Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be one of the best ways to create a revenue stream for your business. However, it might not fit every business model or make sense for your budget. Rather than dismiss PPC due to uncertainty, it’s a better idea to conduct research and run the numbers to see if a campaign can possibly return a healthy investment.
Here are the three steps you should follow to figure out whether or not PPC can work for you and your business:
Step 1: Research Your Keywords and Estimated Costs
The first step is to conduct some keyword research for your targeted keywords. To do this, you want to create an account with Adwords and use Google’s Keywords Planner Tool. You want to start broad with your search and then dig deeper into more specific keywords. Then you will want to group your keyword list into related categories and export it to organize your work and get a better idea of what kinds of keywords you want to target.
Many business owners make the mistake of starting with a popular keyword for their business and assume that they can’t make it work due to the high suggested bidding costs. In reality, you really have to take the time to try to get a good list of different keywords to get a better idea of what you can afford to pay for the traffic.
After you’ve collected a decent list of keywords. You will want to figure out if you can generate a positive revenue stream with PPC. If you’re selling a product, you will want to get an idea of what kind of numbers you need to make a profit. For example, if you’re selling a $100 product and you’re paying $1 per click, you need to make a sale at a 1% conversion rate to break even.
If you’re selling a service, you should get your figures by looking at the cost-per-lead. Let’s say that one in a hundred leads convert into a new client. If you’re paying $1 a click and getting 10 leads per 100 clicks, you are basically paying $10 a lead. If your average cost-per-lead for advertising is typically higher, or if you know you have a high value per lead, then it makes sense to continue advertising.
Step 2: Get Your Numbers and Tracking on Point
The next step is to set up tracking for your campaign. You need to integrate the tracking to your landing page so that you can get the conversion rate for your leads or sales. You can do this with your Google Analytics account or go with a third-party service provider. At this point, you want to be very specific about your numbers to get a realistic idea of how your campaign is going to break down.
If you’re selling a product, you have to figure out how much of that product generates a profit after the manufacturing costs. Then, you have to add in all the other costs, like credit card processing fees, shipping, and other fees, to get the profit margin before any advertising expenses. From there, you need to deduct your PPC advertising costs (a projected 100 clicks is a good starting ground) from that balance to see how much you can possibly make from your campaign.
When coming up with your numbers, it’s good to start with a figure of a 3% conversion rate. That is a reasonable conversion rate for a new PPC campaign. If you want to get even more clarity, you can integrate your average cross-sell and upsell campaigns to see what the overall profit will be.
Step 3: Focus on the Long-Term
The initial cost for any new marketing channel is high. That’s why you need to take into consideration that your costs should drop after a few months. You should also be able to optimize your campaign for better targeting and landing pages to increase your conversion rate. You can either learn to do that through the Google support forums or consult a PPC company or expert to do the heavy lifting (many offer free consulting minutes so take advantage of them).
There are also many things you can do to fine-tune your campaigns. For example, you can target the time and days where conversion rates are higher or use negative keywords to eliminate clicks from unwanted searches. Adding all these factors into your calculation will give you a better idea of whether or not PPC is worth it for your business in the long run.
Unfortunately, many business owners give up due to being too short-sighted or a lack of instantaneous results. You have to remember that PPC is a long process that can really pay off if you make the commitment to adjusting and improving on a consistent basis.
Featured photo credit: Ethinos via ethinos.com