Globalization Specialist for Korean Startups

3 Steps to PPC Success

You may have heard the saying “If you have 3 hours to cut down a tree, spend 2 hours sharpening the axe”, planning and preparation is everything and these 3 steps to PPC success are your solid foundation to every campaign.
Like most things in life, the more time you spend planning and preparing the easier it is to execute and the better the result will be. And PPC ads are no different.
Whichever ad system you decide to use there is a basic 3 step formula for creating successful ads. In my previous post I wrote talked about why you should not reject paid advertising 

Step 1. Plan

There are 3 parts to the planning phase in the 3 steps to PPC success.

Set your goal.

You need to have a goal. Not just for your call to action but also so you can measure your success. The call to action (CTA) in your ad is, what you want visitors to do after seeing your ad. This will vary depending on what your goal is. Decide what is the objective of your ad campaign, what do you want to achieve with your investment in this campaign? do you want:

  • More Traffic
  • More Subscribers
  • More Sales
Decide which asset you have that is going to help you meet that goal.

For Example, if you want more traffic

  • A downloadable  3 step plan checklist to  help you succeed at PPC, available from your blog
  • A checklist on how to make money selling information products

Or if your target is to get more Subscribers

  • An ebook on email marketing
  • A multi-lesson online or email course on how to succeed at affiliate marketing


  • A new product you are just launching
  • A product you have had for some time that you know is popular


Tired of reading? Watch the 3 Steps to PPC Success for the highlights

 Set your Budget to Calculate what you need to succeed.

You need to understand what a successful campaign will cost.
To calculate your CPA customer acquisition cost you need to Estimate your maximum cost per click (CPC). The formula is simple and logical.  The Maximum Cost per Click is the Profit per customer x the sales conversion rate. let’s say you have an ebook that you produced yourself, therefore with no production costs, and you priced it at $17 your profit will be $17. If your conversion rate is on average, 1%, your maximum CPC = 17 cents.
Max CPC = profit per customer x sales conversion rate

 $17.00 x .01=.017

If you are selling a physical product you need to factor in the production cost and the shipping and handling costs
As an example, if your product is a printed Journal based on a template you designed, and you sell it at $17, including printing shipping and handling. The cost of producing the journal is $3 and the shipping and handling $2, for a total fulfilment cost of $5. Your profit, in this case, is $12, so using the same formula ($17 – $5 =) $12.00 x .01=.012.
When you start succeeding at PPC you will be able to get a higher conversion rate. 

$12.00 x .02=24 cents maximum CPC
$12.00 x .03=36 cents
$12.00 x .04=48 cents

and so on.

Like everything in an online business, you should always test and refine. Most importantly, set a test advertising budget and stick to it. Test your ad and offer. Start with a small amount and increase it if the ad converts well.

Step 2. Target

Now you know what your target is, what your offer is, and what your budget is it is time to define your target customers and start building the keyword list to use in your ad campaigns.

Know your customers

You hopefully already know a lot about the customers in your niche. You may even have created a buyer persona or avatar. This is a mini-biography of your ideal customer.
Try to imagine this ideal customer as a real person, give them a name and write down details about their interests, family and Job and anything else that you think is relevant

What to include in your Buyer Persona

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Kids (ages) /no kids
  • Pets (how many, type/s)
  • Level of income
  • Level of education
  • What Job they do
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Personal values (religious, green, interested in animal rights, etc.)

You might have more than one type of customer, so you can create a number of personas.  Don’t create too many, you don’t need to describe all your buyers, just your ideal customer.
If you don’t know much about your customers now is a good time to start understanding who they are. You can do this through surveys, your various analytics metrics, such as Facebook Insights, Instagram follower demographics and so on. You can use the Buyer Personas for a number of other tasks such as creating products, writing sales or email copy.

Tip: Use the persona every time you create any new product, or new marketing campaign, to make sure they will speak to the needs of your target customer.

Research your keywords

Again you should already have keyword list related to your niche, that you will be using to help plan the content you want to publish and your blog posts and page content that you are using for SEO, Search Engine Optimization to rank your site to rank highly on Google search results. This is especially important if you are preparing ads to run on Google or Bing as they use keywords for their ad matching. Social Media sites tend to us demographics, such as age and interests to select the audience to display your ads to. However, they are still useful in describing the needs of your target audience.
Look at your google analytics logs and use google search console to check the top 20 keywords that people are using to find your site. Decide if they make sense for your campaign.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner or Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest to check on search volume per month for your selected keywords and find any other recommended and related keywords.
You just need a free google account, which you will probably have for using Google Analytics or Gmail. In fact, I recommend you to get a Google account anyway, read this post to find out why. You don’t have to run ads on Google to use the tool and both tools that I have mentioned are free to use

Industry Insider Hack

In Google’s keyword planner enter a competitor’s landing page in “my landing page” instead of your own, to reveal different Keywords.  Try it with the top ranking search results and see what different ‘long tail’ keywords you can find.

Look at the search volume on your selected keywords and look for those that are more than 1,000 but less than 10,000.  Many people make the mistake of going after the highest volume keywords but this won’t work, as large companies will have likely put a lot of money into their ad strategy on these words.

Tip: Choose keywords with a search volume between 1,000 to 10,000. Too high and your ads won’t show as the large companies will be investing more on those words and too low and you won’t notice any change in traffic.

You should also put together a list of negative keywords. Unless you are trying to get subscribers and are giving away a free eBook avoid words like free, will attract freebie seekers clicking on your ads and if you are paying per click you only really want to attract customers with the intent of buying
Another strategy that all great PPC and SEO and PPC marketers use is to Spy on competition’s keywords.  Use to see the keywords that your competitors are using and add any you might have missed.
You can also separate your keywords into two categories. Words that signal; they are just looking, or they have moved to the stage where they are getting ready to make a purchase.  This will allow you to identify how ‘valuable’ they are to you.

Tip: You can use the following to sort your keywords.

  1. Research keywords
  2. Buying-Intent keywords

Step 3. Give Value

You should choose one offer for each Ad you want to run. The offer should be something that is valuable to the customer.  Valuable doesn’t mean financially, it means something that is useful to your audience Your offer will depend on your goal and the free or paid item you wish to promote.
Searches your top keywords on Google. Which of your competitors are in the top results? Have a look at what they are offering.  You don’t need to copy their offer, but it should be of similar value to the customer, and this will give you some ideas that you have maybe overlooked.
You can employ other popular tactics to get people to click on your ad.

  • Tell the story – What is the reason you’re making the offer
  • Include a Deadline -it is a limited time offer only so they need to move fast. (FOMO Fear-of-missing-out)
  • A special Launch – it is an all-new product never seen before

Sometimes asking a question can help to appeal to your customer’s needs.

  • Tired of struggling to grow your list? Grab your free ebook now
  • Tired of tiny affiliate commissions? Sign up for your free webinar and watch them soar

Some ideas for an Ad offer are:

  • Free ebook (sample)
  • Special discount
  • Checklist
  • Template
  • Invite only webinar access

Congratulations! You reached the end of the post and you now know the 3 steps to PPC success.
Wait! I know what you’re thinking we haven’t created any ad’s. I will cover that in my next post, but the first 3 steps to PPC success are the foundation for maximising your ROI.