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PPC 101: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC

PPC 101: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC

Around 80 percent of businesses spend a quarter or more of their marketing budget on digital ads. There are many ways to incorporate digital marketing into a strategy. Most of them are affordable.

The bottom line is clear. People are investing in digital marketing.

As we said, there are quite a few different options if you want to include digital marketing in your plan. One of the best-known is pay-per-click, or PPC advertising.

If you haven’t explored this option yet, we’re here to help. Think of this guide as a sort of PPC 101.

We’ll introduce you to the concept of PPC and how it works. Then we’ll go over why PPC matters and how it works with your other marketing initiatives.

PPC 101: Defining the Term

What is the PPC meaning anyway? This abbreviation stands for “pay-per-click.” It’s one of the oldest forms of online advertising.

PPC should be familiar to most marketers. Like older, print forms of advertising, you’ll rely on ads to use this method of marketing. You’ve likely seen banner ads and pop-ups on any number of websites you visit.

The difference is that, with PPC, you only pay when the ad gets clicked. That’s where the name comes from.

The system of purchasing is also a little different. You’ll bid on different keywords. If your bid is successful, your ad will be shown when someone searches a particular term on Google or Bing.

This is why PPC is also sometimes called “search engine marketing.” Search engine PPC is one form of this advertising.

Search engines aren’t the only pay per click sites though. Facebook, for example, has a PPC ad system.

Once you’ve won your bid, your ad will be displayed to users searching particular terms. If those users then click your ad, you’ll pay what you bid. The price is set per click.

How to Use PPC

Adding PPC marketing to your digital marketing strategy is easy. You can sign up for an ad network like Google Ads (formerly Adwords). Then you’ll bid on various keywords. When you win the bid, your ad will display for that search term.

Seems simple, right? It is, in theory. Using PPC in practice can become a little more complex.

The first thing you need to do is set a budget. It’s also important to pick the right keywords. Bidding for common keywords can become quite fierce, so you might end up overpaying.

Another issue is picking poor keywords. While you may not end up paying much, you also won’t drive much traffic to your website. Those visitors who do arrive on your site might not be the potential customers you’re looking for.

Finally, you’ll want to pay attention to the quality of your ads. Ad text is important in convincing people to click on the ad. Ads with images outperform pure text ads as well.

You should aim to create quality ads, just the same as you would for any other advertising campaign. There are a few rules to make digital ads more effective, so be sure to follow them.

Why You Need PPC

The next question you likely have is about the benefits of PPC for your business. Many people feel PPC is outmoded or doesn’t drive the results they want. Some think it’s too expensive for how much they get out of it.

When done right, PPC can be an effective part of your marketing.

Some people will tell you that it’s more important to invest in SEO or content marketing. They might tell you PPC isn’t a good choice.

They’re forgetting that SEO and PPC actually go hand in hand. When you use only one or the other, you only have half a marketing strategy. A holistic marketing plan uses both and lets them support each other.

SEO makes your website more visible during organic searches. PPC, by contrast, can put your website front and center when competition for the top spot is stiff.

PPC is also a better choice for time-limited offers, like sales. SEO takes time to work, whereas PPC can drive instant results.

The ROI of PPC

How effective is PPC? Google reports that businesses make $2 for every $1 they spend in Adwords.

PPC’s effectiveness can be seen in other ways. For example, PPC visitors are more likely to buy something from you.

The intent is also clear. Ads receive more clicks than even the top-ranked result when the search term starts with buying keywords.

From these figures, it should be clear PPC can be an effective and important part of your campaign. Using PPC gives you total control of your campaign, something you can’t achieve with SEO alone.

Building Great PPC Campaigns

As we’ve stressed, the success of your PPC efforts hinges on your ability to create great campaigns.

The quality of your ads is one key component. You’ll want to be sure you’re using catchy, attractive ad text. Images help too.

Selecting the right target market is also important. If your ads are reaching the wrong people, you’re less likely to find success.

Keywords and budgeting are two other important factors in a PPC campaign. The right keywords will help you reach the right people and stay on budget. A good budget will help you control costs so your campaign can achieve a higher ROI.

Finally, make sure you’re testing your ads. Try out a few variants and see which ones perform best.

If you’re still hesitant about building a PPC ad campaign, you can reach out to an experienced PPC company. Their expert team can help you do keyword research or test out variants of ads.

Start a PPC Campaign Today

That concludes our PPC 101 lesson. Now that you know the basics, you should be ready to get started with your very first PPC campaign.

Remember that help is always close at hand. If you need expert advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help you build successful PPC campaigns for your business.

The Secret Behind a Winning Adwords Bid Strategy

The Secret Behind a Winning Adwords Bid Strategy

You’re planning out your Adwords bid strategy, which means you’re about to make a big investment in your business. And the word ‘big’ is used intentionally, even if you aren’t working with a huge budget. Well-thought out Adwords bid strategies take your most valuable resources as a business owner: time and energy.

But with the right strategy and some foresight, your Adwords campaign can become a serious asset for growing your business.

In this article we’ll look at the secret—no, secrets—behind a winning strategy for Google Adwords.

Let Google Help You

As a business owner—or someone preparing a pitch to go to the business owner—it’s important to remember that the key to a good strategy is to use the information Google gives you. Google is, quite literally, the titan of the internet. One way they prove that is by literally showing you on their website how to structure a good Adwords campaign.

