As its name would imply, Pay-per-click or PPC advertising, is a form of search engine marketing where advertisers pay according to the number of times their ad is clicked on. When using a PPC model, advertisers can bid to have their ad appear on the search results page when someone searches for a specific keyword that is related to their business’s offerings. This model of search engine marketing allows businesses to gain traffic to their sites by paying for it, instead of earning it organically.
Major search engines each offer their own program for PPC. The most popular of these programs is Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) which accounts for around 80% of the total PPC advertising revenue. Other well-known programs include Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini. While these programs aren’t identical, they share plenty of similarities, and therefore, there are some general rules to consider when formulating a successful PPC advertising campaign. The following article will cover eight of these top tips.
1. Choose the right keywords
Obviously, you want your ads to be seen by the right people. In order for this to happen, it’s imperative that you’re using the correct keywords in your strategy. Your keywords will make the foundation of your campaign and will be the largest factor in determining its success. When establishing your keywords, consider factors such as competition, price, location, and relevance. Take advantage of tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Bing’s Keyword Research Tool.
2. Write a professional, effective copy
No one will want to do business with a company that doesn’t appear professional on the search results pages. Furthermore, no one will be tempted to click on an ad that isn’t formulated with the consumer in mind. In order for your ad to be successful, it has to be compelling. For example, ensure your ads are up-to-date, specific enough to capture the attention of the right audience, and cater to the user’s end goals.
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3. Target ads to a specific location
You want your ads to reach the right consumers, and this means people in your target location. If you’re a local store, you’re going to want to make sure your ads are only being shown within a certain perimeter of your store, whereas national businesses will want their ads to be seen across the country. Luckily, PPC advertising programs have features for location targeting.
4. Endure ads are being displayed at opportune times
In addition to location targeting, PPC advertising programs also offer scheduling features that put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to when your ads will be displayed. To know what hours work best for you, you must get to know your potential customers. If your business is B2B, perhaps a 9-5 ad schedule would work best at capturing your clientele. However, B2C businesses will have to do some research into the habits of their target demographics to see when they’re most likely to be online.
5. Make use of device targeting
Google Ads now allows businesses to target consumers that are using specific devices. This allows you to ensure your ads are structured properly for either mobile or desktop and adjust your CTA accordingly. For example, a mobile-targeted ad may be a call-only ad, where the user can simply click on the ad to make a direct call to your business. Obviously, when it comes to ads like these, it’s especially pertinent to have them displayed during your hours of operation (as per tip #4). This is just one more helpful specification to ensure you’re doing everything you can to get seen and heard by the right consumers.
6. Make sure your landing pages are optimized
When users see your PPC ad and click on it, they’ll be directed to a landing page. This page must be optimized to ensure you reap its benefits, and that potential customers aren’t turned off after clicking on your original ad.
First and foremost, landing pages need to be relevant and give visitors what they want. This means the information they searched for. Landing pages need to capture the attention of the consumers immediately. It should convey the USP of the business, provide a thoughtful and relevant CTA. Also, it should be responsively designed to format to whatever device they’re being viewed on. Landing pages should also look professional with quality background stock photos and graphics.
There are plenty of free stock photos to take advantage of. So, there’s never any excuse not to have professional images! While the first click on the search results ads was the first step in the right direction, the landing page can make or break.
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7. Use ad extensions
All major PPC advertising programs offer ad extensions, which simply give you more space on your ad to provide potential customers with further information. This could include a button to call, more information on your offerings, location details, links to specific pages on your site, etc. Extensions are usually free to the ad and are charged at your existing cost-per-click rate. Using extensions is proven to increase your ad’s click-through rate, helping to boost your campaign even more.
8. Keep re-evaluating and adapting
Like any marketing campaign, your PPC advertising campaign should be continually improving based on the feedback you receive. Are your keywords performing as they should? Are you getting the conversions you should be? Is your CTA effective enough? Pay attention to your Analytics to evaluate how you’re performing and change your campaign as needed.
PPC advertising campaigns are fabulous ways to optimize traffic to your site, maximize your business’s exposure, and increase your sales. However, it’s important that your PPC campaign is functioning as it should in order for it to be as beneficial as possible. The above tips will set you on the right path for PPC advertising success. Checking and abiding by the Google ads policy are required to prevent your website from getting a penalty such as “two-click penalty“; Publishers have been complaining about being penalized without them knowing.
This article is written by Michelle O'Riordan. Michelle is the Marketing Associate at Design Wizard. She spent four years studying Media Studies in Dublin Institute of Technology before completing her Master’s Degree in Marketing and Management at University College Cork. She’s delighted to work with such an exciting design software company and is eager to help Design Wizard continue to grow. Michelle is a dog lover. She enjoys going on hikes with her four-legged friend, traveling and going to the cinema (mainly for the treats).