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Pay Per Click basics, starting a pay per click campaign

So you’ve got your nice shiny new site, a great ordering system, fantastic customer service backup and now all you need is some customers.

This pay per click workshop series will show you how to set up and run your own google pay per click campaign without having to pay management or set up fees and maintain complete control over your expenditure.

First of all – why do we choose google over other PPC networks?

Answer – it’s the easiest and quickest to set up. I’m sure there may be many other PPC networks available but for complete beginners google is the place to start. Here you can get quick feedback on how you are doing and eliminate those wasteful clicks as quickly as possible.

Head on over to http://www.google.co.uk/adwords and open up your account.

Now, lets run through the common options and we are ready to begin:

The first thing that you need to figure out is how much to spend on a daily basis? If you don’t know how many orders you are going to take and you don’t know what the cost per sale is going to be how do you come up with a daily budget?
The answer is to sufficiently bankroll yourself for an extended period of testing whilst you figure out where the best places are to spend your money. If you have a £1,000 budget then you probably need to set a daily spend of around £25 (2.5%). This will allow you to experiment and make mistakes before you go through your budget completely. If you try spending it all in a couple of days you will end up doing just that and not knowing what worked for you.

Once the campaign starts working for you then you can start to up the daily spend based on your past track record. But without that track record you are working in the dark. So start slowly.

Let’s just try and explain one key concept of pay per click that can make the difference between success and failure using the following example:

If you are spending 50p per click (on average) and gaining 50 clicks per day (on average) then you are spending your daily budget at a controlled rate. The money is being spent evenly throughout the day.

Now lets say that our return for this expenditure (and I will show you how to track this accurately in a later article) is one sale which makes a net profit of £26.00 before PPC costs.

So after all expenses are taken into account we are spending £25 on a daily basis and returning £26 – making a £1 return on our time and investment.

By following this through you can see that instead of thinking of your PPC budget as a drain on your overall marketing spend, it’s actually exactly the opposite. Once you move into profit you will want to buy as much possible ad space as you can possibly lay your hands on! Now if you spent £100 a day you would return £104 for your time and investment. Sure it’s not much but once you get to this stage then you start tweaking and fine tuning to make bigger, better and faster returns.

Too many people look at their fixed cost PPC spend and bemoan how much they are spending. If they are doing this then they are not working it properly and money is being wasted.

The key here of course is to get to the situation where you are working with a profit (no matter how small) as fast as possible so that you don’t spend your budget before you get the chance to improve the figures and that’s why I advocate going slow in the very beginning.

So having said that we need to look at PPC as an investment where we are getting a positive return. If that isn’t happening then we need to look at why we are doing PPC in the first place.

Golden Rule Number One:

Just because everybody else is bidding for a particular keyword does not mean that they will work for you, or indeed be profitable!
In fact the opposite can and many times IS the truth. People follow the leaders like sheep. They believe that because the top bidders are spending so much money on these keywords that they MUST be making money out of it.
This is so far away from the reality of the situation. Many people follow lamely along because they couldn’t be bothered to do their own research and all these people lose lots of money every day without ever knowing why. Don’t be a sheep. Spend your time doing the research and you will be well rewarded. Once you figure out that x keyword is not working for you then you can put that spend into keywords which WILL work for you.

So how do we go about this?

First of all check the basics. Check that if you are not shipping your product or offering your service abroad that you are only advertising to the UK market. Advertising to the whole world when you have a localised offering is one of the biggest PPC mistakes. It’s obvious I know but many people overlook it. Check your campaign settings for the countries and territories that you want to advertise to.

Next check the time that your campaign runs from. Night time campaigns attract a different demographic audience to daytime campaigns. You can change this setting in the campaign set up if required.To begin with set the ad display to “standard”. This will display your ad’s evenly over the day according to how much money you have available to spend in your daily budget. Once you get good at this you will want to use the “accelerated mode” so that you spend your ad budget as fast as you possibly can. Yes, you read that right.

Leave everything else as default but make sure you have ad rotation set to “display evenly”. This will give you a chance to test your ad’s for effectiveness as you go along.

Now an important word about the difference between the search network and the content network.
The search network is when you see your ad displayed on the front page of google for a keyword search. This is typically how most people have it set up.

The content network is for your ad’s to be displayed on other websites. If you have the type of product that is niche and lends itself to having many lines of copy devoted to it then you could be in luck, the content network is made for you.So now we are set up and ready to go. In part two I’ll show you how to set up your campaign so that we know exactly where every penny is being spent from day one.

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