It can be difficult to see the ROI for many of the marketing efforts used today, but a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, or paid search, is popular because it is easy to direct your advertising dollars and track results. PPC is a method of advertising where you as the business owner pay a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. You are essentially buying website visits based on the keywords that you choose.
On search engine results pages (SERPS), PPC ads can appear above, and sometimes to the right of or below the organic search results (depending on the search engine). These ads appear based on the keyword you type into the search box as illustrated below.
The Benefits of PPC Advertising Campaigns
Here are some great reasons to use PPC campaigns:
- Your ad appears front and center the moment that a potential customer types your keyword into the search box.
- You only pay when the searcher clicks on your campaign.
- The ad shows specifically to those looking for products or services you are offering.
- You can target customers locally, nationwide, or globally.
- You control your PPC advertising budget.
Four PPC Tips for Beginners (and Frustrated Veterans)
While PPC campaigns can be highly effective, many business owners can struggle with poor campaign management, which leads to wasted advertising dollars and disappointing results. Here are some tips to help you run a successful pay-per-click campaign:
Determine your business goals. Before you embark on your PPC campaign, decide on your business goals. What do you hope to accomplish with this campaign? What actions do you want visitors to take once they click through to your website? How much are each of these desired actions worth? The answers to these questions will help you more accurately measure the success of your pay-per-click campaign.
Choose your keywords carefully. You have several choices when deciding what keywords to use. You can go with the same keywords that your competition is using, which will prompt you to pay more money to compete with others for top spots. Or you can get creative and come up with alternative keywords, including long-tail keywords, to reach searchers. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What terms would they type in to find you? You can also check out your website analytics to see some organic keywords visitors are using to find your site. Click the link for more tips for sniffing out relevant keyword terms.
Also, to make sure people aren’t clicking on your ad even though it isn’t relevant, avoid using the broad match keyword type. Additionally, it is helpful to use negative keywords to cut down on irrelevant clicks. For example, if you sell t-shirts but you don’t offer children’s t-shirts, you can add the negative keyword children’s t-shirts so your ad doesn’t appear when people are searching for that keyword. This will save you money and help you target searchers more specifically.
Direct visitors to the right landing page. Have you ever clicked on an ad only to be taken to a website page that had nothing to do with what was being advertised, causing you to do additional searching for what you want? It happens more than you would think. This is incredibly frustrating to the potential customer, and it can cost you big time because your bounce rate will be high. If you are advertising a product or service (or several), be sure that each ad takes visitors directly to that product or service page rather than a home page or catalog. We don’t want to cause the searcher to have to find their way to your specific offer.
Monitor your PPC campaign on a regular basis and tweak as needed. Setting up a PPC campaign is a good start, but it’s equally important to check your analytics frequently to see if your ad is bringing in the traffic you desire. If not, it may be necessary to modify your target audience, update your keywords, or increase the amount spent on your bid for a short period of time to get the leg up on your competitors.
*image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles