When you have a website, there are two main ways to get it seen online:
- SEO – (Search Engine Optimisation) This can be free to do yourself, but takes countless hours of work, and may take up to a year or more for a new website to hit page 1 of Google or Bing
- PPC – (Pay Per Click) Paid ads on Google or Bing that allow you to bid by keyword for the top spots on the search engine results, with potentially instant results
As increasingly everything is going digital, pay-per-click (PPC) has firmly established itself as a powerful tool to reach targeted audiences and drive qualified traffic to your website.
Of course, there are many ways to advertise online, increasingly through social media as well as paid listings on business directory websites, but Google Ads and Bing Ads have proven to be two of the most popular and effective platforms for running PPC campaigns. However, setting up successful PPC ad campaigns requires a well-thought-out strategy, careful keyword selection, and constant optimisation to make the most effective use of your budget and get the best return on your investment – and of course, PPC advertising is not suitable for every business or product, so let’s delve a little deeper…
Setting Clear Objectives and Daily Budget
Before diving into the technical aspects of PPC ad campaigns, it’s crucial to establish clear objectives and a realistic initial daily budget. Identify what you want to achieve with your ads, whether it’s increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Having well-defined goals will help you measure the success of your campaigns accurately.
Additionally, set an initial daily budget that aligns with your objectives and allows you to test the effectiveness of your ads without overspending. As you gain insights into your campaign’s performance, you can adjust the budget accordingly to optimise the results.
Google Ads vs. Bing Ads: Choosing the Right Platform
Both Google Ads and Bing Ads have their unique strengths and user bases. Google Ads typically reach a broader audience, making it suitable for businesses targeting a wide range of customers. On the other hand, Bing Ads can be advantageous for specific demographics and industries.
Consider your target audience and industry to determine which platform aligns best with your marketing goals. Often, running campaigns on both platforms simultaneously might be the most effective approach, but considering 80-90% of all searches are done online using Google, it’s worth allocating your available budget accordingly.
Crafting Compelling Ads
Creating attention-grabbing and persuasive ads is essential for attracting clicks and driving conversions. Follow these tips to craft compelling PPC ads
- Use Clear and Actionable Language: Use concise and action-oriented language to tell users what you offer and what action you want them to take.
- Highlight Unique Selling Points: Showcase your unique selling points to differentiate yourself from competitors.
- Include a Strong Call-to-Action (CTA): Encourage users to take the desired action, such as “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or “Get Started.”
- Utilise Ad Extensions: Enhance your ads with ad extensions like sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets to provide additional information.
- Testing: Regularly perform testing and experiment with different ad and keyword structures to compare the performance of different ad variations and optimise your messaging.
Identifying Relevant Keywords
As with SEO, keyword research is the foundation of a successful PPC campaign. It involves identifying relevant keywords that align with your business and resonate with your target audience. Here’s how to find the right keywords:
- Brainstorm: Begin by brainstorming relevant words and phrases related to your products, services, and industry.
- Use Keyword Research Tools: Utilise keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Bing Keyword Research to discover potential keywords, search volumes, and competition levels. Third-party keyword tools such as SEMRush, AHRefs or AnswerThePublic can be very useful in finding longtail keywords that there may be less competition for also
- Focus on Long-tail Keywords: LAs well as the primary, more popular keyword, long-tail keywords are more specific and typically have lower competition. Targeting these can help you reach more qualified leads.
- Analyse Competitors: Study your competitors’ ads and keywords to gain insights and identify opportunities.
- Negative Keywords: Implement negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches and avoid wasting ad spend, for example, unless you are a plumber who is recruiting all the time, you don’t necessarily want to advertise for “apprentice”, so this can be a perfect example of a negative keyword.
Geographic and Interest-Based Targeting
Both Google Ads and Bing Ads allow you to target specific geographic locations and audiences based on their interests. This feature enables you to focus your ad budget on areas where your target customers are most likely to be and display your ads to users who have demonstrated an interest in products or services similar to yours.
Most businesses don’t operate 24/7, so running ads all the time is rarely an effective use of your budget. Set the days and times to reflect either your working hours or the times at which you get the most interest or leads from your website. For some industries 9-5 works best, especially B2B industries, but for others such as e-commerce websites appealing to home users it may be that evenings and weekends lead to the most conversions or sales online.
