PPC for Beginners
Pay Per Click, or PPC, marketing can do well for even a small company – but how does Pay Per Click work? PPC marketing done right can be an excellent return on investment, but done wrong, it could bankrupt you – there’s no guarantee unless you understand exactly how a PPC campaign should work.
This PPC For Beginners guide will tell you all you need to know about PPC advertising, including the secrets of Google Ads, how to start a PPC campaign, understanding keywords and search engines, and how to make your landing page work for PPC.
Before you venture a penny on Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords), Bing PPC, or any other similar PPC campaign, do a pre-launch analysis of your likely return on investment. PPC marketing using Google AdWords is the most popular means of paid advertising on the internet, so you will be facing competition from rivals who may have deeper pockets than you.
For some types of business, mobile-only search works well – for instance restaurant businesses where customers are likely to look for outlets only near them. PPC using Google Ads can also work well compared to traditional magazine ads. But it’s certainly possible to lose money on a paid advertising campaign if you don’t know how to do PPC properly.
What Is PPC?
So how does Pay Per Click work, and is there any more to it than keywords and a nice landing page? The first question any PPC guide should ask you is when building a paid advertising campaign is what you want to get out of it. Perhaps you are after higher ranking in search results, increased numbers of visitors to your website, more orders, or a higher profile for your brand. You have to ask yourself how you will measure the success of your PPC advertising, whether it’s in increased traffic from search engines to your landing page, or an increase in revenue from sales. PPC management is part of
Essentially, Pay Per Click is exactly what it says – every time someone clicks on your link on a search engine result page, you pay. So to make it work, you must make sure that each click takes your customer to a relevant part of your website – this may be the landing page, or it may be a sales page, a special offers page or a feedback page, depending on your requirements.
Stuart Draper of PPC consultancy Get Found First says: “Put yourself in the shoes of the potential customer getting ready to search for what you sell. What keywords and phrases might they search? Before doing anything else, do a few of those searches yourself. What do you find? Who is advertising? What is their value proposition? What calls to action are they using?”
A Google Adwords agency will be able to advise you on how to do PPC, but it’s worth understanding some of the basic terms and jargon before you start on your PPC campaign.
How To Understand PPC Terms?
This PPC guide will help you to plan your Pay Per Click campaign, but it will be useful if you first have some understanding of the jargon of the business. PPC for beginners can be a challenge because it is ever-evolving, but here are some of the terms you will need to know.
Ad Delivery – The Google Ads setting which affects how quickly Google will use your budget each day. This can affect the time of day your ads are likely to show, particularly if your campaigns are limited by your budget.
Ad Rank – The value used to determine your ad position, calculated from your bid amount and your Quality Score.
AdSense – A Google PPC marketing product that pays websites for showing Display Network ads.
Automatic Bidding – A system which allows you to make your keyword bidding automatic, and set an upper limit, with the aim of getting the most possible clicks for the budget you have allowed.
Bid – The amount that you are willing to pay for each search keyword click.
Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors to your site who leave without clicking through to another page.
Campaign – A set of ads, keywords, and bids sharing a budget, location targeting, or other settings. You can have many AdWords campaigns running on your account simultaneously.
CPC (Cost Per Click) – The amount an advertiser pays a search engine for each click on its advertisement that brings a visitor to its website.
DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) – A feature which allows a user to customise an ad so it includes the keywords contained in users’ search queries.
Geotargeting – Also known as Location Targeting, this form of campaign allows advertisers to specify the geographical regions where their ads will be seen.
Impressions – The number of people who see your Pay-Per-Click ad.
Keyword – A word or phrase used by PPC advertisers to target and display their ads in the sponsored section of a search engine results page for relevant searches
Landing Page – The first page your customer see when they click on your ad to visit your website. The quality of the Landing Page is an important factor in determining the Quality Score of your website.
Long-tail Keyword – A phrase consisting of two or more words which is used to target customers more specifically, reducing search competition and cost per click.
Negative Keywords – A way of controlling the clicks to your website more effectively by stopping your ads from displaying when a customer search contains specific words
PPC Management – A service provided by a PPC agency intended to help a business achieve its online marketing goals.
