The next generation of online marketing is here, and it’s called Pay-Per-Click (PPC). This topic will teach you how to set up your first campaign from start to finish. We’ll cover topics such as creating an account, bidding strategies, ad copy, bidding tools, and more.
Google Adwords and Facebook ads are two of the most popular platforms for driving traffic to your website. They are also two of the most confusing.
Each platform has a ton of settings and can be overwhelming, especially when you’re just starting out. Fortunately, setting up a campaign is easier than it looks.
What is PPC?
PPC (pay per click) is a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) technique that allows companies to pay only when their ad is clicked on. Companies can take advantage of this unique opportunity by creating ads with their target keywords and strategically placing them on search engines and other websites.
The PPC process involves setting a budget, creating an online campaign, identifying a landing page, creating ads and keywords, bidding on keywords, landing pages creation, and monitoring campaign performance.
Benefits of using PPC ads to market your small business
The PPC (Pay Per Click) ads are a great tool for small businesses to get the word out about their products and services. When you buy a PPC ad, it is displayed in search engine results pages, highly targeted to the specific keyword your business is targeting.
The high visibility and low cost of this advertising make PPC ads a powerful way to promote your business online. It’s an easy way to advertise your new website or blog posts or re-target customers who have visited your website but didn’t convert into leads.
Ppc ads are a very effective marketing tool for small businesses. They can help you get traffic to your website, create brand awareness and build links.
Here are some of the benefits that you might enjoy when using PPC ads:
– You can target specific keywords that your audience is searching for on search engines like Google and Yahoo
– The cost per click is usually cheaper than other forms of advertising such as direct mail or print media
– You have the option of setting a daily or lifetime budget so your campaign won’t go over budget or waste money if it doesn’t
Let’s look at some of the benefits:
1. Accelerate your marketing
It is a common understanding that SEO is one of the best ways to generate visibility and traffic to your website, but is also commonly accepted that it takes time. The same goes for building up following and traction on social media. And “Oh my, that number of email subscribers to my newsletter is growing slowly all by itself.”
2. You pay only when users click
When you imagine doing advertising, perhaps what springs to mind is a big billboard with your company logo on it or a TV ad where you present your product. Those types of advertisements are about reaching as large a relevant audience as possible with a standard message. They belong in the world of the CPM economic model: a cost per thousand impressions.
3. PPC is action-driven rather than visibility-driven
So billboards are not the right place to do PPC, but you are not looking for mere visibility either. PPC is used on actionable ads that you find online, like in search engine results, where you are looking for actions, rather than visibility. This corresponds to a different stage in the marketing funnel.
4. You can measure results
All digital advertising is measurable. You measure impressions and views, you measure click-throughs, and if you have set up campaign tracking on your website, you can create an entirely measurable lead generation funnel, making your marketing outcomes predictable, and allowing you to control the number of sales leads you to generate for a certain budget.
5. You can stop anytime
The first version of Google AdWords marketed itself saying that all you needed was five minutes and a credit card to get started. If you want your campaign to be effective, of course, you should spend a little more time on getting it right. What is certain is that you can stop a campaign in less than 5 minutes.
How to develop and manage your PPC campaign
Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach potential customers online. PPC ads are generally simple and easy to set up and can produce quick results. Of course, with any ad campaign, it’s important to adjust and optimize your strategy over time.
There are a few things you can do to develop an effective PPC campaign. First of all, make sure your Google AdWords account is set up correctly and that you have the right settings enabled. This includes making sure your website is properly verified with Google and that you have already selected at least one keyword.
1. Account setup
Setting up an ad account is really fast and easy. In many cases, you will already have an account with the search engine or social network you want to do PPC advertising on. By going to the advertising section or trying something like ads.nameofsearchengine.com or socialnetwork.com/ads, you will find the ad consoles.
Via your personal account, you can then set up a company profile by adding the company name and billing information. This is where you need the credit card, but you can actually wait until launch for this.
