While all aspects of online marketing have their intricacies, I’d argue there’s no discipline as misunderstood and at times underappreciated than pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising.
On the surface, a business owner might get the basics of PPC. These are the ads that hang out at the top of the Google search results page, driving users to specific websites. Entrepreneurs might even understand how the ads are placed: through a complex system of bidding on target search terms.
If you’ve always wanted to know a bit more about PPC and all it encompasses, we’re providing a few tips you can use as a newbie to create an effective campaign — or at least to recognize a good campaign when you see one.
Five Tips for Google PPC Beginners
Keywords Are…Well, the Key
PPC campaigns are comprised of multiple adgroups that target a number of keywords, and these keywords are what you’re effectively bidding on. Certain search terms are more popular and thus more expensive.
In order to remain the most competitive and capture the most consumer eyes, when building adgroups, you must have a tailored keyword strategy based on the consumers you’re targeting. This is much more extensive than simply selecting a handful of keywords; the list should be exhaustive and even include negative search terms, meaning keywords that should not be included in the keywords you bid on.
Your Creative DOES Matter
While it’s true that a lot of work goes into keyword strategy, another vital part of PPC involves the ad creative. Ad text must be succinct yet compelling enough to elicit conversions. Creative must incorporate keywords in order to make the ads relevant to searchers; it should also highlight the differentiators or advantages that separate the product or service from the pack.
SEO & PPC Should (and Do) Intersect
We’ve long-held that PPC and SEO should be pals, and pay-per-click experts in the industry are coming around to this idea as well.
As Michelle Morgan at Clix Marketing notes, an ad’s quality score is affected by landing page relevance, which includes whether the page is optimized correctly. Without some baseline SEO knowledge, your landing pages and PPC campaigns won’t align, and your ad performance will be negatively impacted.
Don’t Set it & Forget It
One misconception that many PPC newbies have is that the hardest work occurs during the set-up phase. In reality, there is a lot of ongoing work that must take place to make the best campaign. This includes A/B and multivariate testing to determine what works best on the campaigns, from the copy to the placement of the contact form on the landing page.
You should also make daily bid adjustments based on business goals, desktop and mobile performance, location performance, time performance, and more. It’s not something you can set up and expect to perform well — you need to analyze and adjust campaigns regularly.
Know Objectives & Options
While Google Adwords gets the most attention in the PPC world, there are several other sites that offer pay-per-click advertising options, including Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can also choose from standard text-based ads or image-heavy display ads. There’s also an opportunity for remarketing — targeting individuals who have already visited your website — as well as a number of different campaign objectives to choose from on Facebook and Twitter.
Basically, when it comes to PPC, you should be aware of your goals and make sure you pick the right type of advertising to meet those objectives.