Google’s PPC ads are essentially a real-time auction in which you bid on searches with the keywords you want your ad to appear for. When a keyword you are bidding on is searched with, yours and competing companies’ adverts are displayed in the ‘Ads’ positions.
The order of that display – the ranking – is decided by who bids the most and who has the ad copy and landing page most relevant to the keyword being searched with. When your ad is clicked on you pay the amount you bid.
Here is a summary of what PPC offers you and your business:
- Be seen – your brand and advertising copy can be seen for any audience you choose to target.
- Deliver almost instant traffic to your website.
- Get qualified leads – your ads only appear in front of searchers using relevant keywords that you have chosen.
- Make immediate sales.
- A much higher (and more immediate) Return On Investment (ROI) than traditional advertising methods.
- Limit your daily budget to as little as you want.
- Add, change and delete the keywords you bid on and the ad copy you display.
- Test the profitability of different keywords and ad copy.
- Target different languages, regions and cities in most countries.
A Checklist for PPC success
To create your Google Ads account, visit the Ads homepage and follow the sign-up wizard which will walk you through the process.
Once your account has been activated, organization is the key to managing your PPC. Here are some tips for setting up your Ads campaign, use them as checklist for your own PPC success:
- Set your budget’s daily limit. This is the most you can spend in any one day. Start with a small amount and then you can bid with confidence until you’ve learned how to make a profit.
- Use Wordtracker to carefully choose the keywords you bid on. Your keywords are the heart of your campaign and Wordtracker shows you real words searched with by real people.
- Segment your keywords into different Ad Groups so that they can each have different bids, ad copy and landing pages.
- Write different adverts and test them against each other. And never stop testing – always trying to beat your best performing ads.
- What have you got that your competitors have not? What’s your Unique Selling Point (USP)? Use your USP in your ad copy to make your ad more appealing and increase your clicks. The higher your click rate, the higher up Google’s pages your ad will appear.
- Learn about Google’s different match bids and use exact match and broad match. With exact match you bid on specific keywords only. With broad match you bid on all keywords containing the word you are bidding on.
- Introduce negative keywords into your campaign. Your ad will not show for any searches containing the negative keywords you bid on.
- Make sure your ad copy and landing pages all use the keywords they serve. Do this and your ads can move higher up Google’s results pages without the need to increase bids – that means less cost and more profit.
- Geo-target your ads. Make sure your ads only appear for searchers in regions that you can sell to.
- Limit your ads to display only during times of the day relevant to your company and products.
- Measure your results using Google Analytics or Yahoo’s Index Tools and learn what works and what doesn’t, always chasing a higher return for your investment.
Pay Per Click (PPC) can bring you instant traffic and results. But beware! If you don’t know what you’re doing, PPC can take all your money for little return.