This is a background piece teaching folks about pay-per-click advertising (PPC). It’s also an opportunity for you to become familiar with a bit about Portent’s pay per click management style. If you’re searching for help managing your pay-per-click campaign, please contact us.
Pay per click advertising is a great way to get visitors when you want traffic and you require it now. But it’s risky: With poor setup or poor ongoing management, you are able to spend a fortune, generate many visits, and find yourself with nothing to show for it. This post will provide you with a very high-level view of pay per click advertising, outline some general strategies, and offer a good example of how to proceed, and what to refrain from doing.
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Exactly what is PPC?
PPC, or Pay Per Click, is fairly simple: Search engine listings like Google and Bing allow businesses and folks to get listings within their search results. These listings appear alongside, and increasingly on top of the non-paid organic google search results. The search engine will then be paid every time a user clicks the sponsored listing.
What exactly is PPC: AdWords and Bing ads appear above and below organic search engine results
AdWords & Bing ads appear above and below organic search engine rankings
These ad spots are sold inside an auction. You bid the most amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. Bid the most and you will have a chance of ranking number 1 within these sponsored or paid results. Keep in mind that we said an opportunity. There’s also something called quality score that will impact your ranking. More about that in the minute.
If a person clicks on your PPC listing, they come to your web site with a page you’ve selected, so you are charged an amount a maximum of everything you bid. So, when you bid $1.50maximum around the keyword ‘widgets’, and that’s the greatest bid, you’ll probably appear first in line. If 100 people click your PPC listing, then your search engine or ppc marketing agency will charge a fee a maximum of $150.00.
Why PPC is very important to Digital Marketing
Pay-per-click advertising can generate traffic right away. It’s simple: Spend enough, get top placement, and potential prospects will spot your business first. If folks are searching for the important thing phrases where you bid and you’ve placed a highly-written ad, you will definately get clicks the second the ad is activated.
So PPC advertising is fast: With some systems, for example Google AdWords, you can generate web traffic within a few minutes of opening a free account.
PPC advertising is likewise nimble: Where organic search engine marketing or other types of advertising can lag weeks or months behind changing audience behavior, it is possible to adjust most pay per click marketing campaigns in hours or days. Which offers unmatched capacity to accommodate market conditions and changing customer interests.
PPC can also be a bargain: Sometimes, you will find keyword ‘niches’ in which the most notable bid is a fantastic deal. They are longer, highly specific phrases, that does not everyone could have taken the time to pursue; “long-tail search terms”. In such a case, PPC is a superb option since you can generate highly targeted prospects in your site for a small fraction of the cost of almost every other type of paid advertising.
So, balancing the great and also the bad, where does PPC easily fit in? As being a focused advertising tool.
Why PPC Advertising can be difficult
But PPC advertising can run up costs extremely quickly. It’s an easy task to get distracted by a bidding war over a particular keyword and wind up spending way over your potential return. ‘Ego-based’ bidding, wherein a CEO/marketer/somebody else decides they should be Number One irrespective of what, may cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. Also, bid inflation consistently increases the per-click cost for highly-searched phrases.
This inflation is due to ego-based bidding and also search engines like google themselves, who impose quality restrictions on many keywords. These quality restrictions increase the cost per click regardless of whether no one else is bidding.
Junk traffic could also suck the life out of your campaign. Most, yet not all pay per click advertising services or providers distribute a segment in their budget to many search engine listings and also other sites via their search partners and content networks. When you certainly would like ads displayed on Google or Bing, you might not want your ads showing up and generating clicks from a few of the deeper, darker corners from the Internet. The resulting traffic may look fine in high-level statistics reports, but you must separate out partner network campaigns and carefully manage them if you’re going to get your money’s worth.
Finally, pay per click advertising is not going to scale. If you get increased traffic, you pay additional money in nearly direct proportion to that particular traffic – your cost per click stays constant, and your overall cost increases.
Compare that to search engine optimization, that you invest a set volume of effort or money to obtain a greater rank, along with your effective cost per click drops as you draw more visitors.
The Role of PPC Advertising
Most businesses can’t manage to solely depend upon PPC advertising. It’s too expensive, and bid amounts inevitably climb. But pay per click can fill a few important roles:
Campaign- and issue-based efforts: In case you have a short-term campaign for any new product, service, or special issue, pay-per-click could be a great way to quickly generate buzz. You can start a pay per click marketing campaign within, at most, 24-48 hrs, and you will generally affect the text of your ad mid-campaign, so adjusting your message is not hard. If you need to focus attention for a finite length of time, PPC is ideal.
