Find New Customers with PPC Marketing
The perennial question in business is this: how do you find new customers and convince them to buy your products or services? Since rise of the internet, the answer we find for our clients at JMarketing is frequently Pay Per Click marketing (otherwise known as PPC Marketing.)
The essence of Pay Per Click marketing is that as an advertiser, you only pay when your ad is clicked on by a prospect. This is quite different from traditional mass media advertising, where thousands of people might see a billboard, but you can never be sure what effect it has on consumer behavior.
In contrast, you can gather an enormous amount of data from PPC marketing, and use this data to optimize your ads so the effectiveness of your advertising increases over time.
This is how savvy PPC marketers optimize PPC campaigns to gain more visitors and increase conversion rate.
Where does PPC Marketing Take Place?
PPC Marketing in its original form allows advertisers to buy listings on a search engine result page (SERP.) Google was the first search engine to allow this practice, and it quickly became popular on Bing and other search engines.
Nowadays, Facebook and Youtube also allow advertisers to place ads where you only pay every time a prospect clicks on your advert.
JMarketing sees a lot of success with our clients’ Google ads. This is because we use an approach that integrates all the drivers in your business and uses them to build better ads and profitable online advertising campaigns.
Definition and Goals of PPC marketing
The important thing to know about PPC advertising is that it’s an auction. As the name suggests, the advertiser will pay every time a user sees your ad (impression) and clicks on it. How much you pay depends on how much other advertisers are bidding on that search term.
For example, if you have a store that sells bedding, you could bid on the search term ‘buy a bed.’ When a prospect types ‘buy a bed’ into Google, your ad will show up as one of the results they can click on. However, if other advertisers are placing high bids on this term, you would end up paying more whenever your ad is clicked on.
On the other hand, if you were to bid on a less competitive term, like ‘buy a bed Portland’ then your competition will be less, and you’ll pay less. In addition, if you’re based in Portland, your search term is more likely to be seen by qualified buyers.
The most common objectives of PPC marketing are:
- Increasing sales
- Generating leads
- Promoting brand awareness
The 5 key benefits of using PPC are:
- Measurable and Fast results
- Easy control, testing and optimizing of PPC ads
- Very focused targeting of customers
- Little impact of algorithm changes on PPC ads.
How Search Engines Charge for Advertising
Many search engine advertisers choose to pay per click. The other popular way of charging advertisers is by the number of times the ad was shown to potential customers (impressions.) This method is called CPM (cost per mille – or cost per 1000 impressions). Advertisers using Google display ads often choose this method.
Tools like Google Ads and Google Analytics allow advertisers to use artificial intelligence to optimize campaigns. As an advertiser, you can direct this AI to optimize for different types of results in each ad campaign. You can choose to optimize for the most clicks, the most conversions (goals) or the highest revenue. A PPC conversion (goal) can be many things, but lead generation and sales are the most common ones chosen by advertisers.
Main Platforms of PPC Marketing
PPC Marketing can be done on many different platforms. Below, we’ll go over the biggest ones, and how they work.
- Google Ads
Google Ads, specifically search campaigns, are the most common tool for PPC. On this platform, paid ads will appear before the organic search results. Advertisers can segment their target audience by picking relevant keywords (user queries) to trigger their ad to be shown to a prospect.
The most common PPC campaigns in Google Ads are text-based, allowing advertising to use a limited amount of characters in the ad that will show up for the user. These ads also have to comply with strict policies established by the tool.
Another fast-growing, popular PPC ad format is Google Shopping Ads. Here, advertisers can link the ads to their eCommerce and show pictures and prices, together with the products’ descriptions. Similar to search ads, shopping ads are triggered when a searcher types in a phrase chosen by the advertiser. For example, someone typing in ‘buy aquarium’ will see a range of shopping ads from eCommerce stores that sell aquariums.
- Youtube Ads
Most people think of Youtube as a video platform, but in reality, it’s an enormous search engine. Owned by Google, the Youtube platform has access to a formidable amount of data – both demographic and search term-based.
Because most people use Youtube while logged into their Google account, Youtube can collect a scary amount of information on viewer preferences and browsing habits. As an advertiser, you can link up your Youtube and Google Ad account, allowing you to create campaigns that will track prospects across multiple platforms.
