The task of starting a PPC campaign on Google AdWords can seem like a herculean task to any local business that’s never done it before. After all, the horror stories you’ve heard about out-of-control PPC costs may have made you sceptical of the entire thing.
So, before you create an AdWords account, it’s important to do your homework on the mechanics of PPC and find out what kind of campaign you need, or even if paid marketing is the best online marketing option for your current circumstances.
In this guide, we go over 7 crucial questions to ask yourself before investing in a Google AdWords campaign.
- What are My Reasons for Starting an AdWords Campaign?
Simply put, what are your business objectives for spending money on PPC marketing?
- Do you want to generate leads?
- Do you want to increase sales?
- Do you want more signups to your email newsletter?
- Do you want more social media followers?
Asking these questions allows you to establish your campaign goals and a set a benchmark for success on AdWords. If you go in blind without any objectives, you’re leaving money on the table. You need goalposts as a means of defining whether your advertising efforts are working or not.
If you have several objectives that encompass leads and sales but only have a limited budget, go back to the drawing board and decide which goals take the highest priority and generate the highest return on investment (ROI).
- How Much Am I Willing to Spend on AdWords?
Your budget is perhaps the most important factor in the planning stages of PPC marketing. Yes, poorly managed AdWords campaigns can run amok in terms of cost, so it’s important to put hard limits on how much your local business is willing spend.
Your budget will also depend on factors such as:
- Your competition – Is your local business competing against resource-rich national companies?
- The marketability and demand for your product/service – Is your product/service in demand? Are you the only vendor offering it in your locality?
- Your unique selling proposition (USP) – Does your product/service have anything unique about it? The more unique it is, the easier it will be to market.
- Who Is My Target Audience?
Failing to identify your target market means you’re not exactly sure who will see your ads. More importantly, you won’t know if your ads are even sending the right message.
As a local business, think of your individual AdWords campaigns as separate local radio stations. If you want to attract as many listeners as possible, you don’t offer the same kind of programming across the board. One station will perhaps cater to an older audience, another to a hip and younger audience, and the last one catering exclusively to fans of jazz music. The more optimized a radio station is, the easier it will be to resonate with its target audience.
The same concept applies to AdWords campaigns. Whom are you targeting? Who will buy your products or pay for your services?
For example, if your business sells beauty products in the city, you could consider targeting women specifically. And because you’re a local business, it might be more cost-efficient to target people within a certain radius of your establishment.
- What Do I Want My Customers to Do?
If a customer sees your ads, what do you want to happen after they click on them? Again, this boils down to your campaigns’ business objectives.
Examples of desired actions, also known as conversions, include:
- Liking your local business page on Facebook
- Buying a specific product on your site
- Calling your business through the numbers on your ads
- Signing up for your weekly/monthly newsletter
- What Search Terms are Relevant to my Business?
Keywords are the currency on AdWords. Proper keyword selection will directly affect when and how your ads show up on certain search results. By choosing your keywords carefully, you’re able to target specific searches that are more aligned with your business goals, thus helping maximize your campaign budget.
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer—what combination of words would they use to search for your business and its products? This process lets you zero in on highly specific terms (usually with buying intent) with a higher chance of triggering your ads and leading to conversions.
- What is My Competition Doing?
Like marketing in the real world, there are no rules against paying attention to what your competitors are doing. If they have great ideas, then by all means, take notes. Local businesses face several obstacles, and if you can get pointers from competing businesses who have been in PPC far longer than you have, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try to leverage their strategies.
The easiest way to do this is by running a search (preferably in Private or Incognito mode) using search terms relevant to your business.
- Check the copy your competitors are using on their ads
- Check the calls to action (CTAs)
- Check the sales pitches
- See where the ads lead you
- When Do You Expect to End Your Campaign, If at All?
Duration is another factor you need to plan for ahead of time. The answer to this question will depend on the nature of your campaign. For example, your business may be holding a one-week sale—this factor should determine your campaign duration.
On the other hand, if your campaign’s goal is to continually raise awareness and build traffic, your campaign might run for much longer. The issue of campaign duration will again bring you back to the question of what your business goals are.
For more in-depth guides and tips for using Google AdWords, get in touch with iNet Marketing today. We’ll help you start your PPC campaign as a local business and find paying customers immediately. Visit our contact page to get started.