Pay-per-click campaigns are an excellent method of delivering quality traffic to your web site quickly, and without the uncertainty of natural listings. However, there are number of important considerations and basic principles to understand.
In simple terms, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an advertising model in which ads are placed, on the advertiser’s behalf, on search engine results pages and on partners’ websites. Ads are displayed when a user’s search terms match the keywords which the advertiser has selected to trigger an ad. The advertiser is charged a fee each time a visitor clicks on an ad and visits the advertiser’s website.
The fee paid per click and the position in which an ad is displayed vary depending on a number of factors including the advertiser’s budget and the maximum amount they wish to pay. However, it can essentially be understood to be an auction where advertisers compete for the prime positions. Advertisers can also opt for a cost-per-acquisition model where they are charged per conversion (e.g. sale, sales lead) rather than per click.
Ads may be in a simple text format or in the form of a banner graphic or product. The model also permits the retargeting or remarketing of ads to previous visitors of a website, so they can be prompted to revisit the site and complete a purchase or enquiry.
Get your website ready for PPC
The quality and usability of your website, the destination of the traffic which you are considering paying for, is absolutely critical in the equation. The web site must perform, in terms of whatever goals you have set for it, be these sales conversions, enquiries, signups, or registrations. How well the web site needs to perform to make a PPC campaign worth the expense depends upon your competition. Because your competition are bidding for the same click through rates on the same key phrases as you are likely to be, it is imperative that your web site converts visitors to “goals” at or above the average for your sector. So the important question isn’t “what conversion rate must my site achieve to make PPC worthwhile” but “does my web site out-perform my competitors in terms of goal conversion”?
Create quality landing pages
Once a customer has clicked on an advert it is imperative that they get to the right place. How many times have you clicked on an advert for something very specific and ended up on the home page of some huge site, where you have to search again for the item you’re seeking? Your most probable reaction to this is to click “Back” and the advertiser’s money has been wasted. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the advert leads through to the correct landing pages, and the landing pages provide what the customer expected. They should contain all necessary reassurances, and display the “calls-to-action” clearly and legibly for the customer to move towards your intended conversion goal(s).
Landing pages should be product- or service-specific, mirror your ad title, show all selling points clearly, include clear images and provide all necessary information to make an informed purchase or enquiry. The quality of a landing page is a factor in ad quality score and thereby a factor in the price of a click. Therefore it is essential that your PPC campaign is closely integrated with your website and its products or services. As the site moves forward and products or content change, the pay-per-click advertising campaign must keep pace and constantly be updated as regards the search terms, ad variations, and landing pages.
Feedback data from PPC into your website & conversions
Once great thing about PPC – and Google Ads (formerly Adwords) in particular – is the wealth of information which you can glean back out of it, albeit at cost. For example, the Click Through Rate (CTR) on your “ad variations” (differently worded adverts) can tell you about the efficacy of adverts in attracting clicks. The model for designing and writing quality adverts varies with industry sector, and what your conversion goals are, but it often revolves around three things – Quality, Price and Delivery.
It can tell you about the effectiveness and conversion rate on each individual search term, so you can quickly learn which terms waste money and which are cost effective. You can learn where customers enter your site and where they exit, enabling you to pin point potential problem areas with the flow of visitors through the site towards your conversion goal.
Contact us for an informal chat about your advertising needs, or to request a no-obligation quote.