Increasing Sales Webinar Series: Pay-Per-Click Advertising
This free webinar was presented by Attracta on August 28th, 2014.
The third in our “Increasing Sales” series, this webinar will go over the basics of Pay-Per-Click advertising. We’ll review best practices for keyword selection, user targeting, and ad copy. Plus, we’ll go over the basics of having a good landing page for PPC, as well as how you can maximize your AdWords budget.
Joe Knipp Attracta Managed Services Team
Vaughn Liley PPC Expert at Finch
Important Links & Resources from this Webinar
Google AdWords is the largest PPC platform on the web, and it allows you to advertise both on Google search, as well as partner sites
Keyword Planner Tool
Google’s Keyword Planner Tool allows you to find the right keywords to target, as well as organize and optimize your PPC campaigns
Joe: All right. Thanks for joining us for today’s webinar. Today we’re going to cover pay-per-click and how you can use that to increase sales from your Web site.
My name is Joe Knipp. I’ve been working in web development for about the last 15 years with a focus on the marketing side of things for the past six years.
With me today is Vaughn Liley.
Vaughn: Good morning.
Joe: He works with Finch. They do PPC on a pretty high level. He’s going to give you some information on optimizing your campaign.
Some of the topics we’re going to cover today are keywords and targeting, ad copy and landing pages, and budgeting and optimization. This webinar’s going to start on a very basic level of knowledge of PPC. Towards the end we’re going to expand on that knowledge and dig into properly optimizing your campaigns.
If you’re familiar with PPC and some of this starts out as a little remedial for you, don’t worry. We’ll get into higher level information throughout the webinar to help you optimize your campaigns and maximize your profits through PPC.
Some other terms for PPC are search engine marketing or SEM. Some people call it paid search, pay-per-click marketing, cost-per-click, and AdWords which is Google’s specific PPC campaigns. For the purposes of this webinar, we’re mainly going to refer to this as PPC or pay-per-click.
What is pay-per-click? It’s an on-line advertising system in which an ad is triggered to display by a keyword search query. The positioning of the ads are determined by a bidding system. The advertiser only pays when the ad is clicked. It’s an auction-based system where the display of the ads are determined by the industry, the competition, quality score, and then the maximum bid or cost-per-click.
In its most simple form, PPC is choosing keywords, writing ads, and setting maximum bids, however, it does get much, much more complicated than that. Some different elements of PPC, you can have your ads displayed in a search network. This is when somebody makes a Google query. There’s advertising space within the Google search page.
Give you an example of that real quick. Here we have a search query for children’s clothing. Down here, this is all the organic search results. There are non-paid ads. Up here we have the top three listings generally are going to be pay-per-click or this is Google’s AdWords. Along down the right column, that is also AdWords ads. The positioning again is going to be determined by a bidding system and the quality score of the ads.
A couple things that we’re going to get into, these links here, these are called site links. They’re one of the many ad extensions you can add to your ad that’s displayed in the search results.
There’s also a display network. There’s millions of Web sites in Google’s network that have ad space on them. This is where your ads can be displayed on other people’s Web sites that are relevant to your actual ad.
Coming soon is Google Shopping. They’re transitioning from PLA, or product listing ads. At the end of the month here on August 31st, this is going to transition into Google Shopping; just something to be aware of there.
When you’re starting a PPC campaign, keywords are the foundation of your campaign. If you’re just starting out, maybe stick to just a few keywords. It can be very tempting to fill your AdWords account with every keyword you can think of. If you’re not familiar with AdWords, and you haven’t worked with it, this can lead to unnecessary costs and clicks that aren’t relevant to your search. Be careful of that.
There’s also a Google keyword planner tool. This is a free tool that Google provides for you, which can show you some metrics on the keywords that you’re thinking about using. It’ll give you things like the average monthly searches, the level of competition for the keyword, and then the average cost per click. The key here is what are people actually searching for your business or service?
