It’s already been decades since advertising has become trackable and targetable due to digital tools. You can see every visit, every click, you can track conversion funnels and build heatmaps with mouse movements.
One of the most popular online ad types today is PPC. We’ve been using it at 10Web for years, and when done properly and creatively enough, results can exceed your expectations.
Now let’s see what PPC is and how you can use it.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is PPC advertising?
- How paid search marketing works
- Benefits of using PPC
- What is quality score & why it matters
- What’s an auction in PPC marketing?
- What is CTR & why it’s so important
- How to effectively develop your PPC strategy
Now let’s get started.
What is PPC advertising?
In digital marketing, PPC stands for pay-per-click․ It includes all kinds of online ads — banners, search ads, video ads, etc. — where the advertiser pays for the number of times users have clicked on the ad and followed the attached link.
Before PPC was introduced, static ads were more common, where the advertiser pays the medium (website owner mainly) to place an ad on the website for a certain period.
And then display ads became a thing: advertisers started to pay for the number of times the ad was displayed to a user (per impression).
The PPC model is perfect for gaining and tracking paid traffic. You optimize the target, budget, and content until you get the best rates and the traffic you need.PPC ads are usually placed through platforms that either have websites with billions of returning visitors or have a network with thousands of partner websites to distribute the ad among them based on the target audience’s interests.
Today, Google Adsense is the most popular ad network with a market share of around 62% followed by Google Ads. These are basically two sides of the same platform; one’s for publishers, and the other one’s for advertisers.
How paid search marketing works
Paid search marketing is a quick alternative to SEO. If you have the time, you can optimize your website so well that you gain just enough organic traffic with constant growth in a couple of months.
But for many businesses this is too slow: a couple of months is too long to wait. And paid ads can get you a quick boost.
This is how paid search ads work: you enter some query on Google, you get your regular top results, but above those results, you often see snippets with the “Ads” mark on it.
That’s a paid search ad.
Basically, the advertiser pays the search engine to get to the top search results in no time. As an advertiser, you need to make sure you’re targeting the best keywords and queries. Check out Google Keyword Planner for Google ads and Keywordtool.io for more platforms such as Bing, eBay, Amazon, Play Store, Instagram, Twitter, but for Facebook and Youtube as well.
Every search engine has its ad placement platform. Check which one your buyer persona uses most and go ahead with the placement.
Since 10Web was established, we’ve always paid more attention to SEO than search ads.
But we’ve periodically run campaigns and are planning on doing it more often in the next stages of our platform promotion.
Benefits of using PPC
PPC is more expensive than SEO or content marketing and less so than traditional ads. It can be the best choice for you for the following reasons:
– Easy to target
You don’t have to know too much about your typical user; just find out what they search for when they need something you can offer.
– Measurable and trackable
Search engines and ad placement platforms know more about your prospects than you do.
Use PPC ads to track how long it takes to convert a visitor. You can even track every step if you’re using multiple ad types in your campaign. Keep reading to see how.
– Compatible with all other ad types
Combining PPC advertising with other ad types is not just possible but often advisable. Today’s tools such as AdStage help you connect your ad campaigns with sales funnels and get comprehensive reports.
You can also connect your PPC campaigns to your Google Analytics account and follow the results directly from your WordPress dashboard with this integrated solution.
– Great for outranking competitors
There’s a never-ending debate in the marketing community: is targeting a competitor’s brand ethical? When the user searches for Pepsi, is it fine if you shove Coca-Cola ads into the search results and convince the to try Coke instead?
To me, it’s perfectly normal.
What is quality score & why it matters
PPC quality score is a Google Adsense term for rating how well you’re planning and managing your ad. The higher your score on the 1-10 scale, the less you’re supposed to pay per click, the higher the expected CTR.
Google Adsense, just like most other ad platforms, cares about your ads’ relevance. That’s how they all keep the users clicking and marketers placing more and more ads.
Your quality score is mostly about ad relevance, and the most relevant ads get the lowest rate at auctions.
What’s an auction in PPC marketing?
When you start a PPC ad campaign, you start competing for the ad spot on content publishers’ sites. The more you pay, the more visible you’ll be. But there’s one difference for online ads. If your ad content (and in case of AdSense, the landing page as well) is more relevant to the target audience than the others’, you can bid lower.
So create great, engaging content with a high quality score and try to get the best price per click out there.
What is CTR & why it’s so important
CTR stands for click-through rate. It’s the percentage of clicks within the number of ad views. If the ad has been displayed 100 times, and users have clicked on it 6 times, then your CTR is 6%.
The higher your CTR, the more relevant your ad is. Apart from lower rates, it ensures you have created interesting and relevant content.
How to manage your PPC ads’ team
There’s a specialization — PPC specialist — in many ad agencies. But is that all? Some think that a dedicated specialist is too much and PPC can be run by other marketing people, and some split the PPC job between narrower specialists.
Let’s see what Nikki Bisel, Owner & Founder at Seafoam Media manages that.
“You’ll hear a lot of the same PPC tips over and over again around the web.
A lot of them are great.
But one of the best things we’ve done recently is split our PPC ad optimization, review, and analysis work between two types of thinkers.
The first is an analytical, data-driven person who naturally dives into the numbers. The second is a more creative, copy-focused person who reviews and tweaks the ad copy.
The data-driven team member will review your standard numbers (CTR, CPA, Conversion Rate, etc.) and find weak spots. They’ll then point the more creative teammate toward the areas that look like they need some more work.
This person can write the type of copy that really emotes and gets a user to feel what you’re saying.”
How to effectively develop your PPC strategy
Just like any other part of marketing, PPC is all about research, planning, and optimizing. You study the product as deeply as possible, and then you get to know your buyer personas and try to see the product with their eyes. Here’s when the PPC strategy planning begins. Now let’s see the process step by step.
Set goals for your PPC campaign
PPC consumes both your time and money, so you need a clear idea of what you’re getting in return. Set narrow goals and KPIs to measure them.
Do you want exposure, recognition, or just sales? What are you expecting? A million clicks? A hundred purchases? Make sure to have all those goals on paper and optimize the ads to stick to them.
Understand your buyer personas and their intent
Who’s your customer? How’s your product or service going to help them? The more you learn about it, the better your campaign will work.
At 10Web, for example, we weren’t clear about our buyer personas at first. Then we combined statistics and personal relationships with our clients to find out that most of them are web development agencies.
What do we do now? We advertise for agency employees and target them with much more specific interests. It works wonders.
PPC ad targeting options
Now that you know your users so well, you should help them find you. There are a lot of options.
If your business is location-specific, you can just target your area instead of wasting money elsewhere.
Do demographics matter to you? If your buyer personas are of a certain age group, gender, nationality, etc, then go ahead and target those. If not, just target them by keywords and interests. In PPC ads, possibilities are endless.
James Pollard, the Founder of The Advisor Coach, shares what he’s learned so far:
“In my experience, the absolute best results from Google PPC ads have come from controlling the placement of the ads themselves. For example, I run a lot of ads for the financial services industry, so I purposefully place those ads on personal finance websites, finance YouTube channels, etc.
Doing this ensures that I’m only reaching people who have demonstrated an interest in the topic. This strategy has performed better than anything else I’ve ever done, even letting Google do automatic placements (which most experts recommend).”
How to develop the perfect ad copy
There are thousands of books, classes, and other resources where you can learn about copywriting. But there’s one essential rule: write as if you’re telling your friends about your product. You know the product’s cool, so just share it.
And keep it brief. There are a lot of cases in advertising where you need a long, informative, detailed copy. But PPC isn’t among them. Here, you have to attract visitors in seconds.
Be clear and to the point. Never forget that users don’t know the product as well as you do; they need to understand what they can get from you, and very clearly.
A pun or a catchy phrase may sometimes work well but you should be careful. Their failure rate is even bigger.
Creating a landing page to convert
Where does a prospect go after clicking the ad? You need a landing page that will convince them to become your customer. How does that work?
First of all, pay attention to page speed. A page that takes forever to load doesn’t look trustworthy.
Second, design a beautiful page. Both user experience and user interface are important. Create a page that’s nice to look at and easy to navigate.
And one of the most important components of a landing page is its content. Don’t pay attention to the word count. Just give the users the information they need in the most appealing light.
So, have you started your PPC campaign yet?
Go ahead and share your experience when you’re done.
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