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Pay per click, or PPC, advertising are the results that appear alongside the natural search results when you enter a search. Specifically, they appear on the top of the page and down the right-hand side).
To see an example of it, look at the image below… Notice what happens when we enter the term, “weight loss” into Google. See the list of ads across the top and the right (shaded in blue for emphasis) with the term, “Sponsored Link”? Contrast that with the natural or organic results that are shaded in green.
These are ads that have been written to appear when certain keywords or keyword phrases are searched upon. Every time someone clicks on of the ads, it then sends them to the advertiser’s website. Once this happens, they charge the advertiser for that visitor’s click.
As opposed to SEO, PPC can not only be extremely profitable method of increasing sales and leads to your website IF everything is set up correctly. Some benefits and hurdles that come along with PPC marketing include things like…
Speed – As opposed to SEO, it is possible to have PPC campaigns up and running very quickly. While proper SEO campaigns can take sometimes take months to show results (in terms of traffic to your site), by utilizing PPC you can get traffic coming to your website almost immediately.
By understanding how to manage a PPC campaign, you have the ability to get virtually real-time feedback and metrics to help you figure out if you are getting the return on investment you seek. Search engines like Google show you exactly how much you are spending, how your customers are interacting with you and even what sales or leads you have made. Imagine getting that kind of feedback with the phone book – not likely!
A well run PPC campaign can tell you exactly which keywords are translating into sales or leads for your business. This information is crucial since before you spend a DIME on SEO, you want to be as certain as possible that they do convert for you. The best way to do this is with a PPC campaign and then take the knowledge you get from there and apply to your SEO efforts.
Well, run PPC campaigns should be part of any online business owner’s Internet marketing strategy. As effective as PPC campaigns can be, the major drawback to them is that proper data gathering (even for small campaigns) can be very complex. Many novice PPC advertisers simply aren’t aware of the fact that managing a PPC campaign requires very specialized knowledge and experience to get maximum results.
To make matters worse, Google makes it especially difficult for advertisers. There are a myriad of unwritten rules that must be adhered to when advertising with Google, and they mostly relate to how Google likes to see a campaign setup from a structural standpoint. Fail to obey these rules and you will see a direct impact on how much you pay for your clicks. Be not understanding and adhering to these rules from the very beginning, a campaign is likely to be doomed before it is ever launched.
There are several problems that the novice advertiser encounters…
Not understanding Google’s rules (yes!, they have them!)… Some of the most common rules are things like the manner in which keywords and an ad groups are setup, the mysterious Google Quality Score, the relevancy of your ad to the keyword you are bidding on, the relevancy of your landing page to the ad you have written, Click Through Rate (CTR) of your ads, bid pricing and more… In order to make sure that you are running an effective PPC campaign, you will need to do the following at a minimum…
Proper keyword research – Since the Internet runs on keywords, it should go without saying that you need to get your keyword research right from the very beginning. In fact, if you are already using AdWords, the likelihood is that you may leave out many keywords that could legitimately drive traffic. Most people have less than 100 keywords in their accounts and the fact is that you may sometimes need 100’s or 1000’s depending upon your market. Without the right tools, uncovering those keyword gems can be a real challenge…
Split testing your ads – If you don’t know what split testing is (comparing a control to a candidate, or a different ad to see which is better), you are very likely leaving money on the table. By constantly improving the quality of your ads and the clicks they receive, you can increase the traffic to your website…
Tracking your conversion (sales or leads) – Many business owners have no idea how to track whether their advertising dollars have resulted in sales or leads. Without knowing this information and being able to tie back into your campaign, you are spending blindly.
Using the right tools – Full time Internet marketers and PPC managers have at their disposal powerful research tools that help in the creation and management of PPC campaigns. While you could purchase these powerful research tools, the fact is that they are expensive and make little sense for most small businesses.
Only sending visitors to the home page – The likelihood is that you have many customers for your products and services. In your business, you probably do as much as you can to cater to their individual needs, and your website should be no different. Instead of sending all your visitors to a generic home page, you need to take the time to send them to a targeted page since it will increase the likelihood that we can turn them into a customer.
Even though all the above may sound confusing (or even a bit overwhelming), it’s our job to take all the stress and headache of managing your PPC campaigns out of your hands. To learn more about exactly how we can help you become profitable with PPC, check out our strategy and learn how to dominate your market today!
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