Arguably, the most difficult sector to break into in paid search is the PPC management market.
Reason being: everyone who advertises on these related terms are practitioners of the craft, and quite knowledgeable.
Because of that, everything has to be dialed in, or you’re going to be spending far more than you can afford to.
Any mistake can very quickly lead to thousands of dollars spent without seeing any returns, and boy did we make mistakes.
So, let’s talk about them.
Step #1: User Psychology
Our original keyword list included terms along the lines of:
- Online Advertising
- Digital Marketing
- (Industry) Marketing (e.g. Dentist Marketing)
So on, and so forth.
What what was the problem here? The psychology behind these searches.
Our intended purpose was to acquire PPC clients through this ad campaign as efficiently as possible, and bidding on these “general” terms wasn’t going to deliver on that.
The reason being is that they’re not as “specific” as we would have liked them to be, and presented a psychology that was located towards the “top” of the marketing funnel.
At every step of the funnel, the intent of the search query changes.
For instance, the keywords “bathroom remodeling prices” and “find bathroom remodeling contractors” have different levels of intent.
One is an informational keyword, they’re looking for “prices”. Another is looking for contractors, specifically.
The former keyword is going to have a less chance of conversion, simply because the person is not looking to purchase, yet.
The latter keyword has a much greater chance of conversion, because their intent is much higher. They are closer to the purchasing decision.
It’s the difference between someone browsing for prices on Nike shoes, and someone browsing a Nike store. Different levels of intent, and different conversion rates.
Go to your browsing history, and take a look at the search queries you’ve typed in the search bar in the past, and see if you can discern your own level of intent.
Generally, there are three categories of intent:
- what to look for when buying basketball shoes
- which shoe does lebron james use
- basketball shoes reviews
- best basketball shoes 2017
- nike air jordans
- adidas harden shoes
If it were a person conducting these searches, you’d spot a linear progression towards a commitment to purchase.
The problem with “digital marketing services” and “online advertising agency” type keywords is that they were too general, almost “informational” type keywords.
So we scrapped all our search keywords and transitioned into more specific terms.
Terms like “ppc management company”, or “adwords campaign management” – the reason being is that if someone is already searching for specific, chances are they’ve conducted their research, they’ve made their decision, and they’re looking for people to help them.
These keywords have, so far, worked much better. Every day, we get a lead, sometimes two, and client acquisition has been pretty consistent thus far.
Step #2: Campaign Structure
Our campaign structure was pretty simple, we used two different campaigns: one for “AdWords” related searches, and one for “PPC” related searches.
And within each campaign we had single keyword ad groups.
This is pretty standard methodology, creating a tightly themed structure for maximal relevance. It allows us to have quality scores upwards of 7, on average, and save more than 25% on our costs.
The reason behind the high quality scores is that you can have a different ad for every keyword variation. In the example above, you see that our first headline changes to identify with the keyword the user types in.
It increases relevance, click-through-rates, and reduces our costs!
Step #3: Conversion Rate Optimization
The number one key to conversion rate optimization is keyword selection.
We fixed that issue, so the next logical step was on-site optimization itself.
This is also about psychology, in a way.
When someone is looking for ppc management services, they’re looking for someone they can trust, and that can produce results.
That means we have to create our website with these two elements factored in mind: creating trust, and displaying proof of results.
That’s simple enough, but there’s also a small caveat, which is where our focus is:
Partnering with a PPC agency is a big investment. Not just financially, but also time wise.
A bad agency will burn through months and thousands of dollars, none of which can be regained. So, people rarely ever “convert” on the first click; rather, they shop around and go through several agencies, then make a decision.
That means that in order to maximize our results, we have to spend a considerable amount of resources on retargeting.
This means remarketing on Facebook, Google, YouTube, Reddit, or what have you.
We have to remain a constant presence within our marketplace, and follow interested business owners around with display ads.
This is common practice in all markets, but especially in this one, because the sales process can take months, as opposed to hours or days.
And that’s it. That’s our strategy. It works well, and it produces strong ROI numbers.
I can’t share too much on this post because my competitors read this, and after spending a substantial amount of capital and time to learn this information, we’re not going to be all gung-ho about sharing every single detail.