PPC ads are the primary means of advertising on the internet. You only pay for clicks on the ad to your site. If a person sees your ad, or is served your ad, that is called an impression. You don’t pay for impressions in a PPC campaign.
When you sign up for your campaign, you first determine your keywords. These will cost you more or less depending on popularity. Then you write your ads, gearing each one towards a particular grouping of keywords. When someone searches for a keyword you’ve paid for, your ad is displayed in the order of bidding. Basically, you bid on how much you are willing to spend per click, and whoever pays the most gets put at the top of the ads. You track the clicks using a system provided by the service you have joined.
PPC advertising is based on keyword selection–it’s all about picking the right ones. Well-managed PPC ads will bring visitors (traffic) who will be self-selected and motivated to buy what you are selling.
Quality traffic is traffic that is well-targeted
- They are looking for what you are advertising
- They come to your site and look around
- They buy your product or become a lead
- They come from regions/countries you are interested in
- They come back as repeat visitors to your site
Quality traffic brings a higher conversion rate, meaning more of these visitors buy what you are selling. Conversion rate is another way of talking about your ROI and aquisition cost-per-visitor.
Things to track:
1. How effective clicks are so you can adjust campaigns accordingly
- Which keywords & search terms brought the most people
- What ad copy was most effective
- Which source/search engine brings the best results
- Determine conversion rate & set goals
2. Accountability: make sure you get what you pay for
- Source of traffic–country, region, etc.
- How long the visitor stayed
- How many page views
Low quality traffic:
curiosity clicks, basically people who click but don’t convert.
- They overload your servers
- Spike your traffic
- Waste of time, money, & resources
Buying PPC Ad Traffic: Be sure to try more than one service & compare results.
Search results originating from a small number of search engines
- Supposedly a source of low-quality traffic
- The major PPC vendors (Google, Yahoo) also place content within their own networks.
- “Content match” places results near articles, email content, forums, etc.
Place results alongside search engine results
- Supposedly you get a higher conversion rate from these, even though SERPs get 5% of all overall page visits on the web.
How to Design a PPC Campaign
- Content/Category Review: review the content of the site you’re advertising, scrape it for keywords. For a new site, use the IA or content map to guide you.
- Account Structure Development: once you have a good sense of the category, site, & product/service offered, begin to group content/keywords into high level themes or content blocks. You should prioritize these. Budget accordingly to importance.
- Keyword Generation: Now develop keywords for each content block.
- Keyword Grouping: Divide these lists into very narrow grouping of similar keywords called “ad groups.” Each would contain highly focused keywords in close relation to each other. The smaller and tighter the ad group, the better.
- Match Typing: Be sure to specify when your ad displays. If you choose too broad a match, you could show up in negative searches. Restrict when your ad displays advantageously.
- Ad Copy Creation: Create ads for each group. Do A/B testing: write 2 ads for each ad group for testing purposes. Be sure to test only one attribute at a time.
- Landing Page Selection: You need to send your visitors to the best landing page possible. There may be several, each one geared towards different traffic sources. Find the page on the site most relevant to the group’s keywords and send them to that page.