Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
PPC allows business owners to have their pages displayed in the “sponsored results” sections of search engines. Each time browsers click on these ads; the business owner pays a fee. Although PPC advertising sounds relatively straightforward, the reality is that running an effective campaign requires a certain amount of industry knowledge and expertise in Edmonton.
There are many tools available to business owners who want to create PPC campaigns, but for the sake of simplicity this article will focus on the most popular of them: Google Ads, often still referred to by its former moniker, Google AdWords. Read on to find out about the pros and cons of using these services and what to expect when placing PPC ads, using Google Ads in Edmonton.
Is it Worth the Money?
Advertising campaigns are only worth the investment if they produce results. PPC advertising can be an impressively effective strategy for generating leads and attracting new customers, but that doesn’t mean it will work for every business.
The Pros of PPC
One of the handiest advantages of PPC ads is that they tend to produce quick results when compared to other marketing strategies. Setting up a Google Ads account is a fairly straightforward process, and businesses tend to start seeing traffic increases almost immediately. Business owners can set their own AdWords budgets, and they’ll only have to pay when browsers click on their ads.
The amount of campaign customization offered by Google Ads makes it possible to target just about any audience, which allows site owners to avoid spending money acquiring leads that are unlikely to pan out. The platform also offers an overwhelming number of data metrics and tracking options so readers will be able to tell how their campaigns are performing.
The Cons of PPC
There is no guarantee that PPC ads will work, so it’s entirely possible for business owners to invest time and money into campaigns that don’t improve their customer conversion rates. After all, even if they’re getting plenty of clicks, not every visitor to the site will end up making a purchase. This can leave business owners footing the bill for ineffective ads.
PPC ads require ongoing investments. There are several ways that Google ads can be paid for, but at the end of the day, when the campaign is over the ads will be pulled. This can be frustrating for business owners who are used to more static forms of online advertising, but given that readers can set their own budgets there’s little reason not to give PPC advertising a chance.
How to Get Started
Signing up for an AdWords account is a fairly straightforward process. Business owners can navigate to adwords.google.com and click on “Get started Now.” They’ll then be prompted to either enter the information for their regular Google accounts or to create new accounts to be used exclusively for advertising purposes.
Once users have linked their existing Google accounts or created new ones, they can begin creating new campaigns. Each campaign can feature multiple “ad groups,” and each ad group can feature multiple keywords and ads. Those who are just getting started may want to try sticking to only one ad group for their first campaign before beginning to experiment with keywords and phrases using multiple ad groups.
Bids and Budgets
AdWords makes it easy for users to set display networks and locations and define critical settings. Once readers have input the required information, they will have to set a daily budget. Place a reasonable default bid – many users start with a few dollars per click – and a maximum daily budget.
Once that maximum daily budget is reached, the ad will no longer be displayed. Users will also be prompted to set up payment options. They can choose between manual payments, automatic payments, and monthly invoicing depending on their needs.
There are five main categories of keyword match types, which will be described below. Why are they essential, though? Defining a PPC keyword match type allows business owners to tell Google AdWords how they want their ads to be matched to users’ searches.
Business owners who set their keyword match type to “broad match” will find that their ads show up on many browsers’ searches. Browsers who have misspelled the keyword used a synonym or used variations on the keyword will all see the ad. This is the default keyword match type, so any keyword that is not defined under an alternative match type will be a broad match keyword.
Setting the keyword match type to “exact match” has the opposite effect, causing the ad to show up only in searches for the exact keywords defined by the AdWords user. Just the exact keyword and extremely close variations on it will be used to match browsers to the search term. Exact match keywords can be formulated by adding square brackets around the keyword so that it looks like [this].
Broad match modifier
“Broad match modifier” and “phrase match” keyword types offer a comfortable middle ground. Using broad match modifiers by adding a “+” symbol to the front of each word will cause the ad to show up when browsers search for close variations of the keyword, but not synonyms.
Phrase match will pull up the ad for users who search for the keyword or a close variation on it within a phrase and require placing quotation marks around the entire phrase.
“Negative match” keywords are best used in combination with the broad and phrase keyword match types. This allows users to improve their targeting by excluding certain search terms that are not relevant to the keyword, helping to prevent unnecessary spending on browsers who are unlikely to make any purchases. Negative matches are defined by placing a “-” in front of the term.
Packages and Pricing
ROI and Conversion Tracking
It is much easier to track customer conversion rates than a return on investment (ROI) for PPC ads. ROI tracking is the only way to tell whether the money a company is investing in Google Ads campaigns is paying off.
To accurately follow your return on investment, you will have to set up conversion tracking. This can be completed within the Google AdWords platform, itself. To set up conversion tracking, readers will have to use the conversion tracking code provided by Google Ads, or Google Analytics.
This code, or “tag,” can be created by selecting “Conversions” from the “Tools” drop-down menu on the Google Ads platform. Everything from conversion windows to click count can be established during the initial tag creation.
Once the tag has been added to a company’s website, readers will have access to the information they need to track ROI by comparing conversion value data to ad spend data using this formula: ROI = (Revenue – cost of goods) / Cost of goods. It takes some work, but determining ROI is worth it.
The Future of PPC
Readers who want to improve their ROI on existing campaigns or get their first campaigns started on the right foot, can learn from others’ mistakes. For instance, many who are new to Google Ads send browsers to their websites’ homepages instead of product pages. Browsers don’t want to search through an entire site to complete their purchases, so they’re less likely to stick around and be converted into loyal customers if the ad doesn’t target a relevant product page.
A second mistake made by novice users is failing to split-test ad text. Split-testing can be performed by creating several different PPC ad groups then comparing the click-through and conversion rates for each of them. It’s okay for business owners to run an ad or two without split-testing to dip their toes in the water, but those who decide that PPC ads are worth the investment should always take the extra time to see which ad text performs best.
One final common mistake worth mentioning is the failure to take advantage of negative keywords when using broad match ads. Using negative keywords to narrow down target audiences makes it more likely that the ad will reach browsers who might be interested in the products or services it is advertising. It also helps to avoid clicks that don’t generate useful leads by reducing the number of browsers who wind up at the site by mistake when searching for related, but not relevant, terms.
2018 was a big year for Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords. In addition to this branding change, which has already been mentioned, the platform also underwent both cosmetic and functional changes plus many enhancements.
Edmonton’s Parxavenue believes that in 2019 and beyond, automation will reign supreme as Google Ads continues to create and improve built-in automation features. Many also point to Amazon’s Sponsored Product Ads as being an essential aspect of developing a PPC strategy that will continue to be relevant in future years, since more of today’s users head to Amazon to search for products than Google.
PPC advertising is now and is expected to remain an affordable way for businesses to increase their online presence, and brand recognition, draw in new audiences and improve their customer conversion rates, but it takes some work to create an effective Edmonton Google ads campaign. Although it’s reasonable to expect much of this process to be automated in the future, today’s business owners still have to either learn the process themselves or hire a PPC advertising firm if they want their campaigns to be successful. Professional web design can also impact the success of your campaign quite a bit.
Click here to read a bit more about, whether Google users are clicking more on the ads or the organic results.