Getting noticed on Search Engine Results Pages or “SERPs” may be a tricky task, but it’s nothing new to your business or marketing department. With the online world turning search engines into what we call “answer engines,” you’ve really got to have a plan that keeps up with the latest algorithm changes for search engines.
It’s easy for your site to get lost in the wasteland of other websites. That's why Google capitalizes on the opportunity to provide Pay Per Click campaigns which bring search results to the top of SERPs. Search Engine Optimization is a huge part of ranking on those SERPs. But, SEO is more of a long game. When you need a more aggressive, in your face strategy, PPC (also known as “search ads”) might be exactly what you need.
Pay per click campaigns are designed to make your ads appear in a prominent position of SERPs.
You can optimize campaigns in several ways. Here are some standard PPC campaign tactics:
- Showing your ad when your audience is online
- Honing in on certain locations
- Turning your ads on or off at certain times of the day
PPC campaigns are relatively affordable.
Each time someone clicks on your ad you pay a certain amount to the search engine partner like Google or Bing. The cool thing is that you don’t need to have any specific kind of business for this strategy to make sense. Businesses of all shapes and sizes benefit from pay per click campaigns as a standard part of their marketing. It's not just “the digital businesses” reaping the rewards of these campaigns.
Pay per click campaigns come in three forms. Text (search ads), display (static or animated images), and video. Being that YouTube is the #1 search engine in the world, it kind of make sense to treat it as such, right?
There are multiple different search engines out there but these three really take the lion’s share of real estate: Google, YouTube and Bing. Luckily, Google owns YouTube so it’s pretty easy to manage. Bing, even without the insane search volume of it's rival, is still important. It covers search engines like Yahoo and Bing. But, if you’re just starting out with your first campaign Google is easily the best option.
According to Net Market Share, 75.43% of searches are made through Google.
When setting up your Google Ad campaign there are certain things to keep in mind, but the easiest way to do this is to start by structuring your campaigns and ad groups to match your website’s structure. It will make it easier as you begin to optimize your campaign and tailor it for your audiences.
Optimizing your ads
Set up a few ads per ad group, so you get a feel for what works best for your campaign. Make sure that you have at least three ads running per ad group. Google will rotate these ads to different people, allowing you to see which drives the most traffic.
Do simple things like make sure your keywords are relevant to your ads and landing pages. You’ll have a higher quality score and it will naturally keep you competitive. Keep a stack of creatives on hand or make new ones to test creative and messaging when running display ads.
The more ads you have, the better chance you have at knowing which ad performs best.
Lastly, don’t get stuck with all the options but definitely utilize ad extensions. Ad Extensions are extra snippets of relevant information about your business that can be added to your text. You can add things like promotion extensions, links to other pages on your website, call extensions and much more. Use location extensions if you have multiple locations or a small business that only caters to a specific area(s). These give your customers the information they need quickly and make them more likely to choose your ad over your competition.
Making sure your keywords are relevant is one of the key, critical elements to any PPC campaign. Be sure to group them into categories that match your campaign structure. Remember that tidbit we mentioned about “answer engines” earlier? It’s not about what you want to show up for in a search. It’s about what people are searching for when they’re finding your business products or services. Think of phrases and questions people might research online when they experience pain points that your products or services serve. Align those words and phrases with your campaigns and ad groups.
Have a Strategy
Coming up with a strategy can be kinda stressful if you think you don’t know enough about PPC, right? We're here to give you the kick in the pants you need to stop that kind of thinking right now.
You HAVE to think of this as an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. Think of your PPC initiatives as an extension of your “pound-the-pavement” sales team or your account executives on the floor. It’s part of your digital footprint and, most importantly, how you’ll drive leads and sales.
When building a strategy, think of your sales process, buying cycle and anything else that keeps your business open. Don’t be intimidated by the internet! Setting up a paid search campaign can be an easy way to gain market exposure.
Follow these tips and you will be on your way to a successful campaign, or if you want a more experienced team to help you, Let’s Talk.