As you can see then, PPC works a little bit different from ‘traditional’ advertising in magazines and on TV. You are no longer paying for a single advert and nor are you paying for exposure. Instead, you are paying directly for clicks and that means you need to think about things a little differently.
The first concept to make sure you understand, is that your aim is not necessarily to get as many clicks as possible. Traditional advertising campaigns will often focus on doing anything they can to get attention and encourage clicks. But seeing as you’re paying for each click, you can actually reduce the amount you’re paying in total by reducing the amount of clicks you get.
Your objective is not to get as many people as possible to your website.
Your objective is to get as many customers as possible to your website.
In other words, you need to get traffic that is going to convert and you actually want to dissuade all other people from clicking on your ads wherever possible.
If you pay for 100 clicks and 99 of those pay for your product, then you can consider that a highly effective marketing campaign. Conversely, if you pay for 2,000 clicks and 300 of those people buy – it’s actually not been as successful because you will have spent more.
PPC and Your Business Model – Selecting Your Budget
What this essentially tells us is that the bottom line is by far the best way to gauge your success. A good PPC campaign is not one that gets seen a lot, not one that gets clicked a lot…
A good PPC campaign is one that EARNS a lot!
That means it is impossible to separate your PPC strategy from your general business model. And it makes it very important to think about your budget, your costs and your profit margins whenever you set up a campaign.
So start by thinking about the profits for whatever it is you’re selling from your site. If you’re selling lots of products, this might mean working out an average profit you make from those products. Otherwise, if you’re linking to a ‘sales page’ and predominantly selling just one product, then it will mean thinking about how much you make from that one item.
First, that means calculating your CoGS – this is the cost of goods sold and it tells you how much it costs you to make each of your products. Let’s say that you sell phone cases – this will mean paying for the materials, the manufacturing, the delivery and the storage. Then you have to minus these overheads from the amount you charge for each item.
What you’re left with is your profit margin. The great thing about digital products like ebooks or online courses (which is what a lot of website owners sell), is that you have zero overheads and that means that you’ll make 100% profit on each sale. An ebook that you sell for $30 will give you a $30 profit.
That said, ebooks appeal to a smaller audience when compared with physical items and thereby you can expect to have a smaller conversion rate. Which is the next point…
So here, you need to calculate how many visitors on average buy your products from you. This means looking at your ‘conversion rate’. If you have 1,000 visitors a day and one sale, then that means you have a .1% conversion rate. If you make 10 sales for every 1,000, then that means that you now have a 1% conversion rate.
This can then tell you how much you’re earning in a day. For example, if you have 1,000 visitors a day, a 1% conversion rate and a product that earns you $20, then you will earn $20. That also means that you can work out how much you are going to be able to earn if you increase your visitors.
If you could double your visitors, you should make $20 on average. If you can multiply them by ten, then you should make $200 on average. More importantly for your Bing Ads though, this also tells you how much each visitor is worth to you. If 1,000 visitors = $30, then that means that each visitor is worth 3cents.
Learning Your Figures
3cents isn’t a lot of money and that’s why it is so important that you think about this before you create an advertising campaign. Because if you were to go ahead with these numbers and start paying $1 per click, you’d end up losing a lot of money!
Working out your numbers first is what will allow you to ensure you’re making a good profit. But what you might find, is that you need to tweak some things before you get started. For instance, you can increase the asking price for your products and thereby increase your profits to 5cents or 10cents.
Better yet, you should focus on improving your conversion rates by improving the quality/desirability of your product and by improving your persuasive writing so that people who land on your site will be overcome with the powerful desire to buy your products!
If you can do this, then maybe you’ll be able to increase your conversion rate to 5%, thereby increasing the value of each customer by five times that amount. Now comes the good part: if you set your CPC to this number – the amount that each visitor is worth to you then you literally cannot fail.
Your clicks will now result in profits and the more you raise your budget, the more profit you’ll make. You are spending less per click than each visitor is worth to you!
Designing Your Ads
Except that isn’t quite how this is going to work. Because actually (here comes the good part), it’s going to work better than that! That’s because the people currently on your website are all people who got there through… well all kinds of different means. These are people who found you on social media, who typed your address in by accident, who found you on Google, who were recommended by a friend. And that means they’re going to be variably targeted.
Some of those people will have zero interest in your products. And that is why it is so important that you think about targeting the right kind of user in your adverts. And that’s also why we’re not trying to simply get as many visitors as possible. As mentioned, it’s actually more important that we get lots of the right users and that we put off people who aren’t likely to want to buy.
Your objective then is to make sure that the way you design your ads is only going to appeal to potential customers.
That means that your text shouldn’t read:
‘Click Here for the AMAZING Secret to Losing Weight!’
Rather, it should read:
‘Click Here for a $30 Ebook that Will Make You Lose Weight FAST!’
‘The Secret to Weight Loss, Just $30!’
What this then does is to prevent anyone not looking to spend money from clicking your ad. We don’t want those people because they are costing us money. But someone who knows the price up-front and is still willing to click is very likely to want your book. Assuming you can then convince them that your product is what they’re looking for and is good value for money, you’ll be able to walk away with a sale.
Now think about how much higher conversion rates will be for people who clicked this ad, versus people who just stumbled onto your site.
Choosing Your Keywords
You can further target your customers by placing your adverts on the right keywords and key phrases. This is a BIG part of PPC campaigns and it’s very much worth doing your research here. Again, you need to make sure that your keywords are the things that the right people are going to be searching for.
At the same time though, you also need to keep your competition low so that the average CPC will be as low as possible. If you try and rank for ‘Hotels’ then you’re going to be going up again thousands of other businesses, some of which will have near-infinite resources.
How do you like the sounds of competing with Expedia, AirBnB, Hotels.com and the rest? They can afford to offer $1, $2 or $5 per click and you just won’t be able to keep up. But use a keyword that is popular but not overpopulated like ‘Quirky Hotel Santa Monica’ or ‘Romantic Getaway in Bournemouth’ and you’re going to be paying less and targeting a more specific type of customer (meaning you can use a more specific and tailored landing page for them, focused on the area and the type of experience!).
How do you find a keyword that is popular, directly targeted but not overcrowded? Simple: you use Bing’s own ‘Keyword Tool’ which can be found here: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords. This will let you search different keywords and will then show you the amount of people searching for that term in the date range you specify. You can look at how many times a term appeared in search over the last 6 months for example.
If something came up 50,000 times, then that’s a fairly good keyword that will potentially be able to grab you up to 50,000 visitors. But if the search term came up 100 times, then it’s a lot less useful to you! Note that Google also has a keyword tool called its ‘Keyword Planner’.
You can use this in just the same way as you would use Bing’s own keyword tool and it doesn’t really matter that it’s from Google – people tend to search the same things on both engines.
Finally, another tip is to look at your site metrics and identify who is currently coming to your website. If you have Google Analytics set up correctly, then you’ll be able to find out which visitors are buying from you and what they typed in in order to get there.
In other words, it might be that certain search terms result in more sales (‘goals’ in Google parlance) and you can then decide to target that keyword with your Google and Bing ads.
Customer Lifetime Value and Watching Metrics
Finally, another mitigating factor is the small matter of ‘CLV’. Customer Lifetime Value refers to the fact that just because a visitor doesn’t put down their cash right away, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth anything to you. In fact, if they sign up for your mailing list and then become life-long fans, they could ultimately end up being worth more to you!
For this reason, the only way to really be sure if your Bing Ads are working for you is to watch your metrics very closely. This means looking at how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from and how your sales increase as you spend. The more data you track, the more profitable any PPC campaign will be.