Quality Score – A formula used by Google and other search engines using click-through rate and other factors to determine whether your keywords are relevant to your ads and landing page. Together with other factors this is used to calculate your Ad Rank.
Remarketing – The practice of showing your ads to users who’ve previously visited your website as they browse other sites
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The process of increasing organic traffic from search engine results pages to your website, based on what the search engines considers most useful to the customer.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – The page which shows users the results of their search, typically with a section of organic results and one of paid or sponsored ads.
Traffic Estimator – A free tool from AdWords which can be used to predict how well a keyword could perform, also useful as a research tool for prices and ad positions.
View-Through Conversion – A measurement of the number of online conversions that took place within 30 days after a user saw a Google ad, but converted by another route.
Of course this is nothing like a complete list, but as a basic jargon-buster for PPC advertising it should give you a solid start in PPC for beginners.
How Do You Utilise PPC?
Google AdWords customers have two choices – they can use the Search Network, or the Display Network. The search network uses a bidding system where keywords relevant to a business are used to display relevant advertisements to search users. The other option, the Display Network, offers the choice of placing visual advertisements (‘banner ads’) on websites that are part of the Display network, which reaches around 90 percent of global internet users.
Though both are managed via Google AdWords, a Google AdWords Agency would refer to the search network as AdWords and the Display network by its own name.
To use AdWords as part of your PPC marketing strategy you need to set up an account, specifying some basics such as your location, time zone and billing details. The structure of your AdWords account depends on how many separate campaigns you want to manage, each with its own ad groups, keywords, text and landing pages.
The basic building block of an AdWords account is the keyword. Keywords are used in Google or any other search engine when users are looking for information on product or service, and AdWords allows advertisers to bid on keywords relevant to their business, so users see their ads on search result pages. A PPC agency can give you advice on this essential element of your marketing strategy.
Advertisers don’t buy a keyword outright, otherwise the highest bidders would always get the choice keywords; but this does throw up some odd possibilities, such as rival companies bidding for your brand names, or the option to automatically bid higher than a specified competitor’s domain name.
What Results Can You Hope For From Using PPC?
The great thing about PPC for beginners is that Pay Per Click has a good number of advantages over traditional forms of marketing, though it can take some time to get it right for your business. Based on the advice of a leading Google AdWords agency, here are a few of the benefits if you do PPC properly:
- Instant results. As soon as your ads go live you should start getting visitors to your website. PPC give much quicker results than organic search, social media and offline advertising, but it’s then up to you to turn the visits to you website into conversions.
- It’s highly measurable, so you tell very quickly whether you are getting a good return on investment, and use PPC management tools to refine your campaign.
- By monitoring which ads and keywords give the best ROI and boosting them accordingly you can quickly respond to changes in the market.
- You pay only for the visitors who come to your website, so you don’t have any setup or advance costs.
- It’s easy to set your budget using the controls in AdWords – you can spend as much or as little as you like, and can suspend an campaign at any time.
- PPC is not wasteful – you can target your advertising very precisely at your likely customers, so PPC advertising reaches only people you know will be in the market for your products or services.
- If you have set up a campaign on Google Ads, you can transfer it to Bing Ads without having to repeat the setup process. Clicks on BingAds can cost less than those on Google Ads.
- PPC is a quick way to increase brand awareness by positioning your ad at the top of the search engine results page.
The next step in our PPC guide is to look at how to do PPC by building a campaign through keyword research.
Tips For An Effective PPC Campaign
The essential element of any PPC advertising campaign is keyword research. The WordStream keywords tool will help you to do this by generating lists of keywords related to an original, giving data for the search frequency of the keywords, and information on subjects such as search volume and price competitiveness. You can also get help on niche keywords, new keyword ideas, negative keywords to exclude from your campaign and so on. Your text-based ads should make compelling use of these keywords. Here are ten more tips towards an effective strategy for PPC for beginners.
- Choose Your Strategy
Decide on your bid strategy depending on whether you are looking to increase website traffic, boost brand awareness, encourage particular customer actions or maximise conversions. AdWords offers a choice of different bidding strategies based on these targets.
