In search advertising, Google Advertising - or PPC advertising - is a powerful tool for driving targeted traffic to your website and achieving your business goals. It also has the benefit of being instantaneous. Bidding on keywords means you can literally get your site in front of people who are actively searching for what you do as soon as you have set your campaign up and running.
Here are some pointers to help get things off to the right start:
- Set Clear Goals:
Before you start a PPC campaign, define clear goals such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or driving sales. This will help you plan and optimise your campaign accordingly.
It’s wise to approach things in a methodical way when building a successful PPC campaign. For instance, focus initially on the impressions as this will indicate the amount of people who have seen your ads.
Without sufficient impressions, you have little or no chance of generating the leads you want further down the funnel. Your choice of keywords will determine who gets to see your ads.
When impressions are high enough, you can then focus on sending as many people as possible to your website and move onto increasing the ‘click through rate’ - or CTR .
But beware! To get the best return possible from your campaign, it’s important to send only relevant traffic to your site for the lowest click through rate possible, otherwise PPC advertising can quickly become a costly black hole.
- Create Compelling Ads Copy:
Write attention-grabbing ad copy that highlights the benefits of your product or service. Use relevant keywords in your ad copy to increase relevancy and click-through rates.
Writing good Google Responsive Ads copy requires concise and compelling messaging. Focus on clear and relevant headlines, concise descriptions, and a strong call-to-action. Use keywords strategically, highlight unique selling propositions, and test different variations to optimise performance. Keep the copy engaging and aligned with your target audience and campaign goals.
- Landing Page Optimisation:
Ensure that your landing page is optimised for the keywords and ad copy used in your PPC campaign. The landing page should be visually appealing, have clear and compelling copy, and a prominent call-to-action (CTA) to drive conversions. As the ‘final frontier’ of the campaign, landing pages need to be carefully constructed and optimised.
We look more into best practice for landing page design in the last section.
- Set Budget and Bidding Strategy:
Set a daily or monthly budget for your PPC campaign and choose a bidding strategy that aligns with your goals, such as manual bidding, automated bidding, or target CPA (Cost-Per-Acquisition) bidding.
Deciding on the right budget strategy can be surprisingly tricky, but Google does have some tools that can help. Automated bidding uses machine learning to find the best budget case scenario and this can be a handy way of getting started.
Once you see some trends emerging, it’s then possible to switch over to manual bidding with the aim of outmanoeuvring the competition – or trial a mix of both.
- Monitor and Optimise:
PPC advertising requires regularly monitoring, however, the amount of data provided by Google in the Google Ads platform can sometimes be overwhelming. It helps to get to grips with the basics, including click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS).
Optimisation in PPC includes making data-driven amendments such as adjusting keywords, ad copy, bidding, or landing page elements, to improve campaign performance. This is an ongoing – and sometimes time consuming – process but is critical for improving and success.
- Test and Iterate:
Continuously testing different ad variations and bidding strategies to identify what works best for your business will make sure you are always improving your ad campaigns. Without A/B testing – a technique that is used to compare different elements and make informed decisions – it’s easy to fall into a rut when it comes to your paid advertising, meaning you fail to progress and learn.
A/B testing in paid advertising involves creating multiple variations of your ads and testing them against each other to determine which performs better. It allows you to make data-driven decisions by comparing different ad elements, such as headlines, ad copy, images, and call-to-actions.
Through continuous testing and iteration, you can optimise your ads for improved click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall campaign performance. A/B testing helps you identify what resonates with your audience, improves ad performance, and maximises the return on your advertising investment.
- Keep Quality Score in Mind:
Quality Score is a metric used by Google Ads that affects your ad rank and cost per click (CPC). It depends on factors such as ad relevancy, landing page experience, and click-through rate. Maintaining a high-quality score can improve the performance and cost-effectiveness of your PPC campaign.
- Stay Up to Date:
It goes without saying that like everything in tech, the PPC landscape is constantly changing. Staying up to date with industry trends, changes in PPC platforms, and best practices will ensure that your PPC campaigns remain effective and competitive.
There are always plenty of people on YouTube who are ready to give their advice freely. However, just be careful whose advice you listen to. Guidance provided by self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ should be taken with a pinch of salt. If in doubt, always seek a second opinion.
Quick but potentially costly
A PPC campaign is a fast way to catapult your website to the top of the search engines, but it can get costly if you fail to adopt the right approach.
The aim is to focus on getting the best ‘cost per lead’ – or CPL - possible by continual management and optimsations.
However, even with a low CPL, you may want to consider reducing your reliance on PPC as a tactic in the long-term. One way of doing this is to prepare for the future with SEO, and we take a look at this in our blog ‘Search engine optimisation - a long-term tactic that pays’