Dos and Don’ts For PPC Digital Marketing Campaigns

When starting out on your Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, or coming from a more traditional marketing background, PPC can often feel like a different world. The below do’s and don’ts will help provide a clearer picture on what it takes to develop and run a successful PPC marketing campaign.

First let’s start with the basics – what does PPC mean?

Pay Per Click Tiles

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. It entails the use of search ads and discovery ads to encourage people to click through to your website. Each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay for that click.

Other key PPC terms to know before reading on are:

  • ETAs: Extended Text Ads
  • RSAs: Responsive Text Ads

Let’s get into the Dos and Don’ts!

DO: Consider Your Marketing Goals

When first setting up your PPC campaign there are a number of key decisions you will need to make, one of which is the bid strategy you set the campaign to. In order to decide this, you should consider the goal of your campaign.

There are multiple bid strategy options you can select that align with different aims. The two key ones are:

  • Target CPA Efficiency
  • Target Impression Share

CPA Efficiency Bid Strategy

This is the best option to choose if your campaign has a goal of maximising conversions within a certain budget. It works by selectively bidding to show ads only to the people that are likely to convert, reducing clicks with low intent and increasing CPA efficiency. KPIs to look at are CPA and CvR.

Target Impression Share Bid Strategy

This is the best option to choose if your campaign has a goal of increased visibility and awareness. It seeks to show your ads to a large number of people, meeting an impression share threshold on the search engines results page. It can help gain more share of voice and visibility over your competitors. KPIs to look at here are Impression Share, Impressions, and Clicks

DON’T: Be Too Generic

In PPC, budgets are important to keep track of and use efficiently. You don’t want to bid on irrelevant keywords that are only tangentially related to your product/website. No matter the search volume they may have, it will only lead to a high bounce rate, wasted spend and negative customer interactions as searchers can’t find what they’re looking for.

Do your research to find and understand which keywords are the most relevant and valuable to you to drive target audiences to your site.

Tip: Check out the Google Keywords Planner and Ahrefs tools for keyword insights!

Similarly to the above, being too generic with the language used in your text ads or discovery ads can also lead to lower CTRs and/or increased bounce rates, spending money without seeing any returns.

Ensure headers and descriptions are to the point, contain key messaging, and are relevant to the searcher as well as reflecting what’s on the landing page.

You can find out more about best practise for building Search ads here.

DO: Let The Data Guide You

PPC campaigns have a plethora of data measurements to look at to understand success. You can use platforms like Search Ads 360 to find Cost, Impressions, CTR, CPA, Impression Share, CvR and bounce rate all in one place.

After setting a campaign live, you should be checking performance regularly and constantly assessing whether the campaign is still meeting your marketing goals. Here it is best to let the data guide you – don’t be afraid to pause ads if they are not delivering the results you expected.

Staying reactive and basing decisions off the data will be a huge benefit. If you are able to see that one campaign or ad is doing great while another is getting no traction at all, you can re-phase budget to push the high performing ads further and capitalise on this.

Data also is the best indication that you need to make changes to your campaigns. Low performance can indicate the need to re-evaluate and update your keyword list, check landing page sitelinks are all correct, or to look into competitor activity and visibility.

Data Image

DON’T: Forget About The Wider Industry

Google and the wider PPC industry is consistently changing, and gaining new regulations. It’s important to stay across these things so you’re not caught out down the line and can plan for future campaigns.

For example, Google have announced that ETA search ad formats will be completely unavailable from June 2022, replaced fully with RSAs. Being across this news from early on allows a company to adapt, testing what messaging and copy works best in this format rather than be caught off guard. Read more about this change here.

Another interesting development is the news that we will be cookieless by the end of 2023, meaning third party cookies will no longer be supported across Google Chrome. PPC marketers need time to assess how this will impact audience (re)targeting and what this means for future strategy.

DO: Test and Learn

Within PPC campaigns there are many test and learn opportunities which can be utilised to optimise your campaign performance, meet KPI targets and achieve marketing goals.

A/B tests are a great place to start here. These work by having two ads put in rotation, standardised expect for one difference between them. Within platforms like Search Ads 360 you can view performance at ad level and compare across ads to understand which change should be optimised toward, for example which key messaging drives the highest CTR.

Similarly, you can test formats and creative of discovery ads in this way, i.e. carousels vs static images, to help inform activity for future campaigns. Testing different bid strategies as well as audience targeting strategies (using affinity audiences, in-market audiences, customer audiences) can also be valuable, especially when considering how to expand reach and grow.

DON’T: Forget You’re Part Of A Team

Though PPC activity can seem very self-contained, it’s important to remember that PPC is still part of a whole marketing strategy. Remember to communicate with the relevant teams to stay up to date about upcoming trading offers and new key messaging and/or campaigns to support, as well as with the site personnel to stay across landing page changes and potential updates you may otherwise miss.

Keep being collaborative to ensure your campaigns are updated with the correct information, messaging and targeting!

Conclusion

Though invaluable for anyone to learn about in today’s marketing landscape, for current Level 3 Digital Marketing apprentices, undertaking a PPC campaign is an amazing way to hit specialist area and implementation competencies.

I hope these Dos and Don’ts have offered some insight into best practise and how to develop successful PPC digital marketing campaigns, optimising performance for your business. If you’re looking to learn about PPC marketing in more detail, check out this course on Skillshop that gives a comprehensive introduction to all things Search ads.

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Level 7 Chartered Town Planner (Degree Apprenticeship)

Are you interested in sustainable development, conservation and improving infrastructure?

