1 WHITE PAPER August 2009 Pay Per Click Marketing Drive Leads and Sales the Cost Efficient Way Introduction Pay Per Click is one of the most cost effective marketing tools available, and can generate instant traffic to your website. Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing is surging in worldwide popularity as one the most cost effect ways to maximize the leads and sales from your website. Harnessing this tool can provide a guaranteed and instantaneous rise in traffic and sales to your company website. Because you only pay when your ad is clicked, a highly targeted and well executed PPC campaign can generate a massive amount of sales for very little cost. In PPC marketing, the control you have over your campaign is unparalleled, and the real-time tracking of advertising efficiency is unique and invaluable. So why should you be interested in PPC? It s a one of a kind, cost effective way to attract website visitors, boost your conversions, and expand your business and visibility. There s a place in PPC for everyone: from startup businesses that need a smart strategy to make it to the first page of search results, to established corporations that desire a larger online presence. There are many intricacies in PPC management, and a solid understanding is essential to avoid wasting money. In this paper, you will learn what PPC is and how it works, exactly how it will benefit your business, and how to get started on a campaign.
2 Page 2 What is PPC? With PPC, you get the most traffic qualified and you only pay when your ad is clicked. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a type of online advertising in which advertisers pay for the visitors who arrive on a web site, on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis. Advertisers only pay for visitors that click on their banner. At the click of a button, it affords visitors to a website the opportunity to know more about a product or service they are interested in. PPC advertising is more focused than traditional forms of advertising, because websites that utilize PPC ads will only display your ad when the keyword query or content site is relevant. This means that only people who are looking for or interested in your product or service will see the ad, making this marketing medium highly targeted. There are two models of PPC advertising; Search and Content Networks. Search Networks are when PPC advertisements show up as results in search engines, and they are labeled as Sponsored Links, appearing above and adjacent to organic search listings on search engines (Figure 1). The three major PPC search engines are Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adcenter. Content Networks are when PPC ads are placed in websites that have signed up to have ads appear on their site (Figure 2). These sites can range anywhere from someone s blog to the New York Times. Content Networks do not utilize search engines; rather, the PPC ads are matched based on the keywords of the content on the site. Both Search and Content Networks exhibit text ads as opposed to traditional banner ads; however, in Content Networks, you also have the option make display ads, which are images like traditional banner ads. The majority of this white paper applies to Search Networks, because these are the most popular, but many of the strategies, such as keyword selection and ad creation, is relevant for both methods. Both Search and Content Networks are important components of PPC, and a smart PPC strategy would determine the ways each can help your campaign. Figure 1: PPC Sponsored Listings on Google Search Results Page
3 Page 3 Figure 2: PPC ad on a Content Network, on the New York Times website The Shift Towards Search Marketing Many businesses are shifting their marketing budgets to search engine marketing because of its effectiveness and high ROI. Gone are the days of businesses depending solely on out-dated marketing media such as telemarketing, direct mail, newspapers, and tradeshows. With the internet extending to all corners of the globe and even into the sky, online search has become a welcome staple in people s daily lives, and marketers are quickly taking advantage of it. The Direct Marketing Association predicts that budgets allocated to search marketing will grow 20% in the year 2009, while budgets for all traditional forms of marketing will drop (Figure 3). More and more companies are shifting towards search engine marketing because it s the most effective of all marketing mediums, as well as the most cost efficient method available, with the lowest cost per lead and per sale, and the best potential volume of leads. In fact, marketers at companies with a $1 million or more marketing budget stated that PPC and SEO are the top two most effective marketing tools compared with other digital media (Figure 4). Both PPC and SEO have their own advantages, and it is recommended implementing both as a team for optimal effects. Corporate Advertising Budget Trends Radio Ads Telephone Marketing Newspaper Ads Search Marketing -10% 0% 10% 20% 30% Figure 3: Corporate Advertising Trends, Direct Marketing Association, October 2008