Some different keyword match types, there’s exact match. This means your will only appear if someone searches for your exact keyword without any other terms before or after it. These are very, very targeted keywords for your ad to display.
Phrase match, this your ad can show when someone searches for your exact keyword or your exact keyword with additional words before or after it, if it’s within a phrase. You do have to be a little bit careful here. If you say you’re a motorcycle repair shop. If somebody typed in “motorcycle repair careers”, you’d want to not have that in your …. You wouldn’t want your ad to display for that. That could be wasted clicks.
Broad match keywords, this is your ad could show if a search term contains your keyword terms in any order and possibly along with other terms. Your ads will also show for close variations or synonyms of your keywords.
Broad match modifier, this is another type. Your ads can only show when somebody’s search contains those modified terms or close variations of those modified terms in any order. Unlike broad match keywords, modified broad match keywords won’t show your ad for synonyms or related searches. This ad can add more control to your campaign and allows you to increase ad relevancy.
Negative match keywords, this is how you filter out those things like the motorcycle repair careers, which I discussed earlier. By adding negative match keywords, if somebody types in a phrase and the negative match is in there, your ad will not display. This is another form of control where you can just make sure you’re not getting irrelevant searches clicking on your ad and wasting your ad spend.
Some different targeting you can do with AdWords campaign. You can target by location. You can specify which …. If you’re a local business, obviously you don’t want your ad shown to everybody. You just want it shown in your immediate area. This allows you to target not only globally, but you could drill it down to country, state, territory, city, or even just a radius of mileage around your specific location.
Some other forms of targeting, you can also target by demographic. You can search for very, very specific demographics that you’re targeting. If you sell women’s clothes, obviously you will only want to target to women. That’s one example of that.
You can also target specific devices. This is useful if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, yet, you wouldn’t want your ads to display on mobile. Again, if people can’t properly interact with your site, they’re going to click on it, you’re going to pay for it, and then they’re just going to bounce right off your site. Keep that in mind.
Also, consider your audience. Again, if you’re selling children’s clothing, children’s clothing is …. We know that it’s predominantly bought by females after 8 PM on tablets. There’s all sorts of tools there in market research that you can actually see when is your target audience actually searching for your type of business or service. You can set your ads to only display during certain times of the day to again maximize your target audience here.
There’s also contextual targeting. This is used for the display network. Your ads are only going to be displayed on Web sites whose content or theme is relevant to your added sell. This is about the display network. Just make sure that your ad is relevant, again, so you’re not wasting any spend on irrelevant themes or content.
Now let’s talk about ad copy a little bit. One of the elements of PPC is the ad copy. This is a very important element. Your ad copy needs to draw your users’ attention in. You have about less than three seconds to capture a user’s attention. You want to make sure that the copy is extremely relevant to the search query.
Adding keywords into your ad copy increases the ad’s relevancy. Any keywords that you actually use in your ads, if that was used for the search query, those are going to return in bold. Again, it can catch the user’s eye. Relevancy is a very, very big part of your ad copy.
The elements of your ad copy …. This is the same throughout Bing, Yahoo, and Google. Your headline is allowed 25 characters or less. Your body copy is 70 characters or less. There’s two lines. It’s 35 characters per line. Your display URL is also 35 characters or less. This is the page that you’ll be targeting for your ad.
Again, you want to use a keyword in your ad copy. This is going to be returned in bold. This increases relevancy, catches people’s eyes. Also within your ad copy you want to include what are the features or benefits? What is the user gaining by going to your site and buying from you? Do you have a discount to offer? Are you the lowest priced offer, things like that.
You also want to use a call to action. Entice the user to click on your ad. It is important to note that you cannot use the term, “click here”. You can’t make claims that can’t be substantiated. You can’t claim you’re the best at something if there’s nothing to back that up. These ads will get removed once they go through review. You have to make sure that you’re keeping everything relevant and accurate.
