THE GUIDE: PPC and performance go hand in hand

The days of disconnected marketing channels are long gone. But how well is your PPC supporting your performance marketing? And what should you be thinking about to get them working hand in hand?

It’s no secret that PPC has the potential to deliver huge ROI regardless of your budget. But getting the most out of tight budgets means getting your channels working together, driving customers right the way through the sales funnel. And nowhere is this more true than when it comes to PPC and affiliates.

Paid search is one of the best ways of increasing your brand awareness. It’ll help you gain traction with incentive and voucher sites, and of course, content sites as well. In turn, the remarketing and retargeting partners on your program will be able make to sure you’re making the most of your paid search traffic by optimizing the conversion rate. Research suggests that while only 30% of link clicks are for paid links, the conversion rate for clicks on PPC links is much higher than for their organic equivalent. Getting these two channels working together has the power to transform them both.

4 steps to an integrated approach

Step 1: Define clear goals

What do you want to get out of your campaign? Do you want to use it purely to drive sales inquiries and orders? Build brand awareness? Or are you struggling to rank in search organically and need an alternative way to gain visibility? Think about your objectives for your other digital channels. If you make sure they’re working to complement each other, you’ll ultimately secure a better ROI.

Step 2: Speaking of ROI, establish a target

Calculating ROI will guide you towards the right choice of ad keywords to use in your campaign. Here you should also think about factors like the price your product sells for and also your conversion rate. Remember too that your channels are not silos. Marketers increasingly recognize that their channels must work together and that rather than deduping, they should factor in the full cost of acquisition across the sales funnel. Initially, it can be difficult to know which keywords will make for the most effective PPC links but initial ROI calculations are an essential precaution against bad investments.

Step 3: Take the plunge

Once you’ve completed steps one and two, it’s time to take the plunge. When starting out, it’s best to limit your investment and give yourself time to gather conversion data.

Step 4: Analyze and retarget

Once your initial ads have had time to attract clicks, you can review your results. Unless you’re completely satisfied with the result, resist the temptation to stick with the same ads. All it takes is a slight tweak to your keywords to make all the difference so experiment until you find a winning formula for ROI.

Making sense of PPC Terminology

Adwords: Google’s advertising platform which allows targeting of audiences in various ad formats both on the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network.

Bid: The maximum price an advertiser is willing to pay for someone clicking on an ad for a given keyword.

Campaign: A series of typically related AdGroups (adverts and associated keywords) with a shared budget on a PPC network

Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who ’convert‘ (i.e. make a purchase, register, request information, etc)

CPJ: Cost per join

CPC: Cos per click

PPC: Pay per Click