For example, the first thing Google does is ensure that you have a goal for your campaign. There are several different reasons you might run an Adwords campaign, and they may be more specific than you think. Don’t assume just because you’re trying to grow your business that every option will work.

Do you want customers to go directly to your site? Do you want them to click through or work their way into a sales funnel? How about capture leads in an email list?

Knowing this will help you set up the rest of your campaign.

Choose Manual Or Automated

Google gives you the option to automate your Adwords bidding nowadays. Unless you want to be totally hands off (and have the budget to do so), it’s probably best to be at least somewhat involved in the process. This might mean doing it yourself, delegating the task to someone on your team, or using a third-party service to keep track.

A manual cost-per-click strategy, for example, gives you options. You can set bids at prices based on the ad group or the keyword level. Since these can change pretty quickly, knowing what’s going on is important.

Obviously Google wants you to have a good experience, so their automated system is set up to help you accomplish your goal. But you’ll have less freedom to do what you want if you hand over the reigns to them.

Research, Research, Research

If you’re new to Adwords bidding strategies, you might be thrown off by the amount of options you have to choose from. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things you should be clear about before starting your campaign.

  • Keywords: Whether you use Google’s tools or consult a third-party to determine the short and long tail keywords you’ll use in your strategy, this is important. Because these are what you’ll be bidding on, keywords are essentially the building block of your whole strategy.
  • Competition: As is the case with most business decisions, it’s going to behoove you to know what your competition (or friends) are doing and what they’ve been successful with. This might help cut out some of the learning curve or “lost” dollars early on. Most important, though, is knowing who is ranking at the top of the keywords you care most about.
  • Who Are You Targeting?: Last is knowing your audience. Other than the obvious sites that most people buy from—Amazon and the like—where are your people buying stuff from? If there’s a pain point you can address (through keywords or through the actual service you’re providing), this may help you find a niche “in” that can make your campaign far more successful.

Final Thoughts

Here are a few final things to consider that will help you run a rock solid campaign.

1. Consider How Long You Plan To Use Google AdWords

It’s important to consider the duration of time (or how much budget you have to sustain) you plan to continue with Adwords. The reason being is this can change your strategy. 

For example, as your Adwords account grows, it may become difficult to keep on top of your bids—especially if you’re in charge and not letting Google do it.

2. Consider The Time Of Year

Depending on the product that you’re offering, your Adwords bid strategies might totally benefit or be completely thrown off. That’s one reason Google offers a seasonal campaign, where you can time your product, service, or website around holidays.

This, however, works both ways. Because people are generally more distracted during the holidays, they may be less inclined to click on something they would normally dive into in April or May. 

3. Start with PPC Bidding Strategies

If you’re still overwhelmed or have a little bit of budget to test the waters with, the simplest approach is to go with a PPC, or pay per click, bidding strategy. These are the ads you commonly see at the top of a Google search.

Your conversion rate may not be as high, but at least you can get a feel for the effectiveness of your keywords. And because of your position, you’re likely to get some leads.

Here’s where you can learn more about PPC strategy if you’re interested.

Adwords Bid Strategy: Wrap Up

There might not be any magical “secrets” when it comes to your Adwords bid strategy—at least none that will transform your business over night—but doing your research and being clear on your strategy can help eliminate wasted money and measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

To learn more about our services, contact us to see how we can be a fit for your business.

Is Google Adwords Worth It? (The Results Are In!)

Is Google Adwords Worth It? (The Results Are In!)

Google’s advertising network reaches 90 percent of internet users around the world. Their ads not only show on Google itself, but they also reach visitors on major news sites, blogs, and other Google sites like YouTube and Gmail.

There’s no other advertising network that comes close to Google’s reach. But a large reach doesn’t mean it’s worth spending your hard-earned advertising dollars with them.

Is Google Adwords worth it? Let’s take a look.

A Brief History of Google Ads

Google Ads, originally called Google Adwords, is close to 20 years old. Google started selling advertising a few years after launching its search engine and that’s where 95 percent of their revenue comes from now, almost two decades later.

At first, these ads were only shown on the Google website but it wasn’t long before they launched their Adsense product, which lets other websites place Google ads on their sites. This multiplied the reach of those ads many times over and led to the 95 percent coverage they reach today.

How Google Ads Work

Google Ads ads work a lot like the regular Google search engine. When someone searches for something on Google, they get a list of the web pages that Google thinks are the most relevant for that search term.

Ads get displayed the same way. When you create an ad, you choose keywords that you want to trigger your ad. When someone searches for that keyword, your ad might show up in the results.

We say “might” because there’s another factor involved – how much you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad. Google’s ads are what’s known as pay-per-click, or PPC, ads. You don’t pay when it gets displayed, only when someone clicks on it.

When you create your ads, you can choose how much you’re willing to pay for each click. If there are a lot of ads competing for the same keyword, the cost per click will be higher. The order the ads get shown is partly determined by who bids the most.

There are other factors involved beyond the cost-per-click, mind you. The “quality” of your ad has a bearing on it as well, meaning how relevant it is to what people are searching for and how many people click on it. If your ad gets more clicks and people find what they’re looking for on your website after clicking, you may rank higher than another ad with a higher bid per click.

Google Ads vs Organic Search

You might be wondering why you would pay Google to run your ad when the regular search results (known as the “organic” results) don’t cost a thing.

