If you have never utilised Pay Per click (PPC) for your business it can seem a little daunting, but don't let this stop you! If you get it right, Adwords can drive a lot of traffic to your website, even with a limited budget, this is the hard part though, getting it right! Often people will attempt to run a PPC campaign without knowing much about Adwords, then they leave it running, forgetting about it and not experimenting, they then complain when they get no leads, visitors or sales from Adwords (what a surprise, right?). But what is PPC?
Pay per click, put simply is ads placed in search engines (most frequently in Google "Adwords") but you only pay if a person clicks on your ad. For your ads to show in a good position in the search engine you bid against other companies for keywords (often searched by users) that are relevant to the product or service you're advertising. If your bid is higher than your competitors, the better position your ad will be in (for example, top of page 1 on Google). Sounds simple right? In theory yes, but a lot of things effect your ad rank (calculated by your bid amount and quality score).
Now we have a basic description of what PPC is, how do we make sure our Ads rank highly? Here are some PPC best practices:
Do your research
This seems like a given, but you'd be surprised how many people don't do this and think they can just blag it. But if you're reading this you're probably thinking "Just shut up, that's why I'm here". So I'll move on!
What do you want to achieve?
A simple question that many people get stumped by "Ummmm, I'm not sure ..." Before you attempt any marketing campaign, no matter how small the budget is, you need to know what the end goal is! Is it sales, brand awareness, generating enquiries, increasing website visitors? The more you know what your goal is the more you can effectively target your ads and evaluate your ads performance!
With this in mind you also need to target the right type of people, for example there is no point marketing your product as "cheap" if your product is not cheap just to improve click through rates. All this will do is cost you money and have a lot of people visiting your site and then leaving immediately when they see that the price is not cheap. So think about your end goal and who you are targeting, this will ensure you achieve your end goal.
The keyword planner and keywords
The keyword planner is a great tool for figuring out what keywords are being searched for by users, average monthly searches, how much bidding competition that keyword has and the suggested bid for that keyword. All this is information you can utilise for your ads, not only this it gives you ideas on keywords related to the keyword you searched for. When it comes to keywords make sure they are specific, for example imagine you're selling running trainers , you wouldn't want your ad to show when someone typed in a generic search like shoes as they may click on your ad, wasting a click. This leads me to my next point!
Negative keywords are a way of telling adwords not to show your ad if someone types that word into Google. Imagine you're selling running trainers again, imagine however that these running trainers are top of the range, expensive and you're trying to market them as a premium product. You wouldn't want your ad to show if someone typed "cheap running trainers" because there is a chance that they could click on your ad, wasting money when they are very unlikely to buy your product! Thus you would use the negative keyword "cheap" to stop your ad showing for this word.
Write a killer advert
Writing a convincing advert sounds easy, but it's a little bit more complicated. You need to convince the customer to click on your ad rather than other ads. Make sure you include the benefits of your product/service don't just list features, use call to actions such as buy now, call now, order etc. Use keywords in your ad, this will help your quality score (more on quality score later) and if the keywords match the search query they will appear in bold.
Quality score is very important in Adwords, if the quality score of your ad is higher you will have a better ad rank and pay less for your clicks. Getting a high quality score in Adwords can be tricky however, there are a few things Google take into account:
- Account level quality score - This refers to Google's bias to older and better performing Adwords accounts, except Google doesn't actually confirm that this exists, but it's well documented that it does. If your account has a history of poor performance or if your account is new you may start with a lower quality score.
- Landing page quality score - The landing page is what page of your website your ad takes you to. The landing page needs to be relevant to your ad, have original content on it and be easy to navigate.
- Ad level quality score - When considering your ad level quality score it's important to remember that your ads need to be relevant! Make sure the keywords you're using are relevant to the ad! One major bit of advice I would give is to only use a few keywords per ad, this keeps it as relevant as possible.
If your service is location specific make sure you use location targeting in Adwords, this allows you to target specific geographical locations using a radius which is really easy to use and only show your ad in those specific locations.
Test and measure
The best bit of advice I can give you is to always be trying new things, if something isn't working, adapt it and measure the results. You shouldn't just leave campaigns running without checking them regularly, do this and you may as well be throwing money out the window. Pause keywords and ads with low CTR, adjust your bids, try different keywords etc. a bit of experimentation and you will hit the right balance!