describe the imageLet's do some quick math. PPC + Inbound Marketing = Relevancy. Furthermore, Relevancy = Sales. Paid search can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be if you adhere to the basic principles of inbound marketing. Being relevant can also be difficult in terms of finding opportunities, but it is a key component to connecting with your target market. With paid search, if a user on Google or Bing types in a search query, you as a marketer have the ability to present an offering that is almost identical to what was specifically searched for by that user. Now isn't that the perfect opportunity to be relevant?

Users are telling search engines exactly what they want and when, and marketers have the opportunity to be visible to their audience at that exact moment. As a marketer, what more could you ask for? PPC allows you to execute inbound marketing best practices and address the exact wants and needs of potential customers. So are you effectively leveraging the power of relevancy in paid search campaigns to help achieve your marketing goals? Here's how to do it.

3 Easy Ways to Master PPC Through Relevancy

1.) Buy Relevant Keywords: This is something that probably sounds so easy, yet is a struggle for a lot of marketers. When building your business' keyword list for organic search, keep in mind that paid search is a component of your overall online strategy. PPC is additive, and should be done in collaboration with what you’re doing across SEO, social media, and your other inbound channels.

Segment your keyword list, and start small. The worst thing you can do is run PPC campaigns using broad keywords that will eat up your ad spend. For instance, if you own a gym and are looking to increase memberships, run campaigns using the most relevant keywords first. Look at the four keywords below. All are somewhat relevant to a gym, but which are the most relevant?

  • Gym
  • Gym memberships
  • Buy gym memberships
  • Buy gym memberships in Boston

By running campaigns using more targeted queries first, you ensure that your budget is being spent targeting searchers who are truly looking to convert, giving you some time to obtain data and insights.

2.) Write Relevant Ad Copy: If a user is searching for a “Cannondale Mountain Bike,” don’t show them an ad with the phrase “Cannondale Bicycle.” Consistency is crucial, as searchers will often respond to specificity. In other words, they want to see results that match what they type into the search box. Additionally, offer the searcher a proposition, value, and a call-to-action.

You also need to give people a reason to click on your ad. What offer are they going to get in return for clicking? Educational content, a free trial, a consultation, 20% off? Give them a sense of urgency as well; a compelling call-to-action will produce higher click-through rates because people will be compelled to click your ad.

3.) Link to Relevant Landing Pages: As a PPC marketer, I am not truly happy until every single keyword has its own landing page. There are completely different behavioral groups behind campaigns and ad groups, and the same is true across keywords. For instance, you may even see different performance for the term “Chicago lawyer” vs. “Chicago lawyers.” This seems like such a minute aspect of a query, but the behavior of the lawyer query vs. the lawyers query is going to be different.

As a marketer pressed for time, it’s not plausible to think you will have a unique landing page for every keyword, but at least have landing pages by ad group so that your page is speaking to the theme of the search query and the ad that the user saw in the search engine. Keeping with the legal theme, if a search query is for “Chicago lawyer,” then you should have a page that talks about lawyers. If the query is for “Chicago attorney” then have a page that uses the term 'attorneys' instead.

Remember, It’s Just Math

Inbound marketing is not free. You pay with your time, you pay with salaries, and you even pay for tools to help you do your job. In the end, it’s all about the math and your ROI. Paid search is a component of inbound marketing, and yes, it's not free. But what if you could get a 5:1 return on your paid search spend? Would that be worth it to you? The answer is most likely yes. It's just about the math.

Paid search works, but it must start with the basics and small wins. As you learn more about your vertical and the channel, you can start to think about scaling, but do yourself a favor and start with a small, relevant test. As for these “basics,” none of the 3 preceding tips I reviewed in this post are groundbreaking in the world of PPC, but time and time again they are ignored, not set up properly, or not actively managed. PPC isn’t easy, but it also isn’t rocket science. Overlooking relevant keywords, ad copy, and landing pages is the reason many campaigns fail. So just because PPC is easy to set up and get live quickly, take your time, and make sure inbound marketing and relevancy is at the core of all of your PPC campaigns. If you do that, you’ll like the way the math looks at the end of the day.

Are you effectively leveraging the power of relevancy in your PPC campaigns?


Originally published Dec 7, 2011 7:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016