15 Jun How does Search Engine Marketing (PPC) Work?
The PPC Advertising Options
The search network displays your ad at either the top of the page or as one of the eight ads on the right side of the page when searchers enter the keyword phrases. For example, if they are searching for a chiropractor in Tampa and type that into Google, the chiropractor ads will appear at the top and right side of the search results page.
If you bid too low, your ad will not appear on Page One, or may not run at all if your bid is below the minimum. This minimum is determined by Google, based in part upon how much your competitors are bidding on your keyword phrases. Bids are applied within the Google Adwords dashboard.
Your ads’ placement ranking on the page depends upon both the bids and click through rate (CTR) of your ad. For instance, if your ad is receiving more clicks, it may be displayed in a higher position than another advertiser who is bidding higher but has less of a click through rate. This is Google’s way of rewarding good ads that produce results.
The content network displays your ad on websites that display Adsense ads. Google pays a percentage of its advertising revenue to the webmasters displaying those ads. If someone has a website offering weight loss tips, for example, the Google ads for weight loss will appear on those websites. When visitors click on the ads, they are taken to the advertiser’s website. Google then pays a percentage of the money they charged you for the click to the website owner.
How the PPC Process Works
PPC advertising is a skill and involves more than just bidding on keywords. Campaigns need to be managed and ads need to be continually tested. While it is the fastest way to generate targeted traffic to your website, it is also the quickest way to lose your shirt in the shortest period of time if either you or your PPC resource has limited experience.
To run a successful PPC campaign, you need to take the following actions:
- Keyword research to determine the actual keyword phrases that people type into the search engines when they are looking for a business like yours.
- Create ads using those keyword phrases according to Google’s guidelines. Create a landing page on your website with a strong call to action; ad traffic should be sent to a landing page and NOT your home page.
- Include tracking code to determine which keyword phrases are generating actual leads.
- Determine the geographic radius for your ads to run. For example, you do not want your ad for Tampa running in Cleveland.
- Determine your daily advertising budget.
- Regularly test different ads to measure and improve the pull or click through rate (CTR) of the ads in order to reduce ad costs.
- Test your landing page to ensure that your call to action is generating conversions.
Converting Traffic into Potential Customers
The overall goal of a well-executed PPC campaign is to reduce your advertising costs while determining the money keyword phrases. A money keyword phrase is one that generates prospects on a regular basis. Keyword phrases that generate traffic but do not convert into customers are referred to as “tire kickers” or “shoppers.” A good PPC resource will look at this information and begin to eliminate the tire kicking phrases.
He or she can then use that part of your PPC budget to expand your bidding on the money keyword phrases. They will also test your landing pages to ensure that the call to action is effective. For instance, if your page is receiving PPC traffic and there are zero conversions, the landing page needs to be improved. When conversions begin, then the keyword phrases can be fairly tested. The ultimate goal is to drive down your cost-per-lead. Once you know the keyword phrases that are converting, you can stop bidding on the non-converting keyword phrases and increase your budget for the converting keyword phrases.
We have seen cases where a campaign began bidding on a few hundred or more keyword phrases. As the above process was followed, the keyword list was reduced to just three that converted into customers. Now imagine how many new customers you can obtain by spending your ad budget only on the keyword phrases that you know can convert. Now realize how much money you are wasting by continuing to bid on untested keyword phrases that generate traffic but do not convert into customers.
Hot Tip: Once you know your money keyword phrases, you can use them to further optimize your website pages and use them in your online marketing campaign. When they also rank on Page One, the free organic traffic will come from your money keyword phrases.
Check out Google’s Adwords classroom for more “how to” search engine marketing videos.
Our Niche Dominance digital media marketing strategies are designed to evolve with the rapidly changing search engine environment to ensure your business can attain a competitive advantage even with fierce competition.