If you are spending your company’s money on paid search, then you need to be serious about getting actual business results from it.

PPC should produce the kind of business results that allows you to give your employees a raise, upgrade the office furniture and allow you to only feed your cat fancy feast. If you just throw a bunch of ads up without aiming for a specific business objective then you might as well have just shredded that money.

Here is an example so you can see what I mean:

An Example from an AdWords Campaign for Law Firms

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At Majux, we manage law firm PPC campaigns for a variety of practice areas, so I will use that business vertical as an example to demonstrate the necessity of crafting PPC campaigns around business objectives rather than just starting a PPC campaign and hoping for the best.

The Use Case

DUI Lawyer Santa Barbara

A person has recently received a DUI citation and now they need a DUI lawyer. Like most people who have a question, they hop on Google and begin their search. They type in the phrase DUI Lawyer in Santa Barbara… now let’s see how this plays out with a PPC campaign done correctly (by focusing on the business result), and a PPC campaign that is done incorrectly (creating a campaign without focus on a business result)

PPC Done Incorrectly

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You, as the person marketing a law firm hear about AdWords and decide you need to get more clicks to your page, because you assume that it leads to more clients.

You choose very broad, very generic keywords such as lawyer and arrest because you don’t want to miss out on any clicks. Since you haven’t thought out your business goal you decide to just send users to your home page which is designed to be informational rather than conversion focused.

The user types in DUI lawyer, and because that search query has the word lawyer is in it – your ad comes up. He clicks on your ad (which costs you about $75.00) and is taken to your homepage. Your homepage doesn’t specifically address DUI  law as it is generally about your law firm. Even if it did address DUI Law it is not conversion focused, it is information focused –  so he leaves your page never to return.

This series of events continues with all users who click your ad.

They find your landing page to be too generic and even if they didn’t, there is not a specific conversion you are attempting. Your campaign does not work and it is frustrating. Since you never had a business objective, you have nothing to optimize against.

You give up on your campaign without ever receiving a call or email.

PPC Done Correctly

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You, as the person in charge of marketing for your law firm recognizes the potential to get leads in real time through AdWords advertising.

You begin correctly by thinking about the business result you want to achieve and decide it is users filling out a form for more information.  Next, you begin crafting your PPC campaign around that objective.

With this conversion goal in mind you design a landing page that is specifically crafted to encourage users to fill out the form. You take this design and create a series of landing pages that speak to the different keywords that you will be targeting.

For example, the DUI Lawyer keyword goes to a landing page (the page a user is taken to after they click your ads) only about DUI defense, whereas the keyword for Hit and Run Lawyer goes to a landing page about Hit and Run Defense. Since these pages are specific to what the user searched and conversion focused, you get leads.

Additionally, you make sure to check the data to understand which keywords, ads and pages actually drive conversions. As you find the correct combination of those three you put more budget towards the what works and less budget toward the what does not.

As you continue to optimize towards your business goals, you get more leads at a reduced cost and you business continues to grow.

The Lesson

Make sure that you treat your PPC campaigns like you would with any other investment – one that should pay out. Just because it is online doesn’t mean it is magic or plays by any different rules.

You need to start by figuring out what you want the user to do (that has business results) and once you get them to do it, optimize the PPC campaign to get them to do it more!

Image Attribution:
Futurama Chicken: CinapseHomer: SlingLando Griffen: Complex

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