5 tips for a good PPC campaign

Before I give my 5 gems I'll explain what this blog is about in case you're reading this by accident.

PPC advertising is Pay Per Click. You know....those links at the top and on the right of a Google results page. When you click on those ads the advertiser pays.

For all those beginners who are toying with starting your own PPC campaign, here are 5 easy steps.

Ready for it??
  1. Get the structure right
  2. Get the structure right
  3. Get the structure right
  4. Get the structure right
  5. Get the structure right
Obviously there is more to creating a PPC campaign than one thing but the message I am trying to relay is the structure is by far the most important aspect of the account.

The structure holds the key to the promise land.

What should you be striving to achieve?

Highly targeted traffic at a low cost per click (CPC)

The structure enables you to target your budget in the appropriate areas/campaigns. The big win is by having small groups of keywords with really relevant creative/messaging.

With Google and now Yahoo! rewarding advertisers for relevance and not by bidding, there is no room for lazy campaign set up.

OK, now we're ready for the whole picture!

  1. Set clear objectives
  2. Assign a budget
  3. What engine?
  4. Keywords
  5. Structure
  6. Target

What are you trying to achieve?

  • Build your brand
  • Increase traffic to your site
  • Increase unique visitors
  • Generate phone calls
  • Generate online enquiries
  • Generate online purchase/application

Now you have your objectives in place you'll need to get the budget signed off.

Once you have your budget in place you need to decide where it is best spent. If you're a small sole trader with £200 per month to spend then I would advise you advertise on Yahoo!

Now, you're probably saying "What about Google?".

Control your emotions! This is not the "Advertise your ego" blog. The Google brand is so powerful and plays a huge part in our every day life, it's easy for people to get carried away with seeing their ad on the famous Google search page.

The amount of Google searches means that there is always going to be more browsers.
Researching vs. Buying

In many sectors Yahoo! achieves a better conversion rate but at a lower volume

If you are a big player with a sizeable amount of advertising budget then you may have to succumbe to the Google brand in order to get the volume you need.

Now to the keywords.....
  • Long tail
  • Generic
  • Structure

Start building your keywords with long tail terms that are highly relevant to your business. Deeper buying could also include location specific terms.

You should look to spend your budget on the long tail terms and only add generic terms should you need additional volume.

Separate your terms as you go with the account structure in mind. This will make it easier for you to write effective creative that is specific to the group of keywords.

Example: Travel

Travel keywords should be split by location, type and activity. I.e. Cyprus - Holiday - Walking break, Majorca - Flight

The generic terms would be 'holiday', 'flights', 'cheap flights' etc. These terms will not only be more expensive but will eat up your budget quickly.

The more relevant your creative the better rank you will achieve. Lazy PPC advertisers will have unsuccessful campaigns without understanding the reasons.

Lastly, most important for the smaller advertisers, is to focus on where your target market is. If you are a builder you may want to start out locally. Focus on specific regions, this will also enhance your relevancy and will make your minimum CPC lower.

Happy search advertising. Watch out for more in depth nuggets coming soon.

Steve McClaren's England

Who is the current England football team manager?

Easy? Well think again!!!!!

It's not McClaren, it's the media. The power of the English media is overwhelming.
Manager after manager has been built up only to be hounded out by the media.

The recent show of media power has been with David Beckham. How many times has he been both hero and villain? Now, he's back in and flavour of the month!

If McClaren hadn't picked him for the last two games and England didn't get the results, would the media be calling for his head? Of course!

If the truth be told Sven Goran Eriksson's record was very good.

The media complain that he didn't win a major championship, what manager has?

Of course, who could forget the team of 66 - we're reminded often enough!

The England XI never takes any second guessing, it's the same team as you and the average Joe Blogs would pick.

This is one of the problems the England team of today has to face. Notoriously the best teams do not consist of the best 11 players.

Football is a team game. The team needs balance, unity and players who compliment each other.

Does Frank Lumpard...sorry Lampard compliment Steven Gerrard? Or vice versa?

Does he look good for Chelsea due to their system and the free reign he has?

This is exactly my point. He fits into the Chelsea system.
England don't play the same system, so why is he and Gerrard deployed together.

So far we have two reason why the England national team will not win a major championship any time soon, media pressure and team selection.

I have two more up my sleeve.

Thirdly, the word GREAT is used too frequently in the British game. How many truly great players do England have?

The captain, John Terry is not great. He is a leader and has a great mentality but ability wise he can be exposed. Again, at Chelsea with two holding midfielders he is protected.

McClaren has made him captain and in doing so is saying that his place in the team is guaranteed. A recipe for disaster! John Terry shows that British Bulldog spirit, one that the average England fan can associate with. Is this the way to go? Has it brough success thus far?

In my opinion the truly world class players are Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole (if he gets back to his best), Wayne Rooney (needs consistency), Steven Gerrard and I think Joe Cole is proving important as he is the only member of the national squad who can commit opposing defenders.

Lastly, this could be the most controversial opinion of all, is the lack of intelligence in our game.

Unfortunately the British game is based around pace and power. Not technique, vision and touch.

How many players like Cesc Fabregas could we produce in the UK?

Barcelona alone have produced Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas in recent years. There are youth players of this type that are attracting interest from clubs around the world.

Unfortunately, stereo type maybe, the average British footballer is not the brightest spark. I think this shows in their game play. Rafa Benitez speaks of game intelligence, not many domestic players display this.

Domestic footballers play on habit. This is the fault of domestic coaching. 'When the ball goes here, you need to be here.' 'When you get the ball send it here.'

They are ok when training every day, fitting into a pattern of play. Put them together, with players they don't know inside out and adapting becomes a problem.

Make of this what you will but we are blinded by commentators and newspapers. English football needs to change!!

PPC Market Status - July 2007

I have been working within Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising for the last 3 years.
The speed in how the market has changed has given me a career and not just a job.

There is a lot of talk of Google UK wanting to exterminate agencies. This started with the loss of agency commissions and being replaced by Best Practise Funding (BPF).

I think agencies still have a future......for now!

The recent introduction of the Google quality score now means that there is even less transparency than before and makes it even more difficult for companies to take this on in house.

Working in an agency environment has helped me stay at the forefront of the market and the learnings shared within the team is priceless.

Having a number of clients in the same sector enables an agency to control the market in terms of costs. Many advertisers are reluctant to work with an agency who are managing a competitors account.

In addition to controlling the market space it as proven valuable in proven to Google that their 'automated process' is not working properly. They soon fix this with a few clicks here and there!

For example;

Client A - Good Quality Score - Low CTR - Low Min CPC
Client B
- Good Quality Score - Higher CTR - High Min CPC

The main difference in the two accounts was the size of the budget, Client A was spending substantially more. So now we have a new factor to consider, one that Google does not mention in its learning centre.

Are Google giving preference to those who are spending more? In a word YES!

We shouldn't be suprised, it makes perfect business sense and occurs in every day commerce.
It seems difficult to see Google as a business and not as a tool.
  • The more a client spends the better service they get.

  • The more they spend the more discount they receive.

  • These instances are the same when duration of contracts are considered.
To all SEM agencies that are selling technology as their main product offering....if the mighty Google can't get the technology to be fool proof and need the aid of manual assistance, how do you intend on managing accounts through technology software and be successful when there are so many factors to consider?