This is a common misconception. You may not pay Google to have your website show up in the organic results but there’s still a cost involved. It takes time for search engine optimization (SEO) to work its magic and get your site to show up in the ranks and there’s a lot of work that has to be done for it to be effective.

Building links to your web pages, writing new content on a regular basis, maintaining your web server so your website loads as quickly as possible, and making changes to your site as Google fine-tunes its ranking algorithm are a few of the things you’ll need to do to get your site ranked in the organic results.

It can take weeks or months to see results, during which your website won’t be generating any new leads or customers.

Why Google Ads Are a Good Value

Google Ads, on the other hand, start working almost immediately. It can be as little as a few minutes from the time you set up your ad to the time it starts showing up in the results.

This lets you test things to see what works and what doesn’t. In the time it would take to get the first visitors from the “free” organic results, you could have your entire marketing funnel running like a well-oiled machine.

Google Ads Work with Any Size Budget

You don’t need to have a massive advertising budget to get results from Google Ads. You can run an effective campaign for as little as $5 or $10 a day if you set it up well. Start by targeting a small number of targeted keywords for the product or service you’re advertising so your ads only show to the people who are most likely to be interested.

Once you start to get data about what’s working and what isn’t, you can cut out the ads that aren’t and scale up the campaigns that are. Constant testing and tweaking let you “dial in” your ads to get the highest possible ROI.

Google’s own data shows that, on average, Google Ads advertisers generate $2 for every $1 spent on advertising. Who wouldn’t want to get a 100 percent ROI on what they spend on advertising?

Once you see what’s working, then you can start putting the work into SEO because you already know what connects with your audience. Using Google Ads to gather data and putting that knowledge into action for long-term SEO gets you the best of both worlds.

The Power of Remarketing

One of the most powerful features of the Google Ads network is what’s called remarketing. If you’ve ever looked at something on Amazon or eBay and started seeing ads for the same product or other related items on various other websites, you’ve seen remarketing in action.

Remarketing lets you show ads to people who have visited a web page, taken an action like clicking a link in an email you sent, not taken a certain action such as viewing a product on your site but not buying it, and various other triggers.

This gives you the ability to show ads to targeted groups of people, and make the ads very specific to them. You can offer them special discounts, remind them of an action they started and didn’t finish, and a myriad of other things to grab their attention.

Is Google Adwords Worth It?

Hopefully, we’ve answered the question, “Is Google Adwords worth it?” with a definitive yes. If you manage your advertising campaigns properly, you won’t be spending money on ads – you’ll be investing money that will multiply several times over when it comes back to you in the form of customer sales.

The trick is learning how to manage your campaigns properly. As Google has added features and new technologies to its ad network, it has become more and more complex. It can be a full-time job to stay on top of the latest changes, not to mention the time you need to spend managing your campaigns.

If you’d rather focus on what your business does best and leave the Google Ads work to experts, Pay Per Click Authority can help. Our expert Google Ads management service will take care of all the hard work, letting you focus on serving all the new customers that your ads will send your way.

Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do to help grow your business.

7 Ways to Make Money on Your Blog with Advertising

7 Ways to Make Money on Your Blog with Advertising

80% of bloggers never make more than $100. That’s not an encouraging statistic, is it? But how many of those bloggers created quality content or took advantage of monetization opportunities?

Very few, if any.

By virtue of seeking out this article, you’ve already proven your desire to build a successful blog. That puts you ahead of the pack. You’re ready to learn how to make money from ads, and you want to do it the right way.

Even a budding website can benefit from lucrative advertising opportunities. From large sites to new, here are seven ways to make money on your blog with advertising.

1. How to Make Money from Ads

Advertisements are all about volume. Before you pursue something like an advertisement network, you need to have a worthwhile website. Many advertisers require a good amount of traffic before they’re willing to work with you.

What does this mean for you? Don’t focus on advertisements until you’ve created an alluring foundation to place them.

With great SEO and consistent content, you can gather a following of several thousand monthly visitors. You can leverage this kind of traffic for reasonable advertising opportunities.

Keep a sharp eye on your analytics. Even if you were to pursue traditional advertising with a small blog, you likely won’t make enough for it to be a worthwhile endeavor. Build your website first and don’t reach out until it’s ready.

2. Pay-Per-Click Ads

Pay-per-click ads are perhaps the most common. They offer some of the best rates around. But there’s a problem.

Your advertiser will only compensate you when a visitor clicks on the ad. Some people consider this to be a fair payment model. After all, why should you get paid for advertising space when it didn’t lead to a customer conversion?

However, it puts more pressure on you, the publisher, to emphasize the advertisements. You want them somewhere noticeable to maintain a decent click-through rate.

It’s also important that the ads are relevant to your website and clients so people are more likely to click them in the first place. Many services, such as Google Ads, keep it easy and use an algorithm to display relevant ad materials.

But PPC isn’t just for major advertisers. You can use PPC services to improve your search ranking and bring more traffic to your site.

3. Cost-Per-Impression (CPM) Ads

Don’t want to worry about a click-through rate? You’ll receive payment with cost-per-impression ads even if visitors don’t interact with them. However, they don’t pay nearly as well as the PPC alternative.

