- Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing can help coworking operators get in front of a large pool of potential members.
- PPC advertising can help operators attract members, strengthen brand awareness, and generate leads.
- Coworking spaces need to choose their PPC keywords correctly to make sure their advertising is reaching their target audience.
As a flexible workspace operator, you probably have numerous SEO objectives lined up this year. Keyword-rich content, high-value links, on-site reviews, meta descriptions, the list goes on.
But have you ever forayed into the world of paid search?
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can be a valuable addition to any workspace company’s marketing strategy, regardless of whether you’re an independent coworking space or a large brand with multiple locations. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be an expensive or complex process to manage — providing it’s approached correctly.
Next week (March 13th), industry content marketer Cat Johnson will deliver an in-depth online training session focused entirely on PPC, for flexible workspace owners and operators.
As Cat notes, PPC marketing gets you in front of a large pool of potential members. Once you’ve got their attention, you can send them to your website and educate them about your brand and services.
During the training, Cat will be calling on Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces, to teach space operators how to implement PPC marketing. The objective is for operators to learn how to drive traffic to their site, attract members, strengthen brand awareness, and generate leads — all through paid search ads.
Prior to the session, Allwork.Space caught up with Karina to find out some of the fundamental things that coworking owners and operators need to know about PPC.
Choose Your Keywords Carefully.
It’s better to have a small selection of keywords that matter, rather than hundreds of variations of generic phrases. “Don’t just blanket your ad campaign with generic keywords,” says Karina. “Think about what your target audience is searching for. What do they really need or want to know? Once you know that, you can factor in region and search volume.”
Suggested reading: “How to Build a Customer Persona for Your Coworking Space”
To find out what people are searching for, Karina, who leads the digital marketing team at Pacific Workplaces and Cloud VO, recommends going to your best source of research: your own members.
“They are the best source of search terms, because they are the ones doing the searches. They found you, so ask them how they did it!”
Be Prepared to Consider Alternative Terms.
Even if you’re a bonafide coworking space, the term ‘coworking’ might not bring much traffic to your website. In some regions or locations, ‘coworking’ is not as well-known as the term ‘shared office’ or even ‘executive suite’.
“In some suburban areas, ‘executive suite’ is still better known and searched more frequently than coworking.”
That said, it’s worth keeping up with language evolution. Karina has noted a swift change in flexible workspace terminology over the last two years; in general more people are now searching for ‘coworking’ and ‘coworking community’, and fewer are searching for more traditional terms such as business center.
What’s more, niche ‘long tail’ terms are a great way to attract targeted, and more relevant traffic. Due to the specific nature of the terms, these searches happen much less than a generic high-level search — but that means the cost is often much lower, too.
“Look at what people are searching for — do they start out with something generic, like ‘coworking space’ and then add more niche terms such as ‘coworking space dog friendly’? If that fits your space, use it. It’s a great way to refine your terms and catch the right people.”
Your Landing Page Content Should be Concise and Relevant.
“You should not be paying for PPC if your website content isn’t complete,” warns Karina. “An incomplete landing page with irrelevant content is a waste of your money.”
Not only will poor content put potential clients off, it also results in a low quality score which affects your PPC performance.
“Focus on creating a straight line from your ad to the landing page content. For example if your ad focuses on day passes, but your landing page is all about shared offices, it’s not a straight line. We live in a time of clickbait; if your ad misrepresents your page content, you will receive a low quality score, or Google won’t even approve the ad. It’s all about relevance.”
In many ways, the fundamentals of PPC are similar to SEO: your content should be easy to read, relevant, and concise. It should also have headers and a page title, and a clear call to action.
For smaller operators, PPC can seem expensive. How do you compete with larger brands?
“The first thing to do is ask yourself, how much is a new member worth to you?” says Karina. “Every time you sign up a new member, you should take into account your cost of acquisition — otherwise you’re effectively losing money on each member. Then you can work out an average across your members, and that’s your marketing budget.”
For example, if your cost of acquisition is $100, divide that by 30 days to set a daily marketing budget. It’s a great way to set an initial PPC budget, which you can revise later.
Test, Tweak, Repeat.
“I’ve learned a lot through testing, watching what works, what doesn’t,” says Karina. “Above all it’s important to understand what people are looking for.”
Both Google Search Console and Google Trends are free to use, and offer fantastic insights into your sector, and what potential members are searching for.
“Once you’re set up, you’ll need to track your conversions, monitor and tweak on a regular basis. You want to see the return on your PPC spend, otherwise you’re throwing money away.”
Karina acknowledges that it can take time to get used to the tools and mechanics of PPC, but it’s worth the investment.
Top Three Takeaways.
Lastly, Karina offers a quick summary of her top three PPC takeaways:
- Select your keywords carefully. Don’t blanket your campaign with generic keywords. Factor in your region, and add niche terms that fit your space.
- Build user-friendly landing pages. To avoid wasting time and money on PPC, make sure your landing page content is complete, relevant, and matches the search term.
- Track, monitor and tweak. Keep a close eye on your content, keywords and your conversions. Because if you can measure it, you can improve it.
If you want to learn more about how to use PPC ads as part of your workspace marketing strategy, tune into the Coworking Content Training on Wednesday March 13th.