Pay-Per-Click (PPC) search engine advertising involves placing text ads in search engines that display when certain keywords or keyword phrases are searched for. This is not the only kind of PPC advertising, but it is one of the most trafficked areas of the Internet marketing landscape. PPC ads can also be placed on social networks or directly on websites, and typically these types of ads are more image-oriented and more dynamic than a standard text ad. A great Internet marketing strategy aims for a diverse approach to PPC advertising, implementing ad campaigns across multiple platforms in order to ensure that your ads reach your target audience.
How does PPC advertising work? In short, the advertiser agrees to pay a certain amount for every click that occurs on their ad. As with organic search results, which are determined by the search engine algorithms (see our Search Engine Optimization section), positions higher up on the page result in more clicks and thus are more valuable. Therefore, advertisers typically have to pay more money per-click to get their ad placed higher on the page for certain keyword searches. With the pay-per-click model, advertisers place a bid for how much they are willing to pay per click on their ad for a certain keyword search. It is a dynamic bidding marketplace where you are constantly competing with other advertisers for the premium positions on the page.
It’s important to differentiate between the organic or natural search results that are listed for a search engine query versus the paid results that are listed. The natural search results are typically in the center of the search engine results page, and the paid or sponsored ads are usually the first couple of listings at the top, and the listings in a column on the right side of the page.
Google is the most popular search engine in the world and thus it is the most competitive PPC market. When you need to meet your customers where they are, PPC advertising on Google is a great start.
Yahoo! & Bing Search Networks
Yahoo! and Bing are both popular search engine competitors to Google. While they don't have the market share of Google, they can still be an important aspect of a fine-tuned PPC campaign.
With over 1.3 billion active users worldwide, Facebook is one of the most powerful advertising platforms available. For certain businesses, a Facebook advertising campaign can present a huge value that cannot be matched by other PPC advertising platforms.
LinkedIn is the largest professional social network available and their PPC advertising platform allows targeting of users by unique traits such as industry, company, and even job title. If your PPC advertising campaign needs to target professionals, LinkedIn could be your best bet.
How to Implement Pay-Per-Click Search Advertising
Cost Targets: You need to have an understanding of what you can spend to acquire a customer (Cost Per Acquisition) to meet your profit targets for your business.
Offer Determination: What is the key action you want consumers who click on your ad to take once they arrive on your landing page? Fill out a contact form? Download a free trial of your software? Buy your product? Download a free white paper? All of these are viable – it just depends on your particular business model.
Keyword List Creation: You initially want to place ads against a large variety of keywords related to your product. That way you can tell what works for your product and what doesn’t and narrow your keyword list from there.
Ad Copy Creation: Ad copy for search engine ads is much different than ad copy for print ads or radio ads. It tends to be very straightforward and targeted to the particular keyword search a user has done.
Landing Page Creation: To maximize the ROI on your ads, it is best to design a custom landing page for each of your keyword groups to ensure that users are seeing targeted ad copy that is relevant to their search.
Tracking Tag Implementation: It is essential that you implement tracking on your site so that you can measure the effectiveness of your pay-per-click ads and make changes accordingly.
How NOT To Implement Pay-Per-Click Search Advertising
Don’t spend too little time coming up with too small of a keyword list consisting mostly of broad, general terms. You need to create a large list with both broad and specific keywords and keyword phrases in order to test what is effective.
Don’t fail to research which keywords people search on the most when you are forming your keyword list. Chair 10 Marketing has the tools and expertise to find out how many people are searching on a particular keyword each month before we launch a campaign.
Don’t just put all of your keywords into one group. You need to break your keywords into related groups so that you can write targeted ad copy for each group. This will also help you track and measure the effectiveness of each group to understand what is working and what isn’t.
Don’t write just one set of ad copy for each keyword group. Google Adwords, the most dominant and effective pay-per-click service, lets you create as many versions of ad copy for a keyword group as you want, and over time will automatically display the ad that gets the highest click-through.
Don’t use the same landing page on your website for all of your keywords. In order to maximize your ROI, each landing page must be specifically customized to each keyword group. So if you run pay-per-click ads for multiple products or services, you need to have custom landing pages for each.
Don’t set your initial bid prices too low – some search engine bidding systems have a “memory” and if your ads initially get a very low click-through rate, it can take a lot of time and effort to recover.
Don’t start off running your ads in countries other than your own or within Google’s content network of sites. You need to first optimize your ads to perform with positive ROI in your own native country and in Google’s search engine itself before expanding your campaign further.
Don’t forget to set daily budget limits for each campaign group. You don’t want to end up spending too much in the first week of your campaign before you can analyze the results and make sure the campaign is performing up to your standards.
Don’t run your ads for a week, decide that they aren’t performing and never try pay-per-click advertising again. It often takes time to fine-tune a campaign so that it is performing well. Yes, there are some businesses for whom pay-per-click advertising doesn’t end up making sense – but you need longer than a week to figure that out. Chair 10 Marketing has the necessary past experience running successful pay-per-click campaigns to give you the advice and assistance you need.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all this advice. Call Chair 10 Marketing and let us help you navigate the pay-per-click marketing world!
The Chair 10 Marketing Approach
Pay-per-click advertising seems relatively simple on the surface, but with increased bid competition across the board and frequent policy changes by Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, and LinkedIn, it is critical to get guidance or assistance from someone who has implemented a wide variety of successful pay-per-click programs in the past. Chair 10 Marketing can provide the trusted advice and implementation expertise that will help ensure you run the most effective PPC campaign possible.
Analyze your product and market
Help establish a target cost-per-acquisition
Build, review, and refine a thorough target keyword list to run ads on
Break your keyword list into efficient ad groups
Write varied, high-quality ad copy that is uniquely tailored to each ad group
Create targeted landing pages on your web site
Set-up tracking tags to measure ad effectiveness (a critical, yet often overlooked step)
Set initial bid prices for each keyword based on competitor research
Thoroughly test and launch campaign
Monitor and optimize campaign to ensure that ad copy and bid strategy are producing desired results
Refine campaign frequently to respond to competitive changes in bidding strategy, changes in product features, promotions, etc.
Provide client with detailed monthly reports and access to our 24/7 online campaign performance dashboard
Contact Us Today for a Free Pay-Per-Click Advertising Consultation!