Start with an organizational top-down approach to determine how goals at each level can be accomplished through PPC this year.
Many advertisers will continue into the new year with the same approach to PPC they used last year. The key is to use what is working, but to look ahead at approaches that can help reach your goals and take you to the next level. Here is a simple way to kick off planning without getting buried in grids, charts, and endless PowerPoint documents.
First, take a look at your goals. Start with the organizational top-down approach to determine how goals at each level can be accomplished through PPC.
Next, determine the best strategy, or combination, to reach your goals. This could range from branding efforts to detailed sales or lead acquisition approaches. Note the timing for each.
In the above hypothetical example, we've been able to very simply gather our main goals, define them, and prioritize them by date. We have efforts to focus on in January, March, and June. Next, we want to consider the best PPC tactics to implement for each. We can consider:
Each goal should be assigned tactics most appropriate to achieve success. Note this in the plan.
Again, this is a very basic example to illustrate how to start getting organized, but this could be fleshed out in a variety of ways.
Finally, once you have this information sorted out, it's time to plot it on a calendar or create a timeline. The objective here is to have a clear direction on the workflow and implementation to reach the launch dates. Depending on the tasks, remember to allow enough time for approvals, implementation, and unexpected troubleshooting, especially if working with new features or channels.
Still not sure where to start? Use Google Trends to enter some of your core PPC keywords to find seasonality and get new ideas for strategic planning for the new year.
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Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.
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