plan-prepare-execute--assess-your-PPC-campaign

How to Plan, Prepare, Execute and Assess Your PPC Campaign

PPC is a form of internet marketing that uses paid advertisements to increase website traffic.

It’s a good option for many businesses because you can be in control of the ads and only have to pay when someone clicks on them.

In this article, I will look at how you can plan, prepare, execute and assess your own PPC campaign.

PLANNING

Use the below steps as the starting point for developing your PPC campaign.

As you continue to work on more PPC campaigns, you may want to add your own steps gained from lessons learned.

Objective

Several objectives can be used with PPC campaigns, and it’s important to determine what your objectives are first before committing time or money.

Some of the objectives include increasing conversion rates, getting more clicks, increasing brand awareness, and generate more leads.

Your objective needs to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

Your objective should be linked to the tool you are going to use to measure your results.

In my case, I use Databox as my go-to source for all things Analytics.

In Databox, you can select the following variables for setting up a goal:

• Data Source (Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc)

• Metric (Bounce Rate, Conversion Rate, Revenue by Channel, etc)

• Frequency (Daily, Weekly, Monthly Yearly)

• Amount (Numerical Number)

Targets

It’s important to determine who you want your ads to be seen by, which is called targeting.

You may have different targets depending on what ultimate goal you’re trying to achieve with this PPC campaign.

The most basic form of targeting is geography.

Google lets you focus on small, local areas all the way up to national areas.

If you are selecting Facebook as your platform, it has options for location, demographics, interests, behavior, and connections.

Each PPC platform will have different ways of targeting.

Platform

Decide which PPC platform you want to use that reaches your target audience.

Some of the platforms you can use are Google Adwords, Microsoft Ads, Facebook Advertising, LinkedIn advertising.

Others that may have a smaller following but could be used for specific purposes include Twitter ads and Instagram ads.

Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses, so spending some time knowing who you want to reach will help you when selecting a PPC platform.

Keywords

Next, you will want to do some keyword research.

Keyword selection is a balancing act – you need to be specific enough in your keywords that people can visit your website and get your specific offer, but generic enough that people can find the information they need on other sites using search engines.

Keyword research isn’t just about figuring out the next big thing – it’s all about understanding how your existing keywords are ranking for the things you care about.

There are several keyword research tools available, and the one I prefer is Google’s Keyword Planner Tool.

You enter in a few keywords related to your product or service, and it will show you how many people search for those terms each month on average, what they’re searching for (keywords themselves), and what position your website ranks among other relevant sites.

Budget

You will need to know your total budget so that you can set your ceiling.

Set your budget with the total amount you want to spend daily or over the course of the month.

There isn’t a contract, you can pause the campaign when needed, and you only pay when a person takes an action like clicking on the ad or calling your business.

You also have the choice of selecting manual bidding or automated bidding which you can read about here.

Content

The content will depend upon the format type you select.

If you are wanting to do a Search Campaign, then your content will be text.

Most of the PPC platforms will provide some sample advertising text, but you can also modify it or provide your own.

If you are doing a display campaign, you will need some artwork.

Google lets you upload text, images, and a logo, and it will optimize the content for you, or you can upload your own visuals for the ads.

Landing Page

One of the ways of assessing your campaign is by using a landing page.

A landing page is a webpage on your site that displays when someone clicks on the ad.

You can use one of these as an avenue to collect information like names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

When you create a specific landing page for each PPC campaign, you will know how many people clicked on your ad, went to the landing page, and how many were converted.

Length of Time

Finally, each campaign needs to have a specific start and stop date.

This will help you stay focused on the objective of each campaign and will provide you some time to assess its success and go back into the planning stage with your lessons learned to improve the next campaign.

You can pause or end a PPC campaign at any time, but make sure to plan for it so that your ads don’t continue running once they are no longer needed.

PREPARING

The preparation phase is for refining the work done in the planning stage.

It is about moving from conceptual planning to detailed planning.

As you worked through all the planning stages, you may discover that you now have to go back and refine some of your previous variables.

For example, you could have set a high goal but discovered that it was unachievable with the budget you have or the platform you want to focus on.

Refine your objective and targets, finalize your platform(s), optimize your keywords and content, and publish and test your landing page.

EXECUTE

The day is here, and the campaign starts.

If you have done most of the planning and preparation correctly, the execution should be relatively easy.

If you are manually bidding, you will have more work to do in the execution phase than someone who selects automatic bidding.

Make sure you are not going over budget and periodically check your metrics.

Remember, most PPC campaigns take at least 90 days to start seeing real progress, so don’t look for results right away.

ASSESS

You may want to get weekly assessment snapshots just to monitor how the campaign is going, but I wouldn’t spend too much time on those.

Run a report every month of the campaign and carve out some time to examine the reports to monitor how the campaign is going.

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way, but also don’t be too quick to start changing all your variables.

Remember, this is like a science experiment and if you are constantly changing your variables, there will be no way of pinpointing why you had success or failure.

If you are using Databox, it can provide you with percentage updates on your progress toward your objective.

Once your campaign is over, then assess why you did or did not reach your objective.

Use your Planning phase steps as a guide.

If you didn’t reach your objective, ask yourself questions like:

• Was your objective unrealistic?

• Did you choose the wrong platform?

• Was your content not effective?

If you did reach your objective, try to determine what the reason(s) were for the success and then look continue to look for ways to improve.

Once your campaign is over and you have a good assessment, it’s time to start over and go right back into the planning phase for the next PPC campaign.

Best of luck, and let me know how it goes.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for my disclaimer.

Mike Nicholson

Mike Nicholson is a U.S. Army Veteran who spent his military career working in Strategic Communications, Public Affairs, and Information Operations. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication plans in a variety of stateside and overseas assignments, he uses 46ALPHA to share his lessons learned with military and spouse Veteran Entrepreneurs, and others looking to improve their digital communications.

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