PPC - Quick Guide


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PPC - Introduction

We have the Internet that provides a huge platform for advertising products and services online. Advertisers around the world have shown a keen interest in making good use of the Internet that is omnipresent these days to market various products and speed up their business activities by reaching out to numerous users.

You might be aware of the conventional methods of push marketing that involves the use of brochures, television ads, radio ads, banners, bills, balloons, etc. where people are driven to hear, listen, and view the product or service they can get.

Quite contrary to the traditional model, the recent methods of internet marketing involve innovative techniques to catch more eyeballs and pull online traffic to visit, listen, view, or buy a product or a service that is on offer. It is done through a model that is now being widely regarded as Pay Per Click (PPC). It is a successful model for internet advertising that directs online traffic to particular websites, where the advertisers pay the publishers a certain amount when their ad is clicked.

Here, in this introductory chapter, we will provide an overview of PPC as a concept and explain the role of its entities involved in the entire workflow of PPC advertising.

About PPC Ad

PPC stands for Page Per Click. It is an internet marketing model where the advertisers use the publishers’ website to market their products or services through ads. The publisher gets paid by the particular advertisers when a user clicks on their ads. It is a pull-type internet marketing of buying user visits to a site.

PPC Ad

Search Engine Advertising

One of the most popular forms of PPC marketing is Search Engine Advertising (SEA). It allows advertisers to bid for placement of ads in the search engine’s sponsored link, when a user searches for a keyword that is relevant to a product or a service.

Whenever a user clicks on an ad, the link directs the user to the product’s website. At the same time, the product or service provider needs to pay some amount to the search engine, such as Google.

Behind every successful PPC campaign lies a catchy ad that can attract the attention of online users. Advertisers focus on the following aspects while creating an online ad:

  • Research for effective keywords related to a product or a service
  • Choose the right keywords
  • Group the keywords relevantly
  • Arrange the keywords to create an advertise

More often than not, the ads that are useful and relevant are charged less fees per click by the search engines. This is rewarding for the advertisers, as they get more business in exchange of minimal fees.

Google AdWords is an example of a popular advertising system. It facilitates businesses to publish ads on Google’s search engine.

Entities Involved in PPC Advertising

The following entities are involved in PPC Advertising:

  • Product or Service Seller
  • PPC Advertiser
  • Landing Page Provider
  • Landing Page
  • Viewer or the Visitor

Take a close look at the illustrations below that depict the general roles of the entities involved in PPC advertising:

PPC Advertising PPC Advertise PPC Advertisement Ads Advertising

Workflow of a PPC Ad

The workflow of a PPC ad is as follows:

  • First of all, the advertiser creates an online account and loads her account with some money – say Rs 5000. Note that some organizations allocate their PPC budgets in hundreds, thousands, or even millions of rupees per month.

  • The advertiser creates a small text ad. In some cases, a PPC ad can include images.

  • The advertiser specifies a list of keywords associated with the ad.

  • The advertiser determines how much she is ready to pay each time someone clicks on the ad.

  • On the buyer’s side, a user visits the search engine – say Google.com, enters one of the keywords or keyword phrases - say “Kindle Paper white” and clicks the Search button.

  • The search engine finds the matching ads and places them on the results page.

  • If a user clicks on the ad, she is taken to the advertiser's website, and the advertiser is charged for the click.

History of PPC

PPC ads have been in existence over a decade now. The term PPC came into existence during the year 1990 when organizations started conducting their business on the Internet. One of the companies that pioneered the concept was goto.com. Yahoo took it over in 2003.

When Google launched its AdWords solution for PPC marketing, heavy activities started in the domain of PPC. In addition to Google, a number of search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, 7Search, ABCSearch, and Findology provide PPC ad hosting.

PPC Terminology

Given below is a list of the terms frequently used in PPC advertising followed by a short description of the terms. You should be thorough with these terms before proceeding further.

Ad group It is a collection of relevant keywords under one name. Maximum 20,000 keywords can be added into an Ad Group.
Ad Network An Ad Network is an online business that specializes in matching up of advertisers to the websites looking to host the ad. Ad networks work as brokers for both suppliers (sites with content that can host ads, for example, tutorialspoint.com) and buyers (the advertisers). An ad network relieves the websites from having to set up and invest in their own ad servers and tracking software.
Ad Position Ad position is the order in which an ad is displayed on a webpage. For example, ad position "1" means the ad is displayed first on the webpage.
Ad Rank It is a value used to determine the Ad Proposition.
Call-To-Action (CTA) This is a marketing term used for the action you want the website visitor to take.
Campaign It is a series of relevant ad groups.
Click-Through-Rate (CTR) It is a metric showing how often a visitor clicks your ad after seeing it. It can be defined as the number of clicks per thousand impressions. CTR contributes to Ad Rank.
Conversion Conversion is the action the user wants when he clicks on an ad. It occurs when a visitor takes action. For example, the user makes purchases, signs ups, submits enquiry forms, views a page, or downloads, depending on the program's goals.
Conversion Rate

It is the measurement of the success of a paid campaign. It is measured by the number of potential visitors performing any of the desired actions such as buying a product, filling a form, etc.

For example, if there are 100 visitors to a particular webpage via a PPC ad, and three of those 100 visitors buy the product the website sells, then the conversion rate for that particular ad is three percent. The larger the conversion rate, the more successful the website is.

Cost Per Action

or

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

It is the amount you pay for every lead, sign-up, or purchases.
Cost Per Click (CPC) It implies the amount you pay for every single click on your ads.
Cost Per Mille (CPM) It is the amount paid for every thousand views of the PPC ad.
Destination URL It is where you want the user to land when he clicks on the ad.
Display URL It is the name of a page of the website.
Geo-targeting Delivery of ads to a particular geographic location of the users. It allows the advertisers to choose specific locations where they wish to show their ads.
Impression In the context of online advertising, it is a measure of the number of times an ad is seen irrespective of clicking on it. Each time the ad displays, it is counted as one impression.
Keyword It is a search query made by a user. A word or a phrase of words entered in the search box by the user. The search engine matches your keywords and gives you relevant results on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
Landing Page It is any standalone webpage distinct from the main website on which the visitor lands.
Negative Keywords They are the ones for which you do not want your ad to appear.
PPC Bid It is the maximum amount of fees an advertiser is ready to pay for a click.
Prospect Prospect is a potential user who can buy a product/service being advertised.
Quality Score It is a dynamic metrics assigned to each of your keywords and ads. It determines the quality of your keyword, ad, and the landing page. High quality score boosts the ad rank.
Search Engine Result Page (SERP) The page that lists the results returned by the search engine in response to a user query.
Split Testing It is a classic method of testing an ad to determine the effectiveness of a PPC ad. It compares two versions of an ad that are identical except for one specific difference of a word or an image.

