PPC

pay-per-click

PPC Jargon Buster

PPC Jargon Buster 1920 1280 admin

We know that pay-per-click advertising can get confusing so we’ve made a useful list of words used to describe all parts of it.

Pay-per-click (PPC)
PPC is now a broad term covering all pay-per-click advertising – where you advertise to your target audience and only pay for clicks through to your website or app.

Google Ads
This is the Google PPC dashboard and encompasses all PPC advertising across Google platforms. Including search, display, shopping and video. All campaigns, budgets, ad text and keywords are all managed here.

Google Shopping
This is the ideal pay-per-click platform for most eCommerce sites. If you sell consumer products you can advertise alongside both similar products and other websites selling the exact same product. The ads are triggered by relevant keyword searches.

Display Network
Using Google Ads you can place ads on websites that have signed up to the Display Network. The result is you can place text and image ads on a variety of news sites, blogs or relevant websites in your industry to reach potential customers.

Cost-per-click (CPC)
This is how much an advertiser has paid for a click. For individual keywords or ad placements this is usually shown as an avg cost.

Impressions
The number of impressions reported is the number of times your ad has been seen or shown in search results.

Remarketing
Through a host of paid advertising platforms (such as the Google Display Network & Facebook) you can deliver ad impressions to targeted people who have visited your website. If you have a high enough audience you can target this right down to individuals who have viewed a particular product or service on your website and not purchased.

Max CPC
Maximum cost-per-click. If using manual bidding, this is what you declare as being the maximum cost you are prepared to pay for a click in any keyword auction.

Click-through-rate (CTR)
Your click through rate is a key performance indicator of any paid advertising. The CTR is the percentage of impressions you’ve delivered that resulted in a click.

Ad Group
Each campaign with your Google Ads dashboard should be split down by Ad Group, which separates each target area. Each Ad Group has its own set of keywords and ads meaning you can make highly effective campaigns using targeted keywords, ad text and landing pages.

Keyword
A keyword is the term used to describe what people search for. This could be a single word or phrase.

Keyword Match Types
Using Google Ads you can decide to target a keyword in different ways and each one can be highly effective depending on what you want to achieve.

Broad Match
This type of keyword will result in your ads showing for range of related searches. This can ensure you’re not missing out on targeting customers that use a range of searches that have the same intent.

Phrase Match
This type of keyword will result in your ad showing for keywords that include a certain phrase, or very close variations. This will include additional words that appear before or after your target phrase.

Exact Match
This type of match type means you can  target an exact keyword or very close variation. Close variants include keywords with the same meaning regardless of spelling or grammar differences.

Keyword Research
In order to spend your budget wisely you need to ensure you’re targeting the search terms (keywords) that your audience use when researching your products or services. There are a series of tools available to do this but in the case of Google Ads there is a great built in tool for advertisers to use.

Quality Score
In simple terms the higher your Quality Score the more cost effective your ad spend can become. You can even save money by improving your score by increasing the relevancy of your campaigns.

When you run a standard paid search campaign in Google Ads each keyword is given a Quality Score out of 10. This score changes over time based on a variety of factors.

Ad Text
This the wording you use within your search ads. It includes a headline, description and ad extensions which are extra highlights and links to your business.

Ad Extensions
With Google Search Ads there are a series of ad extensions you can add to your ads which highlight parts of your business and boost click through rates.

Ad Extensions include:

Sitelinks – Using Sitelinks you can show additional links to specific pages on your website. These could be related products or services or perhaps a link to an About Us or Contact page.

Callout – Using callouts you can show additional descriptive text which promotes your business. These are short phrases such as ‘Free Delivery’ or ‘20 Years Experience’.

Call – Add a “click to call” extension which displays your phone number which is especially useful on mobiles as it allows users to quickly call your business.

Ad Scheduling
Within each Google Ads campaign you can create custom scheduling so that your ads only deliver impressions when your business is open, or perhaps to maximise the time of day when you’ve seen the best conversion rate.

Conversion
This the ultimate goal that you want to achieve with your PPC ads. All platforms will include some kind of conversion tracking which is what you can use to accurate judge the return on your spend.

A conversion could be as simple as a view of a certain page, through to a contact form submission or eCommerce transaction. In the case of eCommerce you can view the the value of orders your paid advertising has generated.

Conversion Tracking
This is the method of tracking what enquiries or orders your paid advertising has generated. Without any kind of conversion tracking it’s impossible to know what return on investment you’ve generated.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
The CPA or cost-per-conversion is the amount you’ve paid for each conversion. Ensuring this amount is as low as possible ensures your spend is full optimised and generated the maximum return.

Landing Page
This is the page your ads link to. Your landing page should be as relevant as possible to the keyword that generated the click to optimise your Quality Score. It’s often effective to treat paid visitors differently to everyone and creating specific landing pages for your PPC visitors can boost your conversions. Your landing pages can include more sales focussed content such as contact forms and special offers that you perhaps wouldn’t include on your main website pages.

Call-To-Action (CTA)
This is a type of content that encourages a visitor to do an action which usually leads to them completing a conversion. Examples include prompts to call, contact forms and “buy now” buttons.

Negative Keywords
In virtually all cases your keyword targeting will generate impressions and clicks for keywords that are not relevant or something you’d prefer not to be paying for clicks on. This might be a slightly different service or a search that is meant for a competitor.

For example, if you’re an eCommerce business that sells ladies shoes and you have a phrase match keyword of “black shoes” – this will deliver impressions for someone searching for “black shoes for men”.

In Google Ads you add “men” to your negative keywords so none of your ads will show for any search that includes it.

Daily Budget
A Google Ads campaign needs a daily budget that the advertiser declares. This is the maximum amount you want to pay per day. It can also be easily changed.

Return On Investment (ROI)
Using accurate conversion tracking your can judge how much revenue you’ve generated from your daily budget / total click spend.

A/B Testing
This is usually associated with landing pages. Using an A/B test means you test the performance of 2 different pages alongside each other. There are tools available such as Google Optimize where you can compare user engagement metrics.

Reach
This the total amount of of people who have seen your ads and is often associated with social media advertising rather than PPC on Google.

Display URL
Regardless of what landing page link you use on your Google Ads you can select to show specific text. This usually shortens the link to make your ad look more attractive.

What Is Google Ads Quality Score?

What Is Google Ads Quality Score? 1920 1280 admin

The Quaility Score metric maybe something you’ve seen or heard about in regards to Google Ads but what exactly is it all about?

In simple terms the higher your quality score the more cost effective your pay-per-click spend can become. You can even save money by improving your score by increasing the relevancy of your campaigns.

When you run a standard paid search campaign in Google Ad (previously Google AdWords) each keyword is given a Quality Score out of 10. This score changes over time based on a variety of factors.

What factors affect Quality Score?

Your ads click through rate (CTR)

The CTR of your ads is the % of people who click on your ads after seeing them. Your CTR is a good measure of how relevant your ad text is to your target keywords. Ensuring you have set up effective ad groups with engaging ads is essential to hitting a good CTR.

The content of your ads

The actual wording of your ads should closely relate to the target keywords you want to display for. The sounds far easier than it is as it’s quite challenging for your keywords to be present whilst also using copy that delivers your messages and attracts clicks.

Your landing pages

The landing page is the page on your website that you identify you want the user to land on after clicking an ad. Google judges your landing pages on the relevancy of the content and the overall user experience, including load time. It’s absolutely vital to use a landing that closely reflects the keyword a user has used to find one of your ads. The landing page should also produce conversions and be very sales orientated. It’s advisable to use dedicated pages away from your main website where you can test special offers and different page layouts.

How does Google work out ads positions?

