With Halloween just around the corner, there are lots of things that might give you nightmares. But when you’re alone in the dark, don’t let the fear of these three little letters keep you awake…PPC.
When it comes to marketing your business online, pay per click (PPC) advertising is a powerful tool in your bag of tricks. So, this month we’re going to treat you to some insider knowledge on how your business can reap the benefits.
First things first, what is PPC?
PPC advertising lets you pay search engines (like Google) to show your website to people who search for certain keywords.
There are 4 main types of PPC advertising:
- Paid search – those text ads you see either above or to the right of the main search results in search engines.
- Display advertising – images or videos that you see while browsing websites or apps.
- Social advertising – we all see a vast number of ads on every social media channel, and they’re getting more and more complex.
- Shopping campaigns – when you search for something in Google, you’ll see a row of links taking you directly to the product.
When done right, a successful PPC campaign can create new leads for your business, increase brand awareness and have a great ROI.
Here’s how to do them right.
Setting up your ad structure
Creating your own ad can seem daunting, but with so much competition out there it’s worth investing in.
A successful PPC ad is a mix of technical know-how and creativity!
The first thing you need to do is create an advertising campaign to advertise a particular category of products or services. For example, if you have an online furniture store one category could be ‘lighting’.
Within this category you will create subcategories, these are known as an ad group, which would contain the different types of lighting you want to advertise.
Within each ad group, you can create different types of ads for your product.
Creating a keyword strategy
One of the most important things to consider when setting up an ad is the keywords that you want to bid for – these ensure that your ad gets shown in the right place to attract potential customers to your website.
Start by thinking of the search terms that people might use when looking for your product. Then research your industry online and use a keyword planner (like the one Google has for free here) to identify what sort of keywords people are searching for.
These tools can tell you how many searches there are in a certain period of time, and what the competition for them is like!
Chances are that some of the keywords you want to rank for are already being bid on by competitors, maybe even some big global players, and therefore cost more per click.
This is also where ‘long-tail keywords’ come into play – using a series of words for one keyword search. These also tend to have higher conversions, as they’re more specific. Someone searching for a ‘navy, easy-fit ceiling light’ will be closer to purchasing than someone searching for a ‘lampshade’.
Top tip: Make use of negative keywords! These help you exclude searches with certain words, such as ‘free’. This way your ad won’t be shown to people searching for ‘free lamp shade’ :).
Research and a carefully thought-out keyword strategy are essential for identifying gaps that could be profitable for you!
Defining your audience
Once you have your keywords sorted, the next thing to do is decide who you want to show your ad to. This requires a lot of thought about who your target audience actually is!
You can target specific demographics like age, gender, geographic location and parental status. You can even drill down people who have shown an interest in particular topics or websites like yours.
It’s the combination of these categories that lets you target the right people!
After you’ve set up the structure of your ad campaign, you need to make the advert(s) that will be shown to your audience to capture their attention and get the results you want.
The most important thing to get right is your ad copy.
It must include some of your keywords, your value proposition and a strong call to action. You don’t have a lot of space to get your message across, and the competition can be fierce.
For display ads, eye-catching imagery is also essential. Utilise video, strong graphics and photography to appeal to your audience!
Optimise your landing page
Creating a well-structured and impactful ad takes work, so don’t let it go to waste by sending people to a landing page that is difficult to navigate or looks unprofessional.
Once potential visitors land on your website, you have to make sure that it delivers on the promises made in the ad. Make sure it reflects what you were advertising and makes it as easy as possible for people to do what you want them to, whether that’s make a purchase or join your email list.
Get the basics right and watch your conversion rates soar!
Setting your budget
After you create and submit your ad, you’ll pay a fee each time someone clicks on it. It’s known as your CPC (Cost Per Click).
The fee you pay depends on several factors – the competition and the quality score of your ad are two important ones. For Google Ads in particular, your Quality Score has a big impact. It’s based on everything from the relevance of your keywords to the quality of your landing page.
A higher quality score means better ranking and lower costs!
There’s certainly a lot to learn with PPC, but once you have it in your marketing toolkit, you’ll never look back! When combined with SEO, content marketing and a solid marketing campaign – it has the power to win you new leads and conversions.
Get in touch if you’d like support in strategising keywords, creating awesome visuals and crafting the content that gets you seen! We promise it’s not too scary!