Properties of a Compelling PPC Ad

A compelling PPC ad has the following properties:

  • It is a part of a closely-knit ad-groups.
  • It can address the desired search queried by the users.
  • It takes the user to an appropriate landing page.
  • It drives the users to click on it and explore.

General Formula for Calculating PPC

The basic formula of calculating PPC is:

Pay per click ($) = Advertising cost ($) ÷ Number of ad clicks

Advantages of PPC

PPC helps in branding and creating leads as well, both in parallel. PPC provides quick results in contrast to SEO results that are equally important but may take months or even years to materialize.

  • Quick Actions - PPC gives immense traffic, quick results, and more hype branding in a short span of time.

  • Negligible Initial Investment - Search engines do not charge fees to insert a PPC ad or to set up an account. The user pays only when someone actually clicks on his ad.

  • Business Gets Noticed Globally - A business can get global recognition, even if it has a small local setup.

  • Instant Results - As compared to SEO methods, PPC ads can deliver faster response, if quality ads are posted.

PPC - Creating a Keyword List

Keywords are the primitive entities of PPC ads. Choosing a correct and relevant set of keywords can help design a crisp and persuasive ad to fulfil the sole purpose of increasing the number of clicks on the ad.

Various keywords have different meanings and intents. Some keywords are typically used by general users who are into early research phase and some keywords are used by expert researchers.

Categorizing the Keywords

Keywords are categorized and arranged on the basis of their potential effectiveness in an ad. Refer the following target model for creating appropriate keywords.

This model shows generic keywords or phrases used by the users to describe their demand on the outermost section. The keywords or phrases become more specific as you go towards the center of the diagram.

Keywords

The keywords can be categorized as follows:

User Phrases

Impression volume on these words is vast. It is based on the interest and pastime of users. These keywords generate lowest conversion and highest CPA for all the keywords. These terms depict that the user has no intention of searching for a particular product.

Product-Complementary Phrases

These are the terms the users use along with the main product. They can be someone else’s product terms. For example, “Kindle Sleeves” in case of “Kindle Fire HD Tablet”.

Competitor Phrases

Earlier, competitor phrases were next to the brand terms in order to get a high CPA, but recently, it is not possible, and it is not a good practice to use competitor phrases.

Product Phrases

This is a list of the products or services offered by a business. It can be as lengthy as all the range of products or services. The CPA on these terms is higher than that on the brand terms. The users searching for these terms are in a decisive frame of mind.

Brand Phrases

The users who use these as keywords are easy to convert. These keywords might not produce impressions or page views in terms of volume but these phrases produce the best conversion rate.

Building a Keyword List

You can use the given target model for keyword research and building a keyword list. The basic steps of building a keyword list are:

  • Create a basic list (Seed List) of usual business terms
  • Expand the list using keyword research tools
  • Refine the list of keywords

Let us go through the steps in detail:

Creating a Seed List

A seed list is nothing but the initial set of keywords of the seller’s business. Write down the six keyword categories in columns. Use a combination of brainstorming and investigation for categorizing the keywords into these six groups by keeping the brand and the product terms at the center of attention.

You need to build this list thoroughly, keeping in mind all the features of the product or service the seller is providing. You need to ponder and create a list of words about what all problems this particular product or service can solve.

  • Research the Audience - Take the help of Internet to research and find out the following:

    • What are the terms your audience uses for describing the product or service?
    • What are the other day-to-day terms they use for the ones you created?
  • Research on Search Terms Used Currently - Use your analytics tool, Google Webmaster tools, and your weblogs to find out what search terms people are using currently to reach to the seller.

  • Research on More Suggestions - Make use of keyword suggesting tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or an autocomplete tool, Soovie. Keyword planner suggests more options of keywords. Soovie lets you enter a keyword and find out what the top autocompletes are for a number of different search engines and other sites. You can try a couple of keywords to see if you missed anything.

  • Research the Competitor Briefly - You can see what the competitors are bidding on using tools such as SpyFu or SEM Rush. It can be helpful to put in a few competitor names or key terms to see if there is anything you missed out.

A thorough research builds a good list of keywords.

Expanding the List

Initially, you need to think of only a few dozens of keywords, then expand, and finally refine. While expanding, you can add new potential keywords in the existing list so that the list is always up-to-date. For this, you need to:

  • Review the seller’s website for new or upcoming products or services.
  • Understand how people talk about the product and its features.
  • Identify unique and well-performing keywords that need to be added in the list.
  • Use keywords research tools for various suggestions.

Refining the List

While expanding, you may have added non-value adding or non-interesting keywords. Now it is time to refine the keywords list by eliminating the less interesting keywords and keeping only the best ones. There is no hard and fast rule to do this. Refining the keywords list is vital, as you need to take care not introduce any negative effect on the present list.

Here are some factors to consider while refining a list of keywords:

  • Use keyword categories to get an idea of intent of search

    Maintain a good proportion of audience keywords and product keywords by dropping some of the less interesting audience phrases. Focus on the categories closest to the product and services.

    For example, if the seller is offering a B2B financial product, then “financial management” is a potential product phrase, but “financial management jobs” is a user phrase and therefore less interesting.

  • Participate in Google Keyword Competition

    In the online tool, Google rates keyword competition from Low to High. These tools can help you find words that you might have an easier chance of winning.

  • Check for the results relevance

    Enter some of the most important terms into the search engine and see what suggestions come up. You can drop the words and phrases of ambiguous meanings and make a list of potential negative keywords for any out of the topic results you may find.

  • Group the Keywords Semantically

    As you go through the list of your keywords, create a column to group them semantically. For example, the phrases such as “tablets”, “tablets for sale”, and “tablets for kids” should be grouped under “tablets”. The tightly-connected groups of words can be used as the PPC ad groups. If a group is too lengthy, you can drop some of those with a lower search count.

How Long Can the Keyword List Be?

The length of a list of keywords entirely depends upon:

  • The complexity of seller’s business
  • The complexity of the product or service the seller is offering.
  • The range of the products or service the seller is offering.

It need not be huge, unless you are developing a keywords list for a large enterprise that goes around thousands of keywords.

Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research tools help you to expand the list of keywords in most relevance of the seller’s product or service. These tools suggest numerous variations of the words from which we can select the appropriate one.

These tools include:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  • Word Tracker
  • SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tools
  • Keyword Discovery
  • SpyFu

Keyword Match Types

Keyword match types determine how closely a user query matches with the keywords provided by the advertiser.

The keywords are matched irrespective of their case. That is, “perfumes”, “Perfumes”, and “PERFUMES”, all are treated the same.

The following table shows the keywords match types from broad match to narrow match:

Match Type Symbol Example Keyword Triggering Queries of the Ad Example Queries
Broad Match None women's perfumes They are any word in your keyword, in any order, including words closely related to the keyword, misspellings, synonyms, acronyms, split-words, and blended-words. buy ladies perfumes
Broad Match Modifier +Keyword

+women's

+perfumes

They contain the modified phrase (or near variations, except synonyms) in any order. perfumes for women
Phrase Match "Keyword" “Women’s perfumes” They are the keywords followed by the phrase or near variations of that phrase. perfumes for women
Exact Match [Keyword] [women’s perfumes] They are the exact phrase and near variations of that exact phrase. women’s perfumes
Negative Match -keyword Women Any searches without the keyword. Amouage Epic Man

Using keyword match types, you can help control the searches that can trigger the ad. More precise is the keyword-query match, higher is the conversion rate.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are an important part of the keywords list.

They make sure that an ad appears only for a particular product the seller sells. They serve as ad filters. A negative keyword ensures that an ad does not appear for that particular term and reaches only the best potential audience.

For example, here is a list of typical negative keywords for books and manufacturing:

  • Books - Download, Audiobooks, Kindle, eBooks, Films, Movies, DVDs, and CDs.

  • Manufacturing - second-hand, used, rental, rent, hire, repair, and service.

Negative keywords can:

  • Prevent the users from browsing for other products the seller is not offering.
  • Help avoid paying for useless clicks.
  • Reduce average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and increase return on the investment (ROI).
  • Increase overall Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of the PPC account in the long run.
  • Help create more relevant keyword groups with higher CTR.
  • Raise the Quality Scores.
  • Lower the investment cost.

Adding negative keywords is an important task in PPC strategy, which is scheduled once in a month. It is scheduled even more frequently, in case of large ads.

PPC - Setting Location and Language

A pay-per-click ad that targets mass market is seldom successful. Setting appropriate target locations for advertising allows an ad to reach the consumer precisely with specific needs and demands. In the long run, it benefits the business, as it allows to take better strategic marketing decisions.

For higher number of impressions, more CTC, and in turn higher ROI from the PPC ad, you need to analyze the target locations beforehand.

A target market can be segmented on the basis of:

  • Geographic location of users
  • Demographics of users
  • Language of users

Geographic Location of Users

Publishing an ad for the customers where they are located elevates the popularity of the product and the possibility of higher ROI.

The method of determining the geolocation of the visitor with respect to country, state, region, IP address, or device ID of the user’s device, and showing ads as per the user’s location is termed as Geo Targeting.

The geographic location can vary from within a few kilometers distance from the seller’s business to faraway countries. If the business serves in several areas, the seller might wish to create separate ads for each location to track the performance separately.

Geo Targeting

Demographics of Users

User demographics are an important factor while targeting a market. Demographics include age, gender, income, occupation, marital status, literacy, and lifestyle of the ad recipients.

You need to consider the following demographics while creating an ad:

  • Age - Users’ needs and demands change with age.

  • Gender - Male and female users react differently towards consumer products, jewelry, magazines, etc.

  • Income - Users’ affordability varies depending upon their income levels.

  • Occupation - Users’ occupation affects their lifestyle which in turn affect the product or service they opt for.

  • Marital status - Experts say, single customers buy a specific product frequently than those who are married. Also, married people are inclined to pay more price. Marital status is an important factor.

  • Literacy - Awareness and comfort level of the users with handling internet activities affect PPC ads and in turn the seller’s business targets.

  • Lifestyle - The acceptance of a product is highly driven by the people’s day-to-day lifestyle.

Language

You might get into a tough situation if the ad itself falls short of conveying the right message across its consumers. In case of PPC advertising, you want the ad to show up for the customers who can comprehend and convert them.

Language targeting allows to choose the language of the websites that you would prefer the ad to appear on. For example, if an ad is in French, you probably would want it to appear it on French sites too.

For creating an ad in a target language, you need to:

  • Analyze the local terms, phrases, and dialects of the language.

  • Have access to the translators and native speakers.

  • Keep a list of carefully researched English keywords, but use them only as a starting point.

  • Brainstorm with translators for alternative keywords and test the effectiveness of those keywords using the keyword suggesting tools.

  • Keep a dictionary handy but get to understand the context and culture of natives beforehand.

Language

Every foreign language PPC campaign has its own unique challenges. With a little anticipation, caution, and planning, it can increase sales and can tap into new foreign markets.

PPC - Writing a Killer PPC Ad

In today’s world of internet marketing, the advertisers are in a fierce race of grabbing the space on webpages to put up their ads. When thousands of advertisers compete, only those who create the most effective and catchy ads stand out from others and help accelerate the seller’s business.

Creating a PPC Ad

Refer the diagram shown below. To create an effective and compelling ad, the following methodology is helpful:

PPC Ads

Market and Audience Research

Research the market. Answer questions such as:

  • How many people are using product or service that the seller is selling?
  • How many people use various parallel products?
  • What is the budget for the ad?
  • What does the user want?
  • What is user’s motivation?
  • Why does the user need this product or service?
  • What words are going to resonate with each group of keywords?

Keyword Research

Find out the following:

  • Which are the products searched by the users in the seller’s business domain?
  • Who are looking for the products similar to those offered by the seller?
  • What is the cost to bid for PPC ad on relevant searches (keywords)?
  • What keywords the competing advertisers are using?

Build Pay-Per-Click Ad

Build the PPC ad. Put groups of related keywords into one ad group. Create multiple ads and split-test them for each ad group.

Build Landing Pages

Build the respective landing pages combining aesthetics, art, and technology.

Track, Measure, and Report

Monitor and measure the following:

  • Impressions (how often your ads appear),
  • Click-through rate (how often your ads are clicked on),
  • Response rates (how often people respond to what website offers) for various keywords, ad groups, and ads.

Optimize the Ad

Optimize the ad as follows:

  • Using the monitoring data, refine and improve the keywords, ads, and landing pages as and when required.
  • Make sure all the changes are implemented and performance is trending in the right direction.
  • Remove non-working words, images, links, and move on.

Elements of a PPC Ad

Refer the following image to understand the elements of a PPC ad.

Elements PPC Ad
  • Headline - This is the main title of the ad. It must be magnetic, crisp, and compact.

  • Display URL - This is the link of the relevant web page where the prospects will be taken onto. It is not required to be the exact landing page but it should be relevant. You can, for example, include your website with the top keyword in your Ad Campaign.

  • Description Line 1 and 2 - This is the body of the ad. It describes the product or the service the seller is offering.

Creating a PPC Ad Using Google AdWords

A well-written, persuasive, and concise copy can make a difference between success and failure in a PPC advertising campaign.

Step 1: Know the Rules of Framing an Ad

If you use Google’s AdWords, this is how you should frame the PPC ad:

  • Headline: Catchy, Correct, Informative, Crisp, 25 characters long.

  • Description: Two lines description of product or service, 35 characters long.

  • Display URL: 35 characters long. If you run out of description size of 35 characters, do not continue the description text into the Display URL. For example, do not frame the second description line such as "Visit this site:" or "Learn more at...".

  • Do not use the Display URL field as another line of ad text.

  • Do not make the ad text appear cut off abruptly or incomplete.

  • The Display URL is required to be on the same domain as the real URL.

  • Pay due attention to the grammar.

Step 2: Identify True Competitors of Seller

Identify who is competing with you in bidding for your target terms and who is consistently getting the top ad rank. Based on this insight, you can find out the companies and their ads. You also need to consider the advertisers who are completely irrelevant to your business; treat them as competitors, as they are also going for the same share of your prospect attention.

Step 3: Identify Seller’s Assets, USPs, and Your Credentials

Go through the product or service offering of the seller and identify his online assets. What can you offer to the prospective user?

  • Testimonials - What are the user reviews of this product or service?

  • USP of the seller - Unique selling proposition (USP) is a factor that differentiates a product or service from a competing product. The USP includes:

    • Cost of the product, value for money
    • First of its kind product in market, innovative
    • Quality of the product
    • Additional offers along with the products
  • Seller’s Credentials - Has the seller won any awards? Is the seller proven to be the best in his domain industry?

  • Show Off to Your Prospective Customers - Have you work with any well-known brands? Then this is a good time to show off your credentials. This way you stand out from your advertising competitors.

Step 4: Create an Effective Call-To-Action (CTA)

Ad Copy is your only opportunity to convey your audience exactly what action you want them to take, once they reach the website. For example:

  • Direct Response Phrases - Call, Register, Purchase, Checkout, Download, and Donate.

  • Lead Generation Phrases - Contact us, Request a Quote, Start, Verify, Access, Receive, Fill, and Enroll.

  • Engagement Phrases - Watch, See, View, Read, Discover, Uncover, Check Out, Visit.

Step 5: Write Your Copy of Ad

As an advertiser, you write for your audience, not for yourself. Think of the intentions your user is searching with. Think how accurately your ad copy can answer their questions or help them.

  • Use numbers and exclamation marks. They capture user’s attention.

  • Use abbreviations if they are well known and non-ambiguous. They save space.

  • It helps increase Click-Through-Rate (CTR) if you capitalize each word besides the articles in your copy.

  • Use your keywords in the headline. Google makes them bold, which automatically makes the ad prominent.

Step 6: Add Extensions

Another way to increase your click-through rate is to add extensions to your ads. Add contact numbers, location information, well-organized site links, reviews and testimonials about the product or services for the positive aspects given below:

  • Contact numbers and location extensions boost conversation.

  • Site links help users to get what they are looking for on the website with just one click. Site links appear in ads at the top and bottom of Google search results.

  • Reviews and testimonials build up confidence about the product or service.

Step 7: Repeat Keywords on the Landing Page

The keywords used in your ad should be repeated on the landing page. It helps the prospect feel reassured of visiting the right place for his requirements.

Step 8: Test

Use AdWords Experiments (beta) to test different versions of your ad. If required, refine them based on the judgment of what works best for your ad and what converts.

PPC - Landing Pages

If you create a beautiful and catchy PPC ad with an effective Call-To-Action and do not link an appropriate landing page to it, then all your efforts go in vain.

It can be very annoying and disappointing for a prospect when he clicks on a great looking ad and finds out that the landing page is irrelevant to the ad. Poor landing page management is a waste of money.

Use of landing pages in the PPC ads helps to:

  • Increase conversion
  • Reduce Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
  • Reduce bounce rate

Types of Landing Pages

  • Click Through - This is the most basic type. It has general information about a product, why you should buy the product, when it will be available, etc. It provides a button to take the visitor to the page where the item can be purchased.

  • Viral - This type of landing page tries to reach out to a large group of people. It is full of social sharing buttons and catchy content.

  • Lead Capture - There is no exit route when it comes to a lead capture landing page. Such pages gather user data to send email marketing campaigns, connect with social media, call with special offers, etc.

  • Mobile - It provides bare minimum contents with eye-pleasing appearance.

  • Homepage - Sometimes organizations just link to the homepage, which is not a good move. The homepage is likely to offer different options and choices, when in fact the visitor is interested in a specific link to get something specific.

Elements of an Effective Landing Page

The primary goal of a landing page is to pursue the user to convert. An effective landing page has:

  • Engaging and beautiful appearance.
  • Well-organized contents.
  • Tight coupling between advertise and page contents.
  • Simple, yet descriptive and informative.
  • Clear and discrete Call-To-Action and offers.
  • Capability of building trust about authenticity of a product or service the seller offers.
  • Capability of pursuing the visitors to take action.

An effective and well-formatted landing page resembles the following page:

Landing Page

Creating a Well-Formatted and Informative Landing Page

A well-formatted landing page as shown here grabs the attention of the visitors and compels them to complete a conversion. For creating a good landing page, you need to do the following:

Keep a Clean and Organized Design

  • Use pleasant and appealing colors.
  • Keep high contrast among page background and CTA buttons.
  • Set appropriate size of image, text, and buttons on the page.

Keep Minimal Required Information

  • Provide all necessary information that encourages the visitor to convert.
  • Avoid anything extra and pop-ups.
  • Highlight the key points of the product.

Use a Header to Convey Offer

  • Use a header for displaying the value of the offer on the product and convince the visitor how unavoidable it is.
  • Use sub-headings for descriptions.

Use Trust Signals or Trust Badges for Conveying Trustworthiness

  • Trust signals include testimonials, like counts, capitalizing on word-of-mouth, reviews, etc.

  • Trust Badges include any endorsements, logos of popular brands, certain recognitions, membership of some popular communities, etc.

Make It Mobile-Friendly

These days it has become absolutely necessary to make the landing pages compatible with mobile devices, as the conversion rate doubles if the website appears smoothly on mobiles.

  • Make the page easy to navigate
  • Fast to load

Keep the Forms Short

  • When it comes to gathering data from visitors, it is extremely necessary to keep the length of the forms short.

  • Lesser the number of fields in the form, more the chances of converting a prospect.

  • If more information is required to be gathered from the visitor, plan it on the thank you or similar page.

Match Contents of Landing Page and PPC Ad

Make sure you match the contents of the landing page with the keywords of the ad. This reduces visitor’s disappointment and cost, and encourages the visitor to convert.

Testing the Landing Page

You can test a landing page manually or using a tool. You can test the following:

  • Loading time of the page.
  • Appearance of page layout and design.
  • Visibility of various elements on the page such as images and buttons.
  • Focus on the buttons.
  • Appropriate button functionality.

Use AdWords Landing Page Grader, a free tool that checks the PPC landing pages for best practices and conversion rate.

PPC - Bidding

Bidding is offering a competitive price that a bidder is ready to pay for a service. The term ‘bidding’ is always used in the context of auction. Bidding is very useful to set the value of an object, an art piece, a property, a commodity, etc. The amount itself is called as a bid.

PPC Bidding

In the context of internet marketing, the amount an online business organization allocates for PPC advertising is known as PPC bid. The bids specify the maximum amount that an organization is ready to pay each time a user clicks your ad. This is called the maximum Cost-Per-Click (max CPC).

Factors that Affect Bidding

Bidding depends upon the following factors:

  • Advertising budget of the organization
  • The time the organization plans to use paid advertising.
  • Keyword popularity
  • Competition from other advertisers

What to Bid For?

With the help of bid management tools, you can bid for:

  • Conversion events such as video views, contact forms, store directions, the time of ad display, etc.

  • Keywords such as brand phrases, user phrases, direct response phrases, lead generation phrases, engaging phrases, etc.

Pricing Strategies

Before you start bidding, you need to consult the seller to determine and set the price of the product or the service the seller is selling. The following list shows popular pricing strategies:

  • Cost–Plus-Price - It is the simplest method of determining price. Here, you sell the product or service for more price than it took for making it.

  • Competitor-based Pricing - It involves finding out the prices set by other businesses in the same sector, and then adopting the numbers, with some positive and negative marginal numbers according to how the seller’s product does for that day.

  • Value-based Pricing - Note that the prospect is not all that interested in the manufacturing cost of a product; he is rather more concerned about receiving the full value for the price he pays. Hence, it is quite critical to research the other products available to the prospect and analyze what additional value do they offer, and price your product based on the value it provides.

How Much To Bid?

When it comes to pricing, what you pay for depends on overall media budget, aggressiveness, negotiation skills, and the business circumstances.

PPC Bid Management Solutions

You can use AdWords to build and manage your ads pretty easily. But in case you have more than a few dozen ad groups, or you are spending more than $10,000 a month on paid search, a bid management tool is required for day-to-day management of the ads.

There are quite a few bid management platforms available in the market. Selecting the best platform is a time-consuming task. These tools vary in options and features from one another.

Here is a list of some popular bid management solutions:

Acquisio

They manage Facebook paid socials and provide retargeting efforts. Acquisio’s PPC bidding tool adjusts bids and campaign budgets automatically based on the events you define, and delivers automated reports with data from Google, adCenter, as well as Baidu.

Kenshoo

The bid management tool offers portfolio, model-based or rules-based bidding, and it is easy to optimize, tag, research, and optimize campaign elements. Kenshoo has customized A/B testing tools, conversion attribution, great reporting options, and real-time campaigns that dynamically build and sync your campaigns with inventory data.

Marin

It is an easy-to-use online management platform. It provides a desktop editor tool and strong reporting solutions. Marin also has a real-time campaign feature for online merchants called Marin Dynamic Campaigns.

Clickable

Social and search advertising management platform Clickable offers a bid management system that delivers quantitative and qualitative keyword, ad group, and campaign recommendations. Clickable also offers Conversion Tracking, Keyword Call Tracking, Bulk Keyword Editing, Custom Reporting, and free PPC evaluation.

keywordMax

It is designed for advertisers, agencies, and local businesses. Its PPC product performs rule-based bid adjustments 24 times per day, and offers advanced real-time reporting. The platform is easily private labeled.

PPCBidMax

It is an automated bid management tool for AdWords and adCenter. Their prices are flat monthly rates, between $48 and $799.20 for PPC BidMax 5.1, and $239.20 for PPC Ad Max 1.0.

SearchForce

It can quickly adjust the bidding rules anytime for the entire campaign or make multiple one-time adjustments to the entire portfolio. It is a flexible platform.

WordStream PPC Advisor

It offers weekly and on-demand recommendations based on bidding best practices and the user’s goals. PPC Advisor combines keyword discovery, analysis, grouping, organization, and prioritization.

WordWatch

It is an advanced management tool for Google AdWords campaigns only. Users can choose either traffic or conversion goal and it identifies keywords with high performance potential and optimizes bid prices for increased results.

The list of the ad management tools is still growing day-by-day.

Factors to Confirm Before Bidding

Before bidding for the keywords or conversion events, here are the questions you must be ready with the answers:

  • Is my goal defined and known? What is this PPC ad meant for: increasing brand awareness, increasing sales, or increasing number of subscribers?

  • Is the budget set properly for this ad?

  • Is the list of potential keywords ready?

  • Is the list finalized into a targeted list of words manually by hiring professionals or by using a tool?

  • At what times do I want my ad to be displayed?

  • Which pricing strategy is appropriate for this particular ad?

  • What is the starting bid price and the last bid price required to put for this product or service?

PPC - Measuring Results

It is very important to measure the success of your PPC ad. To improve an existing PPC ad further, it is vital to analyze its ROI, conversion rate, and the problems incurred.

Even if an existing ad is doing well in terms of conversion rate and generating ROI, there is always a room for improvement. To improve an ad in the right direction and elevate its ROI, it is necessary to measure the success of the launched ad.

The following metrics can be used to confirm the success of your ad:

Metric Description Value
%Served How often your ad was served in contrast to other similar ads in the same ad group.
Average Cost per Click (CPC)
Total Cost / Total number of clicks
The lower, the better.
Average Position How high in the results page is your ad showing. 1 is the highest.
Bounce Rate The percentage of visitors who leave to navigate the website after visiting one page. The higher, the poorer.
Clicks The number of times a visitor clicks your ad. The more, the better.
Click-Through-Rate (CTR) The percentage of clicks divided by Impressions. The higher, the better.
Conversions The number of times a visitor clicks on the ad and completes an action you defined as a conversion within a specific period of time. The more, the better.
Impression Share The percentage of the total number of times your ad could have been shown versus the actual number of times it was shown.
Impressions The number of times your ad was displayed on the search results page. The more, the better.
Quality Score Relevance of the keyword, ad, and landing page combined, which affects your CPC. The higher, the better.
ROI (Return – Investment) × 100 The more, the better.

PPC - Ad on Google

If you want to display your ad with the help of Google, you need to use Google’s AdWords.

Creating Google AdWords Account

Let us go through the steps of creating a Google Adwords Account:

  • Open a browser. Type Google.com in the address bar. It opens Google’s homepage.
  • Type adwords in the search box. It displays all the results related to your query.
  • Click on the link Google AdWords | Google (PPC) Google Pay-Per-Click Online…
Google AdWords

Step 1: It opens the following webpage:

Webpage

Step 2: Look at the upper right corner of the page. It depicts that if you are already availing the AdWords service, you proceed with using AdWords as shown below. (If you are not an AdWords customer, skip Step 5 and continue with Step 6.)

AdWords

Step 3: Click on Sign-in. It displays the following page:

Sign-in

Step 4: Google starts AdWords for you as shown below:

Start AdWords

Step 5: Click on the button ‘Start now’. You get to see Google AdWords welcome page as shown below:

Welcome

Step 6: Enter the email ID with which you wish to create your AdWords account.

  • Select appropriate country, time zone, and currency options.

  • Click on the button ‘Save and continue’. It brings up the next page of setting Google account as shown:

  • New Account
  • Enter proper information in the fields Name, current email address, password, birth date and mobile number, location, etc. Click ‘I agree Google’s terms of service and privacy policy’. It creates a new account with Google.

Step 7: Click on the button ‘Next step’. It displays the following webpage:

Next Step

Step 8: Open the inbox of your gmail account. Click on the link for conforming your email address to Google to start AdWords service.

Creating a PPC Campaign in Google AdWords

Before creating an actual campaign, let us take a look at a dummy advertising project. Suppose you need to create a PPC ad for selling mechanical and electronic locks, keys, and their repairing services.

You need to keep the following checklist ready:

  • Budget per Month – Rs 10000

  • Budget per Day – Rs 300

  • Scope of Geotargeting – Hyderabad City

  • List of Keywords – Key makers, Key makers in Hyderabad, local key makers, computerized key makers, car key maker, car key makers, key maker for car, key makers for car, etc.

  • A Ready Ad Copy with the Following Details:

    • Heading of ad (25 char) – Locksmith Hyderabad
    • Description Line 1 (35 char) – Looking For Keymaker?
    • Description Line 2 (35 char) – Call For Immediate Response
    • Display URL (35 char) – http://www.affordablelock.net
    • Destination URL (1024 char) – http://www.affordablelock.net/remote_keys
    • Landing Page URL- http://www.affordablelock.net/Purchase_Lock
    • Design of landing page ready/not ready – Not ready
    • Image required, if any

Start with creating the ad now.

Step 1: Sign-in to your Google account. After a few seconds, you get to see the following webpage:

Google Account

Step 2: Click on the button ‘Create your first campaign’.

First Campaign

Step 3: It displays the following page. Enter the Campaign name as First Campaign.

First Campaigns

Step 4: Enter Type as Search Network only.

Scroll down for further entries. Enter the Location. If you want this ad to be visible only within a particular geographical area, select the option Let me choose….

Enter Hyderabad in the textbox. Click on Advance Search. It displays the map.

Map

Step 5: Click on the button Search. It shows the location Hyderabad. Click on the button Add. Now click on the button Done. It brings up the previous page with Targeted locations as Hyderabad, India.

Set the language. Default is English.

English Language

Step 6: To set up a bid strategy, there are two options. First, you can do it on your own and the other offers you to let AdWords handle it. Select the first option I’ll manually select my bids for clicks.

Bid Strategy

Step 7: Enter Default bid as 50. Enter Budget as 300 per day. It sets the maximum number of clicks to 6 per day. Scroll down further.

Scroll Down

Step 8: As this is a very basic type of ad, leave the Location, Site links, and Call options unchecked. Click on the button Save and continue. It displays the following page to create Ad groups as shown below:

AdGroups

Step 9: Select My landing page isn’t ready. Enter the Ad group name as Locksmith Hyderabad. Add one keyword as locksmith hyderabad and another as keymaker hyderabad. You need to add one keyword per line in the list box of keywords.

Keyword Groups

Step 10: Scroll a little further. You will find the following options as shown below:

Create Ad Groups

Step 11: Click on the button Continue to ads. It displays a dialog to create ads as shown below:

Dialog

Enter the Destination URL as www.affordablelocks.net/remote_keys. Enter Write your ad as Locksmith Hyderabad. This is the heading of the ad. Write the display URL as www.affordablelock.net

Note: Both Display and Destination URLs need not be same, but they need to be from the same domain.

  • Now enter description line 1 as Looking For Locksmith? Enter description line 2 as Call for immediate response!

Note: In addition to using effective keywords, it is important to use punctuation marks in description lines to make them inviting.

Click on the button Save. It displays the following page:

Locksmith

Step 1: Click on the button Review campaign to ensure that everything is set as per your requirements. The review page appears as follows:

Page Appears

Step 2: Click on the button Save and finish. You are done! Your first basic ad is ready! You get to see the following page with details of the campaign.

Campaign Details Campaign Information
  • Once you create a basic ad, you can modify the settings of campaign name, type, target location, language, budget, bid strategy, etc.

  • You can also add extensions such as site links, contact numbers, etc. as per your requirement.

  • Using the Keyword Planner feature, you can add potential keywords to your list of keywords.

PPC - Yahoo! & Bing Search Marketing

Yahoo! Search Marketing is a keyword-based marketing where the advertisers pay the publishers a fixed amount for each click. Though Google dominates PPC advertising, Yahoo gives certain advantages over AdWords. Lower CPC and CPM are the prominent ones.

Your search traffic volume is low on Yahoo! Yet, you have less competition on ad position and major traffic seems to be genuine. Also, Yahoo, Bing, and MSN make up for one-third of the total web traffic. So, you might miss millions of searchers by skipping it.

Yahoo and Bing had an advertising deal that leads to merging of the two companies. You can manage ads on ‘Microsoft AdCenter’.

Microsoft AdCenter

Structure of an Ad Account

An Ad Account is a cluster of all the attributes given below:

  • Set of keywords.
  • Ad group, which is the group of keywords packed under a name.
  • Ads copy containing marketing messages that you draw on Yahoo! search network.
  • Campaign made of one or more ad groups.

Creating a PPC Ad on AdCenter

To get on Yahoo and Bing Ads, you need to sign up with a Microsoft AdCenter account.

  • Login to your MS AdCenter account
  • Add a URL you want your traffic to redirect to
  • To create a campaign, provide details such as name, time zone, budget, location, and language
  • Add Ad groups
  • Create ads
  • Ad keywords
  • Set prices (bidding)
  • Add your location
  • Verify your campaign
  • Click on button ‘Submit’
  • Bill the amount using PayPal

You can even import an ad from Google AdWords.

Bidding

Bids affect your ad position directly. Although there are other features that influence the ad position, the Auction bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a single click.

AdCenter offers you:

  • Controlled bidding
  • Bid on individual keywords
  • Bid on match types
  • Suggested bids
  • Incremental bids

You can set the bids in the following ways:

  • Mainline bid – Shows your ads on the top of a search page.
  • Best position bid – Fetches your ad the best position.
  • First page bid – Displays the ad on the first page.
  • Adgroup bid – Applies to all the keywords in an ad group.
  • Custom value – Bids on selected keywords.

Key Features

  • Yahoo! network comprises of 27 percent of the total web traffic in US.
  • Yahoo! offers PayPal transfer mode with a minimum payout of $50.
  • You only pay the amount you are willing to pay.
  • Only genuine traffic arrives, since you pick the keywords yourself.
  • Wide range of reporting tools.
  • Easy account navigation.
  • Free conversion tracker.

Yahoo/Bing Ads Editor

Yahoo/Bing Ads Editor is a powerful offline tool that lets you manage your campaign in a smooth and flawless manner. It lets you create and manage accounts offline and in bulk.

You need to sign up for ads account and download the ‘Ads Editor’. Once downloaded, you can either create a new campaign or you can import it.

Ads Editor

The editor menu band includes various options such as:

  • Get changes – You can change any conflicts between offline and online accounts.

  • Post changes – You can post and undo changes.

  • Import – You can import campaigns. For example, you can import from Google AdWords Editor.

  • Export – You can export your campaigns.

  • Show Statistics – You can have a look at performance data.

  • Panes – On Ads Editor, you can find a few panes such as Manager pane, Editor pane, and Browser pane.

  • Manager pane – Lets you customize your account according to your requirements.

  • Browser pane – Lets you browse your account.

  • Editor pane – Lets you edit and view your campaigns.

You can optimize an existing Ad account by visiting individual tabs on the platform and following the instructions there. You can set default values for your new and imported campaigns and ad groups. You can specify your dashboard to collect statistics. You may even select match types for your keywords. Use keyword bid estimation tool for keyword mining. It also lets you choose custom devices and demographic targeting.

Budget and Billing

You can set your budget on a daily or a monthly basis. Setting the daily options ‘on’ lets you control your daily expenditure. However, in monthly basis, it depletes as frequently your ad is being clicked.

  • Daily Standard Budget – It is set by default. The budget is spent in a particular rate throughout the day. If CTR is high, the rate of impressions reduces. It does not affect your budget. If you monitor and change your budget frequently, set the ‘daily standard’ option.

  • Daily Accelerated Budget – It shows your ad more frequently till the budget is over. If you monitor and change the budget daily, set it to ‘daily accelerated’ budget.

  • Monthly Budget – Here the budget gets depleted as your ad is being clicked on. It ceases the impressions once the budget reaches zero. If you update your budget rarely, set it to ‘monthly budget’ option.

  • Yahoo/Bing allows you flexible payment methods as:

    • Pre-pay – You pay before commencing the campaign.

    • Post-pay – You pay the bill after a month. However, you can decide a threshold limit. You impression ceases once this value is achieved.

You may pay using any payment mode, be it credit/debit card, net banking, pay-pal, or through personal cheque. You can manage your payment methods by updating the ‘Accounts and Billing’ feed. Under the tab, you can even review your billing summary.

Campaign Optimization

Campaign optimization is all about improving your campaign. You can track its performance by measuring these three KPIs:

  • Impressions
  • CTR
  • Conversions

To improve a campaign, you need to focus on the following:

  • Ad quality and relevancy
  • Delivery of maximum information without compromising the layout and grammar
  • Compliance of ad with keywords, business, landing page, and USPs
  • Provide correct information about seller’s product and services
  • Estimate what is working and what is not for the ad
  • Keep an eye on your budget by generating expenditure reports
  • Weigh up the performance and build up insights for account optimization

You can report in five formats:

  • Performance Reports – Track how ads are performing at various levels.

  • Change History – Tracks the changes made so far.

  • Campaign Analytics – Report leads incurred, ROI generated, etc.

  • Targeting Reports – Show what areas are targeted.

  • Billing and Budget Reports – They track how much you are spending in an account.

Conversion Tracking

To track conversions, you need to place a small snippet of Java code in your ad, landing page, or thank you page so that you can record your visitors and their origin.

By tracking conversions, you can find out:

  • the audience you need to spend upon,
  • the potential features in your campaign,
  • which visitor is costing you less and how,
  • the leaks in your website, and
  • the ROI.

In AdCenter, navigate to campaign settings → Enable conversion tracking → Collect the page code → Click copy code → Add the snippet into your source page in the <body>………. </body> tag.

You can count one click as a conversion, a unique URL as a conversion, or all conversions without any filtration.

Simply, keep a track of what you require and discard what is missing. Wise conversion tracking may give an immense boost to your ROI.

PPC - Facebook Ads

Facebook is the most popular social networking platform. People of all ages, tastes, and demographics use it, thereby creating a good option for an advertiser to reach a wide audience. Facebook ads draw the attention of users and drive them to the seller’s website.

Overview

Facebook ads follow the auction method. Here, advertisers are charged when their ad is clicked, or it shows (impression) or a lead is generated by clicking the ad. It depends on the mode one has selected (clicks, impressions, or acquisition).

Facebook ads run across all devices and platforms. You can reach the people who matters the most to your business, no matter wherever they are.

Setting up an Advertising Account

To start running ads on Facebook, you need a working Facebook account.

Step 1: Search ‘Ads Manager’.

Ads Manager

Step 2: You are shown the present status of the ad.

Ads Status

Step 3: Click on the button ‘Create Ad’. It takes you to building an ad. Facebook offers different options of objectives of creating ads. Select the option ‘Send people to your website’.

Ads Create

Step 4: Enter the name of the website tutorialspoint.com you want people to be redirected to.

Ads Facebook

Step 5: Enter the campaign name as First Campaign tutorialspoint Website Clicks.

Clicks

Step 6: Enter appropriate account information. Enter the account name as shown below:

Account Information

Step 7: Keep the default location India. Keep default agegroup as 18 to 65 years. Keep gender as All. Keep languages as English (All), which includes US and UK English.

Account Informations

Step 8: Enter education level as In College and College grad.

Education Level

Step 9: Enter interests as Technology.

Select behaviors as Digital activities → Internet Browser Used → Chrome and Mobile Device User → Smartphone Owners.

Enter the Per day budget amount as Rs 250.0 in Indian rupees.

Budget Amount

Step 10: Select the option Run my as set continuously starting today.

Cilck on the button ‘Upload’ to add the image for the ad.

Select a facebook page as Tutorials on Cloud Computing.

Select Image Open Image

Step 11: Scroll down few lines.

Enter Headline as Tutorials for Free.

Enter text as Free tutorials and reference manuals with examples for JDB, Haddop, Hive, HBase, XStream.

Facebook

Step 12: Select Call-to-Action button as ‘Learn More’.

Preview the ad on the right hand side. Change the fields if required. You can create a page for your ad for using text and links for your ad.

Choose ad category as Company, Organization, or Business.

Category

Step 13: On the create page dialog, enter Page Name as Tutorial on Cloud Computing.

Choose category as Internet/Software.

Upload an image for the page.

Click on the button Create Page.

Create Page

Step 14: After you finish entering all the inputs as per your requirement, click on the button ‘Place Order’. It takes you to entering the payment method where you can enter credit card details to pay for your ad.

Ad Payment

Once your ad is created, you can find it on the left-hand side of your facebook ad account profile under ‘account’.

Following Up Your Account

  • To set the status of your account, go to Ads Manager → Campaigns tab

  • You can manage your campaign. Set it ‘active’ or ‘inactive’. You can set the delivery options and can delete your campaigns, ads, or account. Other advanced features are available.

  • To edit your ad set’s budget or to reschedule it: Ads Manager → Ads sets → Budget

  • To set the ad dates: Ads Manager → Ads sets → Date (on top of the graph) → select dates → Save

  • To change the bid: Ads Manager → Ads sets → Scroll over current bid → click pencil icon → make bid changes → Save

  • To edit the existing ads: Ads Manager → Ads sets → Ads → Creating, Targeting, and Pricing → edit → Save

  • You can add Account Groups to access multiple advertising accounts.

Managing the Ad

The next step is to manage the ad you created. It involves the following:

  • Changing the running frequency of the campaign
  • Changing budget of the ad
  • Cahnging the keywords or images of the ad
  • Assuring the changes are in place, implemented correctly, and working fine
  • Engaging the users to visit more


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