I have been involved in setting up and monitoring client’s Google PPC (Pay-Per-Click) for the past 3 years. The first step in being able to set up a successful PPC campaign is to understand the product or service that is being offered in order to evaluate the best course of action.
Is PPC the best course of action?
I use four determining factors when evaluating a prospective PPC campaign. These factors weigh into the decision on whether I would even recommend PPC as the best strategy for web marketing. It is not to say that it is impossible to run a successful PPC campaign, it just makes it significantly harder to achieve success.
Is what is being offered a product or a service?
A service is much easier to market through PPC then a product. The natural way that we search and the fact that most services are local in nature gives an edge to a certain kind of service in achieving success. It is not to say that a product cannot be successfully marketed with PPC, it just needs to be a product that A) is searched for and B) has a high enough value to make it worth the cost per the click. A low value product with a high competition rate would mean, even under the best circumstances, difficulty in achieving any viable results.
Is this local or nationwide in nature?
The next question is what type of product / service is being offered? A local service will in more likelihood achieve success as compared to a national product. For instance, someone searching for a local service is doing so to fill an immediate need. An example of this would be when someone is searching for an HVAC specialist in San Francisco because they have a broken heater that needs fixing, pronto! This translates to a higher conversion rate.
Determine the cost of what is being offered:
The next question I would ask in order to determine the viability of a PPC campaign is the cost of the product or service that is being offered. A low cost product is almost doomed to fail from the start. Once the cost per click or CTR (click through rate) is factored in, one realizes that it is not profitable to pay for the marketing of these types of items in this manner.
Budget of the client:
Never has it been more true, that you get what you pay for, than with PPC. A low budget client without the financial resources to sustain an ongoing PPC will be less likely to achieve success then one that has the budget to drive more traffic.