Preparing for PPC Success

It seems easy enough to start a PPC advertising campaign.  In fact, many new advertisers jump right in:  they pull out their credit card, put in a few keywords, and send everything to the homepage.  They’re convinced that PPC is an easy way to start getting traffic and leads for their website.

Not so fast.  Successful PPC advertising is an investment of time and money.  It’s not something you do once and stop.  If you really want to get a return on your advertising dollar, you’ll need to spend several thousand dollars per month.

It’s like buying a house.  Would you whip out your credit card and buy a house in 10 minutes?  I didn’t think so.

Just like buying a house, successful PPC marketing takes research and preparation.  Here are the steps to take before you open that Adwords account.

Think about your business goals:

  • What’s the goal of your website?  Is it e-commerce, lead generation, information, or something else?
  • Why do you want to do PPC – what would you like to get out of it?  Increased sales or leads, improved brand awareness, event promotion, other?
  • Is there a specific product or service you want to focus on, or do you just want to improve ROI across the board?

Make sure your website is ready:

We see a lot of advertisers whose websites are unprepared for PPC visitors.  Unprepared can mean:

  • Lack of web analytics.  Web analytics enable site owners and digital marketing agencies to track and measure website activity – from the number of total visitors to the number of sales or leads generated.  Starting PPC without analytics is like flying blind – you won’t know where you are headed.  There are many excellent analytics packages out there – some, like Google Analytics, are free; others have a monthly or one-time cost.  There’s no right or wrong package – just get one installed before you spend a dime on PPC.
  • Lack of a call to action.  I can’t tell you how many PPC ads I’ve clicked on, only to get to the website and have no idea what I’m supposed to do.  Do you want your visitors to buy something?  Then make sure you have an “Add To Cart” or “Buy Now!” button on the landing page.  Are you looking for lead generation?  Then make sure you have a simple contact form on the page.
  • Lack of a post-conversion plan.  So the visitor converted.  Great!  Now what?  Obviously, if you’re an e-commerce site, you’ll fulfill the order.  But that’s only the first step.  Think about whether you want to continue to market to the customer.  Email marketing is a great way to do this, but not the only way.  The point is, think about this ahead of time.

Think about your ad copy:

Ad copy is critically important.  You have 70 characters to make your product or service stand out on the search results page.  Yet many advertisers spend less than 5 minutes crafting ad copy.

Don’t fall into that trap.  Take the time to develop winning ad copy.  Include elements like:

  • Your unique selling proposition
  • Benefits of your product or service
  • A clear call to action

Believe it or not, it’s possible to include all of the above in 70 characters, and when done properly, it really pays off.

Do yourself, and your business, a favor – take the time to think about these elements before you begin your PPC campaign, and you’ll reap the benefits of increased sales & leads as a result.

Melissa Mackey is the Online Marketing Manager at A veteran PPC marketer, she helps clients get maximum ROI from paid search. She’s also mom to boy/girl twins and an avid Michigan State Spartan alum and fan. See more posts from Melissa at