A CPM advertiser pays in installments for every 1,000 impressions. This type of advertising is mostly reserved for very popular websites. Without a heavy amount of traffic, you won’t generate enough impressions to make it worth your ad space.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Depending on the content of your website, great affiliate marketing opportunities are available. This is a type of advertising where you promote a service or product through a hyperlink. If a visitor clicks your link and makes a purchase, you’ll receive a small percentage of the sale.

A developer blog will have limited options in the affiliate marketing space. But if you review books or toys, this is a great opportunity to effectively get paid for ads. They’re low-profile, so it doesn’t even feel like advertising.

Do you mention products often on your website? Become an Amazon affiliate and include a link to the product on their storefront. It’s that simple.

5. Sell Ad Space

Don’t want to deal with an advertisement network? You don’t have to. You can sell your own ad space with flat fee ads.

This gives you more control over the content that appears on your site, as well as the revenue you’ll earn. Of course, it takes more work on your end to find an advertiser who wants to buy space.

This tactic works best for large websites or those with a niche audience and decent traffic. Maybe you have a blog that focuses purely on luxury pens. Team up with a pen manufacturer and you’ll both benefit.

6. Get Paid to Blog

Some advertisers take a more comprehensive approach to advertising. Instead of buying indirect ad space, they pay bloggers to review their products. This will lead to a one-time payment, unlike other payment models.

This is more work than simply enabling advertisements on your site. However, if you were going to review the product anyway, it’s another opportunity to make money with ads.

Just note that advertisers may decline to compensate you for harshly negative reviews. That’s one reason sponsored reviews can impact the integrity of you and your site. Pursue this path only if you’re ready to navigate its legal and ethical complications.

7. Advertise Your Own Service

We’ve talked about touting the products of others. But what about your own?

For example, include a portfolio on your photography blog. Use some space in the sidebar to describe yourself, your experience, and your services. This may take up room for ads, but it’ll pay for itself when it lands you a new client.

Many professionals run popular blogs as proof of industry expertise. In a sense, the entire website is one big advertisement for you and your freelance business.

But on some websites, including a link on the navigation bar isn’t enough. Give yourself some ad space to sell yourself.

Monetize Your Website

In 2017, digital marketing expenses increased by 44%. More advertisers than ever before are finding value in digital campaigns. As a website owner, you’re poised to take advantage of this industry trend.

You know how to make money from ads. But is your website bringing in enough traffic to make them worthwhile? Build a bigger website with these seven tips to improve your search engine placement.

How to Use a Pay Per Click Marketing Strategy to Boost Your Brand

How to Use a Pay Per Click Marketing Strategy to Boost Your Brand

You want to help people. 

And, you want to make more money, right?

You’ve spent months trying to rank well in organic search for the right keywords. And, let’s be honest – it’s not an easy task. You keep pouring in more time but you aren’t seeing results. 

Whether you’re a one-person show or have a team of skilled marketers, driving traffic is hard.

But, developing a pay per click marketing strategy can help ease your pain. You’ll be able to start seeing traffic, solving their problems, and making more money. 

Keep reading to learn more about PPC marketing and why you need to start investing, today.

What Is Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising?

Pay per click advertisements appear at the top and bottom of a search engine results page (SERP). They may also appear in the sidebar. They’re designated with the word “ad” next to them. 

Businesses that run ad campaigns place a maximum bid for specific search queries. Then, when someone clicks on the ad, that company pays a small fee. That fee is less than their maximum bid. 

So, every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay the search engine for driving traffic to your website. When PPC marketing is done correctly, the fee you pay is insignificant. You should make more money per click than what you’re paying.

Why Does Your Marketing Strategy Need Pay Per Click Ads?

When your business is brand new, ranking in organic search results is next to impossible. But, that doesn’t mean you have to wait around. PPC advertising starts working immediately. 

Whether your business is new or not, PPC ads can increase brand awareness by 80%. And, 65% of consumers that are ready to buy something click on paid ads within search engine results. 

Many businesses wish they had more room in their budget for PPC advertising. So, if you’re not taking advantage of PPC ads, your closest competitors are. That’s something you can’t afford to miss out on. 

The immediate potential and high return on investment (ROI) rate make pay per click advertising a smart choice for businesses of all sizes. 

Five Steps to Developing a Pay Per Click Marketing Strategy

Next, let’s discuss five key steps that can help you establish an effective pay per click marketing strategy.

1. Define Your Target Market

Everything you do from now on won’t matter unless you understand who you’re selling to. Knowing how your target market behaves matters more than the actual words you write for your ads. 

Once you know how to help them solve their problems, you can finetune your messaging to speak to them. If you do it right, they’ll wonder how you’re able to read their minds. 

2. Create High-Converting Landing Pages

Getting someone to click on your ad is half the battle.

Making sure they like what they see is the other half of it. Distraction-free landing pages have one goal: to convert visitors into customers. 

Smart marketers create multiple landing pages depending on the buyer persona they’re targeting. So, you may have three or more landing pages that speak to different segments of your audience. 

3. Keyword Research

Keyword research isn’t solely for SEO purposes. Bidding on the right keywords will make or break your cost per click marketing strategy. 

For each PPC campaign, you need to develop a list of keywords to target. But, it isn’t a random list. That’s where keyword research comes into play. 

The best PPC keyword lists are:

  • Relevant
  • A healthy mixture of long-tail, body, and head keywords
  • High in search volume
  • Exhaustive
  • Not overly competitive
  • A combination of commercial and informational intent

Make sure your keyword list is easily accessible by everyone on your team. They can refer to it when managing and monitoring your ad campaigns. 

