Pay-Per-Click for Beginners by: Brian Newmark 22 Sep 2014
I’m often asked “How do I get started doing pay-per-click?” After saying, you know there is a book Pay Per Click for Dummies… I do try to help. Here are some of my insights which lay a good foundation for understand pay-per-click.
Pay-Per-Click or PPC is an online advertisement format where advertiser pays for web traffic on the basis of clicks on their ads. It is a quick way to get targeted traffic to your site or other landing page. PPC has historically been dominated by Google and Yahoo and their ad-networks. Recently Facebook has become an extremely powerful tool in PPC. As I shared in Why PPC May NOT Be For You, PPC can also be expensive and a quick way to lose money if you are not careful.
Let us take a deeper look into Pay-Per-Click with this beginners guide to PPC
1) Analyze your business. This is hard for many business owners because they are working in their business, not on it. This is why so many turn to someone who can manage or optimize their PPC campaign.
Ask yourself, what is the desired outcome and what are the various costs include cost per lead CPL, cost per click CPC and cost per acquisition CPA utilizing your current strategies. Having this critical baseline data an important first step in assessing the viability of a successful PPC campaign. For instance I am working on a new campaign and we just can’t make the cost of PPC work, so we’re going to utilize paid Tweets to drive traffic. I’ve had a lot of success, but plenty of failure with every strategy out there. Unfortunantely, there is no one solution.
As a generalization, If your business requires something to be sold, a product or a service then PPC can be particularly effective if margins are high enough. If selling is not a top priority and the benefits include perhaps subscription or brand building then PPC should be used cautiously. Banner ads can be helpful for branding and PPC can be used for it.
2) Landing pages
Any advertisement needs a funnel to catch potential leads and traffic. This becomes especially important when that ad requires a budget. Landing pages can catch your visitors and convert them into a sale thus improving your overall conversion rate for the advertisement.
A good landing page should be up to the point, if selling is a top priority then the buy now button and the information about the product is just enough. If subscription is a priority then the subscription fields with an optional image pointing at the subscription box is enough. The landing page should never have distractions. It should only have the required information and nothing else.
3) Keyword research
PPC is mostly about keywords and a good keyword research not only saves money but also improves conversion and click through rate -CTR.
There are many keyword research tools but I typicall utilize Google Adwords Tools – Keyword Planner as a starting point. From there, I’ll typically will look at Google Trends and Small SEO Tools to gain additional insignt. When researching for keywords the things that matter most are often the budget and the countries that are being targeted. Traffic from USA or Europe converts best and is also the most expensive compared to the Asian countries that costs less and converts low. Again, it goes back to the simple question, what is the objective?
With Facebook quickly becoming major competition in the PPC market through their ad program, demographic got a whole new meaning. The targeting is much more accurate as Facebook already has all the details that it need. For instance, If I’m marketing last minute Carribean vacations in the month of February at Couples Resort, I would target people who have married or in a relationship as their status who livin Northern states. Marketing to single people in Florida will have a much lower conversion rate. If you search for something on Google, Facebook will show related ads in your Facebook account targeted to your search query. If you do not logout from your Facebook account and browse the internet, then with the help of the Facebook like and share buttons, Facebook can keep a record of your browsing history and patterns. All this helps to fine tune ads which is great for PPC but perhaps not so great for privacy issues.
5) Test your ads
It is always better to test your ads with a small budget. There are many ad platforms that are based on PPC like the insanely popular Adwords or Yahoo and Bing Ad Network the increasingly popular Facebook ads or even in-text or contextual advertising through Infolinks or Chitika (only for very large campaigns). But having alternatives and options does not add up to success, as some of these networks might not work for your products or niche. Each one has its own best uses and quirkes. I’ve come to develop my own strategies and keep doing what works.
So, doing a small test with a limited budget will reveal what works best for you. From there on, in the long run you can do more of what has worked and stop doing things that are less effective.
6) Keep optimizing
Keywords and other metrics of an advertisement require constant check and update. Sometimes a particular keyword can become less effective and it will require a change. One needs to regularly add new keywords and remove the less effective ones out of the campaign.
There are competing ads that bids for the same keywords that you have bid for. If the competitor has put more funds on that keyword then his ads will out-weigh yours and that will result in a lower click through for your ads. To make your ads more visible, your budget has to be adjusted or you might have to bid on some other keywords. Be careful about getting lazy. I can’t tell you how many clients over the years have said my account is doing fine. I log into the Adwords account only to find that while they have some words optimized, others are doing nothing for them. I simply ask, “are these leads profitable for you?” If the answer is yes, I say “how much more money would you like to make?” As you can imagine that gets their attention and typically, me another client. It take time and vigilance to win a pay-per-click. There is no such thing as set it and forget it.
7) Rinse and Repeat
Some of the ads will perform better than the rest. You can check the stats if you configure your Google Analytics for goal settings. That way, you can see which one is converting and performing well and what other ads are not doing as well. Keep doing more of the things that are working and please remove the ads that are not performing well. People don’t realize that Google is looking at the overall picture.
Pay per click requires research, funds and patience. Things can do wrong; mistakes can be minimized but not completely eliminated. One has to be prepared for losses in a PPC campaign. There is a lot of potential in PPC and the more you research, the better will be the results.
For other of my insight, please visit my more active blog about Content Marketing www.BrianNewmark.guru
By Brian Newmark
Brian Newmark is a content marketing expert with expertise in reputation and brand management. Newmark's has a tremendous portfolio of International Accounts, with a specific focus in the MENA region. Catering to high profile individuals, multi-national businesses, political figures and governments throughout the world Brian is able to both control what shows up on search results as well as public perception. To accomplish these challenging objective, Brian utilizes high profile media outlets, bloggers, third party sites, as well as cutting edge technology for sentiment and moderation. Brian has 20 years experience in the marketing field with more than 10 years in digital marketing. In that time he has run massive Pay Per Click campaigns, Social Media Campaigns, been a thought leader in Reputation Management, and led the way with thought provoking public perception campaigns. Recently, Brian Newmark has shifted his focus to monetization of high traffic websites. There are so many sites which receive high traffic, but the revenue generation is limited to the core business of the site, often overlooking cross marketing opportunities. In 2014 Brian Newmark co-founded Augment Marketing LLC with his long time associate Timothy Boyd. Together they are bringing new thought leadership to the digital marketplace. With an office in Radnor, Pennsylvania and partnerships in Saudi Arabia and India they are able to tackle nearly any marketing project. Visit their website at http://augment.marketing to learn more. In addition to staying busy in the digital marketing space, Brian is partners in Philadelphia based group of Indian Restaurants operating under the name Tandoor India. This gives Newmark an opportunity to mix his passion for marketing and his love of Indian food. Brian lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania with his wife of 18 years and his two children. In his free time, Brian enjoys travel, automobiles, jogging and time with his family.