5 Paid Search Tips for Beginners
You already know how it works. You type a keyword or phrase into the search ending and a list of results comes up. What you may not realize is that the order of those results is based on a complex algorithm set by the search engines. While there are SEO techniques that can (and should) be used push your website to the first page of Google, PPC (pay per click) advertising is a great way to make sure your target audience is exposed to your website while you wait for your organic reach to improve.
Understanding Pay Per Click Advertising
PPC advertising doesn’t work if you don’t understand it; and a lack of understanding could cost you tons of money. The PPC system is a bid system, in which companies who are willing to pay the most for clicks get exposure in the paid boxes on the search engine page. The more a company is willing to pay, the higher he appears in the paid ad boxes. The higher you can get on the list, the more likely you are to get clicks.
Keyword Research is Critical
That being said, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on PPC if you have a good keyword campaign. Keyword research will help you to find target keywords that may be profitable while not quite as competitive, improving your odds of appearing at the top of a paid ad list without spending as much money as you would on the insanely popular keywords. The more targeted your keywords, the better your results will be.
Short and Sweet Ad Copy
None of the above matters if the ad copy you write is boring. Keep it short, sweet, and actionable – inspire your reader to click on your ad instead of the others above and below it. The good news here is that you can create several ads to track in your PPC platform. You’ll quickly see which ones are resulting in clicks and conversions and which are not. Delete the duds so you aren’t wasting money and pull your efforts and budget into the ones that are.
Set a Budget
This is where most companies go wrong – setting up PPC campaigns without actually determining a budget for the timeframe or campaign. Your budget will evolve over time and you’ll need to start with something realistic that can be adjusted as you are able to calculate your return on investment. You’ll need to consider the net profit you earn from your product or service, the number of visitors that buy versus the number who click and do not buy, and the total cost for each click. If you’re paying more for clicks than you are earning in profit, you have a problem and need to go back to the drawing board. Readjust your keywords and copy to target a different or more defined audience.
Create an Actionable, Relevant Landing Page
Your PPC campaigns do not have to lead directly to your website’s homepage – where a potential customer may become overwhelmed and confused. Create a very specific landing page where you can outline the product you’d like to sell and devise a great call-to-action. Make sure the landing page and the ad match and you’ll see a much greater conversion rate than if you simply directed your customers to a general page.
They key to a successful paid search marketing campaign is doing your homework in advance. Understand how the platforms work, test your campaigns, and constantly make adjustments. You’ll be thrilled with the end results.