💡 Fun Fact: Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on PPC Advertising? That’s a pretty clear ROI with bullseye targeting that other methods can't match.
So we brought in the mastermind Amy Hebdon, Founder of Paid Search Magic to give the lowdown on one of the most effective marketing methods 🥁 PPC!
She’s as badass as they come with a lineup of accomplishments that make us 🤯
🎓She achieved a 95% CPA reduction for a fortune 100 company
🎓She 175X a paid search revenue with a 100+ ROAS for an ecom company
🎓She grew an ARR from $0.25M to $40M+ for an online retailer
🗣️: Why is PPC an essential part of online advertising and whether is PPC only appropriate for big brands or it relevant for small ones too?
💬 Amy: PPC can work for any size company, as long as you've got a great offer that people are looking for. I like to say that Google Ads lets you put your best offer in front of your ideal client when they're most ready to take action.
So let's look at what makes a great offer. It's going to have a high perception of value (this is your product + positioning) and a low perceived cost.
Because paid search uses an auction model, it can get expensive to compete against bigger brands and marketplaces in some cases. This doesn't mean that small brands can't succeed, it just means you need to have an optimized offer and keyword strategy so that you're not paying for clicks that are unlikely to convert.
As for why PPC is an essential part of online advertising... we're seeing the search engine results pages (SERPs) give more and more real estate to sponsored listings. You could be "#1 on Google" organically, and still be at the bottom of the screen because of all the paid ads above it. Not to mention that you can use paid ads to show up in Gmail, YouTube, on the Discover feed, and places across the internet where you can't easily show up organically. So you can target a very specific audience that already wants your products and services. You end up with a very strong return on that investment.
🗣️: What are your tips for identifying the right amount of budget for a PPC campaign?
💬 Amy: For budget, I'm assuming that you'd want to continue to invest as long as the campaigns are profitable and meeting goals, yes? You don't want to create a budget that's artificially low, where you're leaving leads and sales on the table when there's demand for your offer. What a lot of companies will do, and what I generally recommend, is to have a profitability goal and then be flexible on the budget. This means that when the campaign is doing well, you spend more to make more. When there's not as much demand, or when it's not converting as well, you don't spend as much. There's no expectation of hitting a certain budget just for the sake of spending that amount.
Now, that's a macro approach. That's looking at how much the account should spend, say, on a monthly basis. But there's also daily budgets associated with each campaign. The same principle applies there too. Keep in mind you can change your budget at any time, so what you start with on day 1 of a new campaign could be entirely different a month or a week later. And what you start with (when you have no data) isn't super important, because you'll just change it as soon as you see it should be different.
You just want to keep your budget high enough that it would allow you to get consistent conversions. Say your CPA is $100. It wouldn't make sense to have a daily budget of $10. That's going to mess with Google's machine learning, and you won't see good performance that way.
🗣️: What are the best tools you use for keyword discovery?
💬 Amy: For tools for keyword discovery... honestly I rarely use tools. Which isn't to say you shouldn't. But a lot of people get this really wrong. They use a tool to figure out expected traffic volume, or expected CPCs, and start from there. But - this is important - paid search is not a volume game, it's an intent game. If you sell blueberries, but there are more monthly searches for bananas, should you bid on bananas? That'd be a bad idea, since you're paying for clicks for people who are looking for something other than your offer. So please take metrics from keyword tools with a grain of salt.
The other reason people use keyword tools is to expand keyword lists, and that can be a reasonable thing to do. There are different ways people think about our products, so it's a good idea to get out of our own heads with this. Google has some good built-in tools for expansions, and it's always trying to expand the coverage of our existing keywords anyway. What I mean by that is if I have "table" as a keyword, Google will still serve my ad for someone who typed "tables" or "tabels" or "tables near me" or "wooden table with steel legs." I didn't need to add all those as keywords, but my ad still showed up.
