the main benefits of PPC?
The main benefits of PPC are:
- Boosting traffic to your website
- Increase in sales
- Control over advertising costs
- Enabling analysis of the ad performance in real-time
- Increasing brand recognition with remarketing