On Wednesday October 19th, the College Board announced that Americans now owe over $1 Trillion in student loans, officially exceeding the amount of American credit card debt.
While debt in general has almost always been frowned upon and considered irresponsible, student loans have frequently been looked at as “an investment in your future”.
Many internet marketers and online business owners have taken similar loans, accrued large amounts of credit card debt, or at the very least, dropped some serious cash in order to educate themselves or fuel their marketing efforts.
Now… don’t get me wrong.
There is certainly a lot to be said for investing in yourself and your education.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of ways to easily waste a lot of time and money in a very fast way.
Pay-Per-Click advertising is by far one of the most popular methods for marketing a product or service online. However, without a proper understanding of the PPC basics and how to get started you may find yourself throwing money away for clicks that don’t convert.
The inner-workings of PPC networks and campaigns combine to form a complex matrix of different agreements and understandings.
Exchanging bids for ad exposure, clicks for bids, and keywords for audiences can get very confusing, and potentially really expensive, very quickly.
Just because you take out a 2nd mortgage to fund your PPC campaigns does not mean that they will payoff.
Advertising networks have the responsibility of showing your advertisments and directing users to your website BUT it is not all on their shoulders. It is important to understand what your responsibilities are as an advertiser and what you can expect from the network in return.
In this article we will look at what it takes to create successful PPC campaigns from the beginning…
What Do They Want From Me?
Truly effective PPC campaigns are built upon the foundation of carefully planned business goals and market research.
Just like a college professor would expect you to have studied for the final test, advertising networks expect you, as an advertiser, to perform highly detailed research. Performing detailed market research is the only way to effectively plan out careful steps that can systematically be implemented, resulting in an mutually beneficial PPC campaign generating sales for you and revenue for the network.
While there are indeed many influential pieces involved in completing the PPC campaign puzzle, there are a couple of basic questions that advertising networks will expect you to have already answered before creating any PPC campaign.
1) What is the goal of the PPC campaign?
I assume that we can all agree that taking out a large student loan to cover the full cost of attending an institution without first determining some basic goals is a recipe for disaster.
Likewise, before jumping into the creation of your PPC campaign it is important to have a clear understanding of what you are hoping to accomplish.
- What objective would the PPC campaign fulfill?
- What actions do we ultimately want the user to take once on our site?
- How much can we invest into our PPC campaign?
Answering these simple questions will help make sure that your campaign is based on principles that make a difference for your business while also ensuring that the results will be highly measurable, and therefore, improvable.
2) Who is the target audience of the PPC campaign?
Medical students learn to interact with patients and aid in the natural healing of the human body. Auto mechanics learn to interact with customers and repair vehicles. The interactions are probably somewhat similar but both will require specialized experience and training specific to that particular field of work.
Having a clearly defined concept of your ideal customer and what type of interaction would be appropriate, is an important step into developing a solid PPC strategy.
Before creating an enormous list of keywords, you will want to answer some questions about your target market…
- Who, specifically, does this campaign target?
- Where do they live?
- Why do they need this product or service?
- What is their state-of-mind?
3) What keywords or phrases are relevant to the PPC campaign’s goal and target audience?
This final step of preparatory research is the most detailed and builds on the answers of the first 2 questions.
Get inside your ideal customer’s head
- What terms would they type into search engine if they wanted to purchase the product you are promoting?
- Are there similar products that might provide you with even more related keywords? What are they?
Free tools like the Google AdWords Keyword Tool can help you discover hundreds and hundreds of additional keywords related to your main business idea or product.
Many students throughout the years have found it easier to study and memorize information by using note-cards to organize the information into smaller, related subjects.
Like the note-cards, after having created a list of keywords relevant to your target audience, you should then organize these keywords into several smaller ad groups. You can organize your ads into groups of related keywords, themes, or groups that target specific products.
Sorting your keywords into ad groups will provide for easier ad creation, and later, accurate tracking of results.
Leaving School Prepared For The Real World
Graduating college, with or without student debt, is the time to move out into the workforce and put your newly acquired skills into practice.
With the skeleton and backbone of your campaign in place it is also time for your campaign to makes its way out into the world. We accomplish this by fleshing out your research with written ads for each of your different ad groups.
Here we will cover a couple of tips for campaign creation and effective ad writing.
1) Convey your USP to those that view your ad
A Unique Selling Proposition is a specific benefit or focus that differentiates your ad from those created by competitors. Each ad group should have its own theme and unique selling proposition.
In the same way that it would be silly to omit a college degree from a resume or job application, it is extremely important to convey what makes your company or product different from those of your competitors with the ad itself.
The more value you can uniquely provide, the more likely it is that it will be YOUR ad that gets clicked.
2) Investigate how your competitors’ ads are written
Take each of your keywords and type them into Google’s search engine. Take note of how your competitors have written their ads.
Not only will this give you a good idea about what you are up against, more importantly, it is a great starting point for writing your ads.
This is a simple exercise that can really get your creative juices flowing and provide you with some creative ideas for your advertisements.
3) Create ads that contain the target keyword
Where and how often your ad gets displayed is typically determined by the advertising network based on 2 different factors–maximum bid amount, and your ad’s quality score.
An ad’s quality score is determined based on how directly the keyword, ad text, and website relate to each other.
A quick and easy tip for creating ads with high quality ratings is to simply include the target keyword within the ad itself.
Write creative advertisements that use your target keyword in the title, body, and link portions of the ad. This will quickly raise your ad’s quality score which not only means having your ad shown to more people… it usually means lower cost per-click as well.
Irresponsible Borrowing VS Investments For The Future
The main difference between irresponsibly acquiring debt and investing in education is actually in the follow through.
Nobody gets judgmental with a successful doctor or lawyer for taking student loans BUT if somebody gets halfway through med school and punks out… it seems to be an entirely different story in the eyes of others.
Same can be said of internet businesses and marketers. Nobody has a problem with a guru spending $10,000 per month on advertising but if a newby were spending that amount of money to no avail… it is seen as a total waste.
The advertising network’s job is to display your ad to the people you tell it to. By diligently researching first and carefully taking specific action next, the network’s job not only becomes easier but actually becomes much more effective and profitable for both you AND the advertising network.
Make the most of your valuable time and money by following the simple steps outlined in this article to create simple and effective PPC campaigns.
To learn more about effective traffic and advertsing strategies check out the YaghiLabs Internet Business Academy where we show you how to get the right type of traffic to quickly profit from any online business.