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How Long Does PPC Take? 3 Months, and Here’s Why

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PPC is the fastest way to get website traffic.

But to get a great ROI, give it three months of working, not waiting.

You take the plunge and launch a pay-per-click advertising campaign. You fund the campaign with the pre-pay option, and you’re seeing your balance slowly go down. So this means your ad is working, right?


[dramatic pause]


One week in, you’re seeing some serious traffic on your landing page, and your advertising cost is racking up … but you’re not seeing any conversions.

What’s that mean? It means you’re losing money.

It’s not time to wait. It’s time to work.

PPC is indeed fast, but in this case, it’s fast at showing you that it’s failing.

So, what do you do next to turn your dollars into meaningful traffic that converts?


The First Month: It’s All About Data

You have one goal in the first month of a PPC ad campaign: gather data. 

To gather data, you need a broad target and detailed tracking. Most PPC experts recommend you target a broad audience when you launch your initial campaign. If you have too narrow of an audience in mind, then you will not gather as much data. 

Think of this first month like shooting with a shotgun that spreads the buckshot wide as opposed to a precision rifle.

For example, if you run a pest control company, target potential clients within 50 miles of your home office. Don’t narrow down by demographics or device type.

The data you gather helps you see your target audience and then revamp ads for the future.


The Second Month: Refine Your Keywords

As you analyze your data, refine the list of keywords you’re targeting. 

Find out which keywords you’re targeting well. Which have the highest click-through rate, and which have the highest conversion rate?

If you have low clicks on high-impression keywords, consider getting rid of them or try a different strategy.

Add to your list of negative keywords, such as keywords that attract a lot of clicks, but not from people in your target market. 

Begin examining who your real target audience is — which devices and age groups contribute the most for your business — then change your targeting to key in on this audience.

Once you assess your keywords, coordinate them with your bids. Look at the average cost per click (CPC) and best keywords, and then revise your manual bids to make your money stretch further. 

Purposeful changes like these will impact your campaign’s performance immediately. 


The Third Month: Test Your Methods

Run some tests, implementing different ad copy to see how it performs with the targeted audience in mind. Now that you’ve established baselines and general strategies, your test results are more detailed.

In addition, Google Ads will experiment on its own, altering headlines and descriptions to find out which ones perform best. 

Go back to your data and see if you’ve missed any keywords. Create a dedicated campaign with those new keywords in mind to expand your ad campaign.

At this point, you can set up a long-term plan for campaign opportunities. You can create a more purposeful, informed budget to make sure your PPC ad campaign delivers next month. 

Ultimately, following the steps one month at a time will yield rich results. Be patient and follow the steps to see your PPC campaigns lead to business growth and an impressive return rate.


Why Does PPC Need Three Months? 

You still may be hoping you can hit the nail on the head with the first campaign. Can’t you just get lucky and not have to go through all of these tedious steps? 

Remember, a new PPC campaign has no performance history. Google, Bing, Facebook, and other ad networks have no history for your unique campaign when you start. They gauge the quality of your ads, and this quality influences how your ad performs in an ad auction.

But it’s just a guess, really. You never know how a campaign will affect your business until you try it out.


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