PPC advertising is a useful tool in the arsenal of any brand. It’s very direct, and puts your products in front of customers as they are looking to buy. The measures of success in a PPC campaign are the clicks and sales that result, but even customers that don’t click are seeing your products and making and reinforcing the mental link between what they want and your brand. If you’re adopting a digital performance marketing stance, though, the key metrics are those actions: clicks and sales. If your campaigns aren’t generating these actions, then you’re not seeing a good ROI – the return on investment that characterises a successful business decision.
The key to success – to getting those clicks and conversions and keeping costs down, is choosing the right search terms. For your PPC advertising, it’s a balance between capturing a big audience and being specific enough to keep costs down and your ads in front of people who are interested in shopping for your products, not simply browsing. If you’re a small clothing brand, then competing on the keyword ‘jeans’ will see you either spending far more money than you’d like or simply failing to secure places, while the ads that are served, are served to customers that aren’t necessarily interested in buying jeans, or in buying jeans from you.
Over-correcting in the other direction leads to search terms that are specific to your brand, and that you can bid on very cheaply, but this is because the search volume is too low to be useful. Ask yourself if customers are already searching for terms so specific to your brand and products, do they need an advert to push the rest of the way to purchase?
Optimising your PPC search terms means understanding your audience – who is searching – and your industry. A market research company can help you understand the demographics of your audience, and create segments of different groups of customers with similar behaviours, spending power and priorities.
Finding the Long Tail
One of the most valuable things you can do is look for ‘long tail’ keywords: specific ones designed to target customers who are actively researching products to buy in your niche. This unlocks a high conversion rate, and lower costs of PPC advertising, as these are, by their nature, specific rather than general keywords. This is where your demographic understanding comes into play: if you know how your customers search for products when they want to spend money, you can get their attention at this key moment.