Tutorial Details
Subject: Marketing
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Published: January 20, 2014

The founders of Google are billionaires for a very good reason, this is because PPC advertising works. Businesses that master PPC advertising will gradually begin to invest more and more as they realize the results from their initial investment. Unfortunately most small businesses do not invest the necessary time required to fully master PPC.

To become great at PPC advertising you need to invest and develop your advertising until it begins to generate a profit for your business. Some businesses claim that PPC advertising is not suitable to their business or industry. Those claims are most certainly false, PPC advertising does work and it can work tremendously well if you set up your campaigns and develop a slipstream experience for potential customers to follow. It’s those that do not understand this that tend to get left behind and waste their budget through PPC.

If you haven’t tried PPC yet then you could be missing out on sales. There is no better way to advertise your business directly in front of highly motivated buyers that are searching for what you offer!

You can test and develop your PPC campaign effectively from as little as £50 / £100 per month. This small investment should provide you with enough data to analyse and develop PPC campaigns in an attempt to out perform last month’s results.

What is PPC?

PPC is a means of advertising your business in preferential locations within the search engine results pages.

Whilst this service sounds like an extremely expensive option, it’s not; in fact PPC advertising can be a relatively cheap form of advertising. Thousands of search engine users could see your advert and your website address and it will not cost you anything. Only once someone is interested in what you have to offer and they click on your advert does it cost you something. The user will then be sent to your website or landing page, this is then where you can convert those qualified visitors into sales. When you set everything up properly it’s effectively a simple process of ‘buying customers’.

Imagine if you were able to advertise in the newspaper for free and only pay a small fee of 50p for example every time that you received a phone call. In modern terms this is PPC advertising.

What makes PPC advertising even more cost effective than traditional advertising sources is that you can accurately measure the results of your campaign.

How PPC Works

To set up a PPC campaign you will need to create an Adwords account.

It’s within the Adwords platform that you create adverts for your business and select the keywords that those adverts should display for. A keyword is the search term that someone uses to find something within Google. For instance someone may search for a ‘builder in Yorkshire’ if they require that service. If you are a builder in Yorkshire then using the term ‘builder in Yorkshire’ as a keyword would be a smart move, as this will enable your advert to bid on ranking for that search term and in effect advertising within the Google search results page once someone submits that as a search.

It’s best practice to select a number of keywords instead of focusing on just one; in affect you’re covering all bases when someone searches for what you have to offer. For example, terms such as ‘building company in Yorkshire’, ‘Yorkshire based building company’ and so forth are all relevant keywords that could lead qualified potential customers to visit your website.

An important mistake that you must avoid, and one that the majority of businesses tend to make is to get a bit carried away and be over ambitious with their efforts. For instance a painter based in Essex may begin to advertise in London as well as Suffolk. At this point that professional is trying to advertise in 3 areas, one of which being a highly competitive area, let alone the travel time and inconvenience of working such a distance away. Even if travelling is not an issue, your budget is likely to diminish rather quickly. Concentrate on your local and core area of customers before you begin to advertise at other locations.

Local Advertising

PPC advertising is often overlooked by small local businesses and is seen as an expensive form of marketing.

Small, location specific business are actually very well suited to PPC advertising as their business is likely to be highly relevant to the needs of the potential customer.

Going back to the Painter in Essex scenario, if someone is searching for a Painter in Essex, and this is the service you provide along with your website making it clear that this is what you are, then surely is logical to expect that when someone uses that search term and lands on your website which is an exact match to what they are looking for, that they are then likely to get in contact with you?

Click Fraud

Many businesses are skeptical and pessimistic over the concept of PPC even though this is the most qualified and accurate form of marketing there is. Skepticism and negativity is not actually drawn from the PPC model, it’s actually raised by the fear that competitors could sit there clicking away on the adverts wasting their budget. Fortunately this is highly unlikely and most importantly it’s prevented by Google’s system.

The Google team were aware that this could be an issue and that it could cause concern if others were able to exhaust a competitors advertising budget through click fraud. The Google Adwords system does not allow this to happen, Adwords and other similar platforms use a software to track what is happening, where clicks are coming from and what IP addresses are used among other factors. This solution prevents such occurrences from happening. Click fraud is not 100% preventable, but it is reduced through systems and software designed to track and reduce wasted budget. If the system did not work as effectively as we described then there would be no reason for us among many other businesses to advertise within Google’s search results pages.

The Cost of PPC Advertising

Different platforms of PPC advertising vary significantly in terms of cost and effectiveness. This guide is focused on Googles Adwords as this is largely the platform that we use and specialise in, although you can also advertise in a very similar way with other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. You can also use a similar PPC concept on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, although your advertising options and advert set up will vary from Google Adwords somewhat.

Other search engines such as Yahoo use a far simpler and direct advert ranking approach compared to Google Adwords PPC. Yahoo uses the concept that the more you pay, the higher that your websites advert will rank.

Google on the other hand is far more focused on quality, relevancy, click through rate and the quality of the website and landing page that you send users to. Those factors as well as how much you bid are what will affect where your adverts display within the search results.

There are seven key elements that Google uses to dictate where your website ranks within the search results:

  1. The relevancy of your advert.
  2. The click through rate of your advert.
  3. The past performance of your advert.
  4. The relevance of your landing page.
  5. The relevance of your website.
  6. The reputation and quality of your website.
  7. How much you bid per click.

Those are just a few of the factors that Google uses when it decides where adverts should be placed. Adwords performs an auction each and every time that a search is produced to decide upon which adverts display and where they rank.

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