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Are you already happy with your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) performance?

You may answer with a resounding yes if your business revenue has gotten a significant bump since you started investing in PPC. While you can give yourself a pat on the back, it may still be in your best interests to tweak your PPC campaign (if you’ve not done so). If you’re not sure what PPC is or why your business needs it, this article on Why Your Business Needs PPC is for you.

PPC optimisation not only helps improve your PPC results with better returns on investment, it can also keep your current PPC performance on the right track.

7 PPC Optimisation Tips To Improve Your Performance

1. Make sure that your business has a clear goal

create clear goalsWhether you are running your own company or dealing with a client, having clear goals is a must to boost not only your PPC performance but your overall online strategy. You need to better assess what your business or company wants to achieve with its marketing of products and services.

This step is important even if your PPC performance is doing well. Maybe your target audience is not as well defined as it can be. You could be in danger of targeting less effective keywords rather than the ones that an audience with greater purchasing intent is searching for.

2. Organise a solid account structure

There is no singular answer to what is considered a solid account structure. The truth is, the account structure of your PPC will vary depending on your business or client.

However, there are some universal rules about developing a solid account structure. First rule is that it should make controlling performance as simple as possible. Another is that it should have tightly aligned ad groups and keywords.

A PPC starts with a campaign (Product/service you wish to promote). All your campaigns will then be divided up into Ad Groups. Here, you should already line up your campaigns depending on your business goals and industry. Think of Ad Groups as the ship that contains all your keywords, text ads, and landing pages.

A good Ad Group should be able to satisfy who you want to advertise to and what you want to say. Within the Ad Group, you will need to create a keyword list, adverts, and set landing pages that are tightly aligned with each other. In order for you to know if you have made a great account structure, you can check your Quality Score. This is a rating system provided by Google within Adwords based on your click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience score.

3. Switch to CPA from CPC/PPC

CPACost-per-click or CPC has some drawbacks for the advertiser. For example, advertisers will have to bid for a preferred position in Google. Bidding cheaply may result in an ad that few people will see while bidding too high could end up costing a lot for modest sales.

An alternative model is the CPA or Cost-per-action. With CPA, you can set the amount that you are willing to pay depending on the action your customer takes. You need to define this action (see Point 5 below) before CPA is enabled in Adwords. Based on your CPA bid, Google determines when and who to show your ad to. There is also the potential to have a better ROI for your set budget.

4. Experiment with your ads

With AdWords, you can create multiple versions of edits with your drafts and run an experiment. Through this, you can see the difference between your original campaign and the edited version to compare which one is better.

If the experiment performs better, you can apply the experiment to your original campaign. You can also just pause the original campaign and run the experiment as a new campaign using the same dates and budget. Take note, you can only run one draft as an experiment at a time.

All these can sometimes be overwhelming to do yourself, so check out our Search Engine Marketing Services to see how we can help you with your PPC optimisation needs.

5. Set up conversion tracking

setup conversion trackingAs a marketer or a business owner, you should be relying mainly on data rather than gut feel when it comes to the results of a campaign. Setting up conversion tracking for your PPC campaign will help you track the effectiveness of your advertising. You will be able to see how important customer actions such as website purchases, mobile app downloads, newsletter sign-ups, and even phone calls are performing.

Conversion tracking often starts with creating a conversion action using your AdWords account or your Analytics account. The action is specific to the activity that you want to track – website actions, phone calls, in-apps actions, etc.

Each conversion tracking slightly differs from each conversion source. But once you have set it up, you will be able to see data on conversions for campaigns, ads, keywords, and ad groups. Watch the video below for further information.

6. Tweak your campaign settings

Inefficient campaign settings can consume a lot of your budget. Your campaign settings should be optimised based on your business goals.

For example, if your goal is to increase your brand’s visibility in a particular country, you have to make sure that your PPC campaign setting focuses on that area. If your website is not optimised for mobile devices like tablets and cellphones, it will be pointless to run a mobile PPC campaign. Your campaign settings are where you make these sorts of changes to create a focused campaign.

Here are some tips you have to consider:

  • Optimise your campaign to target specific locations, languages, and devices that are relevant to your target market
  • Your campaign should have the right bidding option, consistent ad scheduling, and a set budget
  • Use ad extension features since it can help improve the CTR of the ads

7. Develop an optimised landing page

optimized landing pageA landing page that does not have a good Call to Action and takes a really long time to load will cause you to lose business. Optimise your landing page and it will work wonders for your conversion.

