With so many online marketing techniques available, it’s difficult to know where to start when you launch a business. However, there are many good reasons why pay-per-click (or PPC) should be at the top of the list.
Five ways you can use a PPC campaign to boost your startup:
- Get onto the first page of Google
Getting to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) often guarantees a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website. However, ranking in organic search can take many months, or longer in a competitive niche. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical piece of your launch marketing, but it won’t get you results for several months.
Launch a Google AdWords campaign and you can potentially get into the top position in the results much sooner, depending on your budget and other factors. Take a look at these AdWords tutorials for beginners to get you started before you launch your AdWords campaign. You might find that PPC is a fantastic way to start generating targeted search traffic to your site in days rather than months.
- Never spend more than you can afford
With PPC, you have complete control over your budget. Only want to spend $10 a day? Fine. Stick to $5 if you prefer, as you can always increase your budget later. Although you don’t want to just throw money on your ad campaigns, you should wait for the data and results. Waiting for this will indicate signs of what is working and what isn’t working and then change your budget accordingly.
A lot of the success of your PPC campaign comes down to intelligent keyword research, careful targeting and experimentation, so there’s nothing to say that you can’t enjoy great results on a small budget. Start off slow and scale up your budget when necessary in accordance to your clickthru and conversion rates.
Digital Marketer has a detailed guide to PPC keyword research that’s a great place to get started.
- Build a strong presence
PPC allows you to instantly create a strong presence for your startup in both search and other marketing channels, such as social media. Google’s changes to AdWords last year mean that most of the above-the-fold space in the search results is now taken up by ads, so you can get yourself a slice of this prime real estate. If you then work on your SEO and start to rank organically, you can appear twice in the results rather than once.
It’s the same with social media: you can instantly build a presence for yourself by running a targeted ad campaign so there’s no need to wait for your presence to grow naturally. Take a look at the following articles on how to create a successful social media campaign:
- How to create a Facebook Live marketing campaign
- How to promote your content successfully via Twitter
- How to build a successful LinkedIn campaign
Another option to consider is retargeting, which you can use alongside your PPC campaign. Once people have visited your website, you can continue to target them with ads on other websites as they browse the web, as well as with your AdWords ads.
This can be an effective way to build brand awareness with little extra effort on your part, and it’s possible to run a successful campaign on a small budget.
Check out this beginner guide to re-targeting at HubSpot for a great overview.
- Refine your overall marketing strategy
You can also use your PPC results to direct your other marketing activities. For example, you can find out which keywords are most effective for your business and generate the most conversions, and you can then use these same keywords to direct your SEO.
You could even utilize your findings in your email marketing. An effective PPC headline could improve your email subject line, receiving more opens.
- See consistent improvement
Successful PPC involves constant experimentation, and you should constantly test your results. By doing so, you will build a strategy that enables you to constantly refine and improve your message over time.
When testing your PPC strategy, try to find out:
- Which keywords are performing the best?
- Which headlines generate the most clicks?
- Which ads lead to the most conversions?
You can then start to compare the performance of different ads, called A/B or split testing, to consistently get more clicks and conversions.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get your head around this element of PPC. If you want to do it yourself, a great place to start is the Wordstream PPC University. Alternatively, request help from specialists to get your campaign up and running quicker.
Ready to start a PPC campaign?
The great thing about PPC is that there are very few barriers to entry, and you can be up and running with your first campaign in hours.
Before you begin, ensure that you absorb as much free information and learning resources as possible. Diving into a PPC campaign head first without this basic knowledge can lead to costly mistakes, so it is not a step to be missed!
Once you have a good foundation of PPC knowledge, start a PPC campaign with Google Adwords. Research your keywords in-depth and select intelligent keywords, create your advert and set a low budget and see what happens. This is the best way to learn the ropes without spending a fortune and allows for experimentation.
Then, either improve your skills over time or hire in a PPC specialist to give your results a boost – and enjoy the benefits that PPC can bring to your startup.