I have been reading Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson, in which Isaacson describes some of Steve Jobs philosophies for designing Apple products. Here are five of these design principles, which can be applied to pay per click (PPC) marketing campaigns.
1. Marriage of art and science.
According to Steve Jobs a good product is a marriage of art and science. He designed Apple products with this philosophy in mind. PPC campaigns are best examples of this marriage. You need eye catching creatives and visually appealing banner ads to attract the searchers attention. You also need analytical skills to analyze large amounts of data, understand statistical significance when testing ads and work on automating ppc management tasks using excel or other software. You need to effectively manage the art and the science of these campaigns to make them profitable.
2. Trust your Intuition
Steve Jobs trusted his instincts and went beyond the usual focus groups and known knowledge to create breakthrough products like the Ipad and the Iphone. In PPC as well, sometimes we have to trust our instincts and go against the best practices while creating ads and choosing keywords. Here is a fun example I found on the web which illustrates this point http://blog.ads.pof.com/2012/04/03/throw-everything-you-know-about-ads-out-the-window-pics-inside/ . As it so happens, we are fortunate that in PPC we can test these intuitions at a minimal cost since we can set our own budgets and time durations for campaign experiments.
3. Simplicity of Design
Focus on creating simple campaigns and web pages. Keep your PPC campaign simple so that it can be manageable. Follow logical campaign creation process such as brand/nonbrand campaigns, geographically targeted campaigns etc. Don’t create too many campaigns or adgroups to begin with but test the waters and expand as needed. Only use advanced features like keyword level urls or dynamic ads when needed since it is very easy to forget these settings and make mistakes such as taking people to wrong landing pages and displaying ads with misspellings.
4. Focus on Usability
Don’t sacrifice usability for beautiful design when creating ads and home pages. Create uncluttered web pages with readable fonts. Landing pages should be user friendly and easy to navigate. Have clear call to actions on landing pages and ad copy so the user knows what to do. Keep forms simple and to the point. Focusing on usability helps with conversions and creates profitable PPC campaigns.
5. Design under the Hood should be perfect.
According to Steve Jobs even the parts of the product which are not visible to the outside world should be perfect. Just because the PPC campaign is not visible to the world it does not have to be of lower quality than your creatives and websites. Create logical campaign structure. Save time by creating modular campaigns and adgroups so they can be easily duplicated if you need to add another product or geographical area. Create good documentation for best practices and change management, so your team has a standardized way for managing campaigns. Make sure that the websites are coded properly so they load faster and create a better user experience.
We know that properly designed PPC campaigns and web pages have lower cost per clicks and higher conversions. By applying these five design principles to PPC campaigns we can create campaigns which are more profitable than ever and are easier to maintain and expand!