Read on to find out how this Level 7 Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship can progress your career and give you the opportunity to impact and shape the towns, cities and villages we live in. Gain invaluable knowledge and skills to become a trusted professional, officially recognised by the Chartered Members of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Jobs and Entry Criteria for the Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship

While it is the individual employer who decides any entry requirements, an apprentice may typically be expected to have a relevant Level 3 qualification or equivalent (such as A Levels), to embark on this course.

Level 2 English and Maths are also required in order to take the end point assessment, however apprentices can achieve these after undertaking the course if they so choose.

  • British Sign Language qualifications can replace the minimum English requirement if this is the primary language the apprentice uses.
  • For those with an education, health & care plan, or legacy statement, the minimum English and Maths requirement is Entry Level 3.

The Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship opens a wide range of opportunities for an apprentice, with the option to go on to work for an organisation or as a contractor. Sectors an apprentice can go into are varied, including:

  • Construction
  • Environment
  • Housing
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Regeneration
  • Coastal Heritage and Conservation
  • Minerals and Waste

Jobs are also available across local and national governments, private consultancies, corporations, and voluntary or non-governmental organisations, so there is a wealth of options available to an apprentice with this Level 7 qualification. When looking for a job in this field, there are multiple roles to keep an eye out for. Some typical job titles that apprentices may expect to look for include Planning Officer, Town Planner, Planner, and Development Management Planner.

Not only can this Level 7 degree apprenticeship open doors right now, but there is plenty of opportunity for further progression, with the course giving you the necessary base to go on to more senior roles in your career, for example as a Senior Planner or Principal Planning Officer. With sustainable development at the forefront of discussions today, town planning roles will continue to be essential to society and prove a stable long term career.

Key Responsibilities of a Chartered Town Planner Apprentice

Chartered Town Planners seek to balance economic growth and the needs of a community in terms of homes, jobs and facilities, with the impact on the environment. They are responsible for finding sustainable ways to develop the villages, towns and cities we live in, changing and improving them whilst keeping environmental integrity front of mind. Town Planner responsibilities include:

  • Researching and assessing technical information, data and surveys when considering proposals
  • Assessing land areas in person where necessary
  • Preparing statutory planning applications and proposals
  • Analysing and identifying land planning issues, allocating sites and resources (environmental, social and economic)
  • Formulating local strategic planning policy, laws and practise
  • Delivering infrastructure to the benefit of the public i.e. roads, railways, minerals, waste and energy facilities, collaborating with professionals including architects, surveyors, engineers, builders and environmental specialists when necessary
  • Attending committees, public inquiries and appeals, presenting when necessary and listening to ideas and answering questions
  • Write complex reports for a wide range of audiences including politicians, the public, and commercial clients, to assess and explain legislation, recommending if a plan should be accepted.

In carrying out responsibilities, it’s important to remember that Chartered Town Planners are held to the professional and ethical standards of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Decisions will have a long-term impact on economic, social and environmental well-being, so it’s critical to make sure the quality of work and level of service is high.

Town Planner Image

Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Core Knowledge and Behaviours

In carrying out a role as Town Planner, there are a number of core skills, areas of knowledge, and behaviours you will need to hold and demonstrate.

Skills

Skills include creative vision and design, research and critical analysis, decision making, plan implementation, stakeholder management, project management, collaborative working, communication and presentation skills.

Knowledge

Knowledge of planning theory and policy, as well as related law, political, and economic frameworks is essential to the responsibilities of a Town Planner. Understanding spatial design, sustainable resource management, community and stakeholder engagement, as well as professional ethical frameworks is also important to grasp.

Behaviours

The apprentice is held to the Royal Town Planning Institute’s standard of professional conduct. Within this, there are certain behaviours a Chartered Town Planner is expected to exhibit including honesty, integrity, due diligence, independent professional judgement, respect and equality. Aside from this, a focus on outcomes, positive attitude and a desire to learn and improve the world we live in will help an apprentice fulfil the role to the best standard.

The occupational standard for the Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship will offer further information on the skills and knowledge a Town Planner should understand, and explain what these are and why they are necessary in more detail.

Chartered Town Planner Assessment and Qualification

This Level 7 apprenticeship normally takes five years to complete, however depending on any planning qualifications the apprentice already holds, this may be shorter.

Upon entering Gateway, typically at 60 months, the apprentice has two methods to undertake.

Method 1 is professional discussion, presenting a reflective journal on pre-gateway experience and discussing with an independent assessor. This must be passed before apprentices can submit method 2.

Method 2 is an assessment of professional competence written assignment, where apprentices continue work experience, documenting professional experience gained post-gateway in a reflective journal. Once submitted, an assessor will grade the document against the skills, knowledge and behaviours listed above.

Upon completing the degree apprenticeship, apprentices will get a qualification from the regulating body, Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited Planning School. They will become Chartered Members of the RTPI and officially able to use the title ‘Chartered Town Planner’.

For more information on the Town Planner Apprenticeship and assessment methods, see their assessment plan.

Conclusion

The Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship is a great way to progress or embark on a career in sustainable development that has a tangible positive impact on the communities around you. It is an accessible course open to past apprentices and employees looking to learn and grow in this industry, allowing you to earn while you learn. With an accredited qualification from the RTPI and a bounty of key skills and professional knowledge, this apprenticeship is valued by employers and apprentices alike, opening up a huge range of job opportunities across a variety of sectors – the options are endless.

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