PPC for beginners
Pay per click is a form of online advertising that you, the advertiser, only pay for when someone clicks on your ad.
You start by opening an account with the search engine you want to appear on, such as Yahoo or Google. Then, you decide which keywords you want to target. If you are selling car insurance, you might choose ‘car insurance’, ‘cheap car insurance’ and ‘motor insurance’, for example. You decide the maximum you want to pay (or bid) for each click and you upload your ad.
Pay per Click
Ads appear on the search engine results page (SERP). You, the advertiser, are charged each time a user clicks on an advert. Pay-per-click was very much a strategy adopted in isolation in the past, but recent developments in technology have meant that we are able to assess its impact on a wider scale and therefore attribute a more accurate value against its contribution to both online and offline channels.
As the market has developed over recent years, so has the sophistication of the search engine ranking models with relation to PPC activity. To achieve your desired ranking on the SERP, you must optimize the combination of search term, creative description of listing and website landing page that a given user will experience. These are the key considerations when building or optimising a PPC campaign:
- It is essential to build keyword lists that are relevant to your business. You will pay more for appearing on those that are not relevant and they will be less likely to convert, so you will be wasting money.
- You must create well-structured adgroups and campaigns that allow you to manage your accounts effectively and also encourage more relevant creative and keyword combinations to be displayed to the user.
- You must ensure the ad text is relevant to the keywords being displayed and also highlight the USPs of the product / service advertised. This will encourage a higher CTR which will positively impact quality score.
- User experience is vital, so you must ensure that the ad reflects the content of the landing page. This will again have a positive impact on quality score and also encourage the user to stay on the site for longer.
The impact of all the above factors will be less if an effective tracking solution is not in place. It is vital to measure all traffic passed through your website and understand the value all clicks / impressions have in the buying cycle.
With all the data available to a PPC marketer, it is vital that you have the right approach and technology to enable effective analysis and as a result make informed decisions on optimisation.
There is no substitute for experience in understanding where, when and by how much a campaign strategy should be altered. A combination of experience and technology is the key to success.
Your ad is quality scored by the search engine; each search engine has a proprietary method for doing this. It’s based primarily on CTR, or Click Through Ratio, meaning the number of times the ad is clicked divided by the number of times it is served (impressions). Therefore, the more people who click on your ad, the higher your CTR. Other factors, including the usefulness of the landing page that the ad takes you to, are also taken into account.
The better your quality score, and the more you are prepared to pay, the higher up the page your ad will appear when a user searches on one of your chosen terms. However, ads with a high quality score can achieve better (higher) positions on the page than others with a lower quality score who have bid more for that keyword.