Pay Per Click advertising has changed a lot over the past few years. From simple text ads on Google’s sidebar a few years back to Product Listing, Television, and Video ads today. Additionally, Google also has its own display network with millions of websites displaying Google results and advertising.
No surprise then that Google has dominated the search industry cornering 92.5% of the search market in the UK. The big question most business owners want to know is how can they get a piece of this gigantic pie.
What is PPC?
To start, we have to explain what PPC is. Pay Per Click ads are adverts that you pay for on a click only basis. For example, you want to advertise for the word “PPC Leeds” on Google.
As an advertiser, you will not have to pay Google anything up front. Instead, you will pay them every time someone clicks on your website link from Google using the word “PPC Leeds.” That way, you can control your costs and only pay for results.
What are PPC Results?
Which brings up a great question. What are the results from using a PPC campaign?
While results may vary, here are some statistics from British advertisers over the past few years.
Did you know that according to eConsultancy, over 40% of consumers do not realize that Google AdWords are paid ads? This means that almost half of the UK population will click on Google ads, because they believe they are premium search results.
At Harrison Mann we do not condone tricking the consumer, but this is a tremendous opportunity for marketers. As Google Ads continues to add more prominent ad spots, this number will drop sharply.
That means using PPC ads, will never be as easy as it is right now for results.
The only challenge is that keyword prices are rising. The Cost Per Click (CPC) for some high end keywords like “Online Live Roulette” and “TAC Compensation” stands at £75.02 and £70.19 respectively. This can become prohibitively expensive for companies looking to run a large ad campaign.
For this reason keyword optimisation is so important. A topic, we will definitely discuss later on in this post.
How to Set up a Google AdWords Campaign?
Setting up a Google Adwords Campaign is easy. Making sure that the campaign is getting the right results is the hard part. In the next section, we will cover how to optimise your Google AdWords results.
For this section, we want to focus on creating a quality ad.
First, you need to set up a Google AdWords account. Make sure you verify your email, if you are using a non-Gmail account.
Second, create a campaign. For this example, we will run a Search Network Campaign with Display Network.
In plain English, Search Network, means that your ads will be shown on Google search. Display Network means that your ads will be shown on Google’s partner websites. Both can be effective, and testing the different platforms is not a bad idea to see how they convert.
The final option is new. That is to create a shopping campaign for your Product Listing Ads. Essentially, this helps you promote products that you are selling, where Google allows you to display more information on search, like price, photos, descriptions, and merchant name to help you increase sales directly from Google.
Third, create your ad. This step allows you create the parameters around the ad. Here are some options you need to focus on for this step:
Campaign Name: Since you will be doing some split testing (see below), it is important to clearly label the ad. What I recommend is that you name the ad with a number afterwards, so you can separate out the ad versions you create.
Networks: We discussed this before, but the network you use can influence your ad success rate.
Devices: 25% of searches now happen on mobile devices. If your campaign is not optimized for mobile, you are not campaign ready.
Locations: This probably goes without saying, but where, geographically speaking, your ad is displayed is important. If you own a shop in Hampstead, you don’t want your ads being shown in Greenwich. It would just not have the right impact. The power of local search on Google is strong, and growing every year with Google Plus Local.
Bid Strategy: We will discuss this in more detail under flexible bid strategy. Needless to say, how you pay for clicks is important. Do you want to manually control the bids, or automate the process, so Google’s algorithm can optimize your campaign? This is an intensely personal choice with no right or wrong answer.
Default Bid/Budget: If you do go with a manual strategy, then you need to determine what your maximum CPC is. Do not just go all out cheap and say, £.05 per click. Instead, chose a mid-price point for your industry. Conversely, if you automate your bid strategy then what is your daily budget?
Ad Extensions: Next, the cool ad extensions really help increase your conversion rates. With these ad extensions, you can include locations, phone numbers, and other relevant contact information.
Fourth, setup conversion tracking. If you want to base your bid on a Cost Per Action Model (CPA), then you need to set up the conversion tracking. Conversion tracking is crucial for you to understand what you are doing right and wrong in your campaign. No campaign is perfect from the start. Use conversion tracking tools to ensure your campaign works correctly.
Fifth, consider a flexible bidding strategy. This is a mix between the manual and automated bidding strategy we discussed above.
Sixth, create your ad. The ads here should be short and to the point. As a teacher once told me, we don’t need your entire life story. Just the facts. Prospects are inundated with ads everyday. Have a clear headline and call to action in your ad.
Seventh, determine your keywords. While we could probably do an entire article on keyword research, I will keep this part simple. Use Google’s keyword tools. Between the Keyword Selection Tool and the Google AdWords Keyword Planning Tool, you have everything at your disposal to find relevant keywords that can drive traffic.
Note: If you are having problems with clicks because your budget is a bit low then search for additional keywords that can drive relevant traffic to your business.
How to Improve Your PPC Campaigns?
Now that you have an ad set up, we need to make sure you get the most out of your ad dollars. To do this, we need to optimize your ad to achieve your goals. Here are some of our favorite strategies that we have used over the years to increase the success of our ads on Google.
Ask Your Current Clients Why They Use Your Services. Instead of guessing what to write in your ads, ask your current clients why they use your services. A great way to do this is to offer a survey with a random drawing for a free Tesco or Starbucks gift certificate. Better yet, gas cards are also a good way to get clients to answer.
This way you have a good idea of what your copy should sound like before you start marketing your services on Google.
Test, Test, Test, and Test Some More. In the end, the key to successful advertising is testing. Your clients will give you some great ideas, but they are not always right. Unless you can see into the future, you will never know with 100% certainty what ads will work best for you. The only way to know for sure is to test multiple ads.
While a few different methods work for ad testing, here are two ad test strategies to get you started:
A/B Split Tests – This type of testing compares one aspect of the marketing. Two different versions of the same element are pitted against one another to see which version performs better. For example, testing the headline or changing a single word in the ad copy. It also includes testing for absence/presence of an element. For example, if having a phone number or website link visible increases the conversion rate.
Multi-variant Testing – This type of testing, as the name suggests, is based on testing various components of the ad in one go. For example, you might test out three different headlines going to three different landing pages. Then you can see how well the headline works for driving traffic and how well the landing page does with conversions.
Have a dedicated landing page for your ads. One of the biggest mistakes new advertisers make is that they send their traffic to their homepage. The problem is that sending visitors to your homepage is like directing people towards a money pit. Money goes in, but you have no clue how much will ever come out.
The key to successful PPC campaigns lies in tracking the leads you get from your marketing. To do this, set up a dedicated landing page with a relevant, clear call to action for your customers. Even better, if you test multiple ads, have multiple landing pages for each ad.
This way you can track how the landing pages perform for conversion purposes. It might take you more time to set up, but the insights this brings are well worth the extra hassle in the long term.
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