Pay-per-click (PPC) Internet advertising is a highly effective strategy for businesses of all sizes when it’s set up and managed professionally. The reason it’s a popular strategy is, you can be in full control of it and many businesses like to do this just that, manage their PPC campaigns in-house.
In this article, we’ll first look at how and why PPC works, and then how you can improve the way you use it, for your business.
What is PPC Advertising and Why is it popular?
Wikipedia says PPC is an acronym for pay-per-click. It’s also known as CPC or cost per click. Websites display the adverts, and when an advert link is clicked it takes the user to the advertiser’s landing page (usually a page on their own website, or an online store).
Advertisers use the adverts as a means getting traffic (visitors) to their webpage of choice.
Like with all advertising, the motivation may not be sales, at least not directly. PPC is often used particularly by startups, and new website owners, to improve visitor traffic volume, with the aim of it, improving the website’s domain authority and reputation. When the visitors acquired the the PPC adverts, return to your website time and time again of their own volition, that’s ‘organic traffic‘ and it’s a domain authority key indicator.
Whatever the motivation, both publishers (websites displaying the PPC adverts) and the advertisers, it’s popular because the advertiser is in full control of their campaigns and how much they spend and the publishers can earn a revenue stream from their website. For advertisers let’s look at what a professional London PPC management agency says are the most popular PPC strategies, particularly for small business.
1. Bid on low cost, long-tail keywords
It can be tempting to bid on the most relevant keywords to your product or service, but you’ll find these keywords to be very expensive since they are so competitive.
Instead, move up the buyer funnel – think about what questions your customers may have when they are first starting the buyer journey towards your product, and bid on long-tail variations of those keywords. For example, if your small business sells natural pain relievers like essential oils, don’t bid on “essential oils.”
Search for keywords like “solutions for back pain” or “migraine pain relief,” depending on the specific problems that you know your customers tend to struggle with. (You can also ask your existing customer base directly what their problems are to get ideas for long-tail keywords).
Starting with the problem will help entice more prospects to click through your ad and get acquainted with your brand.
2. Bid on branded keywords
Once you set up a long-term strategy for prospects to get introduced to your brand, you’re also going to want to make sure you have branded ads set up so it’s as easy as possible for them to find your website and key conversion pages.
Branded keywords offer the benefit of being low cost (since no one else will be bidding on your brand name – except for maybe some competitors).
Speaking of competitors, if you are aware of other successful competitors in your space, you can try the tactic of bidding on their brand name, and then serving an ad that briefly explains why your product or service is better, cheaper, etc.
This is a great way to capture new customers from your competitors.
3. Practice A/B testing
The biggest mistake you can make in PPC is putting out one ad and just hoping for the best.
Test many varieties of copy to see which one gets the best click-through-rate (CTR), and then allocate spend towards the winner. You can test, headlines, sub-headlines, descriptions, URLs, emotional appeals and more.
4. Use emotionally-driven copy
People don’t buy products; they buy solutions. To increase your PPC ad’s CTR, make sure you’re appealing to emotions – get the the root of their problem and why it’s bothering them, and you’ll see a more engaged audience. Use descriptive, powerful language that cuts to the core, and don’t shy away from the dramatic.
5. Consider buyer personas
Chances are there a few buckets you can group your customers into. These buckets will have different needs, buying motivators, and interests. For example, if you sell flower arrangements, you probably have a significant customer base that is men buying flowers for their significant others, but you probably also have a female customer base who are buying flowers for their friends, mothers, etc. Launch separate PPC ads for each interest group, and tailor your copy accordingly.
6. Grab ideas from competitors
If there are competitors in your space (which there probably are, unless your product or service is the very first of its kind), then look to them for examples of how to set up and improve your ads. The name of the game in marketing is always iterating – don’t start from scratch if you don’t need to!
7. Test capitalization
A little thing that can be a big difference in ad performance is capitalization of words and letters. This is because capitalization has great implications of readability and tone. Consider testing capitalization in your current ad copy.
8. Use an ad builder tool
Especially if you are brand new to ads, the process can be overwhelming. There are tons of free tools out there that you can use to help you get started. A great one is a “ad builder” which will allow you to input headlines, descriptions and URLs to see how they look before making any decisions.
9. Hire a copywriter
Good copy can make all the difference between a killer ad and a dead ad. IF you understand the targeting and logistics of PPC, but your ads are still falling flat, considering hiring a copywriter to help give you the lift you need. Copywriters specialize in making true connections with readers, so they can help give your ad the compelling edge it needs.
10. Work with a consultant
If you’re struggling to get PPC set up or converting on your own, there are a number of professionals that you can partner with to achieve your goals, and of course you can even engage them wherever they are located – that’s the Internet!