4. Write Click-Worthy Advertisements

The last thing you want to do is waste ad spend. So, writing killer advertisement copy is a vital step in the process. Since you already know how your audience behaves, you can use that to speak to them. 

You don’t have much time to catch their eye in search engine results. Quickly grabbing their attention isn’t always easy. The internet is full of distractions.

But, you can analyze and tweak your advertisements as your campaign progresses forward. If something isn’t working, change it and analyze again. 

5. Nurture Visitors at Every Step of the Buyer’s Cycle

Searchers with commercial intent are easier to turn into paying customers. But, that doesn’t mean you should ignore everyone else. You may decide to bid less on informational intent keywords.

But, don’t ignore them.

Nurturing your audience over time means they’re more likely to buy something from you. They are starting to trust you and see you as a source of high-quality information. 

How to Manage Pay Per Click Campaigns

PPC ads aren’t “set it and forget it.” 

Managing them is as important (if not more) than developing your PPC marketing strategy. This step is the difference in companies who’re successful with paid ads and those that aren’t. 

Successful PPC management means:

  • Adding new keywords
  • Removing ineffective keywords
  • Utilizing negative keywords when necessary
  • Splitting ad groups
  • Monitoring your analytics
  • Looking back at expensive keywords
  • Making tweaks to landing pages and ad copy

PPC Management, The Easy Way

It’s no secret: Pay per click management isn’t easy. But, we’re here to lift the weight off your shoulders. Our team is built on a foundation of reliability, experience, and client trust. 

The best part? You don’t have to sell your left arm. Our services are cost-effective and results-driven. Our PPC professionals are here to help build your pay per click marketing strategy. 

Schedule your free consultation to get started today!

10 Questions to Ask a PPC Professional Before Hiring Them

10 Questions to Ask a PPC Professional Before Hiring Them

Are you about to launch a PPC campaign?

Of course, you’ll need the aid of a PPC professional. They know the business and they have both the right tools and experience to get it done right. But, how do you know you’re hiring the right agency or expert?

We’ve got a few tips to help you decide. Read on below to learn 10 crucial questions you should before hiring a PPC expert:

1. Do You Have Certified Customer Reviews?

Not sure if you’re dealing with experienced PPC specialists? Ask them about customer reviews and they should point you out to a page of testimonials. If they don’t hide any reviews, both good or bad, they should direct you to reviews on their Google My Business page or social media pages.

PPC agencies that don’t showcase reviews often have something to hide. They either are genuinely new or they might run a shady business not worth investing.

2. Do You Offer an After-Care Program?

PPC campaigns can run for a few weeks to a few months. It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend on an agency and your current ad goals. But, what happens when it’s all said and done?

Ask if the PPC company offers some sort of support even when the job’s over. You might run into a snag with the campaign they initiated and they’re the best ones to call for help.

3. Do We See Every Penny Spent?

One of the best things about paid ads like Google Ads is that you get to see where every penny went. Google Ads lets you see which ads cost you the most, where your remaining funds went, and how each ad performs.

Your PPC interview questions should cover whether you gain access to this expenditure account or if you simply pay the agency a flat rate and they do all the accounting behind closed doors.

4. Is There a Minimum Monthly Ad Spend?

Keep in mind some agencies demand a minimum ad spend. This means you can’t go below that monthly budget for your PPC campaign. This monthly ad spend limit is separate from the charges for hiring the PPC professional.

If there is a minimum ad budget, make sure you know how much they demand. Their minimum may be over your current marketing budget. You should also ask why they demand that amount as a minimum and how it affects your business, your niche, and your chances of success.

5. What Tools Do You Use?

Satisfied so far with their answers and you plan to keep going? We’re not done yet!

There are a few additional questions pay per click experts need to address. One of the most important details they should divulge is the list of tools they use.

Which tools do they use to research and discover keywords? How do they run analytics and which tools do they use to A/B split test different PPC strategies? Sometimes, the quality of the tools used can determine whether you find returns and see a boost in conversions from a PPC campaign.

6. What’s the Structure of Your Management Fees?

Don’t forget to ask how they charge you for their professional fees. Some might charge you a flat monthly fee on top of the minimum ad spend while others will charge you by the hour. A few freelancers might charge you per PPC campaign, asking you to pay in bulk.

Understanding how they charge you for their PPC management can curb your budget. You might not have a large sum of cash now to pay a flat monthly fee, but you could hire them hourly. Keep this in mind if you’re tight on finances.

7. Are There Full Reports?

The biggest advantage of a PPC campaign is that you get to see every little detail about every action performed. If you run an audit to determine the type of ads your visitors engage with the most, you should see every detail. This includes data like what time people clicked on ads and the age demographics of people who clicked an ad and went on to buy something on your site.

Make sure the PPC agency provides these details in their reports! Some might give generalized reports on a weekly or monthly basis.

If you can, get as much data from the agency. The information might prove useful in the future, long after you worked with the PPC management experts.

8. Which KPI’s Do You Prioritize?

No PPC is the same and no Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is more important than the others. Some KPI help determine an ad strategy betters than others for one client but not so much for another. That said, every PPC professional might have a select few favorites.

