While there’s no guaranteed formula for achieving Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign success, there are definitely some best practices you can follow that will help you reach your goals and become a profitable affiliate marketer.
Here are some things you can do to build long-lasting PPC campaigns:
1. Know that it takes time, effort and dedication
What most people don’t realize when they start out is that it takes time, effort, and dedication to get the results you want. The people who succeed in PPC affiliate marketing are the ones who commit to it fully and get into it for the long haul.
They’re also people who have the commitment it takes to make money gradually and grow their revenue over time. They are people who are willing to put in the research, manage their resources carefully, and test their campaigns regularly.
2. Treat your first campaign as a practice run
Your first campaign is an excellent environment for practicing your campaign skills, learning about budgeting and testing, picking the right product to promote, creating websites and landing pages, writing ads, and so on.
During the early stages of your development we encourage you to take notes and pay close to attention to all the details so that you’re making the most of the experience.
3. Dig into the world of PPC
Blogs and forums are great resources for research on PPC and can serve as an interactive way to learn from industry thought leaders and other like-minded affiliate marketers.
Some great sites to take a look at are:
Trade shows and conferences are also great opportunities to learn, network and gain new ideas for your PPC campaigns. Affiliate Summit and Performance Marketing Insight conferences are great places to start. There are also tons of local meet ups so it’s worth the effort to reach out and connect with other affiliates.
4. Research your product before promoting it
Spend time researching your product before launching a campaign and it will make you more successful in the long run. Areas to research include
- Keywords your customer use when searching
- Days / times of day that customers tend to purchase
- Geographies yield the best results
5. Use the tools provided by the search engines
It’s a great idea to use the tools provided by the major search engines. These tools are free and they can really help you take your PPC campaigns to the next level of performance.
Google has a slew of tools, as does Microsoft Adcenter. The search funnel in Adcenter is one of the best.
6. Learn how to use match types
Take some time to learn the differences between the various match types. Match types can help you control who sees your ads and skillful application of them will make your campaigns more targeted and improve your CTR.
Broad match (your ad is displayed to users who searched for something similar to your keywords) is a great way to generate a large list of keywords in a short period of time. If it’s volume you’re after, broad match is your answer. However broad match is very competitive and therefore could be cost-prohibitive. You’ll also need to be aware that it’s the default option for all match types (in case you want to make the default something else).
When you want to fine-tune the clicks you pay for, you can start using phrase and exact match terms (your ad will only be shown for exact or very similar search terms).
Use the negative keyword (search terms that will not trigger your ad) option whenever you can. It’s an easy way to avoid unqualified traffic that drives up your ad spend with little or no measurable return. By simply avoiding ad impressions on the irrelevant or unrelated searches, your ad targeting will significantly improve.
7. Thoroughly plan out your campaign structure
Campaign structure is one of the most important elements of your campaign because it keeps you organized which helps with efficiency (and cost control). It’s always a good strategy to ask these important questions:
- How is my account segmented?
- Do I have appropriately named, tightly themed ad groups?
- Is there a logical organization underlying these ad groups?
- Can I find keywords and ads easily?
The first thing you’ll want to do is set up multiple campaigns for a single product. You can organize them by features, audience, or promotions. Then, in each campaign you can set up your ad groups with a root keyword paired with 5-7 closely related keywords.
8. Track the right metrics
When considering what metrics to track and what to keep your eye out for in terms of campaign performance, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- What is making you money?
- Which ad group is resulting in sales?
- Which keywords are triggering ads?
Your campaign will only be as successful as your strongest link, and there are many components that make up the chain. All you need to know is what pieces are the most important and you’re on your way.
9. Make testing your best friend
Testing is the single most important element of creating and maintaining a successful campaign. Simple A/B testing can reveal what techniques are outperforming others and allow you to continually hone and improve your marketing campaigns.
Free PPC Tracking and Campaign Management Tools
There are several free tracking and management tools you can use to make your life easier. Here’s a list of some that are worth looking at: