The Death of Traditional PPC Advertising Strategies

How new strategies, tools and methods are revolutionizing PPC strategies and how ignoring new models will certainly cost your business.

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has created opportunities for businesses to build brand awareness and generate direct sales. Before there was Google, there was a market innovator that had taken earlier concepts and blended them into a truly cohesive market platform.

Over the next decade, companies like Overture (who bought and then was ultimately acquired by Yahoo!) and Google changed the landscape forever. It was no longer about simply bidding on terms and generating traffic. Online PPC channels wanted to ensure their web traffic was finding the most optimal results. This then drove advertisers to focus on quality ads, landing pages, content, etc. The model for PPC strategy was born and the marketing agency and digital agency world exploded with experts to help businesses navigate these systems and ultimately the ROI for those entering the waters.

A good digital agency is easily worth its own cost or fee structure if you are advertising on Google or multiple PPC channels. They can bring systems, data models and perhaps automation to your campaign that have taken years to refine and learn. There are a variety of automated platforms that attempt to work directly with the channel owner, but if you are looking to truly maximize your ROI potential, hire a professional who can guide you through the various factors to create an effective campaign.

A great digital agency is not only worth their own cost of fee; they will make you money. They will grow your business, create brand exposure and improve your position in the marketplace. Great agencies typically refer to themselves as “we”; like part of your company! They understand that your success is directly connected to their success.

An Effective PPC Strategy

The first few factors for any PPC strategy and campaign should focus on your customers and building a key term base that reflects your best options to generate revenue. DO NOT use the Google keyword suggestion tool, ever. Your strategy should look at your business, your goals and your budget. It needs to take into consideration the cost of generating traffic, the cost to convert that traffic and ultimately a plan for attribution.

There are a few models that you can use to get setup and ultimately begin generating traffic to your website. In fact, we have seen campaigns that are setup that are producing decent results using very simple or basic strategy. However, this article was created to focus on the traditional strategy and how that approach will lose opportunity within your PPC campaign. This is why you should hire a professional PPC management company (like NFY Interactive, Inc.) to help review, evaluate and build a strategy that is based on techniques that will accelerate your traffic and generate a lower-cost CPA, drastically improving your ROI.

The SKAG Model

SKAG or single keyword ad group is an approach that focuses on building campaigns and groups that are connected to the individual keywords you are targeting. The adgroup is essentially your keyword and the keywords in the group match the group name with three variations: exact, phrase and modified (typically broad modified). Once this is setup, you can control the ad creative, landing pages, etc. with far more detail. This improves your quality score and in terms of Google, costs you less money per click. The relevance factor helps to drive more qualified, lower-cost traffic. So basically, lower cost, lower CPA, more traffic… Better ROI.

We have helped a number of companies implement the SKAG model for their PPC strategy. In every case, they would begin to see a lower cost CPA and more traffic. SKAG is proven and I would challenge anyone to prove otherwise.

SKAG as a strategy is the baseline, a starting point. There are still optimization techniques and strategies to get even more out of the model. Any serious PPC advertiser has heard of A/B testing, but the assumption is always split testing; which is correct in most cases. Split test your ads, landing pages, etc. This is a VERY good approach to ensure you are putting the best message and look forward to convert customers. However, there is a secondary A/B approach and it is directly connected to A/B SKAG… What!?!? Yes, A/B Campaigns and Adgroups, but instead of a A or B it is more like an Alpha and Beta concept. Alpha begins to focus on exact terms, while Beta builds a large Alpha base through Broad and Phrase.

The A/B SKAG model is something that really takes an expert to build and implement correctly and to ensure ongoing optimization. If you are spending any money on Google, Bing, etc. and are not leveraging SKAG – we need to talk. If you are working with an existing PPC management company and you feel detached or want to generate more, you should give us a call to review.

Traditional digital agencies and marketing agencies have often pushed the same strategy that just works. That idea is something that our company considers the enemy – something that will hurt and harm business. We hate complacency when it comes to anything that has a technological spin to it. Your business must be moving with the various proven strategies, otherwise your competition will.

Next Steps

Our team is a Google Premier partner… I am not sure if that means anything more than we can take tests and pass them. But, we are committed to understanding Google, Bing and every tool that is available online. We have expertise in Marin, Wordstream, Adwords editor, etc. We have developed custom Adwords scripts and built a proprietary PPC analysis tool that can help find areas to impact ROI in a very short term.

Call us. It costs nothing to have our team evaluate and provide a proposal to help you build or rebuild and manage / optimize your campaign. We love this stuff and would love to help you. We consider PPC campaigns like race cars, you have to constantly innovate, tune and optimize so that you can create the opportunities to accelerate your online ROI.