Implementing digital advertising strategies are one of our bread-and-butter services that we offer to our clients. In doing so, we get to hear a facet of assumptions, hearsay, horror stories and the like. Generally speaking, for small to medium size businesses who have either 1) never tried digital advertising, or 2) have tried and failed miserably, they seem to have an opinion about Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising; and sometimes that opinion isn’t always positive.
Just to share a few comments, we hear things like:
- It doesn’t work
- Our customers know not to click on ads
- I don’t need PPC, I focus on SEO
- Nobody clicks on those ads (our personal favorite)
- We didn’t have any success with it (“How did you define success?” – *Silence*)
All snickering aside, these are fair comments and opinions, they were made to feel that way from some external influence(s). But now we want to educate you on why we are firm believers in PPC Advertising – when it makes sense for the business, of course. And why Pay-Per-Click Advertising may be more important than you think. We have pulled out a list of five topics that could possibly help sway you into Positive PPC Land.
Rank Above Organic
Here’s the thing, if your industry is not a blue ocean of opportunity, if your industry is swimming with competitors, you will drown – quickly.
To the right is an example, I like to blog about what I enjoy, so I’ve been searching for a new pair of Crossfit sneakers. Now, in this example you’ll see two types of ads, 1) Ads placed through the Shopping Network and 2) Regular text ads. There is a very large retailer – who happens to sell Crossfit sneakers, who is not running ads on my searched query, but you’ll notice they are the first Organic Listing.
In all cases, if you are the first organic listing you should pat yourself on the back, because it is a difficult thing to maintain, however; in this case, it doesn’t seem to matter. There are SEVEN ads listed above the first organic listing. What do you think a searcher is more likely to click on in this case? Organic is absolutely necessary, but being present amongst your competitors in an advertisement environment is imperative. You cannot get lost.
Get YOUR Customers’ Search Query Insights
Ever sit back and think, “Man, if only I could know what my potential customers are searching for…”? Well, you can. WebMaster Tools and Google Analytics allow you to see searched queries and traffic, before and after they click on your ad or listing. But that’s not what I’m referencing today.
Using Pay-Per-Click Advertising (Google Adwords for this example), you can see exactly what your customers searched for and how their search queries matched up with your ads! Within Adwords there is the option to view all Searched Terms. Here you can gain insight on what keywords and phrases your ads are being displayed on.
Above is a snapshot of the Searched Terms within Google Adwords for our client, Gleaning for the World. They are a non-profit logistics organization that help fund support caused by natural disasters or current events that displace families.
Here’s two reasons why we love the Searched Terms tool, 1) It can show you new phrases or jargon that you may not be thinking of. This allows you to advertise in the language that they are searching in.
Reason number 2) It can help you find negative keywords. You will probably find a lot of consumer searches that are matched with your keywords and ads that are irrelevant. If this is the case for you, it could be time to change your match type or add those searched queries as negative keywords.
Not only do your customers’ search query insights help across all of your digital efforts, but it can carry into your traditional elements as well. You get a birds eye view of what your customers are looking for and the language they’re using to find it.
My absolute favorite advertising campaign is Remarketing or Retargeting. The options are truly endless to resell a product or service to a potential customer who originally expressed interest in you. Remarketing gives you a chance to bring back those indecisive customers with tailored ads based on their interests.
Remarketing can be used for various campaign strategies, reaching customers when they are most likely to make a purchase or to increase your brand’s awareness.
You can build very specific Remarketing lists; people who looked at specific category, people who viewed 10 pages of your website and exited, people who viewed your website from an email blast but did not make a purchase… the list goes on infinitely. Having these unlimited abilities to create very segmented Remarketing lists enables you to create extremely tailored ads.
See the snapshot to the left. I was looking to send flowers, but never pulled the trigger. The ad I am constantly being served is the bouquet that I was looking for – and would ya look at that, they’re offering me $10 off! Notice how I said constantly? When you run any Remarketing campaign, you have the option to limit the frequency. Meaning, you can limit the amount of times a customer sees your ad.
Remarketing Campaigns are versatile, unlimited and effective. These are the people who you’ve already spun through your qualification funnel; now instead of throwing all of your media budget to A’s, B’s and C’s – you can now direct an allocated amount towards the A’s.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
There are many different advertising bidding strategies. Why? Because every business has different goals. Some businesses utilize Pay-Per-Click Advertising for lead generation, some use it for generating sales to their online store, others for generating in-store traffic. There is not a one-size-fits-all bidding strategy.
CPC Bidding; Cost-Per-Click Bidding is just so, you pay every time a person clicks on your ad. CPC bidding enables control over volume and overall spend on specific keywords, ad groups and placements. Generally, CPC bidding is not ideal for brand awareness campaigns, but rather driving traffic to your website.
CPM Bidding; Cost-Per-Thousand Bidding focuses on impressions rather than clicks; you pay per every thousand ads that are displayed. This is best used for brand awareness campaigns, and is known for not being successful when trying to gain clicks or website traffic.
CPA Bidding; Cost-Per-Acquisition Bidding focuses on conversions, whether that be sales, form sign-ups or some other completion of a call-to-action on your website. This is best used when you are tracking conversions based off of the performance of your ads.
Your Competitors are Already There
Lastly, this is probably the most important topic out of all listed above; your competitors are already advertising. They are in your digital territory (maybe even geographically) and they are stealing your business right from underneath you. It’s time to take over your territory. Be available to help fulfill your customers’ needs. When is the last time you ran a search on your product or service? Where do you rank? Are there ads are overpowering your organic listing?
Imagine what would happen to Ford if they stopped advertising; Chevy would clean their clocks.
We understand that Pay-Per-Click Advertising is not right for all businesses. But before you cash out on the idea, make sure you ask these questions about your company:
- Are my competitors advertising?
- What’s my brand awareness? Do I have any?
- Do I know what our customers are looking for? Do I know how they’re looking for it?
- Where do my organic listings rank based on our products or services offered?
- Do I know enough to make an informed decision about whether Pay-Per-Click Advertising is right for my business?
Misconceptions can destroy ideas without being fully understood. Know the facts, define what your key performance indicators are and then make an informed decision to see if it’s possible for your business to turn a positive ROI with Digital Advertising.