PPC Campaign Planning Mini-Series | Part 1 | The Objective

Okay, you’ve heard about Google AdWords. You’ve been told you need an online presence. You may even have a brand-spanking new website, but how do you get started? What ad formats should you be using? What is a Shopping campaign? Should I be running video ads?

Strategic PPC Planning

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is a very powerful tool for brand building, driving relevant interested traffic to your website, and encouraging user actions. However, it’s important to ensure that the advertiser has some level of understanding behind each of the available platforms and ad formats, prior to launching this activity. With Google’s unparalleled reach and vast amount of users, it’s very easy to spend a lot of money without seeing a return, without proper and effective planning, research, implementation and then on-going reporting & analysis and optimisation.

Over the next few weeks, Circus PPC will be presenting a mini-series which will attempt to explain each of these phases in a little more detail, to help any potential advertiser plan their own PPC activity.

We’ll start with the objective. Ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve?

What are you trying to achieve?

The objective of the PPC activity usually differs between advertisers, as some advertisers find some actions more valuable than others. While Google AdWords is a fantastic tool to help drive interested, qualified traffic to almost every business model, there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to the planning and preparation of the PPC campaign. Every advertiser will have slightly different requirements and measures of success.

For example, please consider the four advertisers below.

  • Online retailer interested in driving online sales and revenue.
  • Local taxi company interested in driving more telephone calls.
  • A brand new product launch.
  • A local store with the desire to drive additional store visits.

You can see from this example that it is vitally important to establish the objective of the advertising campaign, and secondly, what potential user actions you are looking to drive.

For instance, a return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) metric that would be vital to our online retailer in the example above, may be less important to the local taxi rank, who would be more interested in driving calls and in turn tracking the cost of each phone call. Similarly, the online retailer may not value phone calls in the same way, if their transactions are only carried out online.

What user actions are important to you?

Once the advertiser has established which actions are most valuable to the business, the next step in the process is to ensure you are monitoring and tracking the relevant metrics within the Google AdWords account. Not all of the metrics listed below are mutually exclusive, as some businesses may find it useful to track several key-performance-indicators (KPIs) to build up a larger picture of their online presence, the effectiveness of the online marketing strategy and the overall return-on-investment of this activity.

  • Online Sales & Revenue

What should you consider?

Perhaps the most common KPI is sales & revenue. In this care, it’s vital to implement conversion tracking and monitor your overall return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).

  • Traffic

What metrics should you consider?

If your objective is to drive traffic to the site, then you should consider clicks as a key metric.

  • Leads

What should you consider?

Are you looking to drive leads into the business, such as completed contact forms, or applications? You should be looking to implement conversion tracking and track your cost-per-acquisition (CPA).

  • Calls

What should you consider?

Does your business value calls to the business? If so, it’s worth exploring click-to-call campaigns, call extensions and monitoring the CPA of the call.

  • Store Visits

What should you consider?

Some advertisers would maybe look to drive footfall to their bricks and mortar store. In this case, geo-targeting and location extensions would be a priority.

  • Downloads

What should you consider?

Are you interested in driving app downloads? You should consider creating a “Mobile apps install” campaign and tracking the CPA via conversion tracking.

  • Video Views

What should you consider?

How many views of your video ad have you achieved? How much did it cost-per-view for a video view?

  • Brand Awareness

What should you consider? Impressions, Reach & Frequency

How many impressions has your advert received? How many people has this advert reached? And how many times have they seen it?

Once the advertiser has established the correct objective for their business, and the relevant required user actions, it then makes it possible to align the online marketing strategy with the overall marketing strategy for your business. It also makes it possible to set key-performance-indicators (KPI’s) which will help with ongoing account optimisation, and will give the business owner the ability to assess and analyse the PPC activity, and quantify its effectiveness.

The next part in the planning activity would be the research phase, in which the advertiser should explore the various online platforms, ad formats and targeting options available. We’ll cover this subject, and more, in out next instalment of our PPC campaign planning mini-series – so keep an eye on our blog for further releases!

Here at Circus, we love to discuss clients’ business objectives and we enjoy working with them to help implement a winning strategy for their business. If you would like a helping hand with setting up Google AdWords, or any other element of PPC advertising, then please contact us for a free, no obligation PPC review and consultation with one of our PPC Experts.

Check out the second instalment of our PPC Campaign Planning series with Client Services Manager, Anna Wood, here.

Rick Tobin
Managing Director

Over 20 years dedicated PPC experience working with some of the world's biggest brands.

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