Your Quality Score along with your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) are the determining factors Google uses to work out your Ad Rank for search campaigns. Although, you need to have a reasonable Quality Score for your ads to even enter the Google Ads Auction.

Ad Rank = CPC x Quality Score

Taking the above calculation you can quickly see how simply entering a high bid isn’t enough to regularly appear in the top positions. It’s also makes it more clear how advertisers can actually spend less and still increase their ad positions.

Google conveniently gives you clear information on how it’s grading each part so you can identify places where you can make worthwhile improvements.

You can’t buy the top positions

When working on your campaigns it’s not recommended to focus on changes that will improve your Quality Score. Instead, you should take the position that you want to improve your campaigns structure and content relevancy, and if you’re doing the right things improvements to your quality score will follow.

You’ll also be wrong to think that having a high Quality Score will also mean you’ll end up with with a high performing campaign. The position your ads appear in relates to your Ad Rank (as we’ve already discussed), and as the early caluclation shows, key a part of achieving a strong Ad Rank is your keyword bidding (max CPC). As is the case that your ads won’t show if your Quality Score is very low, they also won’t show if your budget and bids are not high enough.

Thanks to the Quality Score metric you can now longer simply bid your way to the top positions with little effort or thought put into your wider campaign targeting and website as a whole.

What’s paid search and how do I get a slice of the action?

What’s paid search and how do I get a slice of the action? 1920 1080 admin

Competing to get new customers online can be a daunting prospect. It doesn’t matter how shiny you think your website is, if none of your target customers can find it when doing their research it’s not going to attract new customers. That’s where pay-per-click advertising can help.

Depending on your industry you’ll likely have some big competitors with a lot of marketing know how and it may seem like they dominate the online marketplace. That’s where an effective Google Ads or wider pay-per-click strategy can get you in on the action. You can quickly engage your target customers and get them to start thinking about your products and services.

Google Paid Ads

The beauty of a paid ads campaign is that you only pay when you get a result, which in this case is a click through to your website. Using effective targeting you can ensure your ads only appear to the most qualified users. Google Ads filtering allows you to combine geo-targeting, keywords and basic demographics to ensure your ads only appear in front of relevant people.

A basic Google Ads campaign allows advertisers to instantly appear at the very top of search results without needing to adopt any risky marketing strategies. The search results below the paid for positions are the “organic” results which will generally be dominated by larger competitors. They are more cost effective but often involve long term investment to build and maintain.

Paid Visitors vs Organic Visitors

The simple difference is that you can pay for instant search engine visibility or organically build rankings in the natural search results. Organic growth takes a lot of SEO expertise and long term content enhancements. Building paid visitors is much quicker, and in fairly terms, easier.

Organic growth involves planning and executing a successful content strategy and ensuring your website is fit for purpose which meets with Google’s latest algorithm updates.

A PPC campaign allows your business to appear just above the top organic ranking but running a cost effective paid campaign takes more than just having a big budget. Google rewards websites that provide useful and engaging content. By ensuring your keyword targeting, ad content and landing pages are in sync with each other (and are set up to build conversions) it can actually result in you bidding less to appear above your competitors.

How does the Google auction work?

As we’ve already alluded to in order for your paid ads to appear you tell Google how much you’re willing to pay for a click on each individual target keyword. You’ll likely have a large range of bid amounts across your campaigns depending on the competitiveness of the keyword in question or what value you put on a customer enquiring about a certain product or service. It’s natural to assume that you’d be willing to pay more for a website visitor looking for a high value service over something more low key.

If you bid high enough your ad will appear alongside other advertisers, however the position your ad appears in is firstly down to the amount you bid but also your ‘Quality Score’. The Quality Score is a metric Google uses to judge how effective your keywords, ad text and landing pages are going to be. The higher your quality score, the more likely it is your ad will appear. Plus, if you have a higher Quality Score than your competitors you should be able to regularly appear in the top positions for a cheaper click cost.