Some ad extensions, I showed you a little bit about this when we looked at the search result page. There’s site links. These will be links that will display to other pages of your site. If your ad pops up …. This just gives users more reasons to click on your ad. If you’re a local business, if you’re a brick and mortar store, you can display your business’s location. This will add a clickable address that the user can then find you on Google maps and get directions to your store immediately. This is very, very useful.
There’s also a thing called call extensions. This will display a phone number that can be used. This helps you track the calls that you’re actually getting from your ad. It’s one way to track your ad campaign’s effectiveness. There’s many other ad extensions. This is just a few here just to give you a little bit of just familiarity with ad extensions. There’s a ton of different ones. Google’s adding, modifying these all the time. Ad extensions are definitely something to be aware of.
One thing to point out, again, if you’re a new advertiser, start slowly with ad extensions. It can be tempting to add every extension that you can think of that might be relevant to your business. Again, this might end up causing more problems than it does good. Be careful with these things. Test these. How does your ad work with extensions, without extensions, with different extensions? Really hone in on your campaign by using different versions of your ad and seeing what works best.
Once you have your ad campaign going, you want to consider the pages that you’re actually sending your users to. These are the landing pages is the term often used for this. Make sure that your pages that you’re sending your users to are ad-specific. If somebody searched for a certain product that you have an ad for, let’s say a dog collar. Make sure that when they click on that ad, they go to a page.
If they typed in a specific dog collar, you want to get them right to that page. This simplifies your conversions for the users. It should require the least amount of steps possible for the user to complete the goal. Again, if they’re searching for dog collars, make sure they don’t then just land on a home page and have to navigate their way to find the dog collar. Get them right to what they were looking for. This will maximize your conversions; very important that your landing pages are set up properly for your campaign. This is how you can maximize your conversions and profits from this.
PPC, one of the great things about PPC is it allows you maximum control of your budget. You can set daily limits, monthly limits, as soon as your limit is hit, your ad will stop displaying. You can’t go over budget. You get maximum control of how much you’re spending either per day, per month; however you want to drill it down that way.
That’s just a quick basic overview of PPC, some different terms to familiarize yourself with. If you’re more familiar with PPC, here’s how we can optimize your campaign. I’m going to bring in Vaughn Lylie.
Vaughn is from a company called Finch. They do PPC for e-commerce. They do it on a very, very high level. If you have an existing campaign and are interested in maximizing your profits and conversions, you want to check them out at finch.com. He’s going to cover some other things such as retargeting, remarketing, and search, and stuff like that.
If there’s any terms that you’re not familiar in this, we are going to have upcoming webinars on these specific subjects; a lot of good information coming up for you. We’ll also be posting this webinar on our Web site. We’ll have links to any services we may offer, any of the tools we discussed, we’ll have links to all these for you to use. If you’re not watching this live, you can just scroll down and you will see these links on the page there. Vaughn, take it away.
Vaughn: Thank you, thank you, Joe. Good morning. I just wanted to pick up on some of the things that Joe has already covered and get into a little more detail about how you actually go about optimizing your PPC campaigns.
It’s important to understand, in the first instance, that how Google actually operates and what they’re all about. Google really want to provide a good experience to users that are searching for products and services on-line. They also want to provide a good value to advertisers. Ultimately, relevant ads drive more clicks. That is really how Google make their money. They want users to return and click on the ads. They also want advertisers to be able to sell their products as many times as possible, as frequently as possible.
It’s really important to understand how Google actually works. Not talking about the actual inner workings of the Google algorithm, but in actual fact just the very basic fact is that Google take into consideration. It’s not just about the bids, the amount of money that you’re willing to pay for a click; Google looking at a couple of other contributory factors, those being the expected click through rate or the historical click through rate. In other words, based on the ads that have been shown, which are the most popular and which attract the most clicks?