Make sure you ask which KPI’s the agency monitor frequently. Do they monitor Click-Through-Rates, total ad clicks, quality score, and cost per click? Check if the expert notes down the exact cost-per-conversion and lifetime value too.

9. Did You Manage Similar Clients Before?

So you’ve gone through the way they handle PPC campaigns and they’ve got good reviews. That’s great! But, did they ever manage a business like yours?

A PPC campaign for a fashion site works differently compared to one for video games. They have a vastly different audience. You have to curate PPC ads that work specifically for that niche and it’s always reassuring if your PPC expert already dipped their toes into that area before.

10. How’s Your Customer Service?

There is one effective way to tell if a company, whether a PPC agency or any other, is worth working with: test their customer service! You can gauge how well they’ll deal with refunds, financial disputes, complaints, and other issues through the way they talk to clients on the phone.

Hire the Best PPC Professional!

Make sure you ask these questions before hiring a PPC professional. Their answers should clarify how they’ll handle your PPC campaign and how much you need to get it done. Their responses can also determine if they’re the right one or if it’s time to look elsewhere.

Of course, we’re glad to answer these questions as well. We’re here to help and you can discover more by going through our other guides, such as this one laying the basic groundworks of PPC.

10 Powerful Benefits of PPC for Small Businesses

10 Powerful Benefits of PPC for Small Businesses

You need web traffic to sell your products or services, grow your audience, or gain affiliate and ad revenue. And if you’re a small business, you likely also have a small advertising budget.

Pay-per-click advertising is an effective marketing tool to balance your budget and quickly increase your web traffic. The benefits of PPC are often significant for small business owners.

PPC is a type of digital ad that appears online as pop-ups, banners, and other formats. Instead of paying a set amount for your ad, you only pay if someone clicks on the ad.

PPC ads are based on keywords, which you bid on as part of setting up your campaign. Your ad will show up when someone searches for a specific keyword.

Keep reading to understand the benefits of using a PPC advertising strategy. 

1. Targeted Audience

Unlike a traditional ad that might show up for everyone, a PPC ad only shows up when someone searches for the keyword you’ve bid on and won. You know if someone sees your ad, it’s someone who is at least somewhat interested in your business.

You can also control when and where the ads appear. This gives you greater targeting capability based on who you’re trying to reach. When you know your target audience well, you can set up your campaign to maximize your exposure to the most likely buyers.

Putting your ad in front of your target audience increases the chances of getting a click-through. You’re also more likely to convert with a sale or other desired outcome since the person should be interested in your business.

Targeting your audience also works well if you have a local business. When someone does a local search, they’ll find your ad.

2. Flexible Budget Options

Small businesses average about 1% of their revenues for advertising expenses. If your business is in the early stages or doesn’t bring in much revenue, that advertising budget can be small. That means you need to maximize how you spend it to get the best results.

When you set up a PPC campaign, you decide how much you pay per click. This makes it an option for all businesses no matter what the PPC budget.

You can also set a spending limit on the campaign. That limit helps you stick to your budget and gives you greater control over your ad spending. Using analytics to check your ROI, you can decide if you want to increase your spending on your PPC ads.

3. Copy-Testing Strategy

Are you working on perfecting your ad copy for all platforms? PPC ads are an ideal way to test out different approaches.

PPC campaigns are easy to change, which means you can quickly test out different headlines, colors, graphics, and copy. Run each option for a set amount of time to test it. Review the analytics for your PPC campaign to see which option works the best.

Use that data to refine all of your advertising. You might change up other types of ads or your marketing copy on your website to match the results.

4. Fast Way to Grow Traffic

Building organic traffic takes time as you develop your SEO and grow your audience. You have to rank up in the search results to get any significant traffic.

PPC ads go up immediately, which means you can get traffic much faster. As soon as you set up your campaign, you can start getting clicks through to your target URLs. That increased traffic can help you get more business, gain more exposure, and move up in the search results.

5. Increased Brand Awareness

As a small business, you’re probably not widely known beyond your existing audience. People who aren’t aware of your company won’t search for you by name. But they may search for related keywords, which brings up your PPC ads in their feeds.

When your ads start showing up for people, they start to recognize your logo and name. Even if they don’t click the first time, they may become curious when they keep seeing you pop up in the results.

6. Keeps You Competitive

PPC ads accounted for $10.1 billion in spending from 7 million advertisers in 2017. That means there’s a good chance at least some of your competition is using PPC advertising to gain new customers.

If you’re not using this strategy, you’re missing out on potential traffic. Staying competitive and using similar strategies as your competitors can help you get your share of the customers.

7. Measurable Outcomes

Not all marketing strategies are easy to analyze with data. Using PPC gives you access to concrete data to thoroughly analyze the results. You can run reports to see how many people clicked your ads, which helps you evaluate their effectiveness. 

You can also monitor your costs. Knowing the number of clicks and advertising spend helps you calculate your profits and ROI from your PPC campaign. This tells you if you should continue what you’re doing or change the way you run your PPC campaign.

8. Doesn’t Require Organic SEO

Google receives over 3.5 billion searches daily with an average of 40,000 queries per second. No matter what your niche, someone is likely searching for what you offer. But if you’re not on the first page of search results, and ideally toward the top of the results, you may never be discovered by those searchers.  

Using small business PPC strategies can earn you a spot at the top of search results, even if your site’s organic SEO doesn’t land you there. This can be especially helpful if you’re in a competitive niche where it’s very difficult to rank on the first page for your targeted keywords.

