Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) such as Google Adwords is a very useful way of bringing prospective customers to your website.
Paying for traffic is the most effective method of increasing visitors to your site. PPC complements other marketing methods and the big advantage is that it will reach your target market much quicker.
Setting up an advert campaign can be tailored to your budget and it’s easy to measure. You’ll be able to target your audience specifically and know if they reached your website as a result of an advert. You are in control of the pages your visitors see, so you can sit back and watch your traffic increase.
1. Don’t expect instant ROI
It’s really important to research your target market carefully. Highlight and analyse your online competitors and look for those gaps that competitors aren’t filling, the niches within your market to expose. Be realistic in your expectations. If this is your first time using PPC don’t expect instant ROI.
Usually the first month or two can be used as a testing period to analyse the market and visitor trends. Use as many research tools as possible to look for opportunities combining the use of Google’s keyword tool. Google insights and Google trends will give you the in-depth information you need to target your audience.
2. Track goals not clicks
You should set defined goals for your campaigns. Contact form submissions, document downloads or online transactions, you’ll know what’s important to achieve from PPC. Make sure you fully understand the analytic jargon that is often bandied about.
3. Focus on the right keywords
The most effective keywords are competitive these days due to the number of advertisers online but PPC ads are assigned a position in the sponsored search results by ‘ad rank’. An advert’s ‘ad rank’ is determined by a combination of the keyword bid and its quality score – a score out of 10 based on how relevant the keyword is to the page it is pointing to.
If you create adverts with relevant content, the quality score will increase. Having a higher quality score means you can bid less and still achieve a high ad rank and position in the sponsored search results.
4. Entice the user
To increase the click through rate (CTR) of your adverts your advert copy should entice the user, offering something that is interesting and relevant to their query. Including your keywords in your advert copy means that users will automatically see your ads as relevant and your keywords will appear in bold in the ad copy, making them stand out.
5. Include a call to action
To entice the user to click on your advert you should include a call to action (a reason for them to click the ad). This helps give the user a sense of direction. To really make your ad stand out it is important you separate yourself from the competition. Having something extra to offer the user will increase your ad’s popularity.
6. Watch your conversion rates
Having a good conversion rate is the most critical factor of PPC. There is no point in having your target audience visit your website if they aren’t converting into sales/leads. To increase customer conversion you should make it as easy as possible for them to buy, so instead of leading them directly to your homepage, try to select the most relevant page for them to land on.
7. Make it easy to buy
Make sure your options to buy are clear and easy to use. Difficult checkout pages and those pages with no clear message often confuse visitors so ensure your website is quick! Slow loading pages can leave users frustrated and they will be less likely to return.
8. Watch out for click fraud
Search engines are continuing to develop programs that monitor click fraud, looking at click patterns and ads that have a spike of clicks or any other unusual behaviour that could be suspicious. Setting your campaigns to run only in the areas of the world you want them to will help reduce the risk of click fraud. Keeping up to date with the click forensics click fraud index will also give you all the statistics and figures surrounding click fraud. The report is produced every quarter and outlines the percentage of click fraud in particular areas.
9. Target keywords around your strengths
Although PPC can bring about quick results it is still an ongoing development for many companies, you should always be monitoring and optimising your campaigns for better performance. The best way to integrate your PPC campaigns into your existing marketing activities is to understand your target audience and how to address them through PPC. Look at where the strengths are within your business and target keywords around that area or subject, from this you can then analyse how your key areas perform online.
10. Complement with search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) and PPC complement each other very well, and I would advise anybody looking to make the most of their website to use both of these methods. Paid adverts have become more advanced and, as there is a lot of competition, it is easy to waste your money.
Simply bidding on keywords is not enough to get you good results from paid adverts any more. PPC will always get quicker results than SEO, but SEO secures the long-term sustainability of your website and often produces a higher ROI, conversion rate and click through rate compared to PPC.
Jamie McGrath is search specialist at Chapter Eight Ltd. call 0113 227 0800 or visit www.chaptereight.com
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