If you are unsure how to create a landing page that will work for your business, check out our conversion optimisation service page to learn more about how you can convert your web traffic into actual leads.

I hope this article sheds light on how you can utilise PPC optimisation for your business. Buying into the PPC model is a great way to advertise what you are trying to sell. However, the simple tips shared above could make it even more effective. By following these PPC tips, you will always be one step ahead of the competition.

 

If you have had experiences with PPC optimisation, please share with us by leaving a comment below. Have questions regarding PPC? Please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist.

A large chunk of the world’s population may not be familiar with Google Adwords but they have all likely interacted with its output in some form if they have ever searched on Google before or visited websites that served advertising banners. In 2015 alone, online advertising generated $67.39 billion in revenue for Google.

Online Advertising Graph

That is a whole lot of impressions and clicks that Google redirected to different landing sites with the potential to turn into leads and customers. And this is why Google Adwords continues to attract an increasing amount of advertising every year. If you’re not sure what Adwords or PPC is, and why your business should be engaging in Search Engine Marketing, we recommend you to read our article on the topic.

When it comes to your Adwords campaign, one question that always pops up is how much to spend every month? A major positive about Google Adwords is that it is very customisable and you can easily vary your budget for different needs and results. We know this sounds vague and non-committal. That’s why we’re sharing the blueprint for you to determine a sensible budget for your own Adwords campaign. We recommend DIY readers to always start out with a Test Phase in order to determine their budget. Since we’re focusing on budget, we’ve skipped the steps for setting up your Adwords campaign.

Test Phase

1. Determine the right keywords

Know The Right KeywordsCreate a list of keywords that are relevant to your business. Keep in mind that Google estimates cost per click (CPC) based on the keywords. This is known as ‘Adwords Suggested Bid’. To determine how much your keywords are going to cost, use the Keyword Planner from Google. When deciding on the keywords, be mindful of your goals and WHERE in the customer buying cycle you’re targeting for your visitors.

If you’re planning to increase your online sales, you want to focus on keywords that have more ‘buying intent’. For example, if you sell shoes, keywords like “buy shoes online” or “best deal for shoes” are more likely to convert to sale than a generic keyword like ‘shoes for dinner’. Some solid buying intent keywords include coupon, buy, discount, shipping and deal. You can also focus on product keywords like cheap, affordable, brand name & product, review, and best. Someone looking for these keywords in your phrase is much further along the buying cycle towards a purchase. If you’re looking to get as many visitors to your website, words like ‘free’ and ‘how to’ are good for attracting them, but these are not likely to convert to a sale.

2. Decide on a test time frame

You must decide on the duration for your test phase. A month can be a good length of time to determine the effectiveness of your keywords. Consider the nature of the product that you are selling when deciding on your timeframe. Does your product “fly off the shelves” or does it usually require a longer buying timeframe? Keeping these into careful considerations will help you make better sense of your data.

3. Start With A Small Budget

Based on the Adwords Suggested Bid for the keywords you select, as well as the price of your product, you’ll be able to gauge how much money your Adwords campaign may need to expense each month. However, it’s always a good idea to start slow, until you’re comfortable with the Adwords interface and with your potential returns. Based on the Keyword Planner tool, you’ll also be able to get an estimated optimum daily spend. Use this to keep your initial bid for each keyword low and maximize your impressions. Increase bids based on performance of the keywords. At this point, you should set up your campaign, your Ad Groups, your ads and keywords and then finally, put money into your Adwords account to get started. If you’re a little more savvy, also link up your Google Analytics to your Adwords account and set up goals for better performance tracking. When starting out a campaign, stick to broad match keywords.

4. Cull Your Non-Performing Keywords

It is estimated that one 1 in every 100 clicks of your online ads will result in a sale. While it is tempting to check your results everyday, we suggest looking at it once a week. Look at the search terms that people are finding your ads with. Add keywords irrelevant to your goals and business into your ‘negative keywords’ list so that you don’t waste money on them. By the end of the month, you would have a growing negative keyword list that your budget will not be wasted on moving forward. Go through your original keywords list and start determining the performance of the keywords. This can be based off a comparision of your Analytics data (if it’s connected to your Adwords, this is much easier) to your Adwords results. Figure out the keywords that brought in the right targeted traffic and generated sales. Start culling those that generated very little impressions or clicks (unless the buying intent is really strong). Start updating your keyword list by shifting from broad match to broad match modifier keywords, phrase match or even exact match keywords. This reduces the overall number of impressions or clicks you receive but drives much more targeted traffic to your site.

If you are struggling in determining your sales generating keywords, consider hiring a professional SEM service.

Maximize Your Adwords Campaign ROI

Maximise ROIWhen advertising online, you should aim to derive the profit generated from every click of your ads to ascertain the level of success your campaign is having. This is known as your Earnings Per Click (EPC),  which is the best way to determine your return on investment (ROI) and identify the keywords yielding the best returns.

How to Find Your EPC

To find your EPC, multiply your customer value and your conversion rate. The customer value is how much profit you generate from a paying customer and the conversion rate is the click percentage that turns into a sale. For example, if you are promoting a product that gives you $20 in profit and it converts at 1% then your EPC is $0.20.

Ideally, you want this value to be positive and getting larger month over month. Based on your EPC, and your profits, you can determine your monthly Adwords campaign budget for following months and increase or reduce it accordingly. Of course, to keep growing your EPC, you would want to optimize your campaign further. You can try out copywriting experiments for your ads, modify your keywords lists and experiment with pricing models other than CPC.

If your ads didn’t perform as expected in the first month, it’s not cause to give up. You probably need to take a closer look at your keywords list and optimize your Adwords campaign further, and test for another month. This is why starting with a smaller budget helps – it allows you to get acquainted with Adwords without being too expensive a lesson.

Do you run Adwords campaigns for yourself? We’d love to hear about your experiences and any tips & tricks you have discovered when setting the budget for yourself.

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a term every business owner with an online presence should have basic knowledge about. Why? SEM is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid, Pay-per-Click (PPC), and unpaid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. PPC and SEO are the two legs of search engine marketing that are vital to your business growth online.Search Engine Marketing - PPC - 2Stallions

PPC is a great short-term strategy for driving traffic (though many businesses continue utilizing it beyond short-term because of the returns). SEO, on the other hand, is a long-term approach that reaps benefits once your website ranks on the first page of Google. To help you decide if your business needs PPC, we will give you the run-down about the most common form of online advertising through this article.

When done right, PPC is the easiest way to gain traffic for your website by providing immediately qualified leads. With a good funnel and call-to-action on the website landing page, PPC creates a high chance of converting these leads to customers.

How PPC for SEM Works

Step 1. Set a PPC goal for your campaign

First off, you need a business website to direct users who click on your PPC ads to. You begin by setting a PPC goal for your business. Your goal could be to get users to do one of the following:

  • call you
  • sign up for your mailing list or
  • submit a filled-in contact form (you gain their contact details to market to them in future)

To help put things into context, we’ll use a seafood restaurant business as an example. The PPC goal of our seafood restaurant is to get visitors to make a reservation at their restaurant through their online form.

Step 2. Select the keywords to achieve your goal

The next step is to select keywords that help you achieve your goal. It is important to determine the user intent behind searching for the keyword you select. For example, someone searching for “seafood” may be doing research on seafood or looking for recipe ideas (informational intent), as opposed to actually wanting to visit a seafood restaurant. This means the keyword “seafood” is likely too broad for our seafood restaurant to generate a lead from. For the seafood restaurant, a better keyword would be “seafood restaurant singapore” because a user searching for “seafood restaurant singapore” has the following possible intent:

  • Look for a website to find out about seafood restaurants (more relevant informational intent) or
  • To visit a seafood restaurant (which serves the goal)

In either case, this is a good keyword to get a qualified lead to the website. Furthermore, according to Google Keyword Planner, which is a tool to determine the popularity of a keyword, there are 1,000 searches each month on average in Singapore for this keyword.

Step 3. Set your bid amount

Having selected a keyword or a set of keywords, you then set a bid. It is basically the amount you are willing to pay for a qualified lead to land on your website. This is an auction system as multiple businesses in the same space are competing to get their advert on the first page. For some keywords, this results in prices of over $20 per click. For the keyword ‘seafood restaurant singapore’, the average bid is $1.25 (correct as of 30th June 2015 from Keyword Planner).

Step 4. Create your ad copy and a landing page

When setting up the ad, you also set a landing page. This is where the user who clicks the ad will end up on in your business website. Google determines the position of ads on its search results page based on an internal algorithm that takes into account the relevancy of the landing page to the keyword as well as, of course, the bid you’re willing to pay. This is known as the Quality Score. If the relevancy score is high, the ad could show as one of the top 3 search results. Lower relevancy could push you down to one of the side results or even onto the second page.