Another tool you could use for keyword research is ChatGPT. This can help you expand keywords and topics as well. Just remember, the name of the game here is intent. What's closest to the money? What are people searching for right before they're ready to buy what you're selling? This is more about knowing your audience and their pain points than it is about tools.
🗣️: How do I start a PPC campaign on social media? What are the steps in successfully doing that?
💬 Amy: I deal mostly with paid search (Google Ads and Microsoft Ads), but it's a somewhat similar concept for social - it's all about having a great offer and targeting audiences who are are in-market or adjacent to in-market. With social, where keywords don't play the same type of role, intent-based audience targeting becomes even more important.
🗣️: When to use pay-per-click? Which match type will be most effective for my Sponsored Product campaign?
💬 Amy: There can be some debate about this, but most people would say not to use Broad match anymore because you end up with too many irrelevant clicks. Phrase and exact can both work well.
🗣️: Wil it matter if the product of our business is service or products? Or will it have the same approach? We're in the line of services, we're interested on ideas on what to put on a PPC campaign ad as we havent explored that route yet.
💬 Amy: The same underlying idea of having a great offer and targeting an interested audience applies whether you're marketing a product or service. One key difference is how you measure success. With ecomm, you can typically tell how much revenue you made from your conversions, so calculating return on investment is easy. With services, those tend to be lead-based, so you don't know in real-time whether they convert to become clients or customers. Because of that, you need more back-end data to create targets and know if you're successful. There's also a difference in which campaign types are available to you.
🗣️: What platform is best from your experience when starting with PPC?
💬 Amy: Google Ads tends to be the main platform when we're talking about paid search.
🗣️: We're pretty much very new at this point, so maybe you can give us your 5 takeways on PPC ads? 😁
Include your keyword in the headline.
Create a "teaser" for your landing page and offer.
Use as much character space as possible.
Pin your assets.
Test different messaging ideas.
🗣️: What do you consider when writing an ad?
💬 Amy: A good ad works as "teaser trailer" for your landing page. Think of your landing page as "the movie" and your ad as the trailer to get people who might be interested in the landing page to click. Nothing that's not on the landing page should be in your ad.
🗣️: What are the most important KPIs to measure success?
💬 Amy: The most important KPIs are going to be your business objectives. Most of the time this is going to be return on ad spend (conversion value / cost) or cost per lead (cost / conversion) along with conversion volume or value. Anything other than that is going to be a secondary metric, and it's just a means to an end to make sure you hit your primary KPI goals. For example, it's nice to have low cpcs, but sometimes those are more valuable keywords. If your conversion rate is up and you're getting more conversions at a lower cost, then the fact that cpcs are up isn't a KPI to worry about.
🗣️: How long should advertisers wait to evaluate its effectiveness after launching a new display campaign?
💬 Amy: Display tends to be top-of-funnel, so efficiency isn't always going to be the main thing to evaluate. Review where your ads are running, and which audiences / data segments they're reaching. Be sure your offer is appropriate for newer / colder visitors. Continue to curate your targeting as part of the process. Generally you'd want to give it a few weeks before you have an idea of how it's performing, but make sure along the way that everything else is as good as it can be.
🗣️: How do I get started with PPC?
💬 Amy: Create a good offer. This is important for any business, but you'll lose money quickly if you are paying for clicks but not converting people into clients and customers. From there, decide if this is something you want to do or hire someone to do. It's a tough thing to dabble in. If you hire someone, they'll set up your account, but if you're going the DIY route, you'll set up an account with Google Ads.
🗣️: Best resources to learn more about PPC.
💬 Amy: There are journals and groups and trainings and so many resources for learning about PPC, but you have to pay attention because older content may not be relevant anymore. The platform changes quickly. The best resources are going to depend on what you're trying to learn. Unbounce has good articles on high converting landing pages, and Search Engine Journal has good technical paid search advice.
🗣️: How to do PPC with Google Ads?
💬 Amy: You'll always want to be optimizing. That means doing more of what works and less of what doesn't. Review your data, and the things that aren't working, fix or pause. Where there's opportunity, scale and increase the budgets.
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