Businesses need to engage in different forms of marketing to alert their prospective clients to their existence. Doing this requires a lot of effort and putting of smart strategies in place. The success of many big brands today can be traced back to great advertising and brand promotion. The internet is one of the best places to advertise and if your business has yet to partner with Pay Per Click, then you’re losing out on a valuable means to enhance your revenue stream.
Around the world, advertisers are using Pay Per Click to drive sales, and the story is the same in New Zealand. Even if you’re engaging in organic SEO, native advertising, and other means of marketing, your entire ad strategy will have a big hole if you’re not targeting customers through PPC advertising. Through this platform, you can optimise your ads, target high value keywords that ready buyers are searching for, and implement a great conversion strategy.
If you’re new to to PPC, then this guide will tell you everything you need to know to get your business started on this platform. However, if you’d like to focus on the core aspects of your business, then you can hire a result-driven professional and still enjoy the full benefits of PPC advertising.
What is Pay Per Click
In simple terms, Pay Per Click (PPC) is an online advertising strategy where costs are accrued by advertisers when any of their targeted ads is clicked by a user. Advertisers tender bids on the perceived worth of each click in relation to type of audience, keyword, and platform in which it originates.
It’s an incredibly powerful advertising strategy that can boost revenue for businesses that do it right. With the ability to generate a campaign in minutes and watch prospects stream to your website, it’s an essential marketing engagement that any company wishing to experience growth must undertake.
However, PPC requires a lot of patience, monitoring, tracking, adjustments, and other smart strategic approaches because the competition is fierce, and advertisers are always working with a budget.
Main Platforms to use in New Zealand
If you’re in New Zealand, then you should engage in PPC advertising for your business as this strategy has consistently produced tremendous results. There are many platforms that are rich with revenue generating opportunities. They include:
Google AdWords: AdWords is currently the largest pay per click platform in the world and boasts a fair market share. It is run on Google, Display Network sites, and Search Partner sites. Since the launching of AdWords in 2000, the platform has gone through updates and continually undergoes changes. It is geared towards every business category from small-to-midsize enterprises to Fortune 500 companies.
Bing Ads: This Ad platform is small compared to Google AdWords but it still owns a profitable amount of market share and also has a considerable presence in New Zealand. According to 2017 figures, Bing handled 12% of all search queries in Australia and 6% in New Zealand. While this is a small percentage share when compared with Google, it still amounts to millions of searches every month.
Facebook: Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms in the world and the second largest ad platform behind Google. More than 2 million Kiwis access their Facebook accounts every day. Facebook also runs a paid advertising through the Facebook Ads Manager and is another giant in the industry of PPC that you should never overlook.
PPC accounts are to be set up to make controlling performance easy, to be segmented as per requirement, and to tightly align ads and keywords. The structure of each PPC account would determine how manageable it is.
Account structuring begins with individual campaigns and ad groups (sub categories of the campaign) which are created within each account. For each ad group, there are themed keyword variations to be set by the advertiser. This includes shuffling targeted keywords to meet the search query of targeted users.
Keywords are assigned match types that define the queries that every ad will show. Match types include Exact, Phrased, Broad, Modified Broad, and Session-based Broad. Negative keywords are also set to help advertisers prevent ads from showing by imputing certain keywords in the negative keywords section.
Audience is another part of account that segments groups of users in many ways. Audiences are set based on metrics like pages per visit, time spent on site, page views, and more. Advertisers bid on audiences based on relevance.
PPC Ad copy includes the text that makes up the body of each ad the user sees. Ad copy is an essential part of campaigns that is created after the ad campaigns are set up and keywords are chosen. Stringing together perfect ad copy will go a long way towards seeing to the success of each campaign. Smartly created ad campaigns shouldn’t be wasted by using poor ad copy.
The first step in stringing the right words together includes understanding the intent of the searcher the ad is optimised for. Knowing whether the search query is transactional, informational, or navigational will tell you what the searcher is up to. They could be searching to learn about something (informational), to find a specific website (navigational) or to buy a product (transactional).
For PPC advertising, the primary goal is to sell a product or service. So, it’s always recommended that good ad copy that targets searchers with transactional intent is crafted. Negative keywords can be used to filter out searchers with other types of intent who may not purchase. This way, the ad will be enhanced to ultimately increase revenue.
Each ad copy should:
- Be clear and specific
- Be streamlined to the industry
- Add offers that sell
- Use calls-to-action
Implementing certain settings will affect how ads are ultimately shown. This is another method employed by advertisers to optimise every ad for results. If PPC settings are on default, then changes need to be made, especially when the campaign targets a different user from that those settings are enhanced for.
Settings that should be ideally modified include:
Location and Languages: important for targeting a specific country or region
Networks: the section is for choosing the network the ad should be run on, such as Google Search, Google Content Network, and/or Search Partners (amazon.com, aol.com etc.).
Device: Whether the ad is optimised for desktop, tablet, or mobile
Bidding and Budget: options for whether keywords would be bid for using manual configuration or automatic as well as setting daily budgets for individual campaigns.
Delivery Method: delivery method includes the standard and accelerated deliveries. With the standard method, ads are shown throughout the day in a moderated manner while the budget is considered but the accelerated method continues to show the ad, without accounting for budget, until the budget is gone.
Ad scheduling: set the start and end date or time the ad should run.
Ad delivery: set optimised ads that would be delivered based on high click volume and ads that would be rotated indefinitely which have low click volume.
Going technical in PPC means tracking the behaviour of searchers, performance of ad campaigns, and changes in keyword value using certain metrics. To gauge the performance of ad campaigns on an account, conversion goals can be created, as AdWords give advertisers this ability. This will help determine whether created ads are yielding desired results.
Google analytics is a sophisticated tool that can be linked to the PPC account by entering the ID of the AdWords in the “Admin” section of the tool. This helps advertisers with information on the post-click behaviour of the searcher and shows the whole picture of the conversion rate. Other ‘technical’ PPC tools include Google Merchant Centre for running Google Shopping campaigns and Product Listing Ads (PLAs), and the Google Remarketing code.
Additional details and links that display supplementary information about the business in the ad results are known as ad extensions. Their purpose is to further optimise the ads. While search engines may generate some ad extensions automatically, advertisers can also control them manually by adding – or removing – what they choose. What makes ad extensions very potent is the prominence it adds to the ad due to the size of the headlines which helps increase click-thru-rates (CTR).
There are a lot of ad extensions. They include:
- Sitelink extensions
- Location extensions
- Call extensions
- Site extensions
- Seller ratings extensions
- Consumer ratings extensions
Advertisers are equipped with tools in PPC to help manage spending and ad placements better. While these tools are a means for search engines to keep PPC users happy and encourage them to spend more, they’re extra wildcards to the savvy advertiser. Some of the tools that make PPC fun include:
- Change History
- Keyword planner
- Display planner
- Ad Preview and Diagnostics
- Automated rules
Advertisers can carry out specific alterations across multiple campaigns thanks to the shared library in Google ad words. Changes that can be made include:
Audiences: The Audience Manager in the shared library allows advertisers to restructure and create remarketing lists where the new list can be shared with multiple ad groups or campaigns.
Bid strategies: Bidding goals and strategies can be set and shared across multiple campaigns. Available bidding strategies include:
- Target Search Page Location
- Target CPA
- Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
- Target Outranking Share
- Maximize Clicks
Negative keywords List: This helps the advertiser implement negative keywords across several campaigns where they are applicable.
Shared Budget: Budgets can be assigned for a group of campaigns at once.
Placement execution lists: This means advertisers can exclude placements where they do not want ads shown.
Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads provide a number of resources where reports can be made that will help the advertiser optimise further. Some of these reports include:
Search Query Reports (SQRs): which is one of the most useful reports in Bing and Google as it helps to identify irrelevant queries that can be blacklisted.
Placement reports: shows information about websites in the Display Network that are either converting well or not so that the advertiser can adjust or omit accordingly.
Auction Insights Report: this helps advertisers find out if they’re competing against businesses not related to theirs so that they can update their negative keywords list.
Segmentation Options: helps segment data by time, device, network, and a lot more.
Filters: useful for breaking large campaigns down for better analysis.
Columns: helps advertisers view pre-determined metrics that can help them strategize better.
With the Display Network, advertisers deploy ads on a large network of websites across the Internet. Before they’re placed, advertisers engage in strategic targeting by following people’s browsing behaviours like their favourite YouTube channel, website, checking their mails, as well as using mobile apps and devices. Targeting options that can be used to narrow down searchers to advertise include:
- Display keywords
Also known as retargeting, remarketing is a strategy used by advertisers to recoup users that have already visited a site without being converted. Site users are targeted based on the web pages they visited and those they didn’t. The theory of remarketing is that while users that are not considering engaging a service and have a low likelihood to click an ad the second time, there’s a chance they can be converted upon visiting again.
Dynamic Search Ads
Dynamic search ads are a particularly easy way, perhaps the easiest way, to find high-value customers and drive traffic concentrated with searchers that have high likelihoods of conversion. These ads are displayed based on the content of the website being advertised. Content is matched to search terms when Google crawls the whole website. From there, landing pages and headlines are dynamically generated to match corresponding search terms.
How Pay Per Click Advertising Works
PPC is implemented for many marketing/advertising campaign goals, such as generating leads, promoting brand awareness, and increasing sales. The strategy of PPC is based on relevance. Advertisers have to be smart about how they bid and the conversion tactics they implement in order to achieve results.
Users are always searching for certain products, information, and services at any given time and advertisers can present the searcher with an optimised ad at the exact time the search is taking place. If a user, for example, enters a search query that says ‘red party dresses’, an advertiser can show a targeted ad replying to “red party dresses”.
PPC campaign can be run successfully by advertisers through account structure and targeting settings provided that relevance is a leading factor.
PPC advertisers are individuals or businesses who utilise pay per click to promote their brands, products and services. Thye pay the costs of each click to the PPC platform where they carry out promotions. Advertisers are not necessarily the business doing the bids for clicks; there are digital marketing agencies who are PPC professionals hired by certain businesses and individuals to carry out their promotions.
Publishers are mainly website and app owners who partner with PPC networks to have ads displayed on their (the publisher’s) web pages or app screens for a share of the click costs. The amount of money paid to publishers will depend on the kind of ad that was clicked on as well as the average value of the bids on the keyword. When advertisers choose to show their ads on the Display Network, then these will be displayed across relevant websites of publishers.
Bidding in PPC works like everyday auctions: the highest bidder takes the merchandise away. Except that for PPC, the order of ceremony is slightly different. Advertisers initially have to enhance an ad campaign and choose keywords relevant to their business, then place a bid on it without knowing how much others are bidding. The only indication that one has been outbid is when their ads for the same keyword are showing less frequently than one or more of the competitors’. From here, the advertiser can track back and readjust their bid until they get things right.
This is a method employed by Google to measure and rate the relevance and quality of adverts shown to searchers. The quality score is used to establish ad positions as well as cost per click. Advertisers that want to drive successful ad campaigns have to work towards getting higher quality scores. This means that consistently strategizing to create relevant ad campaigns with valuable keywords, quality landing pages, and good CTR will come with big rewards in the long term.
The Most Popular Types of PPC
GoogleAds is still the leader when it comes to PPC platforms. Google enjoys the lion’s share of the market but a number of companies and networks have begun to pop up and are eager to get a slice of the market.
Bing Ads is another popular platform. It trails Google AdWords but is nowhere close to this platform. Advertisers, though, have gained a fair amount of conversions through Bing and the platform has been experiencing consistent growth over the years.
Facebook Ads has been receiving a lot of advertiser attention recently, despite being around for a while. This is a surprise given the sheer number of active users on the platform every day. However, Facebook is now next to Google when it comes to ad revenue.
There is also PPC advertising on popular social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn and advertisers with in-depth knowledge of these platforms are enjoying massive revenues and building their sales funnels.
How Much Does PPC Cost?
There’s no definite answer to this as prices are assigned to many keywords based on their values. When advertisers perceive that a keyword is likely to drag traffic and relevant searchers, they place a high bid on that keyword in order to get their ads ranking for it. When competition for that keyword becomes fierce, its price will drastically shoot up. This is how PPC prices are usually set.
The Elements of PPC
The elements of pay per click advertising include:
The ad campaign: This is the highest-level element of a paid search campaign.
The Ad Group: The ad group is a category of the ad campaign that comprises many ads which are related to that campaign.
Keywords: Each ad group is associated with keyword variations that guide the PPC platform on how to place the ads.
Ad copy: This is the ad’s message and it’s crafted after the ad groups are set and keywords are selected.
Landing Page: This is where the user lands after clicking on the ad. It is the page that closes the prospect and the last stage of conversion.
How Does the Auction Work?
Bids are made on keywords that the advertiser wants to rank for and depending on the bid, the ads may or may not show. When advertisers are about to bid, they’ll be given a bid suggestion. Depending on the keyword’s relevance, they can start the bid some cents lower than the suggestion or may go with the suggestion if the relevance is high. However, it’s vital to note that Google also factors in the quality score of each account to determine the ultimate rankings.
The benefits of using PPC
PPC pays dividends that many other advertising strategies simply can’t. Some of the things that make PPC amazing are as follows:
- You get to optimise for users who click on your ads which means they’re already half way to being converted.
- You only pay when a user gets to your site.
- You can begin to compete the moment you enter unlike organic SEO that requires years of effort before you can go head to head with the big guns.
- You can track everything and optimise better based on your findings.
PPC for Search Engines
Pay per click for search engines is about the most popular form of PPC and search marketing among digital advertisers. This is due to the staggering number of searches that go on every second. There are simply numerous users to optimise for and PPC experts have been taking advantage of this over the years. PPC ads are normally placed on the top of search results which gives more potential for people to click.
Google AdWords is, by far, the most fertile PPC platform. Advertisers have millions of ideal users to optimise for. But not just through the search engine that amasses more than 4 billion searches per day, they also have the huge Display Network as well as Search Partners to play with and ultimately, drive serious revenues.
Using Google AdWords for Your PPC Campaign
Google AdWords is popular for a lot of reasons and one of them is that it produces results. It also provides the largest audience which makes it easy to target high value searchers and web users. If you’re looking to maximise a small budget, then Google AdWords is the place to start. Even if you don’t have the expertise, hiring a pro will still see you gain results as these advertisers work based on performance.
The Fundamentals of Google AdWords
There’s a lot involved with AdWords but basically, it involves an auction where bids are made for keywords according to their relevance. Using the AdWords platform is no walk in the park as there are lots of competitors bidding for the same high-value keywords and fighting for top spots. Not just bids and counter bids, AdWords also involves smartly optimising ad campaigns that would be able to draw users in and convert them.
The Different types of keyword matching
Keywords are a driving force for AdWords and they’re categorised differently to help advertisers perfect their matching for search queries. The types of keyword matching used by advertisers on AdWords include:
- Broad match
- Phrase match
- Exact match
- negative keywords
Discovering which keywords are worth targeting
The major factor that contributes to AdWords campaigns is finding the right keyword for your brand. This is why the first thing to do is to engage in serious keyword research by using the tools at your disposal such as the keyword planner, Ad Preview and Diagnostics, Search Query Reports, Auction Insights Report and others to determine which keywords to use and those to discard.
Ad Rank explained
Ad Rank is what determines the position of every ad on the result page. Though calculation parameters are not fully known, the sensible theory is that it’s calculated based on the ad’s cost per click and Quality Score of the AdWords account the ad is coming from.
PPC for Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are social media giants and have been gaining prominence when it comes to PPC. They’re platforms that offer one of the best streamlined targeting, as they’ll give options based on user likes and other activities. Reaching 1.23 billion users on Facebook alone each day isn’t such a bad idea either.
PPC for Twitter
Twitter PPC comes with some promise due to its large audience. You’ll get to target ideal prospects based on hashtags and the setup is quite simple and quick. However, there are issues with Twitter’s PPC which include inadequate targeting, limited reporting, and ads may take a lot of time to pass through reviews.
PPC for LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers you the platform to target ads at really high-value users, such as CEOs and executives. With this platform, you’ll be optimising based on the career levels and employment status of LinkedIn users, but you’ll be required to have a target audience of at least 20 people. The ad campaigns here are easy to set up and you can reach a narrowed down audience. However, the cost can be very high and ad formats are smaller when compared to that of Facebook.
- 7 million PPC advertisers invested a whopping $10.1 Billion in 2017 alone
- Facebook and Google are currently still the market leaders when it comes to PPC spend
- According to Google, search ads can improve the awareness of a brand by 80%
- for every $1 spent in AdWords, businesses make $2 on average on income, according to Google
- PPC ads will continue to experience remarkable year-on-year growth
- A PPC visitor is 50% more likely to be converted than an organic visitor
Ensuring PPC success
To ensure you achieve success with your PPC campaign, you should make an effort to know your target audience better. Thoroughly research keywords before you start creating campaigns and making bids, don’t forget to put long-tail keywords in the mix, use negative keywords to filter unwanted clicks, remember to optimise for mobile users, track and tweak your campaign, don’t forget to monitor your performance and make relevant adjustments and always create knockout landing pages.
Position on a Page
This is the designation of your ad on the search result page. Your position will be determined by your bids as well as your quality score. So, what this means is that you should bid smarter and always enhance your ads as much as possible. Feeding into your quality score over time will lead to higher rankings in the future and you won’t spend too much.
Reach the Right Audience
The ultimate goal for PPC campaigns is to make conversions and you wouldn’t want to be spending on clicks for users who will end up just viewing your page and leaving. You should ideally take your time to go through metrics in order to find out what your ideal searcher’s intent is and how to pitch to them. This also applies when it comes to remarketing.
A poorly controlled and organised budget will be bad news for your campaign as well as your marketing resources. If you’re just starting out, it would be wise to use a standard Delivery Method on your settings and set start and end times for delivery based on when your likely visitors will be browsing, use negative keywords and exact match keywords, use geo-targeting, focus on Google’s search network and always set a daily budget based on your resources.
Testing your PPC strategies will allow you to optimise better and streamline your campaigns to the ideal target. There are different methods you can use to check if the campaign you put together actually works or not. Some of these methods include drafts and experiments, manually-scheduled A/B tests, as well as Before and After tests. Designing good testing procedures is key to ensuring you don’t make the wrong decisions.
Tracking is the act of monitoring, assessing, and improving your PPC campaign performance. This is a crucial part of your paid advertising efforts that will provide you with better guidance on best practices as you go. The best way to understand the prospect of your business and make proper adjustments is to track and evaluate your results. This implies that you should always closely monitor your cost per conversion, total costs, cost per click, click-through rate, and quality score.
Building a PPC Strategy
You shouldn’t just be jumping blindly into PPC. You have to strategise before you leap so you don’t drown all your resources. First, you have to evaluate the entire situation to help you discover the biggest challenges you’re looking to overcome, what you want to achieve with PPC, and the competition you’ll be up against.
Make sure you carefully go over analyses of your competition as well as your target audience to create a plan that you must follow. Secondly, develop a policy that will guide how you operate and manage your account. And lastly, never forget to set up plans for routine tracking and monitoring.
Establish an Easy to Use Campaign Structure
Make sure your ad groups are created in a tightly themed manner. Thoroughly evaluate and re-evaluate your keywords and ensure your ad copy is valuable to every keyword contained within every ad group in your campaigns. Keeping the structure of your campaigns manageable and intuitive will see to it that they can be monitored more easily and effectively and you can better identify inefficiencies and efficiencies.
Start with Google AdWords
It wouldn’t be wise to jump into every platform at once especially when you’re working with a budget. You should ensure that you have grasped what PPC is about, gained a level of experience, and made some revenue from one platform before you add another. With AdWords, you’ll have lots of tools at your disposal and there’s no shortage of internet resources, such as articles, podcasts and videos to guide you on every resource within the platform.
Create Your AdWords Account
Setting up an AdWords account is a very simple process. All you have to do is go to the Google AdWords home page or type the search query “set up AdWords account” and you’ll be set up within minutes. Ensure you carry out other preliminary set ups like setting your time zone and billing preference. You can then go ahead and connect your account to Google analytics and other tools so that you can start catching up.
Setting an AdWords Budget
You can attract a lot of customers to your website through AdWords but your success will depend on doing things in a smart way. You wouldn’t want to spend your entire marketing budget on AdWords so you’ll have to work with a plan when you start out. Since you’ll be spending on keyword bids, it would be wise to start with a thorough keyword research and work your way through the keyword planner and attempt to make some bids to get a feel for what you may be spending. Also, ensure you place a cap on your daily budgets and never exceed them. What’s more, you can carry out test campaigns but if you’re not experienced, have a PPC expert guide you.
Understanding Quality Score
Google will score your account based on the relevance of your landing pages, keywords, and ads and will use this assessment to rank you high or low on search results, and you’ll also get to pay less CPC from time to time.
Common PPC Mistakes to avoid
- Using broad match keywords
- Not creating enough ads per ad group
- Not reviewing the performance of search partners
- Combining Search and Display in the same campaign
- Not using conversion tracking
- Not bidding on your brand name
Auto Bidding: your bid is automatically adjusted by $0.01 whenever your competitor reviews their bidding.
Bounce Rate: the rate at which visitors leave a landing page when they click on an ad.
Click through Rate (CtR): the percentage representation of how often users click on your ads.
CPM: Cost per thousand impressions
Geographical Targeting: displaying ads specifically to users within a certain region.
Pay-Per-Action (PPA): cost paid whenever a user is converted or completes an action.