4 Page 4 Marketers Choices for Most Effective Marketing Tool Best ROI for Produc Marketing Tactics According to US Marketers, (% of Respondents) SEO House Paid search Public relations Direct postal mail Online advertising 68.70% 56.40% 52.40% 41.90% 41.10% 31.20% Figure 4: Forbes, 2009 Ad Effectiveness Survey, Jun 1, 2009 How Your Business Can Benefit from PPC PPC offers many valuable benefits, such as instantaneous and targeted traffic, measurable results, and flexible costs. PPC is one of the most effective forms of advertising in today s world, allowing you to place your product directly in front of people already searching for you. There are over 14 billion online searches per month according to a study by comscore 1, and thousands, if not millions, of them are searching for exactly what your business provides. There s no time to waste, and the great thing is that as soon as you set up a PPC account, you can get an instant increase in qualified traffic, and a wealth of data for you to improve your campaign all for an affordable price! Here are several of the biggest advantages of PPC: Guaranteed Qualified Traffic: This is probably the most touted benefit, but its importance cannot be overstated. Your ad will show up when searchers are already actively looking for the products and services your company provides, so PPC advertising assures the traffic is credible. Instantaneous and Measurable Results: One of the greatest benefits of PPC is that it drives sales immediately. While SEO may take several months before results are seen, once a PPC campaign is launched, the effects take place instantaneously and are easily quantifiable. Because you pay for PPC only when the ad is clicked, it s easy to manage costs, track conversions, and determine return on investment. You always know exactly what you are paying per sale, what areas you excel at, and what areas need improvement. 1 comscore, April 2009 U.S. Search Engine Rankings
5 Page 5 Easy to Manage Costs: There are little or no fees for setting up a PPC account, and you only pay when a searcher clicks on your ad. Because the amount you pay is based on your desired ranking and the level of competition for a keyword, you can choose to focus on less competitive keywords and slightly lower rankings to reduce costs. On the other hand, if you have a large PPC budget, you can use it to always secure top rankings for the most competitive keywords. Highly Targeted: PPC advertising gives you control over the profile of users arriving at your website through your choice of keywords. Your ads are highly targeted because you can assign different ad copies for specific keywords and audiences. You can also schedule the ad to run during the best sales periods and only in specific geographic regions. This is extremely valuable in ensuring that your advertising campaign is reaching the appropriate targeted audience. PPC Challenges to Watch Out for It s important to have a smart PPC strategy to get the most out of your budget. Though PPC offers many advantages, it also comes with its challenges. Here are some aspects of PPC that you must be careful about, otherwise you might not be getting the most out of you money: Competitors with Deep Pockets Can Outbid You: For more competitive keywords where many advertisers are contending for a top position, bidding can be quite expensive. Competitors with large PPC budgets can outbid you, and you will need a smart PPC strategy that goes beyond what Google and Yahoo are willing to tell you. Must be Expertly Managed: With PPC, it s essential to do an in-depth keyword analysis and target keywords effectively; otherwise, you will have to pay for clicks from keywords that are not targeting the right audience and essentially throwing money down the drain because they have no intention of converting. Additionally, you need someone to always be watching the PPC data to quickly make appropriate adjustments. How to Get Started with PPC Here are some steps and things to consider when starting your PPC campaign. So you re interested in starting a PPC account? Getting started with PPC can be straightforward, but the process will be more involved if you want to determine the optimal strategies that will generate the most ROI. Here is some information about things to consider when diving into a new PPC campaign:
6 Page 6 Determine Your Goals: Every PPC campaign has very specific goals in mind, and because you pay for each click, you want the searcher to perform a valuable action. This is not the venue to teach, instruct, or build name recognition. PPC efforts should be focused on an action a purchase or a lead, usually. Most common lead generators are to offer a free white paper, brochure, quote, contact, demo or download in exchange for the searcher submitting contact information. One of the most beneficial aspects of PPC is that the results are quantifiable; however, it is much easier to track a conversion (the action you want the searcher to take) if it corