Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) can be one of the fastest, most effective ways to get customers to your website.
However, it can be difficult to make money from PPC ads. It’s all too easy to make common mistakes that can ruin your campaign.
Fortunately, I have a lot of tips that can help.
And there’s a strategy that I borrowed from my friends as a business analyst that I’m going to share with you today.
It’s called a SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis can help you see another side of your PPC campaign and improve its performance.
This article will help you do your own analysis and take your PPC campaigns to another level.
What is a SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a business valuation technique that can be used to rate anything from an entire company to a single PPC campaign.
What does SWOT stand for?
It stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors, things that you control. Opportunities and risks are external factors. These are happening in the market right now, whether you like it or not. You may not be able to change them, but you can act on them.
Typically, SWOT analysis is used at the operational level to help business leaders assess a company’s current position in the marketplace and highlight areas for future growth.
It can also be used to evaluate your PPC campaigns. A SWOT analysis can show you how well your campaign is performing, what is holding you back and how you can improve.
Why your company should do a SWOT analysis for PPC campaigns
A SWOT analysis should be considered essential if you are not going to fail your PPC campaigns.
Too often, when brands try to optimize their PPC advertising, they are viewing their campaigns in isolation. They only analyze their own keywords, bids, and landing pages. Your PPC campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum, however.
They are competing with hundreds of other brands for the same estimated three or four places.
A SWOT analysis helps you understand external factors that can affect your PPC campaigns. Things like competitors, the economy, and the health of your industry can all affect the performance of your ads and the likelihood that someone will buy when they click on them.
They also identify new opportunities for your campaign. That could double what you are good at or fix one of your weaknesses. Once you determine what works and what doesn’t, it’s much easier to put together a plan that involves more than just increasing your bids.
Ultimately, it will help you see your PPC campaigns differently. Despite the abundance of advice on optimizing PPC campaigns, it is easy to get stuck in the routine of searching for keywords, testing new ad copies, and creating new landing pages.
There is a lot more you can do to improve your campaigns and a SWOT analysis will help you take your PPC campaigns to the next level.
How to do a SWOT analysis of your PPC
All you have to do is sit down and discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your campaign. They are usually displayed on a 2 × 2 grid.
However, you can just make a list under each header if that is easier.
It can be helpful to have a goal in mind when starting your SWOT analysis.
By the time you focus on your PPC campaigns, you have already narrowed your focus. However, can you get an even clearer picture of what you want to achieve?
You might want to find out why your PPC campaign isn’t getting as many sales as your Facebook ads, for example. Or, find ways to maximize the already profitable channel.
It is best to do a SWOT analysis with more than one person. The more views and opinions you can capture, the more fully you can develop an image. You can brainstorm together or complete the analysis individually and come together at the end to share your thoughts.
Finally, try to keep things as even as possible while brainstorming. If you have 10 strengths, you will find 10 weaknesses. Find a threat for every occasion. You get the picture.
SWOT analysis S: Strengthen
First, make a list of all the strengths of your PPC campaign. Strengths are all internal positive factors in your PPC endeavors.
For example, you might have a great ROI or a high Quality Score. Covering hundreds of relevant keywords can be a strength as well as your click rate or bounce rate.
Also, think about the advantages you have over the competition. For example, this could be the PPC agency you work with. It could even be the quality of your products or the strength of your brand. There’s no reason to limit your strengths to things that are specific to your PPC campaign.
Don’t be humble here! Now is the time to boast, if there ever was one.
SWOT analysis W: weaknesses
Next, examine the weaknesses of your PPC campaign. These things that you control are preventing you from increasing your ROI and generating more sales. These could also be things that your campaign is currently missing, such as: B. A / B tests.
But it could also be bigger weaknesses like a small budget or a lack of PPC experts.
Remember to only include things in this category that you are in control of. A bigger, better financed competitor is not a relevant weakness of your campaign. Operating in a very competitive market is on the other hand. You cannot control your competitor, but you can choose not to compete. Or at least not compete directly.