Ads for Keyword - Seafood Restaurant Singapore - On Google - 2Stallions
Fig.1 Search Result for ‘seafood restaurant singapore’. Please note that search results may appear differently for different users based on whether they are logged in and their previous interactions with Google.

It is important that the copy of the ad clearly explains what the visitor should expect if they click on it. This is to improve the conversion rate (the percentage (%) of clicks you get compared to the number of views your ads get) for your goal by ensuring only the most qualified searchers click on it.

Why Your Business Should Invest in PPC?

1. Potentially Rank Above Competition

PPC is attractive because it potentially allows a website that does not rank organically (unpaid) via SEO on the first page of Google, to show up above their competition on the first page. This is important because studies show that the first page of Google receives 71.3% of the clicks of all searches for the keyword. The second and third pages get about 5% each.

2. Only Pay for Clicks, Not Views

The best thing about PPC is that you only pay Google when someone clicks on the ad you have created. So your ad could show up 1,000 times but if only 10 people click on it (a conversion rate of 1%), you only pay Google 10 * $1.25 or $12.50. As a business, you should be looking to maximize the conversion rate for your ads but all those views (Google calls them impressions) also serve to increase brand awareness for your business.

3. Set a budget to maximize ROIReturn on Investment on PPC - 2Stallions

If you are getting a lot of clicks (which is great if a large percentage of clicks generate revenue), you will find your advertising expense quickly getting out of hand. This is where budgeting comes in. You can set a daily budget so that your ads stop showing once your limit has been reached. This ensures you stay within your means while maximizing your returns.

4. Get qualified data for other marketing channels

PPC can also be used to determine the most lucrative keywords for your business. You can then aim to rank on Google for those keywords organically through SEO. If your conversion rate for ‘seafood restaurant singapore’ is lower than ‘seafood restaurant singapore west’ for example, your SEO campaign could aim to rank for the latter long tail keyword rather than the former. If you’re hosting an offline event for marketing that you’re not sure would generate enough interest, run a PPC campaign for the event to test it out before running the actual event.

PPC Does Not Guarantee Success

Always be aware that a click on the ad does not guarantee new business and additional revenue generation. The business website landing page the visitor arrives on, plays a huge part in converting visitors to customers.

It should ideally promote an action towards your goal. For the seafood restaurant, this action is a reservation that could be achieved via a clear call-to-action. Having a ‘Make Reservation’ button together with a concise presentation of relevant information such as menu, pricing, and promotions would help visitors make up their mind and act on making a reservation.

How To Determine if PPC is Good For Your Business

The easiest way to calculate your return on investment (ROI) is by placing a dollar value on your goal.

For example, seafood is generally an expensive meal and we can assume that at least 2 people (since meals are rarely taken alone at restaurants) will show-up per reservation. Based on this, we can take the return per reservation to be at least $80. If the seafood restaurant spends $12.50 for 10 clicks and even ONE of them makes a reservation, the restaurant would end up making $80 – $12.50 or $67.50 from their pay per click campaign.

This means their Cost per Acquisition (CPA), which refers to the expense of getting one customer, is $12.50. As a business, you need to create a spreadsheet to tabulate all the costs incurred to complete your sale. For the seafood restaurant, this could include the estimated cost of cooking ingredients, chef and utilities spend per meal. To make a profit on the reservation, your CPA needs to be greater than Revenue minus Costs (e.g. $80 – $50 = $30 > $12.50). Generally, the smaller the value for CPA, the better your profit margin will be.

Why Bother With SEO?Save Money Long Term With Professional Services - 2Stallions

While PPC is well and great, don’t forget that you will continuously be incurring expenses on it to acquire new customers. As a business, over time, you should aim to reduce your marketing expenses or to re-invest the capital in trying out other keywords that might also be able to generate traffic. By simultaneously investing in SEO, you may incur up front costs, but over time, your PPC expense will reduce.

Conclusion

Search Engine Marketing is a key element to pushing a business that has an online presence today. Ignoring it due to a lack of knowledge and time is not an excuse. It is understandable that as a business owner, you have a thousand and one things to do, so consider hiring an agency that is transparent and motivated to drive your search engine marketing efforts on your behalf.

P.S. 2Stallions also provides a comprehensive range of online advertising services, so check us out!

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