When managing PPC campaigns on a daily basis, there are hundreds of details that require close attention. As with any project that requires hair-splitting focus, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
It’s important to occasionally pull your head out that annual trend report or search query analysis and remember the core function of PPC (and many other marketing channels): to connect people with other people or businesses) in a meaningful way.
Search Queries Originate from Hopes, Dreams & Fears
Image Credit: crowds on a journey
Making a purchase may be the motivation for a search query. However, keep in mind that many people often start their process with a need for information. This need can be driven by a hope or dream that there are answers and solutions somewhere in the world.
Fear is also a powerful motivator. This isn’t just an impending fear of doom or ill-fate. Fear can motivate someone to search for a better alternative, “I use software X but is there something better out there? Am I missing out on something awesome?”
Think about how you interact with search engines. When you enter that initial search query, you are on a journey. You hope to find new information or a new product/service that solves a problem or makes life easier. Even a query for a small purchase is loaded with emotion:
- What is the best link on this SERP?
- Will I find the right product?
- Who are all these websites?
- Have I heard of any of these companies?
- Can I trust them?
- I have a specific vision on what I need, will I find it?
Your keyword list needs to anticipate these underlying motivations. It’s easy to get lost in ever-expanding campaigns and ad groups, but keep in mind that each search query represents a person on a journey. As a PPC marketer your mission is to find these individuals at the right time.
Relevance is More Than Click-Through Rate or Quality Score
Just as important as your keyword list (or even more so), your PPC ad copy needs to address these hopes and fears. Your potential customer/client is on a journey, even if they aren’t fully aware of this, and presenting your product/service as the end of this journey needs to be your campaign’s objective.
Only you know your business and clients well enough to understand these buried (perhaps unconscious) motivators. Now is a great time to make a list of the hopes, dreams, and fears of your target audience.
Compare this list with the active ads in your PPC campaigns. Do they match up? Are you talking about simple product features rather than appealing to the fundamental reasons why someone may be looking for you?
Does your ad copy elicit this response: “Yes, this is what I’m looking for. This ad presents relevant information and it addresses my core concerns.” Sure, no one may think these exact words, but this is how they should feel.
Remember, each click is a leap of faith.
The Best Choice vs. The Wrong Choice
With all of the options available today for any product or service, most people will never make the right decision. They are OK with this fact.
Most people just don’t want to make a wrong decision. This is another motivator based on fear: “It’s difficult to tell what is the absolute best choice, but I don’t want to feel regret for making the wrong decision.”
This is where your landing page comes in. If clicking on your PPC ad is a leap of faith, the landing page should be the reward. Everyone who arrives at your landing page has a vision of what they’re looking for and how this journey will end.
Does your landing page serve this purpose? Does your landing page appeal to their dreams and allay their fears?
Take the list of hopes, dreams, and fears of your target audience and compare it to your landing page. How does your landing page stack up?
Manage to PPC Metrics but Don’t Lose Your Humanity
Absolutely manage to your success metrics: CTR, conversion rate, CPA, CPC, ROI and anything else that drives your business. With PPC you're paying for the click, so you need to make sure it pays off.
However, don’t lose sight that every impression is a person on a journey. Each click is loaded with hopes, dreams and fears. As a PPC marketer, your job is to make these dreams come true.
Maybe this is a lofty goal, but this is what we should strive to attain. Or at least keep this in mind when sifting through spreadsheet after spreadsheet of data.