How I Created a Successful PPC Campaign for PeopleHR.com
About 18 months ago, I started working with PeopleHR.com. My mission? To bring in new business leads from paid advertising channels.
So, I’m writing this blog post because I thought you might be interested in learning some of the steps I took to create People™’s successful PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising campaigns.
What You’ll Need
1. A lot of time: A successful PPC campaign – even if you’re only using a single platform like Google Adwords – can take up an immense amount of time. So if you’re already tied up in other areas of your business, you might want to consider hiring a dedicated member of staff to manage your campaigns for you.
2. In-depth company knowledge: You won’t be able to advertise a product or domain that you know nothing about; make sure that whoever is in control of your PPC advertising campaign has intimate knowledge regarding your company’s products and services.
3. Knowledge of your audience: Advertising to people who you do not know is tough. You don’t need to go out and meet them personally, but you should, at the very least, be aware of what drives and motivates them so that you can know how best to draw their attention to your adverts.
4. Understanding of key metrics: In order to know where you are succeeding (and where you need to improve), it’s important that you know which metrics to measure. Just because an advert has a lot of clicks does not necessarily mean it is performing well – and on the flip side, just because an advert has a poor CTR (click through rate) doesn’t mean it’s a bad advert.
5. Willingness to ‘split test’: Also known as A/B testing, this process is very important for continuous improvement of any PPC campaign – by constantly comparing one variation of something against another, you can begin to learn what is bringing you the most business, and what is wasting your resources.
What We Did For PeopleHR.com
So, now you know some of the most important elements of a successful PPC campaign, I am going to walk you through some of the specific steps we took to ensure PeopleHR.Com’s PPC advertising succeeded:
Step One: Existing Customer Review
First, we reviewed existing customers – this was so that we could begin to understand the behavior of our target audience. Using the information we learned through our review, we were able to build an incredible PPC campaign – as well as all of the generic, more obvious keywords like ‘HR software’ and ‘Employee database online’, we were able to tap into specific visitor concerns that on the surface may not have appeared to lead to a search for HR software.
Step Two: Early Stage Review
Next, we needed to review the performance metrics of our first couple of months running the campaigns. A lot of PPC marketers are overly-concerned with CTR (Click-through rate). And while CTR is certainly important, this doesn’t mean you should cut out all of the keywords with a low CTR in the first 1-2 months. Instead, we reviewed the exact search terms that people had used when they hadn’t clicked on our advert, and put together a list of negative keywords – and these keywords showed that the people who weren’t clicking were quite obviously looking for something else. Then it was simply a case of telling the PPC platform to exclude traffic using these negative keywords… and hey presto, the CTR shot up – without us having to ‘remove’ any of the core keywords that on the surface hadn’t seemed to be performing.
Now might be a great time to say that no matter how many PPC blogs you read, there is no recipe for the perfect campaign – what there is, however, is a bunch of different metrics and even hidden metrics that you can spend time learning and understanding, and over time, you will see significant success with your PPC advertising.
Step Three: The A/B Tests
Once the right keywords had been set, and the right search terms were being targeted, we needed to split-test our adverts. This meant running two different adverts targeting the same keywords and search terms, to see what performed best.
When split-testing adverts, it’s important you don’t change too much at once – if you write two completely different adverts, then it’s very difficult to understand why one performed significantly better than another.
Instead, try tweaking a couple of words or a single line at a time.
Step Four: Keep On Going
Even after months and months of hard work, the work does not stop – in order to remain successful with a PPC campaign, you need to remain dedicated to it. If you slow down; if you stop testing adverts; if you stop refining keywords and search phrases… your competition will be more than happy to step into your shoes and pick up where you left off.
Maintaining a successful PPC campaign is a delicate balancing act on an infinite tight rope. But one good way to measure your success, is to see how many of your competitors are copying what you are doing – we found that after a while, other adverts were beginning to look and sound a lot like ours. But we didn’t mind setting the bar, and we just carried on tweaking and measuring and tweaking and measuring to ensure we kept our point of difference clear. And we’re still doing it to this very day!
I won’t go into further details about our work, but one thing’s sure: you’ll have to avoid thinking about your visitors as visitors, and start treating them as human beings, making sure you address their genuine needs. It’s only around 1% of the way to PPC success, but it’s a very important first step.
People™ is a firm believer in sharing experience and knowledge, so if you ever want to pick my brains, ask for advice, or have a chat about your digital marketing strategy, then drop me a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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