Whether you’re a marketing manager, a marketing executive or an agency assistant, if you’re thinking about starting up a Pay per Click (PPC) campaign then you are likely to be asked most of the following questions, before the powers that be can approve it.
Here are some short and more in-depth answers to help you when that time comes.

1. What Is PPC?

Short Answer: Paying to appear on the first page of Google search results
In-Depth Answer: PPC is a form of advertising which involves placing a bid for an advert to appear in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) for particular keywords, or on a website with advertising space on it. With the PPC model, you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad. You bid against other advertisers for the best positions in search engines, although the outcome of the auction that takes place is not completely determined by your bid.

2. How Much Does It Cost?

Short Answer: However much you want it to.
In Depth Answer: You can set a daily budget to control how much you pay for your advertising, however it is advised that you set aside a minimum of £500 – £1,000 per month depending on the competitiveness of your industry. You will most likely need an agency with qualified professionals to manage the campaigns, so a management fee should also be added to your advertising budget.

3. Does It Work?

Short Answer: If managed correctly, yes.
In-Depth Answer: It is very easy to waste a lot of money, very quickly; however this is usually avoided if the person managing the account has AdWords or Bing Ads experience and qualifications. It can often take several weeks, or even months, to get a campaign to perform as well as you would like to it, due to the constant analysis and optimisation that is required in order to improve the overall performance of campaigns. It also takes some time to gather enough data to make informed decisions about different parts of the campaign, particularly if you have a low budget.
Lead generation and eCommerce campaigns can work extremely well with AdWords and a good return on investment can be reached much quicker than other traditional marketing channels.

4. How Long Does It Take To Set Up?

Short Answer: Depends on the size of the account.
In-Depth Answer: This will depend on how targeted your campaigns are and how many keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns are needed. Typically, you should spend at least one full working day building and checking an account before making it live. It will then take up to 24 hours for Google to approve your ads, so in total you could be looking at a minimum of two full working days. Larger accounts can take up to a week to build and will also require more hands-on time to optimise the account.

5. Am I Tied Into A Contract With Google?

Short Answer: No.
In-Depth Answer: You are in full control of when you would like your ads to appear. You can enable, pause and delete keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns at any time. You can set an end date for campaigns if you just want to perform a trial-run, and you can also create an ad schedule that allows you to specify the days and times during the week that you would like your ads to appear. Most agencies will ask you to sign a contract of a minimum length, which is usually negotiable, but Google does not require you to commit to spending a certain amount of money or have your ads running for a minimum amount of time.

6. Can We Do PPC & SEO At The Same Time?

Short Answer: Definitely.
In-Depth Answer: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is often helped by PPC campaigns because the brand name will be known to users searching for the keywords for which your site is being optimised. This means that once your SEO starts paying off and you’re on the first page of Google, your Click through Rate (CTR) may be higher than your competitors’ due to brand familiarity. Also, the data you can get from PPC campaigns can be invaluable when analysing and choosing target keywords for your SEO activities.
In the same way, PPC campaigns can benefit from optimised websites because your quality score in AdWords is partially dependent on the quality and relevance of your landing page. Another benefit of implementing PPC & SEO strategies at the same time is Page One Domination – i.e. dominating the first page on Google for your brand name and closely related key terms.

7. What Can We Do To Beat Our Competitors?

Short Answer: Take note of their tactics, but focus on the success of your own campaign.
In-Depth Answer: It is far too easy to get involved in bidding wars with competitors and lose sight of the real goal; to make a strong return on investment from PPC. You can bid on your competitors’ brand names to generate some brand awareness, however if you do this you should expect them to do the same to you.
The best way to get an edge over your competitors is to be strategic about your campaigns. Think about the long term goals and decide on some solid KPIs that truly measure the performance of the account. Take advantage of all the features that are available, some of which your competitors may not be using:

You should also make sure that the campaigns are as targeted and relevant as possible to ensure that your Cost per Conversion (CPC) is low and that the conversions you do generate are of a high quality.
If you’re considering outsourcing your PPC campaign management, speak to me today.