In this series we will be looking at the process of starting a paid search advertising account from the ground up. In this first post we will be looking at the very early stages of PPC search, the things you need to clarify with a client before you really start.
Having a set process that you follow when starting a Paid Search account is really important and helps to make sure you don’t end up doing something costly that you regret later on.
First things first, what are the clients goals or expectations from the account? This will define everything from how you structure the PPC build itself to how you report back to the client, this will form the subject of this article. We will also only be looking at paid search advertising as opposed to pay per click in general (which would include Facebook and LinkedIn).
There are two main types of goals that clients will typically have – “visibility/branding” goals or “CPA” goals, think Ecommerce / Registration/ Lead Generation. In this article we’ll focus on CPA goals.
Once we have established what the clients goal priorities are you can then start to work out the finer details which we have broken down to 4 areas.
What is the cost per lead / goal you will be working towards?
This will ultimately determine how you optimise the account, when to pause lower performance keywords, how to identify which are the most cost efficient as well as where to allocate budget. It is also how you prove what a Rockstar you are to the client and why they are paying you!
This can be difficult, especially if the client has not run paid search before as they won’t necessarily know what to gauge it against. In an ideal world they will have a good idea of their margins and costs and therefore know what they want to aim for. The same also goes for conversion rates, hopefully they know how they do in their store or from other channels and can give you something to aim for.
Don’t be afraid to push back if you feel the targets are unrealistic, doing some keyword research will give you a good idea of costs and by applying various conversion rates you can quickly work out if it’s a fair target. Remember you are the expert and should be able to inform the client of what is realistic.
What are the main points of focus?
The products or service lines that the client are most keen to push will help you to define where to focus the paid search build, perhaps allocating more budget to certain campaigns for priority products or pushing certain products across multiple platforms for increased visibility.
Determining what to spend on Paid Search is a hard question to answer, but we here at Passion believe in starting smaller and proving the accounts worth first. Often a budget will scale with successful account management, but initially this may be a factor in determining how big your account will be. There are several ways this can be broken down, by product, platform or country.
Stretching the campaign budget over too many campaignswill leave you suffering from Impression Share lost to Budget. This is definitely something that will need considering for high cost per click industries (web design, insurance, forex etc.) that could take half the budget in one click, so don’t spread your campaign budgets too thin!
Where will your ads be seen?
Deciding what platform to appear on is a complicated decision and is based on several different factors. Knowing the core demographic for your client is crucial, for example Google and Yahoo/Bing each have different audience demographics:
- Bing tends to have an older age group using less up to date internet browsers
- Google has a younger audience that will be heavier on mobile use
Deciding which one to go with depend on your clients goals and what they are trying to do with the account. You can always run on both, just remember to adjust the budgets on each platform accordingly to stop the account overspending.
That concludes part 1 in our series, part 2 will be about researching and building the account which we will be making the subject of the next article!
As always we welcome comments so feel free to leave them below!