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The 4 Phases of PPC Campaigns For a Biotech Company: A Step-by-Step Guide

ppc research - San Diego, CA

Pay per click for biotechnology companies relies on competition like many other marketing channels. So step one is to get some broad competitive research going. There are a few ways to go about this. You could look at the keywords that your competition is targeting, or you could track how often those keywords are appearing on their ads. Additionally, you can look at where their traffic is coming from (organic or paid) and compare it to yours. This will give you an idea of where they’re investing in their marketing campaigns, and what might be more effective for YOU.

Stage 1: Competitor Macro View & Individual Metrics

We like to layout all competitors in one tab initially to get a macro picture of which are strongest online.

competitor research biotech - Adwords


Based on the image above you will see we lay things out based on:

  • Common keywords – keywords that our business is already bidding or or ranks for in the search engine. This tells us which competitors are closest to us in terms of earning similar audiences.
  • Adwords keywords (total per month) – all paid search keywords per each domain. This tells us how many keywords and what type of monthly budget estimate is involved.
  • Adwords traffic (month) – estimate of the amount of traffic each domain is getting specifically through the PPC channel only.
  • Adwords cost (monthly) – estimate of the budget per month each domain spends to get traffic.
  • Organic keywords (monthly) – all organic (free) search keywords per each domain. This can help us see if the competitor is strong in search overall or strictly just in one category.

We then break the document down to reflect each domain in more detail. This is where you can learn insights into what messaging they are using, the exact cost per keyword and position there ad is ranking in Google.

keyword research ppc

This document is more useful to help get an edge and speed up the process of understanding what Google likes. I.E. Keep an eye on common repeated USPs you find such as; “Award-Winning” or “Easy To Use”. These might be common because the advertisers have split tested and realize this drives a lot of engagement (clicks + conversions).

Stage 2 – Keyword Research

Now that you have a good idea of which companies are deploying PPC and strongest and their respective messaging and position you are poised to do PPC keyword research. The best tool is directly through Google called the “Keyword Planner”. Once you have the keyword list, it is important to sort them into 3 different buckets:

1) Long Tail Keywords – these are keywords that are not typically found in a search bar but can be valuable because there is high competition for them and they get less traffic. This group should only comprise 1-5% of your total ad spend.

2) Niche/Targeted Keywords – These are relatively specific (based on what your business does) and receive a lot of traffic due to how niche the topic can become over time. They make up 20-50 % of your total ad spend.

3) Broad Keywords – These are more generic keywords that can be used for any product or service and receive a high amount of traffic due to how much demand there is for them. They make up 75-90% of your total ad spend initially but over time you will pause what is not working and double down on what is.

Once you have this sorted, it is important to create “Cost Per Click” (CPC) bids on each keyword based off what Google has estimated as the average cost per click ( CPC ) for that keyword class.

Stage 3 – Keyword Mapping

Once keyword research is finalized and approved you will move into the keyword mapping stage. This stage is vital as it categorizes you keywords into primary themes (campaign) and further into subsegments (ad groups).

keyword mapping phase of ppc

In the keyword mapping stage you can think of your campaigns as a “keyword funnel” which will show how many people came to your website through the intial step of the marketing journey and what brought them there. Thereafter you can break down the data further into ad grouping and tracking specific click-through rates (CTRs) for individual ad groups, as well as overall campaign performance over time. This is where the experience of a professional PPC specialist comes into play vs just anyone who can follow instructions to setup a basic campaign.

Above is an example of keyword mapping that we launch prior to setup. Lastly, be sure to map out USPs to get the maximum possible click through rates like shown below.

headlines ppc

Stage 4 – Setup Adwords, Tracking & Deployment

The final stage to get things going is to take all of the research and setup within Adwords. Aside from the keywords you will need to setup items such as bid, budget, and target audience. Finally, you will need to set up tracking so you can measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns over time. Make sure the Adwords pixel is firing correctly and all retargeting pixels are setup. Also, link your Google Analytics account and again be sure to triple check your Adwords tracking code so you can measure which keywords are working best, as well as what other areas of the website might need improvement. Google Tag Manager helps greatly in the process.


When it comes to evaluating whether or not you should try out a PPC campaign for your biotech brand, what is important is that you know where your traffic is coming from. Thus, by knowing how to use this advertising platform effectively, you will be on an amazing path towards success. All these steps will come together and help improve the overall performance of your website if done with precision and care.

Pro-tip: At Cody Bollerman Digital we conduct research around multiple different sectors before finding relevant keyword targets. This way we can assess the market more accurately based off data points (not guessing). Click here to get a free consultation today!

Click here to see an example document template free.