When in doubt, look at your strengths area and think the opposite.
SWOT analysis O: opportunities
Now consider any external positive factors that could improve your PPC campaigns in the future. For example, you could start a new advertising campaign that would drive demand for your product.
Perhaps a competitor is on the verge of bankruptcy or is turning its business model.
Take into account the timeframe for these options. A new marketing campaign can only increase demand for a few months, while continued market growth (like the acceleration of e-commerce) can last for years.
Don’t forget to combine what you’ve done so far by including weaknesses that can be turned into strengths.
SWOT analysis T: Threats
Finally, consider the threats to your PPC campaign. These are also external factors over which you have little or no control. And here you would list the bigger, better-funded competitors that you are constantly outbidding.
It’s not just your competitors that you need to consider, however. What is the market like for your current product? Do consumers shop anywhere other than Google? Could something change that affects your success, for example if one of your employees takes a new job?
It can also be helpful to think about your company and your industry on a broader level. For example, is your product out of date? Or could market changes weaken the demand for your supply?
Visualization and display of your SWOT analysis
There are several methods to view your SWOT analysis.
As I showed above, the most common format for a SWOT analysis is a 2 × 2 chart. This makes it easy to visualize your analysis as a whole as each section is shown in relation to one another.
However, this is not the only way to view your SWOT analysis.
There are many ways to make your analysis more digestible and visually appealing.
Check out this graphical analysis of a Nike SWOT from Business Strategy Hub.
Or this creative McDonalds SWOT graphic from Creately.
If design isn’t your forte, Lucidchart has a SWOT analysis generator that you can use instead.
Make your SWOT analysis actionable
One problem with a SWOT is that it doesn’t produce any actionable results. It just helps you understand where you are right now.
You need to make your analysis actionable.
First, consider the relationship between each section. For example, ask yourself whether you can use your strengths to create new opportunities or whether you can remove threats by improving your weaknesses.
First, let’s examine how you can turn your strengths into new opportunities. Basically, it means doing more of what you are good at. In the example above, we highlighted landing page creation as a strength.
You can make this an opportunity by creating more landing pages for your ad groups. This could improve your Quality Score, decrease your bounce rate, and increase your conversion rate.
Next, identify how you can turn your weaknesses into strengths. In the example above I also listed the lack of a dedicated PPC account manager as a weak point. Assuming you have the budget to hire a new employee, this is pretty easy to fix. Alternatively, you can work with a digital marketing consultant.
Now let’s look at the possibilities. Is there a way to take advantage of the opportunities you have identified? We listed the growth of e-commerce and new products as opportunities above. One way is to increase our budget to take advantage of the growth in e-commerce. Another option would be to create new ads and landing pages for our new products.
Finally, take a look at the threats. You probably won’t be able to change any of these changes outright, but you can find ways to mitigate the threats. For example, if you have a bigger competitor with a bigger budget, you can maximize your ROI as much as possible or target longer-tailed keywords.
Examples of SWOT analysis for PPC campaigns
Are you ready to start your own SWOT analysis? Hopefully you can use my examples as a starting point. In case you need further guidance, here are some more examples of SWOT analysis for PPC campaigns.
The first is from White Shark Media.
You can see that they are getting very specific KPIs for listing ads in both the Strengths and Weaknesses columns. They also do a great job of balancing strengths with weaknesses and opportunities with threats.
The second is from SEMrush and Hanapin Marketing.
This is a much broader approach to PPC SWOT analysis, including product prices and availability. They also do a good job of balancing strengths with weaknesses and opportunities with threats.
A SWOT analysis is a great way to look at your PPC campaign from a different perspective. Remember, your campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do your optimization efforts.
Thinking about your ads in the context of the broader market and economy can help you optimize your campaigns to a level your competitors can only dream of.
Why stop making new ad copies and A / B testing when you can figure out how to capitalize on new consumer sentiment or changes in the marketplace?
What did you discover with your SWOT analysis? Let me know in the comments!