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How to Shake Up Your PPC Campaign Structure for Maximum Effect

Courtesy of Ximo Michavila via Flickr

Courtesy of Ximo Michavila via Flickr

Most search engine marketing experts will say you should structure your pay-per-click campaigns based on the structure of your website. Typically, this is a sound strategy to maximize quality scores and cost per click, but it’s not the only approach to consider.

Structuring PPC Campaigns by Customer Segments
What if you don’t yet have a website and want to develop a structure that will be effective for pay-per-click campaigns? There are multiple options that could be successful if you implement them properly from top to bottom, but one specific strategy to seriously consider involves structuring your campaigns by customer segments. Certain customer segments have a higher percentage of people further along in the buying cycle. These people tend to have a more urgent need for your product or service and might be willing to pay more or buy now as a result. Conversely, to be competitive with certain customer segments, you could offer a discount, free trial, free shipping, or some other hook.
This is where line of business strategy meets pay-per-click advertising. Breaking down your customers into segments and determining their unique needs should bring you to the realization that you can’t use one brand to meet everyone’s needs—or even the needs of one segment. A strong line of business strategy will decide which potential customer needs to meet and which to ignore. Your product cannot be a Yugo and Lexus at the same time. Of course, you can develop brands at different levels, but be careful with this strategy. There are many examples of premium brands that have hurt their brand image by attempting to offer more affordable versions. Oftentimes, premium status is a primary driver for buyers.
Customer Segment-Based PPC Structuring in Action
You might already be thinking that structuring pay-per-click campaigns by customer segment is a good idea in theory, but are still not completely sold. Perhaps an example from a real client will make the concept more practical. Take a golf cart accessories company that sells parts online. If you’ve been to a campground or condo community where golf carts are the primary form of transportation, you have seen models that are nicer than some cars. This customer segment certainly has different needs (and likely different search terms) than a golf course.
As you break down your potential clients into basic customer segments, you may realize that certain demographics are likely to use particular search terms and have different hot buttons. You might even determine that customer segments are a logical way to break down your online advertising campaigns. Keep in mind that completely restructuring or rebuilding your website is by no means a requirement. You will likely need a few additional landing pages, but you can structure an ad campaign by segment without launching an entire site renovation.
Of course, primary search terms will likely overlap across the customer segments. Keep this in mind, as you never want keywords within campaigns to be competing against each other.

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