Michelle Mckinley is the senior director of growth marketing at CareerArc, a team that offers technology-based social recruiting and outplacement...
Many businesses, especially small, often fear the “pay” in pay-per-click advertisement. This fear can derive from a poor past experience (sometimes the result of attempting PPC without an expert) or the simple idea of losing money.
Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to take some of these businesses under my wing and guide them through the wonderful world that is, PPC advertisement.
Let’s briefly discuss three essential reasons why PPC advertisement is worth the money.
#1 You Have to Pay to Play
Google has officially made the smooth transition from being a search engine to becoming an ad engine. Having the prestigious #1 organic ranking currently means you are placed below eight ads and the local pack. In some cases, this “prestigious” placement requires searchers to scroll beyond the fold to see that you even exist.
Ahh, The Fold…
“The fold” refers to the bottom of your browser screen when you land on a page. Anything “below the fold” requires scrolling to see it.
Here is a screenshot of my search for a puppy sitter (ads represented by the “$”).
Yes, puppy sitting is apparently a thing, and no, you cannot see organic results above the fold.
#2 Target The Perfect Audience
Targeting your PPC with precision like Katniss Everdeen is possible now more than ever.
Source: Lionsgate Films
Google is constantly adding new targeting methods in Adwords to help advertisers find their ideal customers. These methods each have their own unique way of placing ads in front of potential customers during a valuable time in the purchasing process.
Targeting is one of the most valuable assets of PPC and can be used to create hyper focused ads and overall online experiences for your target market.
There are even tools out there to make the process of targeting a breeze. At Directive Consulting, we like to use software to audit competitors and ensure that our targeting is spot on. We can analyze search volume and see exactly what other businesses in the industry are doing by using semrush.com.
In the world of PPC, it is a great strategy to do exactly what your highest performing competitor is doing, but do it a little better.
Don’t get me wrong! There is always room to formulate unique strategies that will blow the competition away.
To get an idea about the targeting you can do in Adwords, here are a few examples…
- Keywords: This targeting method has been the bread and butter of Adwords for many years. Keywords give advertisers the ability to choose what search terms they want their ads to show for. Any business can use this method to show up at the top of Google for nearly any search related to their service or product.
- Remarketing: Getting someone to your website is a feat in itself, but getting them to come back can be a battle that is often lost. Luckily, building a remarketing list can easily solve this problem. You can show both display and search ads to people who have visited your website.
- Managed Display Placements: Display ads sometimes get a bad rep due to poor performance. This is often a result of the pages Google automatically chooses to show your ads on. Managed Display Placements lets the advertiser choose what website, and even what page on a website they want to show their ads on.
- Ad Scheduling: Showing ads 24/7 can be costly for any business and will most likely lower the ROI. Ad scheduling lets you show your ads during peak times of the day and even lets you adjust bids during these times. This feature comes in handy when you are running a call only campaign and have people by the phone during specific hours.
- Negative Keywords: This is a form of anti-targeting that can plug up leaks in an account. By stacking negative keywords into a campaign, you can save your precious budget from searches that you are not looking for. A common example of a negative keyword is the term “job”. Having “job” in your negative list will prevent job searchers in your industry from clicking on your ad.
All of these targeting methods can be used to work together so that your business is part of the discussion during every move a potential customer makes online.
I think you are starting to realize how much control you can have with PPC advertisement, but hold onto your horses, there is still one more key ingredient.
#3 You Can Track Their Every Move
Some of the most advanced tracking in advertisement can be done using PPC.
Knowing exactly what keywords, days of the week, and hours of the day are resulting in conversions is how you make money using PPC. Without this knowledge you could be advertising in the dark and completely missing your target audience.
Once tracking is setup, it is easy to see how much you are spending to achieve a conversion for each keyword. Once you collect enough data, it is then time to focus on high performing keywords and boot the ones that just aren’t working out. This gives you the ability to be sure that your Adwords account is stuffing your pocket and not burning a hole in it.
Most importantly, in-depth conversion tracking can make it possible to scale an account and maximize ROI.
Setting a cost per acquisition (CPA), is an easy way of setting the bar for keyword performance. This gives a limit on how much we can spend to achieve a conversion.
For ecommerce, it is essential to link your Google Analytics ecommerce tracking goal into your Adwords conversions. This unlocks the ability to view revenue and cost side-by-side in your Google Adwords and Analytics accounts.
For service businesses we use a simple formula to determine CPA.
Total Average Revenue Of Service – Overhead Cost – Desired ROI x Lead Close Rate = CPA
With this type of tracking in place, optimizing accounts to achieve a positive ROI can be a process done with confidence. No guessing games here.
Are You Ready To Conquer PPC?
PPC advertisement definitely has its pros and cons, but as you can see, most of the cons are avoidable. If done correctly, I truly believe that PPC Adwords management can be beneficial for most businesses looking to be prosperous with their online efforts.