Making Mountains into Molehills:
The Power of Adwords and Paid Search (PPC)
May 19, 2015 • Scott Zeller
“Eighty percent of success is showing up." ~ Woody Allen
SEO is a long-term strategy for your online marketing. The results from your work aren't immediate, and can take several weeks or months to start showing a decent return. So what, if anything, can you do about getting to the top of your mountain right away? Or simply put, on the front page of Google for your search terms immediately? Enter Google Adwords. Paid search marketing, or PPC, as it's more commonly referred.
Paid search allows you to get on the first page of Google right away, giving you an immediate return on your investment. It also allows you a more targeted campaign, giving you full control over many of the key variables of a successful search engine marketing campaign. Those variables include your target market(s), your message (or ads), your schedule, your budget, your reach and your frequency. PPC campaigns also have the tremendous benefit of working with real market data for optimal analysis and adjustments. So how do we get started? I'm glad you asked.
The first step is to set your goals. By this point, you should have your general keyword sets together (based on your product offerings and service lines), and have a rough idea of your target market(s) (If you haven't created your keyword sets yet, CLICK HERE). Review those keyword sets and target markets, along with your website to establish a few goals for your PPC campaign. Goals are often referred to as conversions in the PPC world, and they can be anything from completing a sale on your site; downloading whitepapers, sales literature, or guides; signing up for newsletters or accounts; or even just visiting a specific landing page on your site, or staying on your site for a certain length of time. Pick two or three goals to start, and write them down. While it helps to have specifics for your keywords, target markets, and goals, it's not critical at this point. Right now you just want enough to get started. You will optimize your campaign as you go based on your data and analysis.
Next you want to set a budget. Many customers ask me what is the best budget to start with, and it usually depends on the competitiveness of your core keywords, as you'll be bidding on those words for placement on the first page of Google Adwords. I recommend that you START HERE at the Adwords home base. Google takes you step by step on getting started, and it's an easy-to-follow process from newbie to expert. I will warn that there is a lot of information in this guide about using Adwords, but don't let yourself be intimidated. Start at the beginning, and take baby steps. One other note - if you're a new Adwords customer, you will be assigned an account manager that you can speak with on the phone, so that also helps the process.
The important thing is to get started with your first ad, monitor it closely, and gather as much data as you can. Link your Adwords campaign to your Google Analytics account for maximum data and research. The power of paid search is in the data that Google shares with you, as it's ALL data-driven. From campaign projections and budgets to analysis and optimization, the key to a successful campaign comes from the data. And, getting started.
So get started by clicking that link above, and get your company on the first page of Google today using paid search. Frontload your PPC campaign dollars. In other words, once you familiarize yourself with the basics, and gather your initial data, be aggressive. Then once your natural search rankings kick in from your SEO efforts, and you get on the first page naturally, then you can pull back on your PPC budget, and let your SEO take over.
In a future post, we'll discuss the benefits of Facebook PPC, YouTube ads, Bing / Yahoo ads, and other important paid search options.
To stay up on all the latest in the world of SEO and PPC, check back here weekly, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we cut through the clutter, and keep you in-the-know with your SEO. Have a great week, and we'll talk again soon.
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