PPC and content marketing

Do you use Pay Per Click (PPC) ads? They’re a really useful tool, and needn’t be too expensive if you target them properly.

The twin keys to a successful PPC campaign are focussed keywords and great landing-page copy. So let’s look at them individually.

PPC screenshot

How do you find the best keywords for your campaign?

Say you’re selling books. You wouldn’t use “books” as one of your keywords, because it’s far too general. There are probably thousands of online booksellers and you’d just get lost in the crowd. Far better to do a specific campaign for a particular book or narrow style of books (“A Christmas Carol” or “Christmas fiction”, for example).

The best place to look for keywords that will work and not cost the earth is Google: https://adwords.google.co.uk/KeywordPlanner. You have to have (or create) an Adwords account, but you’ll need one anyway to run your ad campaign and it doesn’t take long to set up. There’s an online tutorial on how to get the best out of the tool.

Some of the suggestions Google comes up with may surprise you; you’ll see “alternative” (i.e. wrong!) spellings of your keywords, phrases with lousy grammar, and so on. But that’s how people search. You don’t have to use the ones that make you wince: Google is clever enough to recognise near-matches, as I’m sure you’ve noticed from your own searches.

But the numbers are what you should be looking at: how many people have searched for this keyword and what the competition is like for it (which will determine how high you’ll have to bid for it). The more focussed and specific to your business, as opposed to your competition’s business, you can make your keywords, the less you’ll pay and the less each conversion will be costing you.

OK, so you’ve found your perfect keywords and written a zingy, powerful ad. What will people find when they click it? What sort of copy are you sending them to?

There are two sorts of landing page: sales and information. If you’re selling books online, to use the example above, and you’ve mentioned a specific book in your ad, a sales landing page would feature that book and a “Click to buy” button. You could put in a brief blurb about the book but basically the page is just the briefest of stops on the way to the reader’s wallet.

The information page, also known as a “click-through” page, is where your content marketing comes in. This is where you tell your readers more about the book, the author, other books by the same author or in the same genre, reviews of the book, suggestions that “people who bought this also bought …” and so on, before they click through to the “Buy now” page.

If you’re not selling directly, the click-through page is there to tell people about the freebie or newsletter you want them to sign up for and encourage them to click through to your sign-up page. It’s still a step on the way to the “checkout”, but it’s a longer one and helps build more of a relationship.

Whatever the purpose of your click-through page, it needs to be well-written, friendly, informative, personal, helpful and un-pushy, while still making the reader want to buy your product or get hold of your freebie or newsletter.

So there you have it: reason number 5 for doing content marketing is having decent copy for people to land on from your PPC ad.

If you want any help creating content for your landing page, get in touch!