Digital Marketing Advice – Pay Per Click Advertising

Posted: May 10, 2010 in AdWords, Digital Marketing, Pay Per Click, PPC, SEO
Tags: , , , ,

There are two ways for your business to capture people when they are searching for your products online.  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), or Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.

SEO is the process of optimising your website via the on page content, title tags, and linking strategy, to ensure your site appears high within the search engine rankings.  Pay-Per-Click (AdWords, Sponsored Links), is where you buy space via an online auction system.  This article is going to focus on the later.

PPC is one of the most effective ways of attracting highly qualified traffic to your website quickly.  Your business, via a short text-based ad and a link to your site, is displayed within the Sponsored Links section of the search engine results pages, or SERPs, when people search for terms related to your products.

Google, Yahoo, and Bing, all provide a paid listings area within their SERPs.  Unless you’re experienced at running a PPC campaign, it’s advisable to start with one, most likely Google given it’s popularity, and then move onto the others once you’ve worked out what you’re doing.

Along with the more often used Sponsored Links ads, ads are available to be placed on Google’s partner sites, or anywhere else someone is willing to pay to have the ads displayed, and this is called AdSense.  Again, I’m going to focus on the Pay Per Click ads.

As a starting point, most small business PPC campaigns can be easily managed within the AdWords interface.  There are a lot of claims from some PPC providers that suggest you need, or should use, PPC software.  That simply isn’t the case.  If your PPC campaign starts to get a little complex, the Google AdWords Editor is free software that is very easy to use, and can be scaled up as your campaign grows.

Before you start your campaign though, there are a few high level areas you need to get a handle on.  Setting up your account will be the easy part, as the online Google interface basically talks you through it step-by-step.

Campaign Architecture – make sure you’re organised.  If you plan to target hundreds of keywords, you need to ensure you can track your spend, and are able to analyse the results easily.  You should sort your keywords into ad groups, that contain as few keywords as possible, so they can target a specific product.  These ad groups should then be sorted into campaigns, to again allow for accurate reporting and tracking.  For example, if you sell Electrical goods, you should have one campaign for a brand, then an ad group for each product.

Be specific – when you bid on your search terms, make sure you’re not just targeting keywords with high traffic volumes.  Why?  Simple really.  These broad terms are the most expensive, and will only serve to drive waves of unqualified traffic to your site.  Eg someone searching for ‘washing machines’, is less likely to buy something than someone searching for ‘best Fisher and Paykel washing machine deals’.

A/B Testing – the purpose of the short ads you’ll have to write for your campaign, is to induce those people searching for your products, into clicking through to your website.  You need to ensure the text ad is alluring to the buyer, and that it stands out from the others.  One way to do this is to test multiple ad copies against each other.  Once you have a large enough sample size, maybe a couple of week’s worth of testing, keep the best performing ad, and then introduce some others.  Over time, you’ll get better at identifying which aspects seem to work the best.

Landing Pages quite a few people make the mistake of sending all of their AdWords traffic to their websites homepage.  If your ad group is about Fisher & Paykel washing machines, make the landing page your washing machine page, and more specifically, the Fisher & Paykel washing machine page.  This way, you’re showing the potential purchases the products they are looking for, and will therefore increase your conversion rate.  The next most important part of your landing page is the call to action.  Can they buy now?  Then tell them they can.  If they are to call for a quote, tell them that’s what you want them to do by providing the phone number.  Letting them sit and wonder about what to do next means you might lose them as a client.

Seasonality – unlike SEO which has a long lead in time, PPC allows you to take full advantage of the seasons.  Given the ads can be changed in an instant, you are able to advertise special promotions, or change your ads depending on the time of year, or even the day of the week, depending on your clients past buying habits.

Lastly, make sure your website is something your clients are going to want to see.  The last thing you want to do is to spend hundreds on AdWords, only to have thousands of new visitors turned off by a website that doesn’t provide the right information, and is visually poor.  Get some advice if you have to, but trust me, it could mean the difference between a massive failure, and an undoubted success.

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Comments
  1. […] targeted, highly cost effective Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns comprising tens of thousands of keywords, hundreds of creative and sophisticated […]

  2. […] targeted, highly cost-effective Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns comprising tens of thousands of keywords, hundreds of creative and sophisticated […]

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