This post is for B2B businesses in the startup world, looking for new customers and sales through the use of an effective PPC strategy.
- Choose your ad Platform.
- Research your keywords.
- Analyse the costs of keywords and work out your budget.
- Set your campaign.
- Work on your landing page.
- What to take away.
If you’re new to PPC and not quite sure what it is or how it works, then read our introductory post on How does Pay Per Click work?
In this post, we are looking at getting started on your PPC strategy and how to implement your PPC Ads, using Google Ads.
A Quick Overview
PPC Advertising could be referred to as any advertising that charges based on how many clicks your ads gets. But these days people generally refer to PPC ads specifically as search-based ads which is what we mean when we use the term PPC ads.
Using search-based ads can be a very lucrative way for businesses to generate revenue. With Google now claiming that companies receive an average of $2 of income for every $1 spent on paid ads.
Step 1: Choose Your Ad Platform
Choosing your ad platform is a big step. You need to decide on a network that not only works for you but is also where your customer demographic is.
For businesses in the B2C world, social ads may work great for you. You can run social ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.
Our blog targets B2B startups, so we will be focusing on search engine ad platforms, as this is typically where B2B customers search.
Stay tuned- as we next will write a post on the types of ad platforms out there to choose from. You can subscribe to our mailing list to get notified of when this is published. Just use the box to the side on a desktop or click here on a mobile!
Search Engine Ad platforms
For these purposes, we will write our PPC strategy for Google Ads.
*Word of warning*
While Google Ads is the most popular search engine platform to use for ads, be warned it isn’t the cheapest (as there are more competition keywords), plus you get A LOT of sales calls from Google.
Some friendly advice…
Just remember that the sales calls from Google Ads are calling for one thing only, to increase your spending with them. So take their promises of increases in traffic with a pinch of salt. Their advice is not always relevant to your website, and you may not get any better results. We know of some companies who have taken the advice, increased their spending only for their traffic to perform Worse! There is a delicate balance between quantity and quality.
If you do your own keyword research properly and look at trends to predict how the keywords should behave soon, then you can politely decline their ‘advice’.
With that being said, let’s help you identify the right keywords for your business.
Step 2: Research your keywords
We’ve already written some excellent guides on keyword research. To brush up on your knowledge, we recommend reading our previous articles:
Choose popular search terms
When it comes to researching your keywords, we recommend that you use keywords that not only describe best what you do but are terms that people use to search. We go into more detail on this subject in our post, How to Improve Keyword Ranking in Google. For example:
“Conversational searches beginning with “can I” make up for over 85% of mobile searches. Be inside the mind of your readers. Think of what they will be searching.”
A sizeable 33% of people click on paid ads if it answers their search query. So you must get this right.
A great tip from Alex.com is to export all the searches from your website search function from the last 3 months. Then categorise these search terms by type. This will give you a great idea of the terms people use when searching on your site.
How to decide my keywords?
Our guide on The Best Free Keyword Tools to Boost Your SEO is handy because we go through all the free keyword search tools available. Discover our tips on how to spot keywords with a high search volume and low competition.
We recommend that you research your keywords using the above tools from scratch using our guide on what type of keywords to look out for.
In addition, we encourage you to check out your competition and see what keywords they use. In our guides, we show which type of tools you can use out there to do that. Don’t just steal your competitor’s keywords because they are using them. Carry out your research, disregard their poor keyword choice, and run with their successful keywords.
Read our keyword guide here.
Step 3: Analyse the Costs of Keywords and Work out Your Budget
Working out your budget based on what and how many keywords you can afford is a huge part of the PPC strategy.
Remember that the cost of keywords is determined by how many others are bidding on it. So if there are a lot of competitors bidding on a keyword, the price will be high.
Fortunately, Google Ads tells you which keywords are relevant to your site, how much to bid and when. But with this in mind, you still need to set yourself a budget and stick to it for your campaign.
It is essential when selecting keywords for PPC ads that you don’t pick keywords that are too broad. This is because it may get a lot of click-through from users. With general terms, users may not necessarily find what they are looking for on your site. This is important to avoid as you pay per click! Don’t spend a lot on poor-quality traffic!
Step 4: Set Your Campaign
Google Ads will categorise your keywords and campaigns via ad groups. Start by bounding similar keywords in the same ad group. To determine which related keywords belong together, think carefully about which links will take visitors to the same destination.
Your ads need to stand out and catch the attention of internet wanderers. There are effective ways to do this to get the higher quality control and increased clicks. Click worthy ads use the following steps:
- Use your keyword in the ad headline and in the body of text at least once, but no more than 3 times.
- Chose an actionable CTA that matches your goal in the ad, so people know what to expect.
- Focus on an honest statistic or price to grab attention. People are drawn to facts and results.
- State the benefits of your services/ products. People are results-driven.
- Make sure your display URL is clean looking and precise about where they will land.
- Compare and differentiate yourself from your competition. Add more compelling and persuasive text.
You need to instruct Google Ads on how much you want to spend on your keyword campaigns by either setting a maximum bid, a maximum budget or a maximum daily spend. Only you can decide how much is worth it for your business. How much are you willing to pay for potential customers?
Just be aware that while setting yourself spending budgets is necessary, it will prevent your ad from being shown when you’ve hit your budgets.
Don’t worry about getting this spot on, right from the get-go. Using paid ads is a tried and tested method that you need to carefully follow and examine to know how to set your budgets for future campaigns.
That’s why is it important to review your campaigns to make sure your cost per click and conversion number are in balance.
Analyse Successful/ unsuccessful keywords
At the end of your campaigns, make sure you review them thoroughly.
Take away low-performing keywords and relocate your budget to the high-performing ad groups.
Relocating your budgets instead of reducing them is a great way to see a faster return on your campaigns. Every time you have a failed campaign, reinvest that budget into successful ones.
How to determine successful or unsuccessful keywords?
Unsuccessful keywords have strong impressions with low click-through-rates. When you come across these, don’t just remove and forget, tag them as negative keywords. Then, when people search for this keyword, your ad won’t appear. Saving you wasted clicks, and refocusing traffic onto your positive, high-performing keywords.
You can download your Google Ads reports at the end of your campaigns to give you a detailed breakdown of your campaign performance. The ad reports show how you compare to the competition, which terms get clicks, the campaign performance, and individual ad performance.
Step 5: Work on Your Landing Page
We’ve already mentioned it a few times in this post, quality score. What is it, and what’s it got to do with landing pages?
Getting a high-quality score is an essential feature of Google Ads. This is because Google uses an algorithm to ensure a fair playing field for best ad placements. This means that the big dogs with the highest bids don’t automatically get the first spot.
So while trying to make sure you get a high-quality score sounds annoying, it’s actually extremely beneficial for smaller business competing for the best spaces.
Your quality score improves with time. This is why you need to try and stick with PPC Ads to get a feel if it’s working out for you. Your quality score is measured by 2 things:
- How often people click through to your page from an ad. The more people who click over time, the higher your quality score climbs.
- The quality of your landing pages.
Google Ads determines your ad rank based on the following algorithm: Your maximum bid X your quality score
The good news, you won’t necessarily always bid your maximum budget for a keyword. If someone clicks your ad, Google Ads will fairly charge you the nearest bid to outbid your competition. Similar to how you would bid on eBay.
Getting High-Quality Landing Pages
This is the right part for you, as you are in total control of your landing page quality. As you’ll find out from reading How to Improve Keyword Ranking in Google, you’ll notice Goggle always prioritises websites with excellent user experience. With that in mind, let’s look at how Google measures a high-quality landing page.
Dedicated landing pages
- Biggest plus you can make is to create a dedicated landing page. Don’t just direct your ads to your main homepage. Website visitors will feel frustrated that they can’t easily find what they were searching for and bounce, resulting in your getting a lower quality score.
- The landing page must have as few navigational exit points as possible. Having lots of internal linking is great for conversations, this can affect your landing page quality score. Instead of exiting links to a new page, why not try anchor links to lead you further down the same page. It’s a good idea to have just the one CTA on your landing page. Sync this with your PPC strategy goal.
- Contact information must be easily found and recognisable. Put this clearly at the top of the landing page. Be as transparent as you can be for a high-quality user experience.
- Favours high quality and rich content. The more information you can deliver to website visitors, the more you will be considered a high-authority website. So use lots of relevant detail about your business and use high-quality images.
- The text you use is so important, Google will analyse what is relevant So be considerate and use the same text throughout both the ad and the landing page. A high-quality score needs to create a specific landing page for each keyword campaign, so the text is relevant. By just changing only 3 words to match the ad to landing page increase conversions by 39%!
Responsive landing pages
- Ensure your landing pages are responsive. That means, if someone is browsing and click on your ad through their phone, your landing page is mobile-friendly, and they can view it with ease.
- Massive 60% of all online searches are carried out on mobile devices, so if your landing page is not mobile optimised, then you are kissing goodbye to your mobile visitors and flushing that money for your ad down the drain.
- Good news is Google can reconfigure your ads to fit a wide variety of screens thanks to its responsive display ads.
What to Take Away
When you follow this PPC strategy, you will be better prepared for a successful campaign.
Not only is a strong PPC strategy good for website conversions, but it will increase your website authority and give you improved brand awareness. If you’re working on your inbound marketing, you’ll recognise that building strong brand awareness and cementing your place as a thought leader in your industry is every bit important as generating leads for your long term marketing strategy.
So, while you’re on your way to bidding for your traffic share, remember that it’s the thorough research and thought that goes on behind the scenes that will make your campaign successful!
- Put the time into your keyword research
- Manage and track your campaigns and make adjustments where necessary
- Strengthen your quality score through landing pages and ad text
For more information on improving your inbound marketing strategies, see our post on How to Create a Pillar Content Marketing Strategy.
To view the other blog posts from this series, click below:
Previous Part: How does Pay Per Click Work?
Next Part: PPC Strategy, coming next week!