The PPC Guide: Your Resource for Paid Search Advertising
Here at Internet Marketing Media Services, our mission is to put money in our clients’ pockets. One of the best ways to do so is through PPC advertising and marketing. This article can serve as a guide to ensure your team understands the basics of PPC. Once it does, your brand will be on its way to increasing both profit margins and ROI. Also, your company will understand how to use its budget well and convert plenty of leads. Are you ready? Let’s get started.
An Introduction to PPC
PPC stands for pay-per-click. It serves as an advertising model to assist marketers when they put ads on online platforms. The marketers then pay the platforms whenever an ad receives a click. To avoid confusion, PPC is sometimes referred to as “SEM.” What is the main goal of placing a PPC ad? It is to get people to click so that they will access your app or website. Once this takes place, your team’s next goal is to convert that lead into a buyer.
Some of the best advertising platforms in the world are search engines. Why? Brands can feature ads based on the terms people are searching for. Bing Ads and Google Ads are two popular examples of online advertising services. They both use RTB. This stands for real-time bidding. This is when inventory gets sold in automated auctions. These private auctions take place thanks to real-time data getting applied.
The Basics of Paid Search
All popular SERPs contain ad spots. (SERP stands for search engine results page.) Every ad spot leads to an auction occurring that’s based on the specific keyword in the search. Which company appears at the top of the SERP varies on a case-by-case basis.
It depends on criteria such as ad quality and the exact bid amount. Auctions are the lifeblood of PPC. As soon as someone searches for a keyword, an auction takes place. Any advertiser can make a bid for whatever keyword they believe will connect to their brand. Once the advertiser wins the auction, their ad can get featured on the SERP.
How does a company take part in auctions? The advertiser first needs to create accounts on platforms such as Google Ads. It can then create the ads and figure out where it believes the ads should get viewed. Most companies have their accounts split up into different campaigns. What are some common campaign factors? They include criteria such as the type of product and the locations of the searches. Next, advertisers divide the campaigns into ad groups. Each group features distinct ads and specific keywords.
The Two Main Platforms of PPC Marketing
When it comes to PPC, there are two popular platforms. They are Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising. In fact, Google Ads is the number one PPC platform in the world. Since 2000, Google Ads has gone through many changes. And those changes have benefited marketers across all industries.
The platform has a reputation for assisting all sorts of businesses. From small mom-and-pop stores to Fortune 500 companies. Microsoft Advertising is like Google Ads in many ways. It uses PPC technology to showcase ads on Microsoft and Yahoo-related websites.
Many people love that Microsoft Advertising takes advantage of Search Partners. Keep in mind that Microsoft Advertising focuses on the keywords within ads. There are more desktop searchers interacting with Microsoft Advertising than many people expect. For example, there were 137,000,000 unique desktop searchers on the Bing Network in 2017.
The Importance of Keywords for PPC
Keywords are the heart and soul of PPC. Without them, advertisers cannot connect to people’s search queries. What are the queries? They are the words searchers type into platforms like Google. Keywords serve as the bridge that connects the searchers to advertisers. That’s why advertisers target potential customers using relevant keywords.
Keep in mind that every single letter and word in a keyword can affect the outcome of results. For example, say your company is a hamburger restaurant. Your team should know which exact keywords get more traction. Sure, “burgers near me” and “hamburgers by me” mean the same thing. But one of them may connect with way more search queries than the other.
PPC Campaign Ads
Understanding how to use keywords is not enough. Your team should also know how to use ads in campaigns. All ads get placed into ad groups. Each ad group goes after certain sets of keywords. That’s why each ad group must have a specific theme.
Your company’s ads need to be as perfect as possible. Why? Because they’re what people see after auctions take place. You only get one shot (and a few seconds) to interest each person. So, your team must make their ads as amazing as possible. (IMMS can help your team create award-winning ads. Give us a call today for more information.) Campaign ads always feature three things:
- -an eye-catching headline
- -a brief description
- -a URL
Where the ad appears depends on the specific SERP. Some get featured at the bottom of pages and some get placed at the top. It’s worth the time and effort to test out different variations of ads. Testing will help your team figure out what works the best. It’s also helpful to use ad extensions. Extensions can make your ads look more appealing. Popular platforms such as Bing Ads and Google Ads offer these extensions.
Managing Your PPC Budget
Some auctions won’t cost your company much money. Others will be very expensive. This is why your brand has to figure out an exact budget and then stick to it. Your budget can get divided into two separate factors:
- The dollar amount for each campaign.
- The dollar amount for bidding. (This applies to the ad groups and keywords.)
It’s all right for campaign budgets to go over-budget on some days. But you should never overspend on a campaign’s total monthly budget. Your brand’s account strategy will determine the budget. Keep in mind that bid-numbers allow your team to control their spending. Any ad group has to have a bid. How much money an advertiser spends depends on more than the total bid amount. Factors such as ad rank and the activity of your rival brands also get taken into account.
The PPC Ad Ranking System
Winning an auction involves more than spending the most money. Every search engine considers other variables. That consideration occurs while dividing where the ads get placed on the SERPs. Here’s an example. Google takes the following ad ranking factors into account:
- -the relevance of the ad
- -the quality of the ad
- -the amount of the bid
- -the search context*
- -the format impact**
*This involves parameters involving the person that’s making the search. Common factors include the location, time of day, and what type of device the person is using.
**Formal impact refers to whether the ad features extensions. Many extensions can change an ad’s format.
What’s the number one metric for determining the relevancy of ads? The Quality Score. Here are the factors that search platforms take into account with the Quality Score:
- -CTR (This involves the history of the click-through rate.)
- -the quality of the landing page
- -how relevant the ad and keyword is to the user’s search query
- -how relevant the keyword is to the advertisement
Think keywords are your company’s only targeting option? Think again. There are other options to ensure your ads get viewed by the right people. Make sure your team takes the following into account:
- -the date of a search
- -the time the search occurs
- -what device the searcher is using
- -the location of the searcher
- -specific demographics
The more specific your team’s targeting is, the better your ad will perform. It’s as simple as that. This is another example of why every word in your ad copy must be there for a reason. Here’s an example. You don’t want an ad that connects with retired people when you’re trying to reach millennials. The great thing about bids is you can adjust them at any time to enhance your targeting. This will give you better control of your traffic by connecting with people likely to buy.
Sure, clicks are important. But what’s even more important? Conversions. They’re when someone that’s clicked takes the next-step action that your company wants. This can be anything from signing up for an email list to purchasing a product. This is why it’s so important for your team to track conversions. Otherwise, how will you know if your PPC campaign is working?
Sometimes companies realize that their other marketing channels are driving conversions. If this is the case, your team must determine how to improve its PPC strategies. The key to doing so is using analytics. Services like Google Analytics can help your staff track their conversions. If your team continues to struggle with PPC, please contact IMMS today. We would be happy to give you more advice on how to take your PPC advertising to the next level.