How to Establish a Goal Plan for Your PPC Campaign
Pay Per Click online marketing campaigns can be highly effective at driving traffic to your website. However, a PPC campaign that does not have specific, well-defined objectives is next to useless. Without a target in mind, it will have no coherent result. These objectives must be in line with the company’s strategy and image, and have real-world, measurable results that advance the company’s interests. Take the time to learn about goal-setting for successful PPC advertising campaigns. With proper planning, they can have a powerful effect on sales and conversion rates.
Make Both Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
When organizing your PPC campaign, set goals on every timescale, such as daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. The short-term goals should be steps involved in achieving the long-term goals. The short-term goals can then serve as benchmarks for progress toward the long-term goals. When planning campaign goals, compare similar timeframes and make sure that none contain an unreasonable number of goals for that length of time. Also make sure that all of the goals are in their proper order. Finishing half a task and then waiting for the results of a task that isn’t scheduled to start for a week is something of a waste of time.
Make Your Goals Both Challenging and Achievable
There is no point in a goal that is easy to achieve. Your goals should inspire you and your team to go the extra mile in order to achieve it. Similarly, a goal that is impossible to achieve prevents all progress. A good goal is just a step beyond your present grasp. A good goal will put you and your team a little out of your comfort zone, but not entirely out of it.
Focus on the Results, not the Tactics
Your goals need to be based on the results that they can achieve for your company. Making goals that are nothing more than a tactic for getting results is putting the cart before the horse. In other words, your goals should read like “Increase sales by 5 percent over the previous month and decrease costs by 3 percent,” instead of like “Add another 400 keywords.” Only after you have defined your goals in terms of the results that you want should you choose tactics to get you there. Use both baseline goals and stretch goals. Baseline goals focus on the minimum threshold for success, and stretch goals should set the standards for success that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Create Benchmarks by Reviewing Past Performance
The best way to set goals for your PPC is to analyze the performance of previous campaigns. Conduct a review each month of the month before it, and set your goals on the basis of continuous monthly improvement.
While setting your campaign’s monthly goals, remember that some produce better results than others do. Look at the effects that time of day, date, month, and quarter have on performance. When doing this, avoid comparing time periods that don’t have a lot to do with each other. You cannot compare weekdays and weekends, for instance, or first quarter results to second quarter results. Set your goals to be relevant to the nature of your performance data. For instance, if November sales are high each year because of the holidays, then November should not be compared to October, but to November of the previous year.
Keep a record of special events that skew performance results. For instance, a special sale that significantly boosted conversion rates for July, a problem with the manufacturing process that caused a loss of sales, and a software problem that made your online order forms inaccessible would all be examples of special events that make figures for those months atypical. Expecting other months to have similar figures to months containing such events would be a bad idea.
Keep Track of Your Goals
Write down each of your goals as you create them. Record who is accountable for each of them. Keep track of benchmarks and progress toward each goal in the same document.
These goal documents not only help you to remember details and keep track of who is responsible for what, they also give you a ready way of seeing the big picture. They should also inspire you and your team to greater efforts.
Analyze Goal Achievements
Analyzing the goal achievements of previous PPC campaigns is an important part of setting future goals. Your analysis must go beyond the level of merely asking whether or not you hit the goal. You must also figure out why the goal was or was not achieved, and how it could be done better next time. You must develop a sense of whether the obstacles can be overcome in the future.
The precise amount to optimize or expand your PPC marketing campaign depends on the specifics of your business and industry, as well as a host of other factors, such as time of year. The only way to establish realistic goals is by knowing your company and its capacities, and experience running other PPC campaigns. Learning how to set the best goals is a matter of trial and error.
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy