June 7, 2010 Michael Bickerton
1. Know your marketplace. Do your research. Both offline, and online. They are likely very different. Pay for research – it will save you tons down the line. (Oh, haven’t we heard that one before?) If your agency is managing your paid search, then make sure they know your market and make sure they have extensive eMarketing experience.
2. Know your target audience. Show us a picture of your ideal target – an actual photo of what that person looks like. Creating a single focus will help you understand your customer, and anticipate how they might behave. Knowing how they are likely to behave, will allow you to set up an effective PPC campaign, that will ensure your success. First, you must understand who you ideally want to appeal to.
3. Know what you want your visitor to do. Decide in advance – should a visitor to your site: call you to make an appointment? click on the “Buy Now” button on your landing page? sign up for your free newsletter or join your membership? download a free report, without having to leave their contact info? Make it very clear. If you are judging the success based on click-through rates, ask people to click through. If you don’t your competitors will (Here they go – playing us against each other mercilessly).
4. Understand how they want to search for you. Keywords have different intent behind them. In other words, if a searcher on Google types in “hockey skates” they are highly likely to be doing some preliminary research on what types of skates are available. ¨If that same searcher typed in “hockey skate reviews” – then they are still researching – doing their homework, so they will know what to buy – when they find the skate they like. A prospect with ‘buying’ intent, however, will likely type in “buy CCM Tack hockey skate” or “CCM Tacks”. You get the idea…
5. The 80/20 rule applies. It’s better to find the most suitable keyword phrases for your business (the 20% that produce 80% of the leads). This will allow you to test the ‘waters’ and it will help you keep control of your budget. ¨Later on, when you know what works and what doesn’t you can add other phrases and test all you want. And you’ll know exactly what it will cost to test.
6. Split test your pay per click ads It is amazing how many people don’t take advantage of this feature on Google AdWords. Split – testing will give you a constant way of improving on your ads. Your ad is the ‘window’ to your sales… so you cannot afford not to be constantly trying to make it better converting than before.
7. Use landing pages (LP) Landing pages are powerful when used well. They allow full control of your visitor’s experience. They clicked on your link looking for something specific. Reward them for clicking by giving away valuable content related to the keyword or phrase. Be sure the LP is all about that phrase.
8. Track everything. Just because everything is trackable, does not mean everyone tracks their online advertising results. Interpreting that data saves wasted dollars. If you are not clear how to track PPC results, ask Google or bring in a professional. (be extra careful here – they just want your money and they want to do as little as possible to get it. Be very weary of Consultants and so called Professionals.)
9. Let your results determine your actions. Once you have your tracking working, make sure you look at your stats to make adjustments. Check them daily. Listen to what your ideal target is telling you.
10. Learn consistently and constantly. Learn from your successes, your failures, your competitors’ successes and their failures too. If you ask people, they will often give you an honest and open answer. They want to find what they are looking for, but they also love to help people. But they have to know exactly what you want to know.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5, 2010