How Big is Your Audience – and What's the Cost to Find Them?
Figuring Out Your PPC Spend and Budget
As you saw in the video and in your Fast Funnel workbook, the best way to drive traffic to your product or service information and offer is with PPC (pay per click). It is:
Fast to Utilize
Offers Targeted Promotion, and is
Scalable to Your Budget and Needs for More or Less Traffic.
We'll get to your actual PPC ads later, but for right now you'll just want to estimate the amount of traffic pay per click will pull in and how much it will cost according to the keywords you may use.
While spying on your competition (pages 9 and 10 of the workbook) you have the opportunity to see what keywords others are using to attract traffic. The audience for these keywords and phrases, along with your own, make up your potential audience size on a monthly basis.
Gather the Keywords, But Don't Put a Lot of Stock in Your Competitor's Experience
While it's important to see what others are using and what keywords or phrases draw in the most traffic, there are two things you should ignore while using tools like SEMRush; the actual traffic numbers shown and the costs reported on these tools.
When it comes to traffic numbers per keyword, you're looking for generalities and patterns across competitors. For example, if all competitors show that “blue shoes” is the most popular key phrase it's a good bet you should be using it too. But that doesn't mean the actual traffic numbers reported in these tools will be your experience; nor does it mean the costs reported are accurate. There are a number of reasons neither may be accurate:
Your competitors may not be attracting the full potential of the the audience traffic because of poorly written PPC ads, in which case their traffic numbers will be low.
At the same time, overly broad or misleading ads may be triggering too many clicks that will never convert to customers, in which case their amount of traffic will be too high and costly.
Just gather the list of key phrases and note across all competitors which are most effective...but don't get hung up on numbers and costs. It's more important to do your own research for your own potential numbers and costs.
So Now Let's Find Your Traffic Numbers and Costs
The first thing I'd do is set up a spreadsheet like the one below. This will be your guide when planning budgets and knowing what channels and keywords to use. Label this spreadsheet “Maximum Budget”.
As you work through the vendors below, transfer all of the data you collect for all channels and all keywords onto this spreadsheet. You will prioritize keywords for budgetary purposes later on. CPC = Cost per Click. “Demographic” is the demographic descriptors you use to set up social media promoted posts. Each keyword or phrase should have it's own line for each channel in your spreadsheet. Yes, this will get rather long.
The first place we're going to tap is Bing. Bing is less expensive than Google, so it's a good place to test ads and keywords. You'll get the hang of setting up ads and learn what “negative” keywords to use before spending bigger budgets with Google. Traffic numbers aren't as strong with Bing as they are with Google, but traffic quality is very good. I tend to believe the line on Bing's home page that says engagement is 25% better than Google, but as I said, overall traffic numbers are not nearly as high. Bing gives you exposure Yahoo as well.
Go to bingads.microsoft.com. Follow the instructions and set up an account. Remember the email and password you set up as this is how you'll get into your account from now on. You can unclick “Send promotional offers from Microsoft”, and I suggest you do.
When you get in you'll be asked to set up an ad. Don't worry...this won't go live. But you need to play Bing's game to get traffic estimations and costs.
Choose a location which pertains to your reach...local, national, global, etc.
Write a dummy ad. Note the character length of ads...they're short!
In the box where you put in keywords load it up with all of your list.
Set your budget very high, such as $50/click and $1000 per day. You won't spend this much, but you will want to see your best cost/traffic numbers. If you set this too low your estimated returns will be capped, potentially below what you need to know.
Press “Get Performance Estimates”. This will tell you the number of searches for your keywords and the cost per click. Copy this down or export your results.
CONTROL YOUR COSTS!
Google works pretty much the same as Bing. The layout of the dashboard is a little different, but you'll quickly get the hang of it. Go to adwords.google.com. Again, you'll have to establish an account. Go through the hoops – it is pretty simple.
Google has a pretty robust keyword planner and they'll offer a lot of suggestions, but like Bing you won't get true traffic estimates and costs until you actually set up an ad. (Don't use the traffic estimates in the Keyword Planner.)
But still, go to the Keyword Planner and enter keywords and phrases. You'll be given two screens; one for keyword groups and one for individual keywords/phrases. On the left side of each screen you'll see tick boxes next to each group, word or phrase. If you click on one it'll get added to your group for import into an ad. Click on as many as you find valuable and then go on to create your dummy ad. Again set your budget high and see where clicks versus costs tend to level off on the estimator screen.
