Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising is a highly effective way to drive targeted prospects to blogs, websites or sales pages. E-marketers can choose from Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, Facebook Advertising, MSN Adcenter (Bing), etc. However, most marketers prefer Google AdWords for their PPC marketing because it displays their ads on Google search pages.
Benefits of Pay-per-Click Advertising
Though Pay-per-Click marketing costs money, it has four important benefits:
- Speed and convenience: Advertisers can set up a PPC ad campaign quickly and easily. They can use PPC ads to target prospects with precision and can get results almost immediately.
- Adaptability: Keywords, ad text, and other elements of PPC ads can be constantly tweaked to maximize their effectiveness,
- Cost-effectiveness: Google AdWords charges advertisers only when someone clicks on their ads (and not merely when their ads are displayed).
- Budget flexibility: Google AdWords does not have a minimum spending requirement so advertisers can decide the budget of their Pay-Per-Click campaign. For example, they can set a maximum daily budget of ten dollars and a maximum cost of ten cents for each click on their ad, which they can change whenever they want.
However, despite all these benefits of PPC advertising, first-time marketers may lose money unless they set up their PPC marketing campaign properly.
Preparation Before Starting Pay-per-Click Marketing
The first thing newbie marketers should do is to read the Google Adwords Getting Started Guide, which has a wealth of useful information. Next, they should use the Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool and create a comprehensive list of relevant keywords for their products or services.
Use of Long Tail Keyword Phrases
Since the price per click of PPC ads is determined by competitive bidding of search terms, popular search terms such as insurance, weight-loss and stop smoking cost several dollars for the top three positions on the search results page. On the other hand, long tail keywords are phrases that are not searched very often but are more likely to be used by people who are willing to buy. For example, a long tail keyword phrase such as natural ways to stop smoking without losing weight will attract a much smaller target group. However, they are more likely to buy the product.
Attractive and Effective PPC Ads
Well-written ads are crucial for successful SEO and Pay-per-Click marketing. They should highlight the key benefit of the product or service so that potential clients click on them.
Marketers should also include these elements in their ads:
- The price of the product: Users who see the price of the product and still click the ad are more likely to buy the product. If they think the price is too high, they may not click on the ad and save the cost of that click.
- A strong call-to-action: A specific call-to-action phrase such as buy, purchase, call today, order, sign up, etc. ensures that the prospects understand what they are expected to do after they click on the ad.
- The best performing keyword preferably in the title of the ad: Whenever users type that keyword and the ad is displayed, the keyword phrase will appear in bold font within the ad on the Google search page. This will draw their attention to the ad.
- The URL of the specific page in the website that has the product: If people who click the ad do not find the product at that page, they are likely to exit and click some other ad.
Fine-tuning Pay-per-Click Management to Boost its Profitability
Advertisers can test multiple ads and experiment with different offers and call-to-action phrases. Google AdWords automatically rotates ads within the ad group and displays the better-performing and more often. They can remove keywords that aren’t getting enough clicks and replace them with other keywords. They can also increase or decrease the maximum cost per click and check the effect on the performance of their ads.
Two Additional Strategies to Increase Cost-effectiveness of PPC Marketing
- Submit Negative Keywords: Advertisers should make a list of keywords that cause their ads to be displayed but are not related to their product. They should submit them as negative keywords by putting a negative sign in front of those keywords. This will ensure that anyone using those keywords will not have their ad displayed to them. For example, if their product is about how to stop smoking, advertisers should exclude smoking chimneys and other sources of smoke!
- Disallow Ads to be Displayed in Google’s Content Network Partner Sites: Clicks from these websites are usually of a lower quality than those from search results because they come from people who are browsing that website, not people who are actively searching for the product of the advertiser. So, these clicks may result in fewer sales but will cost just the same.
Pay-Per-Click marketing has the potential to attract a steady stream of visitors to websites, sales pages or affiliate site resulting in increased sales and profits if it is set up properly and constantly monitored.