Michele Macnab is the PPC guru at World Wide Creative running online advertising campaigns for a variety of UK and SA-based clients. Michele found her path to PPC with a background in computer science and a passion for all things online. She started out working in online advertising in the UK, before returning to South Africa.
Michele works with the World Wide Creative online advertising team, specializing in PPC campaigns as well as usability strategy. She has a specific interest in mobile PPC as well as in the intersection of usability and online advertising.
We sat down with Michele to ask her about practical tips for those working with PPC and how to make the most of each online campaign.
Give us a one sentence definition of PPC:
PPC deals with paid advertising when you search from something on Google.
What do you see as the key differences between SEO and PPC?
Using SEO, your results are less timely, you have to be more targeted in terms of your keyword selection. With PPC, you are unlimited in your keywords and the ways in which you use them. The only thing in common between these two forms of online advertising is that they are displayed in similar areas on a site and that they are based on keywords.
Why is PPC so important in emerging market economies?
In South Africa, Google has allocated a lot of resources to online advertising. This form of online advertising is the quickest way to get results for businesses. Additionally, these results are completely measurable. I sometimes refer to SEO as a nebulous art, one with a weaker link of cause and effect.
Is there a need for PPC professionals in the industry?
Very much so. The market has not become saturated yet and there is a real lack of skills at the moment in the industry. Skilled PPC professionals are highly sought after in South Africa and all over the world.
What are the key skills which one would need to succeed in PPC?
You need strong analytical skills to succeed in PPC. It really helps if you are lateral thinker, you have to have a certain amount of right brain thinking to find given niches in each campaign. Creativity is also key if you want to be top of your field. You can get very useful learning from your results. You can interpret from the results which part of your product or your site needs work. PPC can uncover other flaws, usability or just bad product strategy.
Give us some practical tips for truly running successful PPC campaigns:
First and foremost, do your research. Think of all the possible things that people could search for, look for competition, look at all the products in the marketplace. Can you compete? If not, what can you offer that others aren’t?
The great thing about PPC is the adaptability. Within each ad group you can have a few varieties of key copy running. Each can have a different selling point. Example: If you are marketing a free delivery service, you can try “free deliver” you can try “buy one get one free” they have to be relevant to what is on your landing page. At the end of the week, you can see which one has the highest click-through rates. Pause the ones who are under performing and add in something else. You can do this once a week (big account client) or once a month (small account clients).
Run your keywords again and again to see if conversion rates have improved. It is a really good way to reach the most target traffic. This is the quickest way to most directly reach the people who are already out to make the sale.
The structure of your account is also important. You get some people who will dump every resource in one campaign. If you pour everything together the high volume key words will eat up all of your budget. Very often to get your niche key words to work, you should stick them by themselves and give them their own budget within the same campaign.
Any parting words?
In a simple phrase: You can always do better. PPC is an evolving process which requires constant monitoring and adjustment. You should interpret results and feed them back to the client to constantly improve their offering. You can always adapt to get better results.