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Setting goals for your PPC campaigns

This article is the third in our SMB PPC series to help small businesses learn how to set goals for their marketing campaigns. Setting goals for PPC campaigns is vital for small businesses getting started in digital marketing, and while it’s not required to have goals before you start a marketing campaign, it is strongly recommended. This article will walk you through some goals and how relevant they are for different business models.

Common business goals

Every business should choose at least one goal specific to its overall business model. Some of the most common PPC goals include:
  1. Generate revenue
  2. Lead generation
  3. In-store visits
  4. Generate phone calls
  5. Traffic to website / build awareness
Most businesses will have one over-arching goal, such as leads generated or sales revenue, in addition to one or two metrics, such as cost per acquisition or return on investment/ad spend, that are used as guideposts in reaching the goal and for campaign optimization. For instance, if you sell products online you might be trying to maximize revenue within a range for the return on ad spend. If you are an insurance agent your goals might include the quantity of leads generated, as well as the cost per lead and the quality of leads generated through the lead close rate.

Goals based on business model

There are a wide variety of business models out there. Understanding yours and what you are trying to accomplish will help you choose quantifiable goals to gauge your PPC success. Most businesses share one common goal: to drive revenue. But when evaluating the performance of PPC, it is advantageous to define more specific goals.
Here is a list of some common online business models and the primary goals each should focus on.


1. Ecommerce / Online retail
Goal: Generate revenue.

In nearly all cases, generating revenue will be the driving goal that defines success for ecommerce businesses. This lends well to PPC where revenue is easy to report on through proper analytics. You may want to use Bing Shopping Campaigns to promote your offerings and brand.

2. B2B / Manufacturers
Goal: Lead generation, generate phone calls.
B2B businesses in a wide variety of industries almost always focus on lead generation from online form submissions or from phone calls. Use calls to action in your ad text that tell potential customers what step you want them to take to contact you. Consider using the in-market audiences feature in Bing Ads.

3. Content publisher / Affiliate advertiser
Goal: Traffic to website.
For publishers, your goal might be to get people to your site to consume your content so that you can generate revenue for ads that live on your website. In that case, the primary goal would be to drive traffic to your website. Alternatively, some publishers work on a subscription model. In this case, traffic to the website is still valuable but it may be equally as important to tie performance back to new subscriber sign-ups.
For affiliates, your goal might be to get people to your website to engage with your content and click through to your partner’s websites.

4. Local/Brick and mortar
Goal: In-store visits, generate phone calls. 
For local businesses with a storefront, the primary goal might be in-store visits. Collecting data on which PPC clicks result in store visits is hard to do. In this case, it is wise to have strong secondary goals that indicate more foot traffic such as phone calls or online inquires. Location and call extensions will be useful to these businesses, as will location and day and time targeting.

5. Service industry
Goal: Lead generation.
For local businesses that provide a service such as plumbers, HVAC repair and Locksmiths, the primary goal might be lead generation, either in online form submissions or from phone calls. If your business has a physical store front, you might also be trying to drive users in-store to request a quote or get more information. Demographic targeting and device targeting will be useful for these businesses.

6. Non-profit
Goal: Lead generation, traffic to website.
Non-profit businesses vary greatly in their objectives, from community service efforts to philanthropy to awareness of causes to political campaigns. With that, goals may vary from traffic to the website to online sign-ups to donations. The lead generation goal can apply to online sign-ups and online donations, when you want form completion. Consider using sitelink extensions and action extensions.

7. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Goal: Software downloads, lead generation. 
Goals for software as a service businesses are dependent on the cost of the software. For businesses that sell less expensive software, the primary goal is often software downloads. Depending on the niche within this vertical, that goal may shift to lead generation. For higher cost software, it is important customers speak to the sales team. Demographic targeting and device targeting will be useful for these businesses.


Setting definable goals based on your business objective will allow you to measure the performance of PPC. In the next post of the series we’ll discuss the types of metrics that support your goals and how to calculate baseline targets in your acquisition, conversion, and efficiency metrics. 

Check out the previous post in the SMB PPC Series Setting PPC Strategy for Small Business.

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