Paid Search Marketing is using sponsored areas of a search engine site to carry out advertisements. These search engine sites include Yahoo! Bing and arguably the most influential: Google. Paid search marketing is just one of the various Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques. Keep in mind that SEM differs from SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), with SEM being focused on directing traffic and website presence with organic and paid growth.
There are many terms that have been used interchangeably with “Paid Search Marketing”. Here are some of the terms that you may have come across:
- Google Adwords
- Paid search ads
- Sponsored listings
- Paid search advertising
- PPC (pay-per-click)
- PPC (pay-per-call)
- Paid for placement
- CPC (cost-per-click)
- CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
There are so many different kinds of paid search marketing that we are going to focus on just one. And that is understanding and succeeding at one of the most common types of paid search marketing known as pay-per-click (PPC).
This article will walk you through some of the most important tips to get your paid search marketing campaign ahead of the competition. Read our blog to find out more about using PPC or SEO for your business here!
Understanding how Paid Search Marketing works
(you can add a screenshot here with red arrows)The results that are shown at the very top and on the right sidebar of the search results are considered paid search ads.
Essentially, you are bidding against other companies for the top positions on search result pages when you are campaigning through PPC. What is convenient about this is that you only pay the platform when someone clicks on your ads.
Naturally, the highest bidders are allotted the top positions and they are likely to receive the highest click volume. This, however, begs the question: how do you then rank your site and PPC ad placement higher than the competition, since over 25% of people click on the first result on the page?
Perform Competitor Research
This is where you, as a business owner or digital marketer, should take a step back and observe the industry for your competition. Look out for competitor activeness on promoting their websites or products with SEO or PPC. A quick Google search on relevant keywords will reveal a list of similar companies. Just because they are ahead, this does not mean that you can’t use them to your advantage.
If they have ads, observe how they may have partnered with supporting firms or collaborations to sell their products. Odds are that if their page ranks well on the first page of Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), their own marketers should have taken steps to incorporate good website infrastructure to strengthen their site’s capability to funnel clicks into purchases.
Compare your website with theirs and ascertain how difficult the competition is. Through keyword analysis, if you find that their site draws a ton of traffic from a strong keyword then it might be better to find a more niche keyword to carve out your share of traffic. These keywords can be contained in the meta description or alt text of your ads so Google will pick up your content to be relevant to a user’s search.
No matter how strong or ahead your competitors are, you can still attract instant website traffic with a competitive bid strategy, which will be covered below.
Formulating a Competitive Bid Strategy
Now that we have established the strength of paid search marketing, we can begin to plan how to get the most value for the amount invested into PPC campaigns. There is another argument to discern whether CPC or CPM ads are better for your business. Read our blog for more insight to make the most sensible choices!
Set up realistic goals
Depending on the type of company you have and the purpose of your website, you will want to accomplish different things. Therefore, before anything, you need to come up with well-defined conversion goals.
What do you want visitors to do when they first land on your website? By having these predetermined goals, you will be able to select appropriate keywords, which will allow you to create goal-specific ad copies.
Unsure of your goals? A couple of common conversion goals include completing an online purchase for online stores or gaining newsletter subscribers for media outlets. Plan out what the end-game for your PPC campaign is. Not every campaign has to directly translate to more sales for your company if getting more visibility and recognition is your goal.
Select your platform
(Maybe show an image of the platform with metrics)There are several platforms that offer pay-per-click advertising. However, it is important to pick one that will suit your afore-mentioned goals best.
The most popular ones are Google, the Yahoo! Bing network, and Facebook, but each have their own advantages and disadvantages. You should consider your costs, desired search volume, and target audience.
Although more expensive than the others, Google has the highest search volume. The Yahoo! Bing network has a lower average cost per click, but not nearly the same search volume that Google does.
Facebook offers very precise targeting options, but the users are not actively searching for the products or services being offered. If possible, try testing out multiple platforms to see which would accommodate your needs best.
Do your research on the choice of keywords
Keyword selection is vital in a successful PPC campaign. Your choice of keywords can make or break the campaign. It is important that you carefully identify the best keywords that will aid you most according to your conversion goals.
With PPC, you want to target buyer keywords and not just general keywords that will end up costing you money without delivering results. To do this, you want to be more specific as a high number of hits doesn’t always translate to success.
Generic terms can cost you more per click and visitors won’t necessarily be looking for what your website is offering. You want to target users that are actively looking to make a purchase. This is how to convert your captured clicks into purchases more effectively. You can find out how to optimise keywords for SEO here.
Determine your budget
This already came up briefly when we considered which platform to pick. Working backwards, you will need to identify what your ideal customer acquisition cost is.
If you are selling a product that provides your business with a $1,000 net profit and you anticipate converting 1 out of every 100 visitors then even at a $10 cost per click it will still result in a 100% ROI.
You should ideally play around with some numbers to determine a starting budget and then adjust from there. You can and should constantly optimize the campaign to improve the performance.
Remember that paid search marketing is not a touch-and-go solution to improve your revenue! Ads that are doing well can always do better for your business, so consistent monitoring and tweaking is necessary to guarantee your PPC campaign gets the most value.
Create a compelling ad copy
As always, your ad’s one goal is to grab the attention of the individual performing the search. Just because you have high bids and your ads are showing up on top it doesn’t mean that they will automatically receive clicks.
Your ad title, as well as the description and display URL, should all include the keyword that brought the individual to your ad. This is why it is so important to create very targeted ad groups. If you can start by creating several versions.
This will allow you to see the ones that do well and those that don’t. From there, eliminate the ones that don’t perform well and allocate more of the budget to those ads that are resulting in conversions. There’s always room for improvement, so keep the best ones and try to continue creating new ones.
Send Users to your Product Page with One Click
You don’t need to always use your homepage as a link. You should be sending visitors to whichever page is most relevant to the ad that they clicked.
Many companies create great ad copies and target the right keywords but they simply send the visitor to their home page or a landing page that isn’t relevant to the ad that was clicked on.In the digital age, people want simplicity.
The easier it is for them to get to where they want to be, the more likely it is they’ll enjoy their experience on your website. For example, if you are advertising a specific product in your ad, then make sure your landing page takes visitors straight to the page of purchase for that specific product. This will help your conversion rates, which after all is the point of PPC.
Trial, error, success
As mentioned earlier in the article, PPC is all about testing what you have and adjusting from the results – it requires constant attention. Once set up, you will have to continue working on the PPC campaign to keep it performing.
If you don’t have time to properly manage the campaign and your budget allows for it, you could look into PPC management companies. This way, you will be able to devote your time to other things while the professionals handle your paid search marketing. Our blog has tons of relevant information if you want to get started with your PPC campaign, such as deciding on PPC vs SEO for your professional service.
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