Background on Google – The Market Leader:
The term (SEO) Search Engine Optimisation is something of misnomer. Google account for a massive 90% of UK Internet searches. (According to Hitwise).
You can see how the UK search landscape is dominated by Google and while it may be wise to go ensure your website is listed in Bing/Yahoo, it isnít where the volume of searches are performed.
Using PPC, (Pay per Click) on Google, Bing/Yahoo enables you to pretty much garner the entire UK search engine landscape. From experience, I have found Google Adwords to be by far the most effective Pay Per Click Company as you might expect from a company with such a huge UK market share. That is not to say it isn’t worth using Bing/Yahoo for UK PPC as the bid prices are usually much lower than Google Adwords but the click throughs and rewards will be much lower.
What is Pay Per Click ?
When you search for something on Google, for example, ‘villa rentals in Algarve, Portugal’ – You will notice Google Adwords ads under sponsored links above and down the right of the main listings. See below.
The highest bidder for the keywords involved (I’ll get into keywords later on), are placed in the 1st position and the second highest bidder gets 2nd place and so on.
How it Works
Click the following link for a wonderfully illustrative Infographic on:
"How does Google AdWords really work?".
Instant web site traffic – It’s about getting people in front of you who are looking for what you offer/sell right at that moment and get them to respond. Adwords gives you the ability to reach your target audience instantly and an account can be setup and running within a day or so dependent on the amount of campaigns and keywords used.
You only pay for visitors that click thru to your site – You only pay a certain amount per click thru to your site on your ad. If nobody clicks on the ad, you don’t pay anything. The goal is to get as many targeted visitors as possible while paying as little as possible per click. Your ads are displayed only when people search for the keywords you have entered.
What Types of Business ?
The Type of client business is basically split into two types – Retail and Lead Based. An example of a retail client would be someone who sells products on the internet, such as pressure washers, satellite navigation, etc. A lead based client would offer services such as mortgages, loans, property, etc.
Conversions (the amount of successful transactions) are easy to follow for retail – the product is sold to a customer and the value of the mark-up on that product is multiplied by the number of conversions. The lead based conversions, however, are less clear. How do you evaluate exactly what a conversion is?
For example, if a property based client is after potential buyers for their overseas property, the only conversions from Adwords you will see are people expressing an interest in the property buy filling out a form on the client’s website. The potential buyer may not buy the property or it may take over six months for this lead to bare fruition.
It would still be worth investing in marketing through PPC for these lead based ads but the end results are not always as clear as retail transactions were a conversion is concrete sale. In the end it comes down to the ROAS. This stands for Return On Advertising Spending and represents the amount earned per amount spent on the corresponding campaign(s). To determine ROAS, divide revenue derived from the campaign(s) by the cost of that campaign(s).
Pay Per Click isn’t for every business, it really depends on what market your company falls into. I would only recommend Pay per Click advertising to those clients who can generate at least £20 per lead/sale.
Researching Your Market:
PPC advertising is extremely competitive. For any high-value product/service, PPC is an inexpensive and efficient way to get your product or service in front of potential customers looking for what you have to sell.
The competition is fierce so we have to compete by digging up details on your market and your competition. That means understanding which keywords are getting the most visitor traffic, what the top bid costs are for those keywords and how may competitors you will have in your market.
Check out Google's keyword suggestion tool.
Keywords are the foundation of your online ad campaigns. Put simply, a keyword (or key-phrase) is what people type into search engines to find your advert/site.
For example, if your business was selling “pressure washers”. I would work out all the popular searches for this term, including misspellings and variations such as ‘jet washers’, ‘pressure cleaners’ and ‘high pressure cleaners’. At the end of the keyword research we would have well over 1,000 keyword variations all for the same thing.
As well as the more popular keywords for you market - I will use all the Longtail keywords – these are the collective total of all the less-popular keywords and can well exceed all the most popular keywords added together. Not every ad agency does this, which is good for us and we can target keywords that aren’t generally bid on and consequently much cheaper. That’s why it’s wise to target every conceivable phrase in your market.
Targeting the exact phrase someone types in for your PPC advert costs you less than just having a broad match for that keyword. In that way we can lower the overall costs of your campaigns, while bring in more interest in your products or services.
Negative keywords are used for searches you don’t want to your ad to show for. For example, using our pressure washer example above – if you were selling a product such as ‘karcher domestic cold pressure washers’ – you may not want to appear for searches for competitor brands, hot water pressure washers, industrial pressure washers, etc. Selecting the right negative keywords can stop you wasting money on people who are essentially searching for something else and leave your ad campaign focused on those that do.
Ok so we have all the possible keywords anyone interested in your business can search on and we have optimised the ads to appear in the top 3 ads. All very well but if you don’t have a well worded ad with a compelling call to action – then people may not click on it. The ad needs to be worded well.
A variation of around 4-5 differently worded ads can be rotated until the ad with the best conversion rates is found. In this way we can utilise what searchers find attractive. It’s also a good idea to try different landing pages for each ad variation to see if that improves click through conversions.