Therefore, that’s beneficial for Google. It links back to this idea, this notion of actually providing a good experience to users. Bear in mind that when you’re writing your ad copy, Google are looking at the historical click through rate of those particular ads. They do want to provide a good user experience. This links into the relevance.
If somebody searches for children’s shoes, for example, they want to arrive at a destination that is actually selling children’s shoes. Don’t go to a landing page or a site that’s selling a dress, or pants, for example. Think about the expected or historical click through rate, the user experience, what are they actually going to find when they land at your site, and the relevance of the ad copy related to the search query that the user has actually made. That’s first and foremost what you should have front of mind when you’re thinking about optimizing your campaign.
People sometimes ask us, “How do Google actually determine the ad rank, and the position of the ad?” There are some factors here that need to be considered. There is the actual amount of money or the bid that you are willing to make for the click. We’ve talked about some of the quality factors, the expected click through rate, the user experience. Very importantly, the relevance and the format actually are very important when Google are looking about calculating ad rank and up position.
Joe had touched on it in terms of side links and extensions. We’ll get on to that in a moment or two. Ultimately, improving the quality of your ad, adding additional ad formats, it certainly can improve the ad position and the ad rank. More importantly than that, it can actually help you buy the click at a lower price point.
When I first got into the PPC business, I actually thought that the people with the most money were the guys that got to the top of the ad rank. That actually isn’t true. Just bear in mind if you are short on budget, then you’ve got to be long on smarts. Take into account some of these additional contributory factors that are going to help drive your ad rank, which ultimately will determine your ad position.
We talked about ad format. Google certainly considers the impact of the format such as site links and extensions. Ultimately, you want to give users more reasons to click your ad than your competition. Ultimately, it’s about increasing the click through rate. If you can do that, you actually get rewarded by Google in terms of the quality score, which then allows you to buy clicks going forward at a lower price point than people that don’t actually deploy or use these techniques.
Joe touched on keywords and the different match types whether that’s exact match, phrase match, broad and broad modified. Exact match keywords are the best types of keywords to use. They’re actually the best type of click to buy. If you think about when you go on-line and you make a search for a product or service, people that are truly interested in transacting business get very specific very, very quickly.
In terms of shoes, for example, they’ll very quickly look at style, color, size, and so forth. The nearer you can get your keywords to match to the search query, the more likely you are, A, to have your ad shown, but B, win the click or get people to click on your ad. Relevance and ad format drive the click through rate and the user experience.
Keyword coverage, we talk to a lot of people on a daily basis about how they can optimize their campaigns. The key to this really is making sure that you’ve got your keyword coverage expanded as much as you possibly can. Most of the people that we deal with on average, it’s somewhere in the region of about 20% of customers limit their opportunity based on keyword coverage.
If you think about the products and services that you are selling or providing, and then look at the number of keywords that you’ve actually got in your keyword bank, if you only have, for example, 100 keywords, but you’re selling 1,000 products, statistically or mathematically, you’re actually limiting the total available market.
Think about the keyword coverage that you’ve got. You could look at a product catalog, for example, and pick out the keywords that represent the products that you’re selling. There are other technologies that you can utilize such as dynamic search term insertion technology. This basically allows you to expand your keyword bank automatically by capturing and inserting keywords that have resulted in conversions; in other words, that have actually resulted in revenue and profit.
You could look at using something like an XML feed, which is basically your stock code units and using that to feed in to your keyword bank to expand your keyword coverage. That in itself is also relevant if you’re thinking about getting into the Google Shopping and the Google merchant center feed.
We talked about the ad extensions. Here’s a good example. At the top you’ve got the sponsored ads. In the red box, you’ve got text ads. You’ve actually got, if you can see on there, you’ve got the gold star reviews. I would definitely say review technology’s something that you ought to be looking at, so social relevance. In other words, people’s opinions and the products and services that you have sold previously, definitely has an impact on people’s willingness to click. More so now than ever before people are actually reading reviews and making their mind up on-line based on what other people in their peer group are saying.
