The world of PPC, particularly to beginners, can be a daunting marketing method that many would choose to ignore. Yet, whilst the advanced marketing skills are important to maintain optimum results, you don’t need to be a marketing expert to have success through paid advertising.
Pay per click has been an increasingly important feature of any online marketing campaign, since Google AdWords was introduced in October 2000. Set up correctly, it can guarantee impressions and increased website visibility, as well as appeal to a larger, targeted audience.
Like the name suggests; as an advertiser, you are paying for clicks – paying for people to access your website.
Whilst SEO (search engine optimisation) improves your website traffic organically over time, PPC gives you immediate potential to start attracting website traffic, which is the reason you have to pay per click.
1. Keyword research
The first, and possibly the most important beneficiary in a pay per click campaign is keyword research. Without it, it is very unlikely that your campaign will succeed.
Spend time thinking about the audience you want to attract and what they are likely to type into search engines to find your service. If you sell outdoor clothing, targeting keyword phrases such as ‘thermal underwear, ‘waterproof jackets’ and ‘hiking clothes’ etc. are likely to be the searchers you want to attract to your site.
As well as using the knowledge of your industry to target keywords, there are a number of free tools to use. Google’s own keyword planner is a particularly useful one to use.
2. Quality ad content
Once users have typed in a targeted keyword phrase, you need an appealing ad to entice the user to click your link, as apposed to a competitor’s.
The typical ad contains 3 lines of text – a title followed by 2 lines of descriptive text. Use this space wisely. Incorporate your keyword phrase within the title, describe the service or product you provide and promote a sale or a special offer. Using numbers and percentages is a useful tactic.
This is the only opportunity you have to attract the user, so make sure you don’t rush the ad, continuously thinking about what would encourage you to click your link over a competitor’s.
It is important to have a budget in mind when using PPC, to ensure it remains a cost-effective marketing technique. To determine a budget, it can be approached one of two ways.
A) Sales – If you are company that sells products, determining a budget should be simple, as you can guarantee you will never spend more than you accumulate. Be sensible with the initial budget and then make adjustments to it following success/failure.
B) Cost/Gain – If you provide a service, or daily/monthly income is hard to predict, calculate to cost to gain ratio. Would spending £1000 a month on extra website traffic provide a return on investment?
If your budget is limited, or you provide a service, PPC can be used to promote a particular event, for example; if you have an upcoming event, use targeted ads to encourage an increase in attendees.
4. Landing page targeting and optimisation
Once you have enticed a user with your ad text, you want to ensure that when they click your link, they aren’t disappointed. If they are directed to an irrelevant page, or don’t find what they expected, they are likely to leave instantly. Not only does this increase your bounce rate, it is a waste of your money.
When creating your ad, you can select a particular landing page that the user clicks on. For example, if your ad is promoting an outdoor jacket, direct your audience to a corresponding landing page selling outdoor jackets. Doing this is the optimum way to encourage a sale.
As well attracting your audience to a relevant page, you should ensure the page is optimised to its highest ability. User experience is an essential element in the conversion process and the likelihood of making a sale. Ensure your product page contains relevant information, images, a clear price, a simple call to action and an easy checkout process.
5. Review and make changes
This is where PPC can become complicated, and it is why experts earn their pennies, however there are elements you can look for that will give you an indication of how the campaign can be improved.
Click through rates (CTR’s) – The click through percentage tells you a lot about your target keywords and how your ads are performing. If your click through rates are above 2%, they are performing well, and the budget could be enhanced. An average CTR is between 1%-2%.
Anything below this would indicate you are making a large amount of impressions, but your advert is not enticing users to click your link. Make edits to your wording and advertise a sale or percentage off a product.
Clicks – How many clicks are each of your adverts receiving? If it is very low, perhaps the targeted keyword phrase needs adjusting. If one particular ad receives a large amount of clicks, consider increasing the budget for this particular ad.
Keyword diagnosis – Use the keyword diagnosis tool included in Google AdWords. This will give you an adequate amount of information about your ads, providing you with information you can act upon. This information can include reasons for your ad not showing, how user friendly the corresponding landing page is, and whether your budget needs to be increased.
Pay per click is a highly effective marketing tool, and despite having highly technical features, a simple campaign can be run that could benefit your company. Follow the tips and advice provided, experiment with your ads and be sure to review it.
If you have any questions about PPC or an existing campaign you are running, contact us and we would be happy to help.