It may sound complicated and often it is but in simple terms the Google Ads auction isn’t just about being the highest bidder. If your Quality Score is too low your ads won’t appear at all regardless of how much you bid on a keyword.

Achieving the best return on investment

You may have done extensive keyword research and created highly engaging ad text which attracts lots of clicks from potential customers. The key to converting your paid for visitors now is your landing pages – i.e. the web page visitors land on after clicking one of your ads. 

It’s common practice to create dedicated landing pages for any PPC campaign that are separate to your main website. Unlike achieving strong organic rankings, an effective PPC landing page isn’t just about content. The words on the page are important to your Quality Score but any landing page can be much more about driving sales.

A high converting landing page not only looks great but also includes some kind of special offer and a clear call to action – such as a quick enquiry form. It’s also common to test the response of different page layouts or different offers in order to maximise your return.

Here’s our top tips of creating the best landing pages:

  • Keep your page designs simple. Content will be easier to read and users won’t have to wait too long for the page to load.
  • Include a special offer and clear call to action near the top of the page.
  • Don’t use big blocks of text, bullet points are more effective.
  • Test different versions to achieve the best ROI.

Remember, the more successful your ads are the more money you’re going to spend. So as well as building a great user experience on your website you should also ensure you set affordable daily budgets and bids of each keyword within the Google Ads dashboard. Costs can quickly mount up once you start running PPC campaigns on competitive keywords.

Instantly compete with national businesses through pay-per-click advertising

Instantly compete with national businesses through pay-per-click advertising 1920 1280 admin

We’d always recommend search engine optimisation as a long term digital marketing strategy. However, when it comes to small or new businesses wanting to grab an immediate market share pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can massively increase your brand exposure.

If your a small business owner wanting to dip your feet into paid search or paid social media campaigns check out the following tips of why it can be highly effective.

What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

In regards to search engines, PPC advertising is a strategy where advertisers create adverts and complete against other advertisers by bidding to appear to users searching for a particular search phrase. The advertiser inputs a campaign budget and individual bid of each target search term, with them being charged every time their advert is clicked.

The amount each click costs depends on the maximum amount the advertiser is willing to pay and how competitive the search term is. By this we mean how many other advertisers are bidding on the same search term.

Other PPC advertising methods include Google Shopping and forms an important part of paid advertising on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Pay-per-click advertising is ideal for new websites to gain immediate traction and for lesser known brands who struggle for search visibility to appear alongside big business.

Develop an awesome pay-per-click campaign

Landing Pages

The key to small businesses competing with big competitors through PPC is to firstly develop a great website that users can instantly engage with. When you develop your PPC ad you will select a ‘landing page’ – a term you may be familiar with. In simple terms the landing page is where you direct users to but in practice is crucial to not only converting visitors but also keeping your click costs to a minimum.

Your landing page should look great on all devices, be highly relevant to the search the user performed, include a clear call to action and ideally a special offer or promotion. You’ve paid good money for this visitor so you’ll want to everything you can to generate an enquiry or sale.

Google Ads uses a metric called ‘quality score’ which in simple terms ranks your advert and landing page out of 10 using a variety of scores including how relevant and engaging your landing is. Having a low quality score drives you click costs up especially if your competitors have a better one.

Keyword Selection

Secondly, you must use a variety of research tools and your own understanding of your target audience to select keywords and phrases that will likely result in customer enquiries. With search advertising you will be bidding on keywords against other advertisers, this is where your hard earned money will be spent so ensuring you’re only paying for relevant searches is crucial to a good ROI.

You’ll want to select keywords that high commercial intent, rather than just simply being relevant to your business. Only bid on search terms where the user clearly has the intention to either enquire or buy your services. For example, if you run a hotel in Cumbria you may select “book hotels in Cumbria” as a target phrase rather than “How many hotels are there in Cumbria”. The latter being a user who is simply researching the industry rather than looking to book a stay at a local hotel. It’s very easy to waste budget on keywords that are never going to produce results.

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