The PPC Hierarchy of Needs
Success in pay per click search advertising requires a mind that’s methodical and adaptive, empirical and intuitive, structured and creative. And that’s not all. For an established campaign, many tasks of PPC marketing are done continuously and sometimes even simultaneously.
It would be easy for a PPC professional to become dizzy just thinking of all the tasks and requirements of the job. But the overwhelming responsibilities can be managed when considered in their proper order. Some tasks of a project will be more effective and efficient when other tasks have been accomplished beforehand — a PPC hierarchy of needs, if you will.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a popular diagram that illustrates this concept as it applies to human psychology. This diagram has done much to raise awareness and to bring theoretical order to the complex system of psychological motivators.
In the same way, this PPC hierarchy of needs diagrams and orders the multifaceted requirements of search engine advertising. Like Maslow’s Hierarchy, the PPC hierarchy of needs diagram is a pyramid where needs at the top of the pyramid can’t be fulfilled until needs below it are met.
Analytics & Performance Evaluation
Analytics data and continual performance evaluation is the backdrop for all PPC efforts. A PPC campaign is not stagnant — it evolves and develops through a cycle of trial, error and improvement. Any pay per click campaign requires repeated testing and revising of ad copy, landing pages, and keywords. Accessing and analyzing data is required to make informed decisions at every point during the campaign optimization process.
Through analytical data, a PPC professional can evaluate the performance of keywords and ads, adjusting the bidding for maximum return on investment. Based on query reports, a search engine marketer can identify and test new keywords as well as knock out negative keywords. Analytics data makes it possible to optimize campaign settings like time of day and location. Keep in mind that evaluating ad performance requires on at least a couple hundred clicks for reliable empirical data.
Before a PPC campaign can be started, an account has to be created and properly structured through the respective search marketing platform. Every ad platform has unique requirements that must be considered. The initial credit card and contact info must be set up before an account is generated. Then, creating a strategic structure for the campaign is a critical step in creating a foundation for a relevant, high-quality campaign.
Within campaigns are ad groups, and within ad groups are keywords. It is very important that the theme is fully aligned from top to bottom. When crafting the account structure, keep Quality Score and relevancy in mind. Pay attention to whether the keywords match the ads and the ads match the landing pages. The account structure is where you set yourself up not only to manage the campaign most effectively, but also to earn the best Quality Score.
Keywords are where the potential customer starts his journey to your site and service. Targeting the right keywords is key to search engine marketing. Build your keyword list to tightly fit the theme of the ad group. Developing and refining the keyword list is a constant requirement, and equally important is identifying negative keywords that can dilute the campaign effectiveness.
It’s the search marketer’s role to direct the right traffic to the site and to maximize the potential for conversion once on the site. Identify a list of keywords that have proven profitable to the site, maximize their potential, and continually test new keywords to locate new opportunities.
Once you have set up the ad group and it’s centered on a tight theme, you’ll be able to decide where queries for those keywords will be directed on the site. There might already be a page on the site that would serve as a fitting landing page as is or with minor edits. Or, a new landing page may need to be created that is optimized for the keyword.
All landing pages should include a strong call to action, a usable design, and persuasive messaging that reflects the value proposition. Communicate to readers where they are and make clear the value of the potential conversion. Qualified post-click marketing best practices apply.
With a well structured campaign, a strong set of targeted keywords and a landing page just waiting to convert visitors, a PPC marketer can begin to craft the element that connects these dots: the ad itself. Like the landing page, an ad should include relevant keywords and a strong call to action. It should also be crafted with principles of optimizing for the conversion funnel in mind. The consumer’s initial awareness, resulting interest, subsequent decision and following action can be considered in conjunction with proper keyword usage for the greatest overall effect.
When developing ad copy, an advertiser is working with limited space. Most search engine ads are made up of little more than a headline, a web address and a description. As you create ad copy, keep in mind the open opportunity to test new ad copy and keywords. Once an ad has attracted enough clicks, a search engine marketer will evaluate and analyze the keywords and ad copy, bringing the marketer full circle through the PPC hierarchy of needs.
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