To our readers on the other side of the Atlantic, you must know by now that here in England, we drink an awful lot of tea. A cup of ‘Joe’ is what you’d get from your local coffee house, but over here we put time and effort into making a decent brew.
We need it to create, implement and manage PPC campaigns. And as it turns out, making a good cuppa and setting up a PPC campaign are fairly similar…
Heat the teapot
The first thing to do when making a cup of tea is to boil the teapot; this prepares it for the extreme water temperature required to make good tea. Estimate how many cups you want out of your teapot and prepare one teaspoon for each cup, with ‘an extra teapoon for the pot’.
Well PPC is no different at all; before launching yourself into a campaign, you need to test the water and estimate how much your campaign is going to cost, project some rough figures for conversions, and have a good look at your competitors.
For this, you can use the Google keyword tool ( or any of the hundreds of other tools) to find keyword variations, the Google traffic Estimator to estimate spend and traffic, and the keyword spy tool to make your competitor research (although I do competitor research myself because I like reading their ads and working on counter-USPs…).
Next, you need to find yourself some good tea. Not tea bags, red or gold labels, but some good, loose tea. Let me put it this way: if you get bad quality tea, it will impact on the rest of your teapot and will overtime bring down the quality of that teapot.
Keywords are your tea: one bad keyword can have a negative effect on the rest of your ad group, so make sure you get highly relevant keywords and use phrase + exact matches.
With the right set of analytics, you almost don’t need broad match anymore (I tend to use it where the the goal is to generate cheap traffic nowadays, never for conversions).In other words, using phrase and exact match is like upgrading your tea from Tesco to Marks & Spencer quality.
Pour the boiling water
One of the most important parts of making tea is making sure the water you are pouring onto your tea is 100% boiling. Anything less, and not all the tea leaves in your pot will infuse at the same rate, leaving your pot with an uneven flavour.
When launching a PPC campaign for the first time, I usually increase the bids just a little in order to get some early visibility which should results in a good CTR -and ultimately Quality Score. I then work downwards in the positions to find my sweet spot. But the important thing to remember here is to enter your market/niche with a ‘bang’, one that will leave your competitors (you know, the ones you’ve researched) thinking: Is it worth me getting boiled like this?
Stir until the Perfect Colour
Tea is supposed to reach a certain colour before you can drink it, and although people have it at different strengths, it gets good when it reaches a nice caramelly colour. This ‘sweet spot’ is exactly what you want to find in PPC: a perfect point of balance between conversions and CPC. So find out what position your keyword/ad combinations perform the best, and make sure you stay there.
Once you have found your sweet spot, whether it be in a cuppa or in a PPC campaign, all you have to do before enjoying the benefits is to milk it! You found your sweet spot in which you convert well and you now want to milk this spot by attracting more than your share of traffic from that SERP.
Easy, improve your ad’s creative: Do some A/B testing with changes in the Title, description, call to action, and even display URL, you’ ll see some dramatic changes. Just adding the adgroup name at the end of a destination url double my CTR on one campaign. Example display URL: www.shoeshop.com/cheap, the user is first attracted to cheap, because that’s his search query, therefore it’s bolded. He is then re-attracted towards the natural results (Google triangle) but sees shoeshop on the way back and his brain combines it with cheap. By that time, his mouse is already on the ad title…
Once your project has been created with the greatest care, you can reap the benefits, whether it be enjoy the caffeine boost (yes, there’s caffeine in tea) or seeing your business grow through the leads generated by your Google AdWords campaign.
Disclaimer: this post was written with a cup of tea that went cold.
That’s the worst thing that can happen to your tea, so don’t let your campaign get old and irrelevant, continue optimising it all the time to enjoy its full potential.