Over at SEO Boy, I recently wrote a post on how a promotional calendar can help boost SEO efforts. The main point was that if you set up a promotional calendar and pair it with site changes and new content based on the promotions, you’ll have a plan in place for adding relevant and useful information to your site. Search engines will love the fresh content and your customers will love the sales and promos.
The same concept can be applied to PPC management with just a couple of twists. Let’s say we’re managing pay-per-click ads for a resort. Below, I outline how the three main components of a PPC account – keywords, ads, and landing pages – can all be inspired by the resort’s sales and promotions.
Let’s say our hypothetical resort regularly offers seasonal and holiday discounts. You have New Years, Valentine’s Day, a Mother’s Day brunch, etc. With all of these special days you expect some sort of deal, right? Even on a typical day, there might be discounted show prices, drink specials at the resort bar, or a golf scramble for charity promotion. Knowing these things would be incredibly helpful for a PPC manager.
How? Well, let’s start with keywords.
Running certain keywords at different points of the year is not uncommon. We have several clients at Hanapin Marketing who will have a yearly event that they want us to promote, from annual sales, to big-ticket events and conferences. But why only do this for the really big events? With Google’s advanced settings it’s easy to control when your keywords are on and off. I could set up a locally targeted campaign that bids on keywords related to drink specials in the area on Fridays between 5 and 11, without needing to manually adjust my campaign during those times.
The golden rule in ad writing is: write benefit-driven ads. Tell the customer how you are different from your competitors, stand apart from other ads with interesting headlines and copy. Running promotions gives you something different to talk about. I know I am more likely to click on an ad that mentions some sort of event or discount and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If you are lucky enough to be free from a compliance-mandated account, then writing up new ads for the different promotions should be easy and not too time-consuming. Plus, if you have your promo calendar planned out ahead of time, you’ll have plenty of benefits to include in your ad copy.
Landing pages are a little bit trickier as they require more time and resources, but you can certainly think of landing pages as another opportunity to promote your events. Let’s return to our drink special scenario. If we paired our drink specials with a landing page that offered online reservations, we’d be pretty set up for a successful night at the resort’s bar. A landing page with an interactive online calendar of events or sales is a great way to capture leads.
This all may seem very obvious, intro-level PPC management, but how many sales and promotions slip past your campaigns without any mention? Maybe you didn’t know the sale was happening, or you didn’t hear about it until it was too late.
PPC should be considered one of many elements in a company’s marketing and should therefore be included and thought about within the entire marketing scheme. Because of this it is extremely important to have clear communication between the general marketing department and the PPC manager. This may be easy, if both of those entities are in-house, working in close proximities, but more likely than not, that is not the case.
If you work for an agency, or work as a freelance manager, you may need to take the initiative to reach out to the marketing department to discuss any and all promotions that are on the calendar for the upcoming months. Not only will this open lines of communication between the two parties, but it will give you bountiful ideas for ways you can spice up your account and drive more interested traffic.
Jenny Anderson is a search marketing consultant at Hanapin Marketing. She works with a variety of clients and writes for Hanapin’s blogs, PPC Hero and SEO Boy.