In the connected world of today one of the primary tools that people use to search online is Google, whether it’s to find the next Christmas present, a nice place to eat or even just the latest news. A Google search is generally most people’s first move when opening up their web browsers. Google gets over a 100 Billion searches every month.
So in the world of digital marketing, creating a good search presence and appearing amongst the top search results for your business category is a primary concern. Generally, creating a good website and social media, providing engaging content, then performing search engine optimisation (SEO) are the ideal methods of creating a lasting search presence. However, SEO is a timely process and does not have an immediate impact on your search ranking.
This is where PPC or Pay per Click Advertising comes into play, providing a platform for businesses to generate traffic to their websites by creating paid Ads that appear on the top most search results. The PPC system is a way that you can target a specific set of keywords and phrases that people can potentially search for, then based on your bid per click, the Ad will be shown for those searches.
Online search advertising or PPC advertising can be a confusing place for new comers and if you don’t figure out how to run and manage your Ads you could end up spending hundreds of dollars on unnecessary clicks that yield no return. Discussed below are some tips to help the ones just getting started with PPC:
- Define your conversion goals: Before getting started with any advertising campaign especially PPC ones, it is vital that you have carefully thought out and defined your conversion goals. What is the aim of your online advertising and what do you hope to accomplish with it? How do you want visitors to react when landing on your page and what action do you want them to take? The conversion goals can vary from simply capturing information about your visitors, generating leads that result in interest to making a purchase on your website.
- Choose the Advertising Platform: Once you have a well outlined set of conversion goals, the next step is to choose the platform you want to use for the online advertising. There are several platforms that can be used for PPC advertising, such as yahoo, Bing and of course Google. Google can generally be the best option to go with considering a majority of searches people make are on Google coupled with the fact they have a great tool to plan, run and manage your Ads – Google AdWords.
- Comprehensive Keyword Research: The next step is to define your set of target keywords. These are the words or phrases that you want your Ads to show up for when people make searches online. Google provides you with several options on how to target keywords, from ‘exact match’ to what is known as ‘phrase match’. Google has also made available various keyword research tools such as Google trends that help you understand keyword search statistics and trends.
- Determine your advertising budget: In order to decide on how much each click is worth to you, it is important to determine what your customer acquisition cost is. Using this you can determine the Return on Investment and hence decide on how much to bid for a top keyword. Look at how many customers you convert (eg: 1 in 50) and how much profit each sale brings to your business. Then using this you can decide on your cost per click.
- Create a convincing Ad & a landing page that converts: Your Ad itself should be very compelling and grab the attention of the reader. Making higher bids to appear on the top of the results doesn’t necessarily mean they will click the Ad. You need to convince them to do it by having an Ad title that addresses their search directly and a description that appeal to them. Create a few versions of the Ad and see which ones yield the better result, this way you can make better improvements on the Ads themselves.
- Keep testing and optimising: You must always keep testing and optimising your Ads, PPC isn’t a one-time thing, but a continuous process. Be aware of search trends and how your customers react to the little changes in landing page and Ad copy. Research on new and improved target keywords while adding in negative keywords that yield unnecessary clicks.