Basic PPC Best Practices for Affiliates

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One of my colleagues and I got into a discussion about PPC basics for affiliates and affiliate managers because many seem to be dabbling in it without really knowing what they are doing. Although there are many affiliates who are pay per click savvy, there are others who are beginners and are not getting the results they need. They are bleeding away their ad spend by the minute.

As an affiliate manager it’s important to at least understand the basics of PPC so you can help your affiliates have stronger ad campaigns to generate better results for both of you.

Carley Bakker of CKK Internet Marketing shared these PPC best practices when starting a campaign to set the foundation for better results.

Successful PPC campaigns are not random–they have essential elements such as: clearly defined objectives, highly targeted key words, logical structure, and compelling ad copy. Let’s look at how to build clever campaigns through some smart, simple steps.

Clear Campaign Objectives

As Lewis Caroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, once said, ““If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Such an approach in a PPC campaign not only wastes time and money but also provides results that are as murky as reality in Wonderland. Start a campaign by answering some essential questions: What’s the desired campaign result? How will it be measured? The answers should lead to clear objectives on which to build your campaign. Revisit these objectives frequently to ensure accuracy–and to sidestep falling into Internet rabbit holes.

Tightly Targeted Key Words

The number one component of a successful PPC campaign is using the right keywords. Think of a search phrase, as closely tied to your product/service as possible, as a finely shot arrow zipping through the Internet to your target audience. Let’s look at an example of a clothing shop selling hurly shirts for girls. “Girls hurly shirts” should be a search phrase rather than “Hurly shirts” because it is very specific. Though the latter may bring in more traffic, it will most likely result in a lower Return on Investment.

And remember! Create a list of negative keywords as well.

Proper Campaign Structure

After keywords, proper PPC account structure is another important part of a successful PPC campaign. First, look at the keywords and sort them into themes. The themes will help you beak them down into ad groups. 

For example, let’s go back to our clothing shop. Ad groups may be broken into brand names, such as Hurley, Billabong and Volcom, or by age–infants, toddlers, and adults. These breakdowns keep a campaign organized so that both ads and key words and optimized.    

To break things down further, run multiple campaigns. Here, you can determine a spending budget, by say geographical region, deciding on $10 per day in Canada and $20 per day in the US. Of course, there are all kinds of other ways to break campaigns down, depending on what is needed.  The most popular is by region and network.   

Steer Clear of the Biggest PPC Campaign Mistake

The number one mistake in PPC campaigns is creating an ad without a clear call to action – what you intend the visitor to do.  It’s like saying you want someone to buy your clothes but don’t mention what the benefit to them is by purchasing with you or simply saying to purchase with you.  Some of my top favorites are: Buy Now!, Free Shipping or Call Now. 

Compelling Ad Copy  

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Lew Wallace once said, and the beholder is your target audience. Design ads that are compelling and appealing to your customers so that they want to buy from you. Also, save their time.  Use keywords that are contained in your ad groups.  Put your key word in the display URL if possible and also add it to a clear and conscience headline. Copy should be easy to read for people to quickly to skim.  It should also be well written, interesting and persuasive enough to guarantee high click- through-rates (CTR).

These four steps will help make PPC campaigns much more effective. Try them out and let us know what happened?


Have you ever tried a PPC campaign with your affiliates? How successful was it? Did you follow any of these steps? Let us know, or ask us any question about PPC campaigns if you need help.