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Is PPC right for your membership association website?

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is an effective way of driving new members to your membership association website. As the name suggests, you pay each time someone clicks on one your ads from a search engine and arrives at your website.

PPC quickly drives relevant traffic to your membership website and helps you gain search exposure for search terms that you aren’t being seen for in organic results.

If pulled off well, a PPC campaign can be a powerful asset for marketing your membership association website. On the other hand, if done badly, it can put a big dent in your marketing budget.

In this article, we are going to look at why you might use PPC for your membership organisation website, some common issues, and how you can get started on your first PPC campaign.

Firstly, what is PPC?

If you are involved in a membership organisation or if you run a  membership association website, you probably already know what PPC is. But for the benefit of those who don’t, I will quickly summarise.

PPC is a tool that allows you to place adverts on other websites and search engines. PPC is a quick and easily controlled way of getting your business in front of an audience.

The most common type of PPC is Google Adwords. When you do a search in Google, no doubt that you have noticed that the first few results are advertisements, followed by normal search results. As part of your digital marketing strategy, you can buy placements at the top of Google for different phrases that people might type in.

PPC campaigns can go either way – when done well they can bring you a load of beneficial traffic to your website. In fact, PPC Resellers: 9 Pay Per-Click (PPC) Statistics for 2016 says that:

“You can increase your brand awareness by 80% with a PPC ad – PPC Resellers: 9 Pay-per-click (PPC) Statistics for 2016, July 2016″

This is a serious increase, but it should be approached with caution as if executed poorly, PPC campaigns can leave you with a big hole in your budget.

When executing a PPC campaign for your membership association website, you should have a least one goal or objective associated with the campaign to measure its success. This can be something as simple as completing a contact form or downloading a membership content offering.

Reasons for using PPC for your membership association website

Organisations in pretty much every industry can benefit in one way or another from using PPC, but here are some that apply specifically to the membership sector.

Increase presence: As a membership association, one of your main ongoing goals is to recruit new members. PPC helps you to increase traffic to your membership association website and helping you to reach your KPIs. You only pay when people visit your membership website and you can turn your campaign on or off instantly and set it up for particular campaigns, such as a membership event.

Take control: It is important that you have control over your membership association’s marketing efforts, and PPC gives you this. You can set your PPC budget easily, decide when to show adverts and who sees them, as well as many other benefits.

Measure your efforts: PPC lets you see how your efforts are performing overall alongside being able to whittle down into the data to see how particular setting affect performance. PPC makes it easier for you to answer the big questions, such as “What is the ROI of our campaigns?”

Gain insights: PPC is a good tool for gaining insights into your other marketing channels such as social, email and SEO. You can see the insights about your audience such as geography, demographics and actions, for example. These insights give you a great opportunity to hone your overall marketing efforts.  

Reasons against using PPC for your membership association website

Cost: As I stated earlier, PPC can be a bit expensive. If you have a smaller budget then a PPC campaign can be hard to justify.

Time: Although you can set a PPC campaign up instantly, it takes time to get working. Fine tuning all the different options over time sharpens the campaign and boosts its effectiveness. Also, it is easy to assume that leaving a PPC campaign running indefinitely will produce. However, you need to spend time keeping track of your results and tweak your campaigns based on your ongoing results.

PPC is always evolving: Like other marketing channels, PPC changes over time. Tools and settings come and go, different campaigns are created, and how adverts are displayed changes. To keep up, you will need some sort of PPC training and keep your skills up to date.

How to use PPC for your membership association website

Now that you have read the reasons for and against using PPC for your membership association website, let’s have a look at how you can use it effectively.

Define your goals: Having set goals defines your PPC campaign. To get the best results from your membership organisation’s PPC campaign you need to have clear goals to work towards. Goals can include recruiting a new member, downloading a content offering, or booking an event.

Set up tracking: If you are using Google Adwords, link it to your Google Analytics. This will help you analyse and improve your PPC campaigns as you would your other marketing efforts.

Use your SEO keywords: If you currently have an SEO strategy, then you will have a list of keywords and phrases that you target. Try to use these in your PPC campaign as it will help drive qualified traffic to your membership association website.  

Hone and expand: If you have time and budget, experiment early on. Consider all factors when first setting up your campaign, especially things like locations, devices, schedules and negative terms. Once you are confident, expand with your remaining budget.

Analyse and improve: You can constantly improve how you use your budget by learning new techniques, removing roadblocks and through better targeting. This step is ongoing, so make sure that you keep analysing your results to get the most from your PPC campaign.

Next steps

After reading this article, if you think that PPC is the right choice for your membership association website then it’s time to get going!

If you still feel a little uneasy about PPC but would like to give it a try, then get in touch. At Artonezero we specialise in helping membership organisations to recruit new members and improve member engagement using digital marketing. We would love to chat about how you can use PPC for your membership organisation with a free consultation.

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