How does PPC Help Digital Marketing – Very Limited Time Offers
Direct-response business: Should you sell a product or give a service that folks can buy as soon as they come to your online site, pay-per-click is a superb tool. Online shops are a great example: You realize that each click generated is a real potential customer, so spending money to improve the number of clicks is practical. Staying as prominent as is possible within a search result equates to immediate ROI, so you may never desire to turn it off. You or your agency are merely testing and optimizing to help keep those ongoing costs only possible everyday, and month by month.
So how exactly does PPC Help Digital Marketing – Direct Response Advertising
B2B Awareness: If you provide a service wherein the sales cycle is measured in weeks and months as an alternative to minutes, PPC can sort out visibility and acquiring high-quality users. It is possible to control the ad copy a brand new user sees as well as the content a whole new user is open to for any good first impression. You’re optimizing to cover as lots of the best clicks, as well as the best leads, at the lowest possible cost.
How Can PPC easily fit in Digital Marketing – B2B Awareness
Niche terms: Should you be trying to generate traffic for a highly specific key phrase, PPC can often provide bargains. For instance, you may not desire to pay for the top bid for ‘shoes’, but ‘mens jogging shoes red and white’ will be a lot less costly. (Think “long-tail search terms” from above.)
Product Listings: If you sell a catalog of items, search engines like google like Google and Bing offer a specific ad type called product listing ads or PLA’s. These ads highlight your product or service, including a product image, and have become a lot more prominent searching results in the last year or two. These ads can perform wonders to attract potential prospects who are trying to find what you’re selling.
How Can PPC Fit into Digital Marketing – Product Listing Ads
Remarketing: A platform like Google AdWords often allows you the capability to create audiences of users that have already visited your internet site. You can create and target these audiences with tailored ads, including image and video ads. If you wish to get users who definitely have visited but haven’t devxpky25 on your part to return and create a purchase, remarketing can be a cost-effective tactic to improve profits. If you’re not running remarketing as part of your digital marketing and PPC, odds are you’re leaving cash on the table.
The overall guideline? Focus, focus, focus. Organic search engine optimization is actually a PR-based, long-term make an attempt to improve your brand name and image. Pay per click advertising, however, needs to be handled like all other form of paid advertising: proactively, along with a precise, quantifiable short- or medium-term goal in your mind. Quite simply: pay attention to conversions, not merely clicks.
Making it Work: Conversions, Not clicks
How would you engineer a successful pay-per-click marketing campaign? If you are paying more focus on conversions rather than clicks. Keep five rules in mind:
1. Track Conversions
In order to remain on budget, you have to track conversions. What’s a ‘conversion’? It’s at any time visitors to your site needs a desired action. Types of conversions could be:
Visitor creates a purchase
Visitor completes a sales inquiry form
Visitor downloads a white paper and registers
A conversion doesn’t must be a sale. But a conversion has to be worth something to you personally. If you can’t imagine any measurable, useful outcome of a trip to your web site, usually do not pay for pay per click advertising advertising – there’s no point.
Google and Bing provide basic conversion tracking within their ad platforms, yet not for revenue. Take a look at Google Analytics for any free tracking system that will allow you to measure conversions from all of PPC sources and let you track traffic, revenue, and conversions. If you’re a leads based business, you may also be considering a scalable CRM or customer relationship management system like HubSpot, which enables you to specify when and in case a lead became a customer, to be able to clearly identify which ads are turning into real revenue.
2. Manage Your PPC Dollars: Set a wise Budget
A lot of folks ask us simply how much we typically invest in clients’ PPC campaigns. There is absolutely no ‘right’ amount; everything depends on your circumstances and goals. A good formula, though, is:
cost per click is under: conversion rate x total clicks x profit per conversion
Put simply, the total amount you spend per click ought to always be below the whole profit earned per click. Let’s say, by way of example, that we’re spending $1.00 per click to take customers to our own (totally fictitious) bicycle shop website.
We know that 2% of these visitors contact us regarding products, and this 30% of those potential clients actually purchase something. We also understand that we average $10.00 profit on those purchases. Finally, we also realize that we receive 200 clicks a month.
