Maybe you’re somewhat familiar with pay-per-click advertising. Perhaps you know it offers you unique opportunities to expand your customer base at an accelerated speed and connect with specific users looking for businesses like yours. But do you know exactly HOW to use PPC to build your business?
What is pay-per-click advertising?
If pay-per-click advertising isn’t already part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to consider it. Because PPC marketing allows you to reach users at a crucial time–when they are specifically searching to spend on a product or service–pay-per-click advertising is a highly effective way to gain their business directly and quickly.
With pay-per-click advertising, advertisers pay a fee every time one of their ads is clicked. It’s a common form of search engine marketing that relies on buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” visits organically with search engine optimization.
So, let’s say you’re a florist who is using a pay-per-click campaign to get more traffic.
Someone enters “florist near me” and your site is one of the top results, along with two other florists near you.
One user clicks on a different site instead of yours. Even though your result was displayed, you don’t pay for it because your ad wasn’t clicked.
But the next user DOES click on your ad. In this case, you’ll pay for that click, which is where the term “pay-per-click” comes from.
PPC vs SEO
PPC and SEO can both be incredibly effective internet marketing tools. But they’re very different from one another, and their differences are important to mention.
With search engine optimization, you increase the number (and the quality) of traffic to your site through organic search engine results. To optimize your site for search engines, you’ll need to do extensive keyword research. Your content must be optimized for a certain search query in hopes these results will show for relevant searches.
So, let’s say you sell dog leashes and “dog leashes” is one of your target keywords. If your content is optimized for this keyword, your site should show up in search results when someone enters “dog leashes.”
When done well, it’s a very effective form of search engine marketing. But it can take a while for your efforts to pay off. At the same time, PPC ads are usually prioritized in search engines over organic results.
That being said, using a combination of PPC and SEO is a good way to cover your bases, boost brand awareness, and increase conversion rates.
We’re big fans of both pay-per-click and SEO strategies, and time and time again, we see the fantastic results they can have.
But for today, we’re going to focus specifically on how to use PPC to build your business.
How to use PPC to build your business
If you want your business to grow as a result of your pay-per-click ads (after all, that’s typically the goal!), these four critical steps are a must:
Every successful PPC campaign has a well-thought-out detailed strategy behind it. And to create a strategy, you first need to get really specific about the goals of your campaign.
- Do I want increased brand awareness?
- Is the goal more traffic?
- Do you want to generate more leads?
- Is the goal a higher conversion rate?
- Do I want boosted engagement?
For some people, their goal is a combination of all of these and more. But once you know exactly what you’re after, you can strategize effectively
(Make sure you don’t miss this post where we discuss our cross-platform lead-gen strategy that lowers CPL)
Perform extensive keyword research
Now, depending on your strategy, you’ll tailor your keyword research according to your goals. This is where using keyword intent in a PPC marketing strategy comes in.
Understanding keyword intent for PPC marketing
High-intent keywords signal a user is more likely to move down the funnel–to either make a purchase, click, engage, or learn more.
For example, someone who searches “hire digital marketing company” is performing a higher-intent keyword search than someone who just searches “digital marketing.”
So, focusing on high-intent keywords for PPC campaigns is your most promising bet for conversions.
But first, we consider the three basic types of search queries:
- Informational: refers to searches done to answer questions or learn something. Example: “What is…?”
- Navigational: searches performed to get to a specific website. Example: “The Gap”
- Transactional: searches done to purchase something. Example: “Buy running shoes”
When it comes to high-intent keywords, these are usually included in transactional search queries. High-intent keywords and commercial intent keywords go hand-in-hand. In fact, commercial intent keywords are ONLY applicable to transactional searches.
Examples of high-commercial intent keywords include buy now and product keywords.
Buy now keywords are terms like buy, discount, or deal. Product keywords can include specific searches for products, as well as keywords like comparison, review, best, or cheapest.
Once you’ve optimized your keywords based on intent, you’ll have a much better chance of a successful pay-per-click-campaign!
But we’re not done yet.
Monitor your campaigns
Now it’s time to continually monitor your campaign and keyword performance.
As your campaign runs, key a close eye on which keywords are performing best. When you find low-performing keywords, this is where applying negative keywords comes in. It lets you exclude those low-performing search terms from your campaign so you can focus your energy (and money!) on the more successful options.
Dive deeper into negative keywords, keyword health, and more in our super simple AdWords audit template.
Test, test, test
Another part of monitoring your campaign includes testing your ads.
With an A/B testing strategy, you can directly compare the performance of two ads to see which one performs better. Just as you’ll put more energy into higher performing keywords, you’ll do the same with ads that have a higher conversion rate.
In many cases, a tiny change to an ad can have a huge effect on its success. Something as simple as using “buy” vs. “get” in your CTA (call to action) can make all the difference. And A/B testing provides you with this useful information.
Now that you know how to use PPC to build your business, it’s time to get started! If you’d like help with pay-per-click advertising or any of your other digital marketing needs, let’s talk. Give Blue Water Marketing in Stuart, FL., a call today and we’ll get started.