NOTE: This is a follow up to an earlier blog on this subject, with some key points to keep in mind regarding PPC campaigns.
We have encountered many business owners who were initially reluctant to engage in online paid advertising such as Google Adwords (pay per click) campaigns. Either they had tried to do this before and didn’t get the results they had hoped for or, more often, it was simply because they could not take the time to learn how to use such a marketing tool cost-effectively.
A well-planned and managed online ad campaign can definitely give a boost to a business’s sales. But you have to know what you are doing, otherwise you could end up spending money foolishly.
Wondering if a Google Adwords Campaign or other paid online advertising is for You? Keep These Simple Points in Mind…
1. You set your budget beforehand, so you know in advance what your daily/monthly costs will be. Sometimes your daily budget will be exceeded, but other days’ click volume will be automatically adjusted to keep your monthly budget intact.
2. Google Adwords now makes it much easier to fine-tune your geographically targeted areas. For example, if you want to reach potential customers in Portland Oregon only, you can target just the city of Portland so that only people whose IP addresses fall within that city will see your ads. Or you can set your campaign so that not only the people in Portland can see your ads, but also the people who are clicking from outside of Portland and inquiring about places or things located in Portland.
(If you have access to the internet, you have an IP – internet protocol – address. Just type “what is my IP address” in your internet browser where you would normally type a web address and you will see your IP address.)
Is Google Adwords’ current geo-targeting perfect? No, but it is greatly enhanced from earlier versions. In many cases you can now include or exclude specific zip codes or postal codes in an area to further fine tune your geo-targeting.
3. You can use Google Adwords’ keyword research tool to get ideas for good keywords for your campaign. Even if you already know the keywords you want to use, you can get additional related keywords that may not have occurred to you.
4. You can do A/B comparisons of your keywords and ads to see which pull the most responses. In traditional offline marketing, direct marketers will test several versions of an advertisement to see which one pulls the most responses. This is very easy to do in Google Adwords. As you may know, sometimes changing just one word in an offline ad’s headline can increase your response rate significantly. Same with online ads.
5. Google has gotten very sophisticated at detecting “click fraud.” Click fraud occurs when someone (often a competitor) clicks continuously on your ads to try and eat up your online ad budget. You are not charged for invalid clicks. If you think you are getting invalid clicks, you can call a Google Adwords rep and get them to take another look to double check.
6. You can use Google Adwords’s sophisticated metrics to fine tune your campaign’s settings. One stat you will want to keep an eye on besides just the number of clicks you are getting is your “CTR.” This is the click-through rate for your various ads.
How many clicks are you getting for the number of times your ad is displayed when it’s triggered by a person searching on Google who types in or states one of your keywords or keyword phrases?
7. You can easily see what position your ad occupies when it appears on Google’s search results pages. Obviously, you want it to appear quite high on the list of paid ads that are displayed. If it has a position of 4 or higher, that’s quite good all other things being equal.
8. There are two key factors that influence the position of your ad: (a) How much you have set as the maximum you are willing to pay for a click on your ad, and (b) the quality score of your ad.
Quality Score: “A measurement of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad. Higher Quality Scores can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.” [source: Google Adwords]
Note: Just because you have set a maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click on an ad, does not mean that you will be charged that amount for each click. It’s just the maximum you will be charged. So you want to keep an eye on your “Average Cost Per Click,” another Google Adwords metric.
If you look back at Google’s definition of “Quality Score” you have a very simplified statement of what comprises a successful online pay-per-click ad campaign: A good landing page containing quality content that is very relevant to what your target market is searching for on Google, and ads aimed at that landing page that also contain very relevant keywords and text (and images where used) that are on the same topic as your landing page.
9. A good Google Adwords campaign requires solid research. You can’t just fly by the seat of your pants – unless you have money to burn! You have to know what content your audience is expecting, what the best keywords are for that subject that will resonate with people searching on Google.
You have to know how to compose a very succinct, to the point ad that includes a benefit or two (usually keywords), and you MUST understand how to put together an effective campaign using all the tools available on Google Adwords.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to study up on all this, you need to contact a professional internet marketing company that offers pay-per-click advertising for its clients.
Want to boost your sales? Try an online pay-per-click campaign.
Written by Bob Nelson
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to RESULTS PROFESSIONAL MARKETING and a clickable link back to this page.