You can run text ads on Youtube, however, the most successful ads on Youtube are video-based. They can be videos that show up in the search engine results, or that play before, after or during the video a viewer has chosen to watch.
- Facebook Ads
Facebook has a huge audience, and the majority of its revenue comes from advertisers. While advertisers can opt for a pay-per-click model (or pay per impression) the targeting is different from Google.
Facebook has a wealth of demographic targeting available to advertisers. Instead of choosing to show an ad when a particular search phrase is shown, advertisers choose to target people based on their interests and demographics.
The Facebook advertising platform has a powerful AI algorithm, and will optimize your ad campaigns for whatever result you choose: leads, clicks, likes or purchases. Facebook campaigns are also a powerful way to retarget visitors – after visiting your website, many browsers can be tracked, and ads are shown to them after they’ve left your site and are on Facebook.
- Bing Ads
Bing Ads function similar to Google Ads. Bing is a much smaller search engine, however, it’s less competitive, and therefore advertising there can be a lower cost. Demographically, Bing search engine users tend to be older, so this platform is worth looking into if your product or service appeals to an older demographic.
Anatomy of a PPC Ad
Whether you use Google Ads, Facebook, Bing or Youtube, PPC Marketing depends on getting each element right. Below we’ll go through the different parts of a PPC Advert, and why they’re important.
Getting your targeting right is the first vital step of a successful PPC ad. Each platform allows for different targeting. On Google, you usually target a specific search term. Facebook favors demographic targeting, while Youtube can do a combination of both.
This is pretty self-explanatory – it’s the words, images or video you show to a prospect so they’ll take action (usually by clicking on your ad.) Your ad could be text-based (Google) image and text-based (Facebook) or a video ad (Youtube and Facebook.)
The Landing Page
This is where prospects go after clicking on your ad. Without a good landing page, even a campaign with great targeting and amazing ads is doomed to fail. Your landing page will convert well if it continues the promise of the ad, so users have a seamless experience between clicking your ad and landing on your website.
The Conversion Action
This can be any number of measurable outcomes, depending on the purpose of your PPC campaign. You can get a prospect’s contact details (converting them into a lead), ask for a sale, or get them to take some other actions such as liking your Facebook page or sharing your content on social media.
PPC Marketing allows you to measure conversions very clearly, and track them back to their source, whether that’s a particular Facebook audience, or a specific search term on Google. Identifying which group of people convert best is how you optimize a PPC campaign and start getting more results for less ad spend.
Importance of Keywords in PPC Marketing
Keywords are the foundation of search engine ads. How often your ad will appear depends on which keywords you select, and also their match types. Below are the criteria you can use to filter which keywords to show your ads on, and how successful your campaign will be.
- Keyword Relevance
Choosing relevant keywords means the people who see your ad will be more likely to want the thing you’re advertising. Relevance leads to a higher click through rate, higher conversions, a better quality score and more profitable ad campaigns.
- Landing Page Quality
Every PPC ad platform has ways to assess how good your landing page is. This is to prevent spam or bait and switch offers. Your landing page score will be high when the landing page closely matches the offer in the advert.
- Quality Score
Quality score is how ad platforms evaluate the quality of your ads. The score is made up of several factors, including click through rate on your ad, bounce rate (how many people leave as soon as they arrive on your landing page), conversion rate, and time spent on your landing page. The higher your score is, the less you’ll pay to win the advertising auction and get higher ad placement.
Sometimes high converting keywords aren’t obvious (like ‘buy a car.’) Creativity can help you find less competitive keywords that will still bring a highly targeted, qualified audience to your site. Being able to do this successfully comes from a deep knowledge of your customers and what they want.
Once you’ve chosen your keywords and put your campaign live, the optimization process begins. Maintaining your campaigns is how you ensure they continue to be effective. You can also greatly drop the cost per conversion when you optimize your campaigns using the methods below:
- Add PPC keywords
As you gain knowledge of the people who click on your ads, you can start to test new keywords for effectiveness. Adding keywords will help you tap into less saturated corners of your market.
- Add negative keywords
When you look at your conversion data, you’ll see that some keywords don’t result in many conversions. You can exclude these keywords from your ad campaigns by putting them as negative keywords so your ads will never show when someone types them in.
For example, if you notice that people looking for ‘free stock tips’ never become leads or customers for your service, you can put ‘free’ as a negative keyword. Anyone who includes this word into their search query won’t see your ad.
- Split Ad groups
An ad group contains a collection of keywords and ads. Whenever someone types in a keyword in that ad group into Google, they’ll see an ad from that ad group.
Splitting your ad groups so there are fewer keywords in each group allows you to write ads that will be hyper-relevant. For example, if you sell sports shoes, you could split your ‘sports shoes’ ad group into ‘running shoes’ and ‘tennis shoes’ related keywords. This will allow you to write more targeted ads, and the result will be your quality score goes up, and your cost per conversion goes down.
- Review costly PPC keywords
Usually, the majority of your ad budget will go to a few keyword phrases. Review this often to see if they’re converting well and if the ads you’ve written for them are as good as they can be. Reviewing costly keywords will have the biggest effect on your overall campaign success.
- Refine landing pages
You can split test and optimize your landing pages so that over time, they convert more visitors. You may end up creating versions of your landing page to appeal to different subgroups of people you’re advertising to. This will further bring down your cost per conversion.
Creating a Winning PPC Strategy
Creating a winning strategy involves understanding and correctly implementing the concepts below:
- PPC Keywords
Keywords are triggers Google Ads uses to show ads for specific user queries. Picking the right keywords is vital to the success of your PPC campaign. Picking the wrong keywords will make you spend your budget attracting people with low potential to become real clients. The process of finding the right keywords involves research and understanding your customers.
- Ad Position
Whenever a user sees an ad, we count that as an impression. That doesn’t mean, though, that all impressions are equally likely to generate clicks. In Google’s search result page, users are more likely to click on the first ad at the top of the page and less likely to click on the ads at the bottom of the page.
Your ad’s position is determined by several factors, including: keyword bid, quality score, landing page score, and the click-through rate (CTR). Sometimes the top position will not have as good conversion rate as the second or third position. These are factors you can only discover by testing.
- PPC Bid
PPC tools are auction-based. The bid is the highest price we are willing to pay per click, while the actual cost per click (CPC) will be equal to or lower than the bid. Google will charge you the lowest CPC to beat the next advertiser in a specific position. Advertisers that bid higher are more likely to have their ads shown in better positions on the page.
However, when evaluating your bid, you need to take into account your ROAS (Return on Ad Spend.) Winning the ad auction is worthwhile only if you’re going to make a profit when visitors come to your site.
The click-through rate is a crucial concept for any successful PPC campaign. It’s the number of people who click on your ad, expressed as a percentage.
Put simply, if 100 people see your ad, and 10 people click on it, your click-through rate is 10%. An above-average CTR will determine not only the position of your ad but also how much you pay per click.
- Ad and Landing Page Relevance
As the name suggests, relevance is a metric created to determine how likely the advertiser is to meet the users’ needs when they type a specific query into the search engine.
As with the CTR, the ad and landing page relevance help determine your ad position and how much you pay per click. Improve your ad relevance by offering users what they’re searching for, and you end up paying less to get visitors onto your site.
The JMarketing Approach
Successful online advertising is a multidisciplinary skill with two primary pillars: understanding people and understanding numbers. When these two elements are in alignment, ad campaigns can be hyper-profitable.
JMarketing has a unique ad managing methodology that puts together:
- Account managers who will do the research to understand your business, goals, and success metrics
- Copywriters and designers experienced in customer psychology and creating effective ad messages
- Data nerds will analyze the story behind the numbers and transform stats into practical actions to optimize your campaigns.
While traffic and impressions are important metrics, the end goal is to impact the bottom line of your business. This is the consideration that drives all of JMarketing’s PPC ad strategy.
PPC marketing can be a highly effective way to engage new customers and grow your business. However, there’s a lot to master to make your PPC campaigns cost-effective and profitable.
JMarketing can help with this process. We’ve taken clients’ companies from losing money to being wildly profitable, and we can help you. Let’s talk about your marketing needs today.