So, you have a blog. You’ve worked long and hard on it; it’s practically your second kid (or third, or fourth…). Now how do you really get this baby running?
You’ve probably already looked into different marketing options, including PPC (pay per click) marketing. At first, it seems like a totally foreign concept. You’ve seen PPC ads everywhere, but you’ve never had to actually generate one.
How do you know if your ads will even be successful?
How does this internet thing really work again?
Good news, Momma: you can do this. Let’s learn how to track and optimize your PPC campaigns, so you can be confident in your marketing efforts.
Track PPC Campaigns the way a PPC Marketing Agencies Would
There are many different ways to evaluate your PPC campaign’s progress and success. From monitoring traffic to determining your conversions, there are many tools and strategies available.
Here, we will go over what the Best PPC Marketing Agencies would analyze and track.
Track This and That
Decent tracking methods only track ad traffic, while the better methods track conversions, bounce rates, and most importantly, your return on investment (ROI). After all, you want to know how beneficial this PPC campaign is to your business.
Let’s start with traffic. “Traffic” is the number of people that actually visit your site by clicking on your advertisement.
To calculate traffic, you’ll also need to know the term “impression”. In PPC marketing, the word “impression” simply translates to the number of views your ad has had. In other words, this is the number of times your ad has been displayed on a SERP or web page and had the opportunity to be clicked on.
Your ad might only be displayed 30 percent of the time a certain query is searched. This could be due to budget, SEO, and other optimizable factors. However, identifying the impressions your ad generates is a great first step to generate traffic.
It helps to know how many times your ad has been put in front of people’s eyes. Adversely, it can also benefit to know how many times your ad was not displayed but could have been. This is why impressions are important.
Impressions are often compared in combination with the number of clicks your ad receives. By dividing the number of clicks by the number of people who have seen the ad, you can calculate the traffic. This gives you a click-through rate or CTR.
The more traffic your ad gets, the higher your CTR will be. A high CTR tells you a few things. For example, you know that your ad is intriguing enough to capture the attention of your audience. Your ad copy is probably in good shape if you have a high CTR.
Some people think that CTR is the most valuable factor in analyzing their ad campaigns. Though it is important, it is definitely not the end of your analysis. CTR won’t keep you in business, money will.
After all, are you running this campaign to capture clicks? Or customers?
You’ll have to evaluate your Quality Score as a whole, to properly analyze your ad campaign. Quality score is exactly what it sounds like- the evaluation of how effective your ad is.
Google applies a Quality Score to each and every PPC ad. It helps rank the ads and place them in the order they appear.
CTR will play into calculating your Quality Score, as the higher your CTR, the higher your quality score will be. But CTR it is not the only influencer here.
PPC Marketing Agencies are well versed in Google Quality Scores, and they would tell you that keyword relevance, ad copy, and landing page quality all play into the score as well.
Though it might be overwhelming at first, the Quality Score can help you figure out if your keywords and landing page are working effectively. It is not a permanent score, and you can change it for better or for worse.
The more you improve your Quality Score, the more effective your ad will be. You will reward yourself with higher SERP rankings, thus more impressions. With this increase of impressions, you can generate more potential traffic. More traffic can result in more customers- and because your Quality Score is up, it is likely that your landing page is actually effective and relevant.
A high Quality Score greatly increases your chances for traffic and conversions, or clicks turned into customers.
Conversions and Bounce Rate
You already know to track conversions and determine how many people click on your ad to actually become customers.
But what about bounce rate? Bounce rate is simply the number of people who click on your ad and end up leaving your page. Bounce rate is one of the primary reasons you can’t just look at the CTR rate and be satisfied.
To be successful, you cannot merely focus on the positives, such as your conversions. You have to acknowledge the negatives, and really focus on improving those weaknesses.
Calculating your bounce rate is a really great way to identify your problems and grow your online business. If you have a large amount of traffic, as well as a high bounce rate, you now know two things: your ad captured their attention, yet the landing page content and CTA (call to action) did not quite deliver. You have a potential audience here, you just need to inspire action and revisit your landing page copy.
The goal here is to change this bounce rate into more conversions. It is an opportunity to learn and improve, and a great tool to evaluate your campaign efforts.
Return on Investment
Is the cost of the campaign earning you money, or wasting your money?
Every factor, from traffic to conversions, plays into calculating your ROI. Any great PPC marketing agency would tell you that this is by far the most important part of your PPC analysis. You ultimately need to know if your investment is costing you or benefitting you. Is the money you are spending worth it?
All other evaluations and analyzations are important, but they are primarily applicable in finding the campaign’s strengths and weaknesses. They tell you what areas need improvement, while your ROI tells you if you are making money.
Calculating ROI is simple. You divide the net profit by the cost of investment. Then you multiply your results by 100. This gives you your ROI percentage.
Take note, however, that you cannot just consider the cost of clicks your only investment cost. You must also account for customer service, copywriter, card processing fees, etc. Take all costs that apply to this campaign into the count.
If the ROI percentage falls below 100, you definitely need to reanalyze your campaign and its components, because you are spending more money than you are bringing in on this. You are losing money.
However, if the percentage is above 100, you are in the green. Of course, you must determine how far in the green you wish to be. 110, for example, is likely too low, as you are barely making a decent return for all of your efforts.
Now don’t forget who you are competing against.
What kind of market are you running up against?
Any leading PPC Marketing Agency will tell you to take your analysis one step further and look at your competition. Look at their stats compared to yours. This can really tell you a lot about how your percentages and numbers line up in the market you are working to thrive in.
Optimize Your PPC Campaign like a PPC Marketing Agency Would
Now that you know how to analyze your ad campaign, you have some tasks at hand, how do you set yourself up for a successful ad campaign, anyway?
Evaluate your audience. What do they want? What do they need? And what will they be searching for?
This is the first and most important thing to creating your campaign. Your potential audience is your potential customer base. They can bring you money, or they can spend it elsewhere – minimizing the worth of your ad.
Really take the time to identify the people you will be reaching out to, and get into their mindsets. View them as individuals, not bulk quantities of clicks. This will not only help you create an effective d, but it will also bring you satisfied, confident customers.
Use Google Adwords Effectively
Adjust and manage your initial settings on Adwords.
Keeping that specific audience in mind, manage your campaign settings to only fixate on those particular people. For example, if you own a donut shop in Connecticut, chances are that you don’t want your ads to be displayed in California. Check the campaign settings to be sure they align with your plan.
Go into your Adwords account prepared, with definitive goals and be prepared to do your keyword research. Once you establish a keyword, keep it precise and topic-related.
Don’t forget to establish negative keywords as well. For example, if you are promoting red shoes, you don’t need to waste an ad on a query term, “red shoe laces”. This helps ensure accurate audience appeal and impressions.
PPC marketing can be scary at first. It is an art of its own, but you can do this, Momma.
Keep in mind that you can always consult a PPC marketing agency with your needs. Managing a campaign takes substantial time and effort. You can manage this on your own, of course, but PPC agencies can help guide you along the way as well.
Regardless of how you choose to execute your campaign, it helps to know how things are run and analyzed on the web.
So go! Make a move. Promote your site. Get those wheels in motion.
Dita is from Northern Europe and is passionate about digital marketing & helping businesses grow. SEM Manager at bestppc.marketing by day, blogger & social media manager by night.