This is where you want to be. You'll see the estimated number of daily traffic clicks and the cost per click. Write down the numbers and divide the number of estimated clicks by the overall traffic numbers. This is what they assume is a suitable click-through rate. I'd suggest you set your numbers for budgetary purposes at this level, but for ROI use a lesser number.
For example, if Google says your click-though rate should be 3%, use that for your budget but use 2% for your ROI. This way you won't under- or over-estimate costs versus expectations. Don't go any further for now. You have the information you need. For Both Bing and Google you'll be able to slow down or ramp up traffic based on the keywords you want to use and your preferred budget.
USING SOCIAL MEDIA For Promoted Posts/Ads
LinkedIn has a PPC platform much like Bing and Google. I've got to be honest, however. I don't use it any more. I've found traffic for any industry or keyword group other than employment to be really slow. You can try it, but it most likely won't be worth your time.
Facebook and Twitter don't have traditional PPC ads. They use “promoted posts” which show up in the feed or on the wall of anyone who fits your preferred demographic. If your audience is on these two channels, this is what makes promoted posts powerful. By setting up an ad you'll see the estimated traffic numbers and you'll find out if your have an audience on social media.
I'm going to assume your business or company has a Facebook account, and therefore a business page, so I won't go into account details. But there are a couple of tips I can give you regarding advertising on Facebook, and Twitter is pretty much the same.
Facebook offers a couple of options when it comes to what constitutes an action with your ad; simply appearing, gaining a “like” or clicking through to the website. For our purposes you only want to pay for clicks to your website (your landing page).
You won't use keywords to drive traffic like you do with PPC. Instead, you'll use your perfect demographic. As you set up your promoted post you'll be able to target your audience. For example, if you want your ad to be seen by C-Suites, you can check that box and then expand your target with more titles. If your audience is found in a specific industry you can use this descriptor as well. As you add descriptors to your target audience you'll see numbers on the platform that fit your audience.
Next you'll set up a budget. Unlike PPC where your budget is based on the cost per click, Facebook and Twitter allow you to set a budget by a daily cost. If you enter $5 per day they'll return the number of clicks you should see in a day. $10 per day returns more, and so on. Choose a daily budget and note the estimated number of clicks. Play with the budget and see where you get the most clicks for the money. Jot this down. This makes planning your budget for promoted posts very easy. Over time you can figure out your cost per click on social media by dividing your spend by the number of clicks you got. This will let you compare costs between platforms.
When you're done with Facebook you can go on to Twitter and repeat the process if you already have an account there. Again, write down the costs versus the estimated clicks.
Look Deep - Save Money!
(Lots and lots of money.)
It's Decision Time!
Now you have enough ammo to make some knowledgeable decisions. If you add up all of the potential clicks for all of your potential keywords or all posts and get the traffic costs you'll have the extreme costs for planning a budget. You probably should not ever go to this extreme, but this is your master spreadsheet. Set up another spreadsheet with the same fields and label it “Minimum Budget”.
So at this point you'll want to see where you can trim the costs. Look at your keywords and decide which ones you can initially live with and which you want to cull out – at least for now. Transfer your preferable keywords over to your “Minimum Budget” spreadsheet. Likewise, pick a daily budget for social media promoted posts and transfer these number over to the “Minimum Budget” spreadsheet. Keep massaging these until you have an initial budget you can live with.
Now You Know:
Now you have an idea of how much to initially spend to get all of your preferred channels, keywords and daily social media budgets pumping. But don't feel like you have to do everything at once. You can, and should, start small and build your budget as your business grows, test results come in and money allows. (I show you how to do this later on.) In fact I always do a test run for a couple of weeks with just Bing. This gives you a chance to fine tune your keywords, gather negative keywords (very important and more on this in subsequent workbooks) and test your landing pages and ads before jumping to Google or expanding your budget.
Up Next: Figuring Out Your KPI's
Stay tuned for tomorrow's email...you won't want to miss it!
P.S. If you are finding emails like this helpful, imagine how helpful an individual online meeting would be when we discuss your project! Just you, me and my undivided attention. Have you booked it yet? If not, press the black button now!