The last post on PPC, To Pay Or Not To Pay
pointed out that sometimes paid search may not be the right marketing activity for your business. If however you can see an opportunity for your business to attract additional visitors via paid search, then these tips should help you get started.
Paid search in a nut shell
Before I dig in to the detail, I'll briefly re-cap how paid search works...Paid search refers to the listings at the top and right hand side of search engines results pages (SERPs). Each time one of these ads is clicked, the advertiser will pay for that click, which is why paid search is often referred to as Pay per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC).
Each time a user makes a search an auction takes place for that keyword phrase with advertisers bidding for the best position on a SERP. The bid is not the only factor that determines position. Quality score is also used - this is a metric out of 10 that search engines use to reward advertisers who have the most relevant ads and landing pages. A higher quality score reduces the cost of clicks. This Google video eloquently explains how Google ad auctions work.
5 tips for setting up paid search campaigns
• Make a list of the products or services that your website offers to form a seed list.
• Use a keyword research tool to research this list and find out what actual terms people are using to search for these products and/or services such as the Google Keyword Tool
, the Google wonder wheel
• Set up a campaign for each distinct product or service, and then group similarly themed words into individual ad groups. The more granular you can make these ad groups the better. You want to aim to have about 20 keywords per ad group.
• Set up ad texts specific to each ad group - 2 or 3 ad texts per ad group is a best practice. Try to make the ad texts as relevant to the keywords in that ad group as possible.
• Set up conversion tracking so you can see if the terms bring in relevant visitors.
5 things to avoid when setting up paid search campaigns
• The Google Content Network
: this can be very effective for generating targeted visits as part of a long-term strategy, but it's worth avoiding if you are new to Adwords as it is easy to burn through money very quickly without getting a decent return on investment.
• Bidding on high volume generic terms without implementing negative keywords
: these terms can be very expensive and do not always generate the best converting visitors. If you need to bid on generic terms, make sure you include negative keywords
to weed out irrelevant traffic.
• Sending traffic to a homepage
: you need to make it easy for visitors to complete an action, so send them to pages tailored to specific campaigns rather than making them dig around for the relevant content.
• False Offers
: you may be tempted to promote an unrealistic offer in your ad text to push up your click through rates, but if users do not find this offer on your website you'll turn off potential customers and the paid search providers will also penalise you. Keep keywords relevant to ad text and ad text relevant to the landing pages.
• Focusing only on advert click through rates (CTRs)
: it is in the interests of the paid search providers to encourage you to promote your best performing ads, but you need to make sure that these ads attract relevant visitors that then go on to convert by making a purchase or signing up to the site etc. Focus on achieving a target cost per conversion - and do this by increasing your CTRs and improving your conversion rates
These are just a few tips to get you started.
For more hints and advice take a look at other posts on this blog or try out the blogs listed below: