What is PPC and how does it work?

PPC (Pay Per Click) is a form of online marketing in which an advertiser pays to have their ads shown alongside Google search results. The advertiser pays a certain fee every time their ad is clicked. These ad campaigns are set up and managed through Googles’ Adwords system. As a Google Partner we work with Google Analytics and AdWords daily to ensure that our campaigns are running efficiently and bringing in relevant clicks and enquiries for our clients.

How we use PPC to increase sales

We are a PPC Agency with years of Adwords management experience and have developed the expertise necessary to consistently increase sales and reduce costs. PPC advertising is a fantastic way of generating relevant traffic and enquiries by only targeting specific people who are searching for your products or services. Firstly, we analyse your website, the market you are involved in and your competitors. This allows us to understand how best to approach your campaign. We will then carry out keyword research to identify the most suitable search terms for your business and create highly targeted ads that will have a high chance of converting your clicks into customers.

We will monitor your campaign progress daily and keep you updated with regular reports and suggestions for improving your campaign. Our focus will always be to get you as many relevant clicks and enquiries for the least amount of money as possible.

How our past campaigns have turned out

As PPC campaign experts we have had great success with previous campaigns. We were able to increase a particular client’s overall enquiries through a well-constructed PPC campaign and multiple design revisions. We managed to grow the conversion rate from 5% to 32% which has led to a huge increase in business for the client.

 


 

PPC Services

Adwords Starter

£300

 

The Adwords starter package is designed for small businesses with a limited budget.

We will create a Google Adwords campaign for your business to help your site bring in more sales.

This package includes

 

  • Keyword research – 20 keywords
  • 1 Ad group
  • Adwords account set up
  • Google Analytics set up
  • Ad Creation
  • 1 hour of Adwords campaign management training

Adwords Refined

£900

 

This package will get your adwords campaign online with refinements made over a 3 month period.

Your ads will be monitored daily with advert and keyword variations tested and measured, with the goal of securing more clicks at a lower cost.

This package includes

  • Keyword research – 30 keywords
  • Maximum of 3 ad groups
  • Adwords account set up
  • Google Analytics set up
  • Ad Creation
  • Competitor ads review
  • Monthly report with ad copy and account recommendations

Adwords Ongoing

£500 per month

 

The ongoing package is ideal for large ecommerce sites with hundreds of products.

We will oversee the account set up, monthly ad creation and provide regular reports.

This package includes

  • Keyword research – 300 keywords
  • Adwords account set up
  • Google Analytics set up
  • Ad Creation
  • Competitor ads review
  • Ad performance comparison
  • Monthly report with ad copy and account recommendations
  • Monthly ad creation and testing

 

* The above fees do not include your monthly Adwords budget.

 


 

Understanding Pay Per Click

PPC is one of the best ways to put your business in front of customers looking to buy. If you’re new to the world of Pay Per Click advertising here’s how it all goes together.

 

What makes Pay Per Click advertising so effective?

 
In the beginning there was print advertising, a form of interruption advertising and the opposite of permission marketing. Interruption advertising involves spending money on television, print or radio ads and trying to convince people that they want or need your product. The opposite of this is permission marketing where you have been granted permission by the customer to talk to them. This could be an opt in email newsletter, social accounts, blogging, subscription, etc. The important thing is that it’s a reciprocal arrangement. You want to get information out and that person wants to hear it.

So where does PPC fit into all of this? When a user goes to Google to make a search they are giving permission to be shown a list of search results and adverts from suitable sites. I think it’s fair to say that most people aren’t looking for a list of adverts but they are looking for what’s being advertised. The difference is that these ads are tailored to each specific search query. So of course, getting the queries right is crucial.

The screenshot below shows the Google results for the term ‘Running shoes’. The areas marked in blue are PPC ads with the organic results appearing below them.
 

 

When a user searches for something Google will display ads above and below the organic listings. I’ve heard so many people say that they never click on the ads but regardless, those ads get clicked, and clicked a lot. In a study from Wordstream.com they claim that on searches with high commercial intent 64% of people clicked on the ads instead of the organic listings. So limiting your internet marketing campaign to just organic search could see your site missing out on a boat load of traffic and sales.

Understanding PPC

The Google Adwords dashboard when you first come across it is a minefield of settings and menus. And therein lies the beauty of it from Googles’ perspective. It’s very easy to sign up to Adwords, create a campaign and blow £100 in no time with very little to show for it. It’s a money monster that can eat marketing budgets and have room left for pudding, but by understanding a few key concepts it’s possible to tame the beast.

The basic premise of Pay Per Click advertising is this. We’ll take a shoe shop as an example. A prospective customer goes to Google and searches for something. Let’s say they search for ‘running shoes’. The owner of a running shoe website signs up to Adwords and creates some ads for their excellent running shoes that will display whenever specific keywords are searched for. When the ad is clicked the shoe company will pay Google a certain amount depending on their daily budget and ad bid.

Match types

So you do your keyword research, select the best ones and add them to your ad groups. Where it gets interesting is with match types. Because it’s tough (nay, impossible) to pin down exactly what people are going to search for, Adwords gives you the option of choosing when your keywords will trigger one of your ads with match types. You may specify that you want your ad to show whenever someone searches for ‘running shoes’ but what about when someone searches for ‘size 7 shoes for running’ or ‘start running correct shoes’. To figure out every keyword that a person may search for is not the easiest but with match types it becomes possible to cover more ground.

There are a number of match types to give you more control over when an ad displays. They can make the difference in creating either a successful targeted campaign or a money pit. Lets say you’ve chosen the following keywords for your campaign.

running shoes
mens running shoes
womens running shoes
trainers
running shoes shop
nike trainers

Exact Match: If you specify that you want your keywords to be exact match it means that your ads will only display whenever these exact keywords are entered into Google. So someone searching for ‘mens running shoes’ will see your ad while someone searching for ‘buy cheap mens running shoes’ will not. To add an exact match to your campaign put your keyword in brackets like so: [mens running shoes]. The advantage of exact match is that you have more control over which searches your ad is displayed for. However it narrows down the amount of searches you’ll show up for and the amount of traffic you’ll receive compared to Phrase or Broad match.

Phrase Match: With phrase match keywords your ad will display when a variation that includes your keyword is searched for in the order you place them. So if your phrase match keyword is nike trainers your ad will display when phrases such as ‘buy nike trainers’ or ‘nike trainers cheap online’ are searched for. Phrase match is great as it allows for a good level of control over what searches trigger your ads as well as flexibility to display for a wider range of queries.

Broad Match: This is the default keyword option and can lead to a lot of traffic but also traffic that is less relevant. With Broad match your ads will display whenever searches that are similar to your keyword are carried out including synonyms, singular and plural terms and misspellings. Let’s say the keyword is ‘womens running shoes’. The ad could be displayed for search terms like ‘shoes for women’, ‘cross country running shoes’ or ‘mens running shoes’. So if you’re only selling shoes for women you could have bought some wasted clicks. The bonus with broad match is that it can show your ads for a varied selection of searches. If you are using broad match it is important to add negative keywords to stop your ad displaying for non relevant queries.

Negative Keywords: These are used to tell Google what you don’t want your ads to show for. You could add ‘free’ as a negative keyword so that your ad doesn’t display for ‘free running shoes’ when using a broad match or phrase match keyword of ‘running shoes’. If you have keywords set to broad match it’s advisable to review the keywords your ads were displayed for every day or week depending on your traffic levels.

To review the actual keywords that resulted in clicks on your ads log in to your adwords account and click on one of your campaigns. Select the date range you want to see on the top right of the page. Then select ‘Keywords’ from the light green menu which will give you a list of all the keywords you added to your campaign. Select ‘Keyword details’ and then ‘All. This will show you the exact search terms that people typed into Google before clicking your ads. Check the list for any unsuitable phrases and then you can either add any suitable keyword phrases as negative keywords by selecting them or make a list of further negatives to add. To do this click back and scroll down to the bottom of the list of keywords. Click the link which says ‘Negative Keywords’ and you’ll be able to add and edit your list.

Modified Broad: This is a match type that will display ads when close variations of a keyword are searched for including misspellings and singular/plural but will not display for synonyms and related searches. To include modified broad match keywords include a +before the keyword you want to add. So running shoes as broad modified match would be +running +shoes. The keyword that follows the plus sign will need to appear in the search for ads to display.

Here’s Googles’ diagram to help this make a bit more sense.

Hire us as your PPC agency

If you would like us to provide a free review of your current PPC campaign then please get in touch. Alternatively if you want to hire us as your PPC company choose from one of the packages above.


Using PPC traffic to increase rankings

Googles’ Adwords management system operates independently from its search results and ranking algorithm. So any traffic that you buy from Google Adwords won’t affect your ranking positions. Those have always been the rules. But, there may be one way that Google Adwords traffic can be used to increase your rankings and help keep them high.

What am I talking about? User engagement. It’s highly likely that Google are looking at user engagement when calculating how high quality a site is. We know that Googles’ Panda algorithm was created to measure the quality of websites. How users react to your site is probably a strong signal in determining whether your site A, gets bumped up the listings and B, retains your hard earned rankings.

Google are fond of stating that they want us to create high quality sites. This will, they say have the effect of helping our sites rank highly in search engines.

So if we accept that creating a compelling quality site will increase rankings, then it should be the case that using conversion optimisation techniques to increase engagement will result in a site that users and Googles algorithm loves, therefore increasing rankings.

But what if we use PPC traffic and analytics to gather test data to measure the quality of our website and then improve on it? Once we have a vastly improved website, could we use further PPC traffic to prove to Google that the website is high quality, by showing a marked improvement in important stats via Analytics?

For this to work Googles’ search algorithm would need to be using multiple traffic sources and not just organic search traffic to measure engagement, which is a big if. So with our goal in mind the next step is to think about the signals that Google looks at to determine if users are loving a site or not.

Signals of a quality site

Low bounce rate
High time on site
High number of pages visited per user
Decent conversion rate

These can all be measured through Google analytics. In fact you may be thinking. Why not just use organic search clicks to measure and improve engagement? That should also be possible but I see this method as being useful when you have a brand new site with minimal organic traffic. At best, if this works it could jump start rankings, at worst it will ensure that you have a higher chance of retaining rankings. Also, if you’ve had a page rank in the top five and subsequently dropped out of the top ten, could that possibly have been due to low engagement stats? If so then going through this process would prove to Google that your site is worthy again of those top spots. As well as that of course, it would be exciting to discover that organic rankings could be influenced by other sources such as Adwords or Facebook traffic.

Clean data = PPC

Another reason for only using PPC traffic is that it can be one of the cleanest sources of data. In other words, traffic that we know has come from the right kind of users searching with the proper intent. In this case that will be site visits from users who are actively interested in what you’re offering. People who have searched for services or products that you provide, are in your area, and within your budget. Organic traffic can be used to test this but without specifics on which keywords are bringing in hits there’s no way to tell for sure whether or not there will be irrelevant keyword searches in the mix. As a couple of examples there may be searches included for the website brand name or a contact at the company. A PPC campaign can be configured to make sure there’s nothing but appropriate searches to measure from, barring the possibility of competitors clicking on your ads.

Method for measuring engagement

Step 1 select your URL
Set up a campaign with an ad pointing to a page on your site that is already ranking for a keyword or group of keywords. Ensure you have the pages’ ranking positions recorded. Do not carry out any SEO activities for this page during the PPC test, or 3 months before. When setting up your PPC campaign make sure that you go for either phrase or exact match. If you go for phrase match make sure you keep track of ‘All keywords’ that are triggering your ads so that you can eliminate any unrelated in your reports. 

I would also recommend adding a minimum price to your ads so that you get less clicks from visitors looking for a cheaper service, or product. So if you’re selling for example, furniture with a starting price of £500. Maybe you could add ‘furniture from £500′ in your ads. That’s a simplification but you get the idea. This will allow you to eliminate cost as a concern when evaluating your pages.

Step 2 Examine the data
How many clicks you would like to judge from is up to you, but also dependent on the budget available. As it’s PPC we’re dealing with every click costs so maybe try a sample of 100 clicks spread over a week as a minimum, depending on your costs per click. Some of the ads run for this site are above £5 per click so I usually run these tests on landing pages over a couple of months, once 100 or so clicks have accumulated.

Once you have a decent number of clicks, log into analytics and click on Behaviour / Site content / All pages. Click on the page you’re looking at analysing then head to Secondary dimension / Acquistion / Sources and select PPC traffic.

Now you will have the data in front of you to examine the following:

Bounce rate
Time on page / site
Number of pages visited per user
Conversions

Take a record of all the pertinent data that you are going to need to compare in the future.

Step 3 – Make changes
If the data points to your page having issues, then come up with some changes that can improve that. If you’re new to CRO methods have a look at Conversion Rate Experts for some recommended strategies.

Create a list of page changes that you think may increase your engagement stats. You could also try some split tests on different versions of your page. Once you’ve made your changes run the PPC ad again to see if the engagement stats go up or down. Repeat these steps until your stats go up and your page has a high conversion rate.

Step 4 – Run the campaign again
Once you have a page that is is performing well with users it’s time to tell Google about it. In Webmaster Tools request that Google recrawl the page. Then turn on the ads again and leave for a month. This should allow Google enough time to see for itself just how fantastic and high quality your page is.

Step 5 – Checking rankings
Now is the time to check your rankings and see if there is any improvement.

 


 

If you would like to hire an expert PPC Agency in Glasgow get in touch today