All businesses need to attract new customers and most will these days, have a website to promote themselves. Virtually all websites will use SEO to get listed on the search engines but it takes time, effort and patience to get there. Pay per click or PPC, is a form of advertising that when used carefully can bring in a lot of new business. It can be measured so that you can see what is working, what is not and what your return on investment is. So, what is PPC and how does it work?
PPC is a form of online advertising that is used specifically to drive traffic to a website. Adverts are created which contain relevant keywords or key phrases pertaining to what the business is offering. These adverts are then loaded onto the search engine along with a bid or maximum price the business owner is prepared to pay for each click. For some niches this can be hideously expensive however, if you have completed a thorough keyword research project, you will have many options open to you and you may be able to choose searched for keywords that are not so expensive. You only pay when your advert is clicked and you can set a daily budget so that you don’t end up with a huge bill.
The adverts have a title, heading, description and web address. Once the advert has been written and you are happy with it, you need to set the bid price. You will be bidding for the keyword and as I’ve already said, some niches are very competitive. The more competitive the niche, the higher the costs however, this should not put you off using PPC completely. When your ad has been approved by the search engine, it will run in accordance with how you have set it up. This will include things like the frequency, bids and budget.
PPC has been used very successfully to kick off an SEO campaign and get a website noticed. It might take around 6 months for a site to rank on the search engines however, using PPC, your site can be generating traffic within one day. The thing is, although pay per click is fast, you can easily get carried away and spend rather a lot of money before you even realise it, so be aware of what you are spending and set sensible budgets that you can afford. It is also important to review your PPC from time to time so that you keep everything current and that your campaign is still offering good value for money.
A lot of money could potentially be wasted if a PPC campaign is not set up and managed correctly, but when done right they can be extremely lucrative.
Here are 9 ways to work out whether or not PPC is working for your business:
1. Impressions and clicks
Firstly one way to see if your campaigns are working at all is to see if they are getting impressions and clicks, and a good level of impressions and clicks.
Obviously budget is going to have some bearing on the amount of clicks and impressions your ads can receive but if you are not seeing the levels that you would want for your chosen budget, ie. you are spending a lot less than you wanted to, then there could be scope to add additional keywords and increase traffic levels and customers to your site.
It is also important to have a good ratio of clicks to impressions, or click through rate (CTR). This is something Google looks at to determine the quality score of your keywords so it’s important to get this as high as possible.
Depending on the type of campaign, display or search, a ‘good’ CTR will vary, but anything over 0.5% for a display campaign and around 3-5% for a search campaign is something to aim for.
3. Average position
To get your ads noticed in the search results they really need to be appearing in the top 3 positions on the page, otherwise they are at risk of getting lost within the noise of the rest of the page.
If your ads have a low CTR then it may be due to the average position so consider increasing bids where appropriate to achieve those top of page slots and you should hopefully see your CTR improve.
4. Conversion rate
The main reason most businesses use Google AdWords is to get more customers, so achieving a high conversion rate is important.
You can use Google’s conversion code to track things like sales or completions of an on-site enquiry form to relate those conversions back to keywords and ads to see which ones are working and which ones are not. You should be aiming for as high a conversion rate as possible, because that means that a high proportion of people coming to your site are carrying out your desired action whilst they’re there.
Conversions can be softer than actual s
5. Sales / leads
It should all boil down to getting more sales and leads! If you own an ecommerce website and your ads are not generating sales then there’s something wrong with your campaigns and/or site.
You also need to factor in ROI. If sales are coming in, are enough coming through to ensure you are seeing a return on your investment?
6. Bounce rate
Another softer metric you can look at to try and establish the quality of traffic coming from PPC ads is bounce rate. This can be done in AdWords itself or within Google Analytics.
ales or leads. You could set up a conversion for an email sign up or pull in engagement goals from Analytics to gauge the quality of the traffic coming via PPC.