You shouldn’t ignore your website’s SEO just because you use PPC. Combining strong SEO and PPC can help improve your ranking faster than either one alone. But you can gain more traffic to your website even if you’re still working on your SEO.

9. More Control

You’re in charge of your spending and ad design when you use PPC advertising. It’s a more controlled way to get the word out about your business. You can change your budget at any time or switch up your target audience, which makes PPC advertising a very fluid option with endless adaptability.

10. Potential for High ROI

Using PPC advertising can give you a high ROI for your advertising dollars. Since you control how much you pay for each click, you can position yourself for a good return on investment.

Say you pay $2 per click and you get one out of 10 people to actually make a purchase from the click. If you make a profit of $120 off that sale, you still come out ahead by $100.

Enjoy the Benefits of PPC

Understanding the benefits of PPC advertising helps you determine if it’s the best strategy for your small business. This budget-friendly option gives you more control and helps you reach your target audience quickly.

Are you unsure of how to handle your small business PPC campaign? Take advantage of our Google AdWords management service to take the work out of PPC.

Paid Search Audience Targeting: Tips and Tricks

Paid Search Audience Targeting: Tips and Tricks

Want to learn more about audience targeting?

Even if you’ve been running your own digital marketing campaigns for years, you’re still two steps behind the experts. Why? Because the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising landscape changes at lightning speed.

Over the last 3 years, we’ve seen an industry shift toward mobile-first designs, voice searches, and video fanaticism. You may have added a new branch to your campaign for any one of these new PPC trends. Other technologies, such as audience targeting, will force you to completely reimagine how you design your ad campaigns.

We’re talking a bottoms-up, no holds barred redesign. And yes, it’ll be totally worth it.

Are you chomping at the bit to learn more? Excellent. In the sections below, you’ll find the leading secrets that experts use to build their prize-winning, audience-targeting PPC campaigns.

When you’re ready to get a step ahead and finally start leading the pack, read on.

Audience Targeting 101

So long as you understand the basics of how PPC advertising works, you’ll have no problem picking up the finer points of Facebook and AdWords audience targeting. Yes, other platforms will be using this new technology. Though, as usual, Facebook and Google are the frontrunners in this digital trend.

The audience, rather than the keyword, targeting is a type of strategic targeting. It’s a method by which you focus your PPC ads on people with specific traits:

  • Locations
  • Demographics
  • Behaviors
  • Interests

For instance, you could target prospects when they draw near your store’s physical location. You could also target prospect who meet specific demographic criteria, such as sex, age range, and education level. You have a wide variety of options to choose from.

As always, the first step of your marketing campaign will begin with audience research. Who is going to buy your product or service? What are their interests, and where do they hang out?

After you uncover those mysteries, you plug all the data you’ve found into campaign targeting section in AdWords or Facebook. Don’t worry, the steps are simple. The data gathering is the hard part.

Now that you know the basics, let’s move on to the strategies that experts use to throw their digital marketing campaigns into overdrive.

The In-Market Audience

Both Google AdWords advertising and Microsoft Bing advertising now offer in-market audience filters. What the heck are those? They’re filters you can use to identify prospects who are actively comparing or researching products.

The technology began gaining steam in 2017, though these search engines continue to refine the process. Bing offers a load of options for a relatively inexpensive cost. It’s a low-hanging fruit worth considering.

The coolest part? The search engines use third-party data to identify your prospects. That’s right, the filters aren’t reliant on first-party data you collected through your CRM or webmaster tools.

All you have to do is pick a category that best represents your product or service. If you can’t find an exact match, you’ll find a similar alternative. Just use your imagination to consider analogous substitutions.

When you’re starting out, the best way to utilize this filter is to add it to an existing campaign. Then, adjust your bid modifiers as needed. Beef up your bid modifiers after you identify which audiences are showing more interest.

That’s when you get aggressive and up the ante.

Remarketing to Your Audience

The urchin tracking module (UTM) is one of the tools you can use on Google to segment your data. Some platforms outperform Google on in-depth demographic targeting. With UTM, you can integrate that data into your Google AdWords campaign.

Facebook and LinkedIn, for instance, offer robust targeting options. Let’s take a closer look at using UTM with an example.

Let’s say that you want to use digital channels to advertise your conference center which doubles as a ballroom. If you used Facebook, you could target potential wedding reception prospects. You could use filters like income, geography, and recent engagement status.

Yeah, we agree; Facebook is a marketer’s dream.

Now, you create your first campaign on Facebook using the data above. Then, you create a separate campaign that targets event planners, selling your conference experience and your other amenities. This is an excellent start, but we’re experts and ready to raise our game to the next level.

This is where UTM comes in. You want to remarket to your target audience. This time you’re using AdWords.

You start by using the UTM to define visitors from the Facebook campaigns. Remember, you’re defining these visitors in AdWords. After that, you create audiences based on these UTMs. Your goal is to create audiences with pre-defined demographic information.

If you segment your social media campaigns, it’ll provide a wealth of information. You can then leverage this data to provide the content your audience wants most.

Exclusive Vs. Inclusive

Don’t get single-minded when you build your next campaign. Sometimes it’s more important to exclude certain prospects than it is to include other prospects. Save your funds for the ones who will buy your services or products.