Site links could be to different product lines that you’ve got. It could also be a link to a page that talks about the reviews. It could be about the delivery. It could even be about your returns policy. If somebody buys a product and they’re not quite sure if it’s going to fit or are they going to like it. What’s your returns policy?
Give as much information as you can. Dominate the real estate on the page. You don’t pay additional money for it. Once you’ve got the click, you want to make sure that you’ve got as much real estate in front of the eyeballs as you possibly can. Site links, ad extensions, and ad format play a very important part particularly where you’re actually selling products. Always show an image or a picture where possible. Again, it comes down to the relevancy of the ad.
Diversification of your strategy; how does that link into the optimization of your PPC? It’s part of a much bigger puzzle. You’ve got your paid search campaigns. You’ve got other things like retargeting. You’ve got social ads. You can display your ads on Facebook and various other social networks. Also, think about remarketing for search, which is really targeting transactional type businesses and how you actually optimize your PPC campaigns for that.
In other words, where have people been on your site previously? Where do they go in the future? On that, there’s something you may or may not be aware of is remarketing for search, which is actually a function of Google. You don’t pay any extra money to enable this feature. What it allows you to do is basically tag each page on your site and track where a visitor has been. If they’ve only been on the home page, or if they’ve been on the product page, if it’s a returning visitor and so on so. This distinctly different than retargeting for display, which if you go and look for a new pair of golf shoes, for example, and then you go to another site, mlb.com, and the ad for the golf shoes follows you around, that’s retargeting. That’s display retargeting. This is invisible to the user. They don’t know they’re actually being tracked.
What it enables you to do is next time that person makes a search through the search engine, you have the opportunity to progressively bid based on where they have been on your site previously. If they are a returning visitor, but they’ve only been at the homepage, you could increase the click from say $1.00 to $1.25 for example.
If you actually know that they are an existing customer of yours and they’re a returning customer, you might actually want to increase your bid progressively to say, $2.00 for the click to make sure that you actually win that click and get them back to your site.
There are some techniques here that definitely can be used to your advantage. This comes back to being long on smarts, particularly if budget is an issue. There are some things that you can definitely do.
We talk about the golden rules of PPC optimization. It’s actually fairly simple stuff. If you follow the rules and these are really the things that we talk about when we talk to our clients is really bid on the outcome. Ultimately, if you invest $1.00 with Google, what you’re really looking to do is make sure that you get $1.00 plus whatever your profit happens to be on the sale back in your pocket.
By the time that you’ve paid for the click, you’ve got an order placed on the site. The money’s back in to your merchant account. It’s probably about a three-day cycle. It’s a very effective way of funding the expansion of your business. Bear in mind, bid on the revenue and the profit that you’re making. Bid by the match type. E xact match are the best types of clicks to buy. Bid on, progressively based on where people have been or your site previously. If it’s a new user versus a returning customer, there’s a different value to do that.
If you want additional information, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s V-A-U-G-H-N at Finch, F-I-N-C-H, dot com. We’ve got some additional materials that we’d be happy to share with you here at Attracta. There’s obviously a lot more to this than we’ve been able to cover in this 30-minute session. We’d be very happy to help and speak with you.
Joe: Absolutely, that’s very good information, Vaughn. Appreciate you sharing that with us. We do thank you for joining us today. We hope that you can take this information that we’ve provided you and increase sales through your Web site.
If you need any help with this, you can reach out to Vaughn. You can reach out to us. Please do so. We’d be happy to help you with any questions or concerns you have with starting a PPC campaign.
Again, we’re going to have more webinars covering some more of these things that Vaughn went over such as remarketing, retargeting, even social ads and stuff like that. We’re going to have a lot more coming up in this increasing sales through your Web site series of webinars that we’re doing. We do appreciate you joining us. Have an excellent day.