Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns are a smart way to dictate your ranking in search engine results and drive the right type of traffic to your website. Unlike organic traffic, PPC campaigns give businesses control over what keywords they rank for and what site pages prospects are led to.
There are multiple types of PPC campaigns, each with different strategies and end goals. When choosing where to invest your resources, it's important to understand what type of PPC campaign is most likely to give you the type of results you're looking for. We've outlined the top three most common PPC campaigns, how they work and when they're most effective — so you can choose which strategy will help you achieve your goals.
Branded campaigns, as their name suggests, involve bidding on a branded keyword in order to ensure that your company's website ranks in the top results when searched for by name. In our case, examples would include "New Breed" and "New Breed Marketing," because both long-tailed keywords include variations of our brand name.
These campaigns often convert at a higher rate than other PPC campaigns because they assume a level of brand familiarity — in essence, they help people who are already actively searching for your company to find you more easily. Branded campaigns are exceptionally important if organic searches for your company's name don't already rank your website in the top five unpaid results.
Apart from allowing you to rank higher in search engine results, branded campaigns also provide the opportunity to direct traffic to specific web pages other than your homepage (the default destination for organic brand searches). Because this PPC strategy requires a level of familiarity and thus less in-depth lead education, directing traffic to a solutions page, for example, may ultimately increase your conversion rates and ROI per lead — even if your brand already ranks high in organic results. In short, PPC campaigns offer the ability to control and test different traffic pathway variations and measure their effectiveness.
Ever leave an item in your Amazon shopping cart, navigate to a different site and find that an ad for that item has magically followed you? That's the work of PPC marketing. Remarketing campaigns tag site visitors as they search the internet and they leverage Google's vast display network to serve relevant ads on different channels once a lead has left the initial tagging site. This type of PPC campaign is a good option if you want to increase overall brand awareness and target leads who were not ready to convert on their first site visit. Remarketing campaigns can also increase the effectiveness of a new marketing campaign by ensuring that a new offer or feature gains more significant recognition.
Offer-based campaigns can take many different forms. Because they strive to expand your company's addressable market and draw new leads into your funnel, they often require more education and can take longer to see results. As the name suggests, offer-based campaigns are designed to feature a specific Top of Funnel (TOFU) or Middle of Funnel (MOFU) offer and thereby generate more sales. Because they're featuring a specific offer, these types of PPC campaigns should be tightly knit, with specific keywords that are directly relevant to the offer you're promoting. As a general rule, MOFU-based PPC campaigns are more effective during peak sales periods and TOFU campaigns are more effective during the rest of the year.
Evaluating What Works
Your responsibility doesn't end once you choose where to invest. Measuring the effectiveness and return on your investment requires you to monitor key metrics on a daily basis to make sure that you're not paying for clicks that don't lead to conversions. For every PPC campaign, you should start by measuring the volume of conversions generated, overall conversion rate and the average cost per conversion. Hubspot's Ads add-on integrates directly with Google AdWords and Facebook's network, providing greater visibility into your AdWords campaign and greater reporting accuracy about the type of leads generated from each PPC campaign, (i.e., where those leads came from and what deals they led to). This granularity lends to more accurate and efficient ROI evaluations, available within a single tool.
It's also important to remember that the Google keyword bidding algorithm is affected by a keyword's quality score (how relevant the keyword is to the landing page, as well as its popularity). The higher your quality score, the greater the likelihood that you'll be able to spend less time and money tailoring a search and have more control over the result. Achieving a higher quality score means honing your content and SEO strategy to increase your relevance and ranking for keywords that matter most to your business.
Interested in learning more inbound marketing tips and tricks to grow your business? Check out our Definitive Guide to Saas Marketing below.