When looking for a marketing edge, many startups will turn to pay per click advertising to drive instant targeted traffic to their websites. When a new concept is being tested before being brought to market there isn't time to wait for a search engine optimization campaign to kick in and deliver organic traffic.
With a well thought out campaign, PPC advertising can provide the convenience of being able to turn website traffic on and off like a faucet. While no startup should put all of their traffic generation eggs in one basket, pay per click advertising can help produce virtually instant traffic to assist with initial market testing. Startups have to have a solid proof of concept before receiving additional rounds of funding and bringing their idea to market, and PPC advertising can deliver the traffic to accomplish the initial market testing.
There are five key steps that a startup needs to focus on when developing a pay per click advertising campaign. Following these tips will help to build a campaign that performs well and produces results.
1. Identify Your PPC Goals
Before you even begin creating a pay per click campaign for your startup you need to have your goals clearly identified. PPC will probably be one of many advertising methods, so what exactly is the goal for the campaign?
You will need to have all of your details laid out in front of you before you start. You need concrete answers to the following questions:
- What is our daily/monthly budget for PPC?
- What is our customer acquisition cost to remain profitable?
- Who is our target customer?
- What is our conversion goal? (lead submission, phone call, purchase, etc)
- What demographics do we need to target?
- Where is our competition advertising?
- What sets us apart from our competition?
- What is our competitive advantage?
Do not move forward with your pay per click advertising until you can answer these questions. Many startups think it is as simple as opening a campaign, funding it and pressing the start button. It takes time and planning to do this successfully.
2. Conduct Creative Keyword Research
If you are a new startup then there is a good chance you are working with a very limited budget. Creative keyword selection is a great way to uncover low cost keywords that will bring targeted visitors to your website.
Knowing your target audience is going to be your biggest asset here. If you know your target market inside and out you should be able to identify search terms and phrases they would use to seek out your product or service. Avoid high cost broad keywords, as they not only drain your budget fast, but they typically attract clicks from people seeking information, and not looking to buy.
Example: If your startup is coming to market with a revolutionary "red widget" then you would want to avoid the keyword "red widget" and target long tail variations of the keyword such as "where to buy red widgets" and other phrases that are buyer keywords.
3. Understand Your Competition
When you understand your competition it allows you to uncover advantages that you can use in your marketing campaign. If your startup has a distinctive advantage then you need to make your target audience aware of it. Dive into your competitor's keywords and their landing pages. You might uncover additional search terms to target and you might see flaws in their approach that you can improve on.
Every startup is going to have competitors but don't waste time with those that aren't really competition. Pick out the top few and analyze them. If they aren't a major force then you will be wasting precious time.
4. Analyze Your Conversion Data
Conversion tracking allows you to see how effective your pay per click advertising is, and identify what is working and what isn't. Don't be afraid to delete poorly performing keywords and ad copy. If it isn't working then you need to tweak and change it until you get results. When you dive into your conversion data you can see what keywords are bringing the most traffic and what ones are bringing the most conversions. The numbers don't lie, so use this data to help improve your campaign performance.
Being able to immediately identify where to increase your spending and where to cut it is crucial for long-term success. Don't leave a poorly performing keyword or ad active and hope that the performance changes. Cut the dead weight fast and focus on the winners.
5. Continued Campaign Optimization
You will need to constantly optimize your campaign to keep it performing as expected, but you also need to keep up to date with pay per click advertising in general. There are constantly new changes to the popular platforms, and having that knowledge allows you to keep your campaigns performing at the top level.
There are several tools and software that are designed to help you manage your campaign, but they don't do the work for you. They are just that...tools. They assist you, but you have to dive right in and make strategic changes and continue to adapt to be successful.
PPC advertising is not as simple as it may initially appear. If you do not set your campaign up properly it can lead to a complete depletion of your advertising budget without producing any results. It requires constant monitoring and adjustment, so if you can not devote the proper time towards the campaign you will want to consider hiring a professional agency to manage the entire PPC campaign.
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