Launching a new PPC campaign can be an addictive process. The ability to finalise a new product or service and quickly have people flooding your website for that offering is exciting. But there are things you need to consider before hitting that go live button. How will you know when the campaign is making a profit? What external factors influence customer intent? What conversion rate do you need to be hitting?
For those looking to establish themselves in a particularly competitive market like insurance or legal, these are things you can’t afford to sort out later. When cost per clicks are £10, £20, £30 or above, it can quickly seem like an uphill battle to justify the activity. So what are the key things to look at before getting started? We’ve picked out some of the most important.
It might sound like an obvious one, but taking time to understand what the market currently looks like is really important, because unless you have very deep pockets, it’s unrealistic to target everyone. So knowing where the gaps are, who your closest competitors will be (based on actual search results, not just who you think your competitors are), and how you plan to differentiate will all help conversion rate.
You should consider getting a third party to do some research for you. Your knowledge of the business is invaluable, of course, but it comes with a certain view of how things should operate, and can cause confirmation bias. A fresh pair of eyes is never a bad thing in this situation. From there, you can define what your adverts and landing page should focus on before they are designed.
Doing Your Sums
You can save a lot of time and money by working out what good looks like before getting started. The two things which are most valuable to find out are:
- Internal cost to deliver the product/service
- Expected average sale value
These will help define what cost per acquisition you need to achieve from the campaign in order to make a profit. From there, it’s relatively straightforward to work out what conversion rate you would need to make the campaign successful, based on historical auction data and estimated cost per clicks for your industry.
Ensuring you can measure the true return on investment from your PPC activity can take time, particularly if your campaign is focused on lead generation. Do you have a dedicated phone number for tracking calls? How are you going to trace a prospect back to their original contact form? This is where a lot of businesses fall short, failing to invest an extra 10-20% in technology to help make the campaign easier to assess.
CRM integration can be key here. Unless you’re using a fully bespoke platform, you won’t be the first person to have needed specific reporting and lead tagging functionality, so it’s worth doing some digging or emailing support.
Landing Page CRO
You can’t force someone to convert if they aren’t the right customer, but when you’re spending the price of a meal out on getting them to your page, you want to make sure you’re making it as easy as possible for them to know what to do should they be interested. This is the trickiest of the pre-launch checklist, because you can’t know for sure how well a page converts until people are landing on it. But a quick look at competitors tells you a lot about common formats being employed, and what others have found to work. You also have tools such as Google Analytics to help you with your own website, and understanding how users interact with it from other marketing channels already.
All of these things take time unfortunately, but they are worth it. The difficult bit is then adjusting your mindset to allow the campaign to run for a bit unimpeded. After agonising over every small detail, it can seem counterintuitive to then step back once it’s gone live, but you won’t be able to make sensible adjustments based on a few clicks, so make sure you and everyone around you are aware that it’ll be a few days or weeks before you have anything to report back. Be content in the knowledge you’ve given it the best chance of working, and be patient!