Once your account is set up, there are two important steps we recommend. They don’t fit into your “five minutes” launch and you may not need them right away, but doing them now will help you get the best out of your advertising campaigns:
- Conversion tracking: Advertising engines can optimize the way your campaigns are run when they have data to measure the impact. This involves tagging your website with tracking codes. The most important ones will be those involving conversion.
- Audiences: Advertising engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They can manage audiences you build using your website activity and your client and prospect data. They then allow your campaigns to target these audiences.
If you choose to move along without diving into these subjects now, remember to come back to them quickly, as they will drive better performance for your campaigns. For now, create a campaign and set a budget for it.
2. Keyword and topical research
Keyword and topical research are not optional, but in your “five minutes,” you will not be able to do an in-depth piece of keyword research. No problem, you can start with a limited scope now and revisit it later. You’ll want to do that because it is essential that your ads are seen in the right context, and by the right people.
But to just get started, you can use a free keyword tool to find some of your initial keywords, and launch your campaign on that basis. The keywords you should select correspond to this question: “What words are my prospects using to express a need for which my service is the answer?”
Your home page was built so that users who do not know your business can easily get an understanding of who you are, what you do, and where they can find more information or engage with you. For a search campaign, that is not the right place to send traffic. A landing page is a page to which you send traffic from your PPC campaign.
It may be a good idea to build specific landing pages for your campaigns to optimize the user experience, but you may also already have pages on your website that can be a good match. Ask yourself the following question for each of your keywords: “Which page is the best answer to a search query for this keyword?”
4. Ad copy
The third element in your search campaign is the ad copy. It can be one set of ads for all your keywords or one per keyword. The right mix is somewhere between and depends on the similarity of the keywords you have chosen.
Again, ask yourself the question for each keyword or group of keywords: “What is the best message to drive people to my landing page when a user searches for this keyword?” The best practice is to write four ad variations for each ad set.
The final element in your search campaign will feel like the most challenging one because it is more difficult to relate to: You need to set your bids. PPC advertising has evolved a lot since the initial version on GoTo.com where the bids were based on an incremental auction. The more you were willing to pay, the higher up in the search results you would appear.
Google brought major innovation to its advertising engine, something called quality score. Most advertising engines today have something similar. It scores each ad on the basis of its match with the search keyword.
The better the fit, the higher the quality score, and the lower the bid needed for your ad to be a result of that keyword. The advertising engine will often recommend a maximum CPC for your campaign or keyword. You can use a lower bid than the recommended bid, of course. A max CPC means only that this is the maximum price you will pay for a click.
The real campaign cost depends on competitors, quality score, and user demand. Set bids as a cap by asking yourself this question: “What is the maximum price I can accept to drive a qualified visitor to my landing page for this keyword?
6. Campaign launch
You are ready to launch. If you didn’t enter your credit card details in step one, this is the time to do it. Take a deep breath — your five minutes are nearly up — then launch your campaign. Campaigns typically don’t go live immediately.
Depending on ad copy, business sector, and keywords, there can be verifications that need to be cleared before your campaign is active. Perhaps you can use that time to revisit some of the things you did too superficially.
7. Monitoring and optimization
You typically wait for a day before you look at your reporting. This is enough time for the campaign to start and to collect sufficient data to actually see what is happening. The results are probably not what you dreamed of. But the good news is that you can improve them on an ongoing basis. One of the first things to work on is to add negative keywords to remove irrelevant clicks.
After reviewing your keywords to see how well they match your ads, perhaps you can try some more ad variations to see how they perform. Take one of the keywords that are driving traffic to your site, then put yourself in the user’s skin.
Type the keyword, look at the ad, visit your website. Take note of all the things you could improve in that user journey. This is also a good time to think about audiences, conversion tracking, and customized landing pages.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to start your first PPC campaign, please leave a comment below. We’ll be sure to follow up with you!