PPC marketing is like an urban legend you can’t really figure out. What’s true and what isn’t? Can you really get higher conversions without breaking the bank? Or do you need a very flexible budget to achieve your goals? Yes, PPC marketing is all kinds of mysterious, but it’s also a lot about being smart and strategic. So this time, we’re sharing a few things you should know and keep in mind when planning your next PPC strategy.
PPC Isn’t the Same as SEO
First things first – SEO and PPC aren’t the same. And you need to remember that so you would avoid disappointment when planning your PPC strategy. How they’re different? SEO is all about getting a high rank on various search engines and since it has to be done organically (without paid advertisements), it takes a lot of time to get the wanted results. It doesn’t matter how much you’re willing to spend – you can’t pay, for example, to Google, to get you on the first page of search results.
Many confuse PPC with SEO because here you’re also dealing with getting your ad to appear on the first search page. However, unlike SEO, PPC is paid advertising and you can instantly see the results. You can launch the campaign and immediately see your ad in search engines, banners on the websites or social media campaigns that you planned. Also, with PPC you can nearly instantly top the search engine results – as long as you’re willing to pay the cost. Unfortunately, in contrast to SEO, the moment you stop paying for that those spots, you’re out.
4 Types of PPC Marketing
Contrary to popular belief, PPC marketing isn’t just about search engines. It involves different kinds of advertisements and it’s safe to say that we’re surrounded by it every day:
Search Advertisements – you’ve probably seen that when you search something on either Google, Bing, Yahoo or etc., there are paid search results above the organic search results.
Display Advertisements – while the search ads contain only text, display ads allow you to use graphics and design to promote your products. According to your product or service, you can choose the type of websites you want your ads to appear, target visitors based on the demographics (gender, age), interests or the devices they’re using.
Video Advertisements – if you don’t have AdBlocker (or anything similar) on, you’ve probably seen those ads in the beginning or in-between of Youtube, Facebook or other videos. These are usually charged based on the video views or actions taken from that video.
Social Media Advertisements – since so many of us use various social media channels on a daily basis, these types of ads are one of the most popular and effective. However, these days if you want to reach your whole audience on social media, it’s pay to play (PPC); for example on Facebook, only a tiny fraction of your fans will see your posts organically.
It’s important to not limit yourself with just one PPC channel. When planning your strategy, test several of them to see what kind of results they bring and which work best for your target audience.
Relevance Is Key to Quality Traffic
PPC marketing is all about relevancy. No matter how big is your budget, it all comes down to how relevant your ads are to the user’s search. In search ads, the keywords you choose and are bidding on, the text of the ad and the landing page you send it to need all to match and be relevant to your user. The quality score given by Google depends on these three things, so if you work them out just right, you could get a higher score even if you bid less. In a nutshell, the better your quality score the less you pay for a click in the same position.
Relevance is also important when considering display, video and social media advertisements. To increase conversions and maximize the ROI, as an advertiser you need to think about websites and social media channels your target audience is visiting and using. You don’t want to waste your money on irrelevant placements and focusing on the audience that isn’t for your business or product. Word travels fast and annoyed visitors will make sure of that, so research your target audience and be where it is.
CTR Isn’t Everything
Running various campaigns, thinking about witty captions and CTAs is all fun and nice. But don’t get too caught up into it and remember that you need to also track your results to know whether your strategy is working or not. And properly chosen metrics will help you to do that.
When it comes to tracking campaign results, many turn to ol’ reliable CTR. And though CTR is an attractive metric to choose, conversions are the way to go. Yes, CTR usually shows better results since people are more likely to click on the links, but you don’t want them just to click on it – you want them to proceed to buy your product, use your service and etc. That’s why your goal should be focusing on higher conversions, not CTR.
Don’t Be Negative About Negative Keywords
Negative keywords don’t get enough praise and they definitely should. Because they’re just as important as the target ones. While these help you to show up, negative ones work as a safeguard to make sure that your business name doesn’t appear where you don’t want it. They’re also a great way to strengthen your campaign to get the right traffic – who wants to waste money on the wrong crowd?
Get Cosy with Excel and Google Sheets
Yes, you read that right. Prepare to spend almost as much time in Excel and Google Sheets as you do tinkering with campaigns. PPC is all about ROAS – return on ad spend – which means you need to regularly monitor, calculate and re-evaluate what you’re getting back for the money you put it. Since the results of PPC are near instant (based on the volume), the key to success in PPC is being able to quickly double down on things that work and shut down the things that don’t.