For instance, let’s say you own a chain restaurant and live in a small town. That same restaurant can be found in neighboring towns. If you want to stretch your ad budget, set a geographic filter on your PPC.

Why would you do that? Because then you’re targeting the people most likely to visit your particular restaurant. If you didn’t, many of those prospects would visit restaurants in your chain that reside in neighboring towns.

After all, those prospects are only craving the food that’s on your menu. They’ll happily visit a closer restaurant to get it.

What’s Next?

Now that you understand the power of audience targeting, it’s time to try it out. Start by reviewing the filters that your favorite platform offers. Next, spend a small portion of your ad spend on a new campaign that uses a few of these filters.

If you need help, or you’d like someone to run your campaign for you, contact an expert in PPC Management Services. So long and good luck!

Tips for Getting Management Buy-In for Your PPC Campaign

Tips for Getting Management Buy-In for Your PPC Campaign

Do you worry that the others in your company are going to refuse your very reasonable PPC campaign ideas or suggestions? Maybe you have a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign all set up and you are worried it will be blown out of the water? If so, here are just a few ideas you may use to get management buy-in for your PPC campaign.

Getting Management Buy-In With Numbers

Have you ever seen online debates on YouTube where some number crunching woman will explain why the Wonder Woman movie is better than all Batman movies combined, and the other panelists wither because they are afraid to argue with the stats? There are some people who will be swayed by numbers, even if the numbers offer only token support and sometimes you can sway enough people so that naysayers will not argue.

A classic example of this is when Kellogg’s first tried to enter into the Indian cereal market. Their executives threw some very big numbers around about how many people in India were not yet cereal eaters and if they only get 5% of the 1.1 billion people, then it will mean profits bigger than ever before. Their products bombed because milk is not as freely available in many places in India, and most people eat vegetables for breakfast and not cereal.

Where Do You Get The Numbers From?

Mine information from other PPC campaigns and SEO campaigns and you are going to suffer from people saying one case does not translate to another. In other words, they will say how it worked in those cases, but will not work in yours.

You can run projections, but you may still suffer from a shortage of data. You could also make the numbers up and justify them however you wish, which even though it seems cynical, will probably work as well as if you have real numbers.

Another method may be to run smaller test campaigns to start with. You could run smaller Google Ads campaigns for as little money as possible, achieve some degree of success, and then argue that you can scale up what you did on Google Ads.

It is a risky move, but if things don’t go well, you can use these numbers as a reason for further exploratory experiments so that maybe you can come back another day with your full campaign and pitch it again with better evidence.

What About When Numbers Don’t Work

Some people will buy numbers, especially if they are in groups, but have you seen online debates on YouTube where somebody quotes stats and somebody like Bill Burr or Dennis Prager points out that the internet is full of contradicting stats.

To quote Homer Simpson, “People can make up stats to prove anything that is even slightly true; 14% of people know that.” The website BothSidesOfTheTable ran a similarly themed article titled “73.6% of all statistics are made up.”

You have to argue with critical thinkers with logic. If I drop this ball, it will land on the floor if it remains unhindered. That is how clear the logic has to be because critical thinkers are brilliant at poking holes in logic.

Have you considered changing your campaign to suit critical thinkers? A PPC campaign with many checks and balances and a progressive campaign would soothe the worries of any critical thinkers.

For example, your campaign would start small with a small budget, and it would only gain more of a budget and staff hours if it achieves clear and measurable goals that each have their own return on investment that exceeds what was put into it. Even the Stephen Hawking of critical thinkers would have a hard time poking a hole in that logic.

Think Up Every Objection Possible

If you are really committed, then take the time to come up with every single objection you can think of and spend time working out how you will get over those objections. Rehearse what you will say and do if you wish. Always try to bring whatever objections back to your PPC campaign. Here are a few examples:

Q: Do your staff have the expertise to pull this off?
A: My campaign is so streamlined that a child could make it work

Q: Isn’t this just another way to draw a bigger budget for your department?
A: When this PPC campaign starts bringing in new clients, the accounts will be begging to increase my budget.

Q: Will this damage our brand image with Millennials on Facebook?
A: Page 9, Chapter 3 in the PPC campaign plan shows all contingencies, checks, and balances to eliminate the risk of brand damage.

Brand It With A Selling Point And Push It

Bring up your major selling point so often that it is burned into people’s minds. You are going to suffer barbs from some prickly people in the team but brush them off and keep going. Keep on pushing your major selling point. Do it so much that the only memory they have after a week is of your major selling point. Here are a few classic selling points.

• Brings in more long-term clients
• Saves X amount of money
• Makes X amount of money

Be wary of touting any form of branding when coming up with your selling point. Staff members who suffered through the corporate life in the 80s will associate your branding selling points with failure.

For example, in the 80s, if a campaign failed miserably, consultants would say, “Yes, but it grew the brand.” Plus, branding is very difficult to measure, and people do not like approving PPC campaigns that do not have clearly-defined and measurable goals.

Do Not Rely On Charm

If you ever want dating advice, then ask the ugly person with a wonderful woman on his arm. When you seek advice on how to get management buy-in, be wary of reading “Mr/Mrs. Successful” books because they are often written by people who became successful with their charm and cunning. Do not rely on charm if you want management buy-in. Rely on your planning and the strength of your PPC campaign.

Are you looking for in-depth articles about PPC and all things affiliate advertising? Then you need to check out our PPC management services

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