Pay per click is becoming an increasingly popular tool for organisations. In fact, Google has seen a significant increase in their advertising revenue from 2001 to now, rising to 116.32 billion dollars last year! PPC is widely used and extremely popular amongst marketers due to it giving them the opportunity to achieve many different goals, from improving visibility and gaining new leads, to bringing more traffic to their website and increasing conversions.
It isn’t surprising that businesses are spending more and more on Google Ad campaigns when 64.6% of consumers click on Google Ads whilst they’re shopping online. Strategically crafted PPC campaigns increase traffic, leads and conversions almost as soon as the ads start running. Therefore, PPC is perfect for supplementing with a long term SEO strategy, that way you’re getting immediate results and increasing your organic traffic in the long-term
However, PPC campaigns can be quite complex and require careful planning. With the ability to track ROI to the penny, 34% of marketers believe paid search is one of the most effective marketing tactics, and nearly as many feel it’s among the most difficult to utilise effectively.
Below is our guide on how to successfully set up your Google Ads campaign to maximise return on investment.
The first thing to think about before you start your Google Ad campaign is actually optimising your website. It’s important to take a step back and review the quality of your landing pages. When a prospect clicks on your ad, it’s because the content of the ad intrigued them and they want to know more. So, if a potential customer was to click on your ad and they were taken to an unrelated or generic page on your website, the chances are they won’t hang around on your page for long.
A click on your PPC ad shows that a prospect wants to find out more about what the ad was about. Which is why it’s important to create landing pages that follow on from your ads, with more information about the topic your ad is based on.
Not only are good landing pages important for your bounce rate, but they also have an impact on your quality score which in turn affects the position in which your ads appear in Google. And of course, the higher up you appear in the search results, the more clicks you’re likely to get.
A few simple ways in which you can optimise your landing pages include using clear and compelling call to actions, writing attention-grabbing headlines, and making the information on the page easy to digest by using bullet points, stand-out quotations and visuals.
The next step is to choose how you want to bid on your keywords. There are different bidding strategies that you can use on your Google Ad campaigns, and picking the right one will depend on a variety of factors such as your budget and your goals.
Google Ads give you the option of manual or automated bidding. If you’re new to Google Ads, you may want to start with manual bidding, especially if you’re working with a small budget. Manual bidding has the advantage of allowing you to set a cap on the amount you pay for a click.
Alternatively, you can go for automated bidding. This will reduce the amount of time you need to spend on managing your Google Ad campaign, however, you may end up paying more than you would using manual bidding.
Deciding on your budget is a vital part of setting up your Google Ad campaign. One of the best things about paid search is that you can still do it on a limited budget, and you can retain close control over how much you spend.
With Google Ads, you choose a daily budget for each campaign based on your advertising goals and the amount you’re comfortable spending each day. Your daily budget can be changed at any time.
Keyword research is one of the most important parts of your PPC campaign as it’s the backbone of the entire process. Without keywords, there would be no way for the search engine to know when to display your ads. Choosing the right keywords massively contributes to the success of your campaign, by getting you the most views, traffic and conversions.
There are a number of ways to go about selecting the keywords you want to use for your campaign. To get your initial list of keywords you need to think about what you would be searching for if you were a customer looking for your product or service. Another way is to look at what your competitors are bidding on, this can give you an idea as to what your potential customers are searching for. There are a few keyword planning tools which you can use to get keyword ideas, see what the monthly search volume is like for terms you’re thinking of targeting, you can also get an idea as to how much a click would cost you. These tools include SEMrush, Moz and Google’s Keyword Planner.
Once you’ve decided on your keywords, you need to choose what match types you’re going for, these can be exact match, broad match, phrase match or broad match modifier.
Exact match – this is the most specific and restrictive of the keyword match types. In previous years, with exact match users would only see your ad when they typed your exact keyword or phrase, however recent changes that Google has made means your ad will appear for searches containing synonyms or plurals. For example, if your keyword is “luxury car,” your ads will appear for queries such as “luxury cars.”
Broad match – this is the default match type and the one that reaches the widest audience. With broad match, your ad is eligible to show when a user’s search query includes any word in your key phrase, in any order. For example, if your keyword is “luxury car” your ad may appear when someone searches “luxury cars,” “fast cars” and maybe even “luxury apartments.”
Phrase match – this match type offers the versatility of broad match but gives you a higher level of control. Using phrase match, your ad will only appear when a users query includes your keywords in the exact order you entered them. So, using the same example as above, if your keyword is “luxury cars” your ad may appear if a user searches “different types of luxury cars” or “most affordable luxury cars.”
Broad match modifier – this match type can be viewed as somewhere in between broad and exact match types. It allows you to reach a wide audience but with better control of who sees your ad by “locking” in certain words using a ‘+’. For example, if your keyword is “luxury +cars,” Google can only match your ads to queries that include the word “car.”
Another important element of keyword selection is adding in some negative keywords. This filters out the search terms you don’t want to appear for and reduces the number of pointless clicks from people who aren’t looking for what you’re offering.
Now that you’ve sorted your keywords, your budget and you’ve decided on a bidding strategy, it’s time to create your ad copy. One of the key things to remember is to keep it short and to the point, as you don’t have an awful lot of space to catch the attention of prospects.
To help grab people’s attention, it’s a good idea to try to come up with a unique value proposition that makes your offer different to everyone else’s. In your ads, try to describe how you can benefit your customers and include a call to action.
Without a CTA, there’s no point running the ad, because the CTA tells people what they’re supposed to do next. The CTA can be short and sweet, but it must be clear, concise and compelling, such as “buy now” or “find out more here.”
Once your ads are up and running it’s time to monitor and manage them to ensure they’re performing as best as they can. It’s time to start tracking your ads, measuring performance and making changes as necessary to improve results.
Changes you can make include:
PPC isn’t overly difficult, however, it does require knowledge of how the process works and a great deal of planning and research in order to get the best possible ROI from your efforts. The key things to remember are optimising your landing page, setting a budget and choosing a bidding strategy. Then comes the important task of researching and choosing the right keywords for your campaign. This is followed by creating your ads. Once your campaign launches you need to continuously monitor and tweak it to make sure that your PPC efforts are producing the traffic, conversions and leads that you’re hoping for.