The Setup Process and Maintenance
Setting up PPC ad campaigns can take some time, as it involves keyword research, ad creation, targeting settings, and bid adjustments. However, once the campaigns are live, regular maintenance is crucial to maximise their effectiveness and use of the available budget.
- Monitoring Performance: Regularly monitor the performance of your PPC campaigns, tracking metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and cost per acquisition (CPA).
- Keyword Performance: Analyse the performance of your chosen keywords and make adjustments as needed. Add new keywords or remove underperforming ones to optimise your ad spend.
- Ad Optimisation: Continuously test and optimise your ad copies to improve their relevance and click-through rates.
- Bid Adjustments: Make bid adjustments based on the performance of keywords, time of day, and geographic locations to ensure your ads show to the right audience at the right time.
- Ad Schedule: Use ad scheduling to display your ads during peak hours when your target audience is most active.
- Remarketing: Implement remarketing strategies to re-engage with users who have previously visited your website but haven’t converted.
When is PPC not the correct form of advertising to use?
While pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a highly effective form of online advertising for many businesses, there are specific situations where it might not be the best choice. Here are some scenarios where PPC may not be the correct form of advertising to use:
- Limited Budget: PPC campaigns require a budget, and if your budget is extremely limited, it might not be the most cost-effective option. In such cases, other forms of digital marketing, such as organic SEO or content marketing, could provide better long-term results without the ongoing costs associated with PPC.
- High Competition and Cost: In industries with intense competition and high cost-per-click (CPC) rates, PPC may become too expensive to sustain, especially for small businesses with limited resources. In such cases, focusing on alternative marketing strategies that offer a better return on investment (ROI) might be more prudent.
- Low-profit Margins: Businesses with low-profit margins might struggle to achieve positive ROI with PPC campaigns, especially if the CPC rates are high. If the cost of acquiring a customer through PPC outweighs the revenue generated, other advertising methods may be more suitable.
- Lack of Conversion Optimisation: PPC advertising can be ineffective if your website lacks conversion optimisation. If visitors are not converting into leads or customers once they click on your ads, or the content on your website does not closely relate to your ads, you’ll be wasting your ad spend. Before starting a PPC campaign, ensure that your website is optimised for both content and conversions.
- Irrelevant Audience: If your target audience is not actively using search engines or is unlikely to click on ads, PPC may not be the right choice. In such cases, focusing on other forms of advertising or channels where your audience is more engaged might be more effective.
- Short-term Goals: PPC campaigns typically require some time to optimise and achieve the desired results. If you have short-term marketing goals, such as promoting a limited-time offer or event, PPC might not provide quick enough results. In such cases, other forms of advertising with faster turnaround, like social media, email marketing or SMS, could be more suitable.
- Brand Building: While PPC can help increase brand visibility, it may not be the most effective method for long-term brand building. If your primary goal is to create brand awareness and establish a strong brand identity, investing in other branding initiatives, such as content marketing, social media, website SEO, or influencer partnerships, might be more beneficial.
- Lack of Analytics and Tracking: Effective PPC campaigns require ongoing monitoring, analytics, and tracking to optimise performance continually. If you lack the resources or expertise to analyse and optimise your campaigns you will never really know if it’s working, and so PPC might not be the best fit for you in this instance, or perhaps you need to seek professional help with this.
NEED SOME HELP WITH YOUR PPC ADS?
Creating and maintaining effective PPC ad campaigns on Google and Bing requires a well-planned strategy, thoughtful keyword research, and constant optimisation. By setting clear objectives, crafting compelling ads, and identifying relevant keywords, you can reach your target audience, drive quality traffic, and achieve your marketing goals. Remember to regularly monitor your campaigns, make data-driven adjustments, and optimise your ad spending to get the most out of your PPC efforts. With a focused approach and consistent effort, PPC advertising can be a game-changer for your business’s online success.
Wiser IT is an SEO company in the UK, we perform SEO tasks and audits for companies across the UK. We also create, manage and maintain PPC ads for several B2B and B2C businesses, and if you need a helping hand with this just give us a call.
If you are looking for a PPC consultant to help your business call Wiser IT today on 07941 783434 or fill in the contact form
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