- Set Your Timing
Set your ad schedule to target your customers – for instance B2B ads work best in 9-5 office hours, while consumer ads are harder to target – you can start with more expensive 24/7 schedules then refine timings according to effectiveness.
- Create Ad Rotation
AdWords allows you to rotate your ads according to a set pattern, the number of clicks, the number of conversions, and so on.
- Choose your Locations
Use target locations carefully – there’s no point advertising beyond your geographical reach, though at some stage it may be worth experimenting to see if you can open up new markets.
- Prioritise Mobile Marketing
Searches are increasingly done on mobile devices. Make sure your landing page is mobile friendly and you will reduce your bounce rate.
- Use Single Keyword Ad Groups
It’s worth creating an ad relevant to each individual keyword in your ad group. You may have 10 or 20, but try to come up with a good relevant ad for each. It sounds a challenge, but in many ways it’s easier than creating a single ad relevant to all your different keywords. This way your quality score will improve and you will lower your cost per click.
- Try Ad Extensions
Ad extensions offer additional information about your business, such as phone number, address, and links to landing pages. They tend to add more visibility on search engine landing pages, and will be displayed automatically if your ad rank meets certain criteria and the extensions provide value.
- Evaluate using t A/B Testing
You should constantly be optimising your PPC ads, changing and evaluating aspects such as headline, body copy, links and keywords on the ad display. Testing will help you to improve click-through rate build the effectiveness of your keywords. Try different offers such as promo codes, percentage discounts, free gifts with purchase, free shipping and so on, to see which adds more to your conversions.
- Choose Keywords for Each Stage Of The User Journey
You may not be able to successfully bid on the broad, common keywords within your market, so be prepared to aim for more niche terms. Remember to cater for each step of the customer’s journey, from initial research to narrowing down options from a selection and making a final decision on a purchase.
- Don’t Get Hung Up
Certain keywords can start off being successful, but then fall out of popularity. Don’t get hung up on particular keywords, keep testing them against alternatives, and be prepared to pause them or ditch them altogether if they are not providing a good CTR.
What Settings Should You Choose For Your Ads?
When setting up your Pay Per Click campaign in AdWords, there are a lot of options which help improve your CPC. For instance, if you have a local business, there’s little point advertising to customers who are too far away from you. The geotargeting options in AdWords let you tailor your campaign to reach local customers only.
Geotargeting options are in the Locations and Languages section of AdWords, and start with a Search tab for your location. From there you can specify country, region, city, postcode, ‘reach’ (how many people could potentially see your ads if you select that location), and radius around your location.
You can specify multiple locations, and AdWords will give you information such as clicks, impressions, average cost-per-click (CPC), and average position, as applied to each location you specify. You can also specify locations to exclude, and whether to exclude searches from outside your location that use its name in a search.
Other options in AdWords settings include device type (all devices, desktop and laptop computers only, or just iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers); Manual Bidding, Automatic Bidding or Conversion Optimizer (only for campaigns with at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days); positioning on the search results page, scheduling, frequency, ad rotation, and so on. It’s important to experiment with all these settings, but also to be aware that some of (such as page positioning) could cause you to lose conversions, as they could make your ad less visible.
We hope this guide to PPC for beginners has but you on the right course to mastering this valuable marketing tool of paid advertising. If you are still asking yourself “how does Pay Per Click work?”, or need the help of a PPC Agency, get in touch with us below.
TRON Media can help with all your PPC and web development requirements. TRON Media has a highly qualified team of trained specialists in PPC, website design services, SEO, website security, email marketing, WordPress, HTML coding, CMS, paid search marketing, Google Ads, content marketing, digital strategy and social media, and can work with you to develop your ideas and build a PPC campaign perfect for your business.
TRON Media is a leading PPC agency located in Brighton, offering the easiest and most cost-effective way to guarantee that PPC works for you. Get in touch today to find out about our latest PPC management services, web design services, email marketing services, and what a PPC advertising campaign can do for your business.