What is PPC & how should it fit into my Digital Marketing Strategy?

You own a business, or are responsible for marketing one. You have a visually-appealing website but you are struggling to acquire traffic, and when you do, these visitors don’t appear to spend long on your site. Furthermore, they don’t take any action towards conversion. Perhaps it’s time to consider some online Paid Advertising to increase your qualified web traffic, and therefore your possibility of moving customers down the funnel towards conversion.

In this article, we will particularly focus on Google Pay-Per-Click, commonly referred to as PPC. This form of advertising can deliver real results from a new audience that has never before encountered your brand, although we believe that Paid Search should be approached tentatively and in a planned and controlled way to ensure that your advertising is generating real ROAS or Return on Ad Spend.

What are the options within Google?

You have two options on Google Ads that work on a cost-per-click basis. In PPC advertising you pay every time a web user clicks on your advert.

Search Network

Google Search network includes ads that appear on Google search results page for example Google Search, Shopping or Maps. On the Search network, the user is actively searching for either your brand, or what your brand has to offer at that very moment. You have the option to advertise on any number of keywords including your brand name, or on generic keywords that show that the user is looking for a product and service that you offer. For example, if you are selling dog grooming services in Liverpool, you might bid on keywords, ‘Dog groomers Liverpool’, ‘Dog groomers Merseyside’, ‘Dog grooming companies Liverpool’ and so on. As well as delivering ads to users of Google, you have the option to increase budget towards those that have already been on your website, or your current prospects. For the latter, you’ll need to upload their GDPR-compliant email addresses on to Google ads.

Display Network

Display ads will be shown on any websites that partner with Google for example YouTube or Gmail. Display ads are the visual banner ads that you see across the internet which, according to Google, reach over 90% of global internet users. Display advertising is by it’s nature more passive than Search advertising – the web user is not currently searching for the product you offer – as with Search, but they are shown your advert whilst they are browsing other articles or websites. If you are considering Display advertising, we recommend that you start by retargeting your current audience with adverts. Perhaps you want to promote a particular piece of content to those that have viewed a certain page on your website to move them further down the funnel, or is there a particular offer or campaign that you want all those that have recently visited your website to see? Retargeting can be much more effective than Prospecting (or delivering ads to a prospective audience) in terms of ROI.

Where to start on Google Search Network

As with many marketing campaigns, it’s the research beforehand that will help you to make the most of your budget and give yourself the best chance of achieving your campaign objectives. Ensure that you, or whoever is responsible for your online marketing puts together a robust plan. The idea is to find out the keywords with significant search volume that are most likely to bring in a qualified audience to your website at the lowest cost possible. Here at Tweak, we use Google Keyword Planner and SEM Rush as well as searching incognito for the keywords in question. The latter is important to see which brands pop up and the sort of copy that they are using. Remember that your advert will appear amongst numerous other adverts and in order to stand out, it’s really important to have punchy, catchy headlines and if possible, to offer USPs that aren’t being used by every other advertiser. Also, it’s so important to thoroughly research your competitors at this point to see where they are doing well Organically. You can then gain competitive advantage by bidding strategically on Paid.

How much should I spend?

The budget that you put behind paid advertising will vary greatly according to your industry, product or service. We have seen Cost per clicks as low as 18p and as high as £49. Think about it, if you are selling £10 pen, you are probably not, ideally, going to want to pay more than 50p per person in the medium term to attract potential buyers to your website. If you are selling an IT software that costs £25k, then you would be prepared to pay more for every prospect. On Google Ads, you can set a budget limit per day and also a maximum Cost Per Click bid limit. Make sure that you don’t hamper the success of your campaign by setting your bid limit too low, though.

Which match types should I use?

This depends on your goal. If you know exactly how your customers are searching or if you want your keywords to be really specific, then exact match could work for you. We find Phrase match to be a good option – still bringing in targeted traffic, but at the same time you’re learning a little about your audience and the ways they are bidding. Occasionally Broad Match Modifier may be a viable option if you really want to gather some insights about how your customers are searching. If you ask our opinion, never, ever, bid on broad match! This can be a complete waste of budget and the traffic that comes to your website will cost you, but in our experience, will not be qualified.

Is SEO a better Digital Marketing Solution?

In our opinion, Paid Advertising and SEO should work in tandem. The ultimate goal is to appear top in the Organic search results, however this isn’t always easy. Plus, Paid ads do appear before Organic listings, so in some cases you may wish to push the boat out with an advert, depending on the importance of the message. A Paid campaign on Google can be running and acquiring traffic within 24 hours whereas SEO is a medium to long-term solution that requires significant resource. Also, there are some keywords for which you’ll find it’s near impossible to rank organically in any useful position and in this case, there’s an argument for advertising. The ways that we often use Paid Search at Tweak for our clients are to promote particular current campaigns, to defend our clients’ brands against competitors, or as part of an Overall search strategy to complement the gains we are making on SEO.

Interested in promoting your business on Google PPC?

We’d love to chat. Please call us on 01372 602615.