Paid Search LogoThe Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is often confused with SEO and SEM, for obvious reasons. They are all three letter acronyms, and they all concern increasing awareness of a website. However, that is where the similarities end.

PPC Management ScreenshotPPC (also known as SEM or Search Engine Marketing) ads occupy the top three or four results of any search results page (left) and advertisers pay Google per click on their ad. SEO is free and organic search results are found lower down the page. While PPC may sound expensive, the benefits of being instantly visible to an in-market consumer should not be underestimated. For limited budgets, finding those terms that indicate a high value customer toward the end of the conversion process is the key to driving real value from paid search. While an SEO strategy built around these keywords will also be effective, PPC can do so instantly. SEO is a much longer process and can change at the drop of a hat as new competitors enter the space. It is also a free way of encouraging users on to a site, which is clearly appealing.

The Key Drivers of PPC Performance

Advanced Bid Modifiers

The key to an optimal Adwords account is using the available budget efficiently. Advertising at the most effective time, in the most profitable location and to the right person using the right device. To do this, there are a few function of Adwords that we can use: ad scheduling, geo-targeting, remarketing and device bid modifiers. In my opinion, remarketing (being able to target previous visitors to your site) can be a key driver of business success. It makes generic terms more profitable, as well as allowing more aggressive bidding on those terms that are known to convert well. Remarketing can also be a great way to improve Display Network and Google Shopping Ads’ effectiveness.

Basic Account Structure

The above techniques will work on all accounts, so long as there is sufficient data to analyse. However the key to every Adwords account is of course the keywords and the structure of the account. This is basic SEM account management, though I have come across accounts built by some of Vancouver’s top digital marketing agencies that waste budget due to poor structure. The benefits of a granular, easy-to-manage account structure cannot be overestimated.

Performance Tracking

Whatever your business model, being able to track the effectiveness of your site is essential. Conversion tracking either using Adwords’ built in conversion tracking, or Google Tag Manager/Google Analytics is the best way to be able to analyse a site’s performance. It’s also free, so there’s no reason not to. Implementation of tracking pixels (or tags) for these tools is reasonably simple and should be the first task carried out when a website is built. Tracking site performance can help to increase efficiency, as well as giving insight into user behavior on the site

Why Hire a PPC Account Manager?

Pay-per-click advertising, while being very simple at its heart, becomes complex quickly. You could run Adwords advertising with ten keywords on broad match. You might even generate a fair bit of revenue. But I can guarantee that for that strategy to work well, a huge amount of maintenance would be required. A more efficient way manage an Adwords account is to build it out with a granular structure to begin with. While working at Razorfish, I restructured Ralph Lauren’s English, French and German language Adwords and Bing Ads accounts. The improvement in terms of reduced cost, increased click-through rates and sales immediately showed the effectiveness of the restructure.

Businesses with Limited Marketing Budgets

Adwords Account Builds

Hiring an experienced Paid Search specialist to build an account out can be the cheapest solution for businesses. A structurally sound account, built and linked to Google Analytics to monitor performance can perform the basic tasks needed. With a small about of instruction I can show you how to look after your Adwords account on a day-to-day basis. Monthly revisits to check that performance is as expected and to check in with you are also recommended, but not essential.

For more information about PPC advertising, drop me a message