That puts our pay-per-click campaign in this light:
.6% x 200 x $10.00 = $12.00
So, I’m only earning $12.00 monthly on my small PPC campaign, but it’s costing me $200.00. I need to reduce my cost per click, a lot, or cancel the campaign altogether.
Don’t make this a difficult-and-fast rule, though. While your initial, direct make money from your PPC campaign may disappoint, you may be acquiring loyal customers. Ask yourself: Should your specific business track simply the first sale, or can you exercise a typical customer lifetime value?
Returning to our bicycle shop example: At this point, we’re willing to cancel our PPC account and never look back. But we dig a little deeper, and see that customers acquired from your PPC campaign spend another $800 each, each year, on higher-margin items that deliver an average profit of $200 per sale – we’re getting loyal, long term business. That changes the image significantly:
.6% x 200 x $210.00 = $252.00
Suddenly, our PPC campaign can be a narrow but definite success. We’re earning $52.00 each month (126% return on ad spend).
In the event you can’t get these kinds of precision, pay attention to your metrics over time: In case your sales, leads, or other desired visitor actions increased immediately after you began your pay-per-click campaign, chances are you’re on the right course.
But when you’re selling a product or service, we strongly recommend that you just invest the time and effort to collect this data and crunch the numbers – it will pay off in the end.
For more inspiration or guidance on how to set your PPC budget, this blog post passes through the exercise in greater detail.
3. Find Niche Keywords: Long-tail Keyword Strategy
Plenty of folks aim their ads on the broadest possible terms, for example “dresses,” or “bike parts,” or “search engine optimization.” Since the broader terms get a lot more searches, it’s a strong temptation – by using a big disadvantage. Since everyone bids on the broad terms, the charge per click is usually extremely high. And the possibilities of a conversion, even when someone clicks your ad, are lower.
Focus instead on narrow, more specific keywords: ‘Bridesmaids dresses’, ‘road racing tires’ or ‘Seattle search engine optimization’. These terms will cost less, and searchers who utilize them will be far very likely to buy.
Google, Bing, and many other PPC platforms will highlight estimated cost per click and total searches every day for keywords – use these tools to test for the best focus, cost, and click-through combination.
4. Good Writing: Don’t Ignore It
Most pay per click advertising advertising necessitates that you write a few short, descriptive phrases concerning your service. Don’t underestimate the significance of this – be sure, at a minimum, your grammar, spelling, and overall language is correct and ideal for your audience. Also, verify that the language adheres for the rules enforced with the pay per click advertising platform – Google, by way of example, won’t allow ads with superlatives (“the best,” “the greatest,” etc.), with repeated keywords, or with excessive capitalization.
As one example, this may not be so great:
Precisely what is PPC – Illustration of Bad PPC Ad
This is much better:
Exactly what is PPC – Instance of a Good PPC Ad
5. Opt for quality
Remember what we should said at the outset of this article? Google and Bing have this nifty thing known as a Quality Score. They examine:
Your website landing page copy
Your click metrics
Your on-site usage metrics
And a lot more
Based on how well you’re doing on all of these factors, all of and that is a sliding scale, search engines like google will either increase or lower the bid amount necessary so that you can acquire a specific position.
If you need a high quality score, you need to:
Develop your history. The longer you’ve run a specific campaign, ad group, and ad without changes, the better your history. When you move to a different account, all of your history goes POOF and you have to start out over. So don’t move if you do not absolutely have to.
Never stop testing ad copy. Constantly test ad copy to get the best click-through rate. A greater click-through rate will most likely provide you with a higher quality score. Achieving this efficiently with hundreds or 1000s of ads may warrant getting an agency’s help, or hiring a professional yourself, but it’s well worth it.
Put keywords inside your ads. If you’re getting the phrase “espresso machine,” make sure “espresso machine” turns up in the ad.
Put keywords on your website landing page. Ensure that the page which you’re pointing your PPC ad has those keywords, too.
Split good keywords from bad ones. Put high-performing ads and keywords in their own individual campaign. Otherwise, the negative performers will drag across the good ones. Iterate in the high-performers, while keeping testing.
Focus!!! Focus your campaign by time of day, geography, search network, et cetera. Should you don’t know what this means, you need to employ someone that does. Like us, maybe. Just sayin’.
Quality score can easily reduce costs by 20-30%, or maybe more. An unsatisfactory quality score can knock you right from the rankings, too.
Adjust, Adjust, Adjust: A Corollary
This isn’t a great deal a rule as an overarching concern – usually do not set up your ads and after that overlook them. That’s a surefire approach to overpay and underperform. You need to continuously manage your PPC marketing campaign, or:
Someone might outbid you.
Someone could have dropped out of your top spot, meaning it is possible to decrease your bid and maintain a #3 rank.
Search patterns may have changed.
If search patterns change as well as your keywords are searched more infrequently, don’t immediately change your campaign – wait at least a few days to successfully aren’t visiting a statistical ‘blip.’ But keep watch over things, always, or you may find yourself spending money unnecessarily. Also a well-designed campaign needs to be reviewed and adjusted weekly.
A Simple Case Study
Good PPC advertising management is surely an art form. Here’s an example of one Google ad (modified to protect the innocent) which we edited for any client several years ago. Their original AdWords spot read:
Affordable Bicycle Parts
Order online today
These ads didn’t perform well – their ranking, clickthrough and sales were very, lousy. Why? Three good reasons:
First, the ad is way too general – someone trying to find a bicycle part on Google will likely search for the precise part, not for sites that sell everything.
Second, the ad doesn’t make any strong value proposition – anyone advertising on Google can most likely take my order online, today.
Finally, the ad doesn’t optimize for your search terms utilized to discover it.
The end result? These folks were paying about $1 per click for a #1 rank, with 800 clicks daily and under a 1% conversion rate plus an average profit per order of $6. Absolutely no way of creating any profits with that type of performance:
1% clickthrough rate
1% conversion rate
800 clicks daily
800 clicks * $1.00 per click = $800 cost per day
.01 * 800 * $6 = $48 profit daily (106% return on ad spend)
Not proficient at all. Here’s how you changed it. We developed four ads, each focusing on a single keyword combination or group:
An Entire Selection, Delivered Overnight!
Shimano STI Component Sets
Overnight Delivery on Dura Ace.
Tubular Racing Tires
Continental, Michelin, Delivered Overnight!
Phil Wood Bearing Grease
32oz Jars and Cases Delivered Overnight.
Each ad targets a keyword combination (from the title) that we found is searched a lot more than 50 times each day. A number 3 rank for every ad cost $.15 per click or less during the time. Within a few days, their performance looked similar to this:
12% clickthrough rate
8% conversion rate
200 clicks per day
Average profit per order: $6.00
200 clicks * $.11 per click = $22 cost each day
.08 * 200 * $6 = $96 profit every day
The bids we placed earned them a #3 rank, but their high clickthrough percentage bumped them around the #2 or #1 destination for every keyword and phrase (see ‘Play into the future In Third’, about the previous page, for the explanation).
This was a good turnaround built on basic principles: Good niche keywords, solid writing, an intelligent budget, and intelligent placement. By working on conversions, rather than clicks, our client got a much better result.
PPC Tools You Need to Know About
Whenever we first wrote this piece, PPC was easy enough: Bid. Click. Measure. Adjust.
But there are a variety of offerings around. Each is a chance to cut costs, grow sales, or target niche customers better than ever before:
Remarketing lists for search ads aren’t that new. However if you’re a newbie, you may possibly not know about them. Use RLSAs to concentrate on special ads and bids to individuals who have previously visited your site.
AdWords Customer Match allows you to target customers according to a preliminary listing of e-mail addresses. Upload your list so you do things like serving different ads or bidding a different amount according to a shopper’s lifecycle stage. Serve one ad to an existing customer. Serve another to your subscriber. Etc. Facebook offers a similar tool, but AdWords was the very first appearance of e-mail-driven customer matching in pay-per-click search.
Make sure to have a look at Bing Ad Extensions. We’re particularly satisfied with their “images extension”, which allows you to attach as much as six photos or any other images to your single ad.
Both Google and Bing have call extensions that let users click-to-call through your ad. Again, not so new if you’re from the know, but when you’re unfamiliar with ppc firm, take a peek.
When you operate a brick-and-mortar or appointment-driven business, look at Google AdWords Call Only campaigns. They let you bid for phone calls as opposed to clicks.
Pay per click advertising is currently an elementary Internet marketing tool. Very few businesses can pay for to ignore it. But you must stay away from the “more-clicks-is-better” mentality. Give attention to conversions and return on your investment, rather than clicks, and you will build a profitable campaign.
Also, have a look at our free digital marketing training and ebooks. PPC for Business is an excellent place to start.