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PPC 101: Eight tips to get started

PPC can deliver effective results for a business, but it can also seem overwhelming when you’re just getting started. How can you use it to increase ROI?

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing, or paid search marketing, offers a great opportunity for every business to promote its services and extend its reach. Whether you’re targeting an existing audience or a new one, PPC campaigns can increase conversions, provided that they’re crafted properly.

If you’re considering investing in PPC, here are eight tips to keep in mind.

Start small

If you’re just getting started with PPC ads, then it may be a good idea to test a small campaign first. Your first campaign doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can serve as a great experiment to see what works and what can be improved.

This can be a great test without worrying yet about conversion and clicks. The initial goal is to improve your PPC marketing skills until you’re comfortable enough to invest in a bigger budget.

Focus on a specific audience, start with a small budget and see what you can learn from the initial results.

Set a goal for your PPC campaign

It’s useful to set a goal when planning a PPC campaign. Whether it’s brand awareness, lead generation, or engagement, a clear goal can help you focus on the right ways to achieve it.

For example, a campaign focusing on lead generation requires very specific metrics afterwards to analyse its effectiveness. Did you manage to reach your set goal with your PPC campaign?

Was there a shift in the focus during the campaign? How can you ensure that you increase the effectiveness of your next campaign?

Analyze keywords

Another good way to start is by analyzing the keywords your competitors are bidding on. How are they performing? Which keywords could work better for your campaign?

It may be a good idea to test several keywords until you find the best ones to focus on. Sometimes the ones that convert better are the least expected ones, so make sure you perform research before you start a campaign.

Keywords that combine high search volume with low competition are ideal. For a great primer on how to get started with researching keywords, don’t miss Nikolay Stoyanov’s Complete guide to keyword research for SEO.

Find your audience

The success of your PPC campaign depends on the relevance of the audience you choose to target.

It’s important to find the right audience to promote a product, or a service. There’s no need to spend your budget in the wrong audience. If you’ve just started with PPC it may be preferred to focus on an audience who already knows you. This increases the chances to increase conversion, as it lifts the barrier of brand recognition as an initial step.

Once you get the perfect understanding of the demographics you want to target, you can maximize the chances of developing a successful PPC campaign.

A/B test your campaign

A/B testing can occur in all stages of your PPC campaign.

From the copy, the title and the image, to the landing page and the target audience, there are many ways to discover how to create a successful campaign.

A/B testing allows you to understand what makes an effective PPC campaign and it may even offer you insights you didn’t expect.

Make sure that every test has a clear goal and try to avoid different split tests at once, as this may not help you measure their effectiveness.

Focus on the language of your PPC copy

How does copywriting affect your PPC campaign? The language you’re using may impact the results of your campaign.

You copy should be:

  • clear
  • descriptive
  • relevant
  • persuasive

Moreover, emotional appeal can also affect your PPC copy. It’s easier to increase conversions once you understand what makes people click on an ad. Going beyond the relevance of the message, it also has to offer the trigger for users to be interested enough to click on it.

Sophie Turton gave some interesting pointers on how to do this at last month’s Brighton SEO conference – read our writeup of her presentation to learn how to apply psychology to your PPC campaigns.

Be careful with budget

A bigger budget doesn’t necessarily increase the chances of success for your PPC campaign. Thus, there’s no need to immediately blow your entire budget on PPC ads, especially if you’ve just started.

Start with a small budget and test the performance of your campaign. Once you’re getting used to PPC marketing, it’s time to proceed to the next step.

This has to do with the art of balancing budget and ROI. PPC conversions don’t necessarily depend on a large budget. Instead, the understanding your audience and crafting relevant copy are what will increase the chances of success.

Even if you do have a large budget for your first campaign, use it wisely. Focus on conversion, and pick the best options for your audience.

Optimize your landing page

The landing page for your PPC campaign should be as optimized as possible. This is the page that people visit once they click on your ads. Thus, it has to be as relevant and valuable as possible.

If you want to ensure that your campaign is effective enough to increase conversions, then you need to ensure that your landing page reflects your goals.

Is your landing page appealing?

Does it facilitate the user experience?

Is the loading speed tested?

Last but not least, is the call-to-action clear?


If you’re interested in investing in PPC ads, then it’s time to discover how to create the right ad, for the right audience.

All the tips above can help you analyse your campaign’s performance in the most efficient way. Approaching your campaigns with a “test and learn” mindset will offer you valuable insights, turning you into a PPC expert before too long.

To sum up:

  • Start with a small campaign
  • Focus on the audience that you know
  • Keep the budget low to begin with
  • A/B test your campaign
  • Pay attention to your copy
  • Optimize your landing page

by Tereza Litsa
source: Search Engine Watch