5 Factors to Consider Before Starting a Paid Search Campaign

Written by Lauren Austin

Paid search campaigns can jumpstart your online marketing efforts by driving traffic to your website, connecting your ads with prospective customers who are actively seeking the products or services your company provides, and helping to generate leads.  Before you get started with paid search, though, it’s important to take the time to create a plan. This plan will help you stay organized, improve the quality of leads your campaign generates, and help you properly manage your campaign.

In this blog, we’re going to outline five important factors to consider before engaging in paid search.

5 factors to consider before starting a paid search campaign

Successful paid search campaigns require strategic, measurable goals

Before launching a paid search campaign, it's important that you have clearly defined objectives, SMART goals, and the buy-in of your team. Examples of questions you need to ask yourself and your team when setting your goals are:

  • What are you trying to achieve with this campaign?
  • Who is your target market?
  • When do you want your PPC campaign to start and end?
  • How will you measure your success/ROI?

After you set your goals, make sure to write them down, distribute them to your team, and hold yourself to them. This will help keep you and your team on track, which will help maximize your chance of a successful outcome.

Keyword research can make or break your campaign

If you want your paid search campaign to be the best, you need to learn how to research keywords correctly because the correct keywords will drive your campaign towards a successful outcome. Here are a few best practices for keyword research:

  • Brainstorm a list of keywords related to your business, product or service
    • Be sure to include adjectives, synonyms, misspellings, plural / singular versions, and other variations to ensure proper coverage across a range of search options
  • Search the web for alternative keywords and add to your list

Once a list of potential keywords has been developed, a keyword research tool should be utilized to identify average monthly search volume in the campaign's target area for those keywords, as well as the estimated CPC and level of competition for those keywords. In addition, research tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner, and  MergeWords can help identify other keywords that the you may not have considered, but could be valuable additions to their campaign.

Furthermore, learning about different keyword match types is essential to paid search success. For example, if you run a campaign using all broad match keywords, you might use up a ton of your budget on clicks for unrelated / unqualified searches. Knowing the different keyword match types and best practices for using them in a campaign will help it be successful.

Landing pages can dramatically improve conversions

A landing page is the web page a visitor lands on after clicking your paid search ad. In regards to paid search, a landing page can result in higher conversion rates from your visitors. The goal of a paid search landing page is to create a relationship between the ad and the content of your landing page, and to use a clear Call-to-Action, or CTA, to make it extremely clear what action you want the visitor to take next.

Customized landing pages allow advertisers to:

  • Tailor the content of the page visitors land on to match the keywords they searched for, as well as the text of the ad they clicked on
  • Drive visitors to take a desired conversion action by including striking images, engaging text, and a strong Call-to-Action (CTA)
  • Minimize on-page elements that might distract visitors from taking a desired conversion action, such as removing the site's main navigation, eliminating all links to both internal website pages and third-party websites, removing content that doesn't directly support the desired conversion action, etc.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of a campaign based on the conversion rate of a single landing page versus visits to multiple pages of their website

Having a clear offer often motivates visitors to take a desired conversion action

An offer is a conversion opportunity that allows for you to give something of value to website visitors. Examples of offers include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Ebooks
  • Webinars
  • Free trials
  • Consultations
  • New industry research
  • e-newsletter subscriptions
  • Case studies
  • Instructional Resources

The most important thing to remember when creating an offer is that it needs to be valuable and relevant to anyone who visits your landing page. Your offer also needs to align with your business and the products / services you offer.

Create a Call-To-Action (CTA)

A CTA is the button, text or image that encourages visitors to take advantage of your offer, and links to the landing page where they can trade their contact information for direct access to the asset you've promised them. A good CTA will tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do. Examples of strong CTA’s include:

  • Click Here to Register Now!
  • Download Your FREE E-Book Now!
  • Get Started With a FREE Trial!
  • Sign Up For Free!

Take your time when coming up with your action-driven CTA. Plus, keep in mind that your first CTA will rarely be the most effective. A/B testing different variations in your CTA will let you know what words, images and colors your landing page's visitors respond to most. This can help you improve your CTA’s over time, maximizing conversions and the conversion rate of your landing page!

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