Crafting the Right Strategy
An effective PPC strategy requires time, effort, and expertise, but strategy makes all the difference. The first step in the planning phase is pinpointing the targeted audience—who your audience is and where they are in the buying cycle–and determining the goals of the paid search effort. Whether it’s leads, sales, or conversions, the campaign goal should align with and support the organization’s overall marketing strategy.
The next step is diving into who your competitors are and the keywords they’re using. Depending on how many competitors are in market, it may make sense to prioritize them rather than try to outrank all of them all at once. Don’t assume competitors cornered the market on all the best keywords; use keyword tools to see if there are high-value terms other marketers are neglecting (niche B2B acronyms and model numbers are often overlooked). And be careful to not cast too wide a net. As mentioned above, the B2B audiences are smaller and more focused than a B2C audience, so make sure to fish where the fish are.
Once the audience, goals, and keywords are identified and agreed upon it’s time to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and plug the goals into Google Analytics to track the KPIs.
Finally, determine the budget allocation based on the desired keywords, the estimated CPC cost, and the potential impressions and clicks anticipated. Once the campaign launches, Google’s algorithm will monitor it for two to three weeks. During this time the search engine is learning your keywords, keyword match types, and bidding to determine how you compare to others competing within the same auction. From that point on, continue to optimize based on relevant metrics such as impression share, CPCs, CTRs, CPAs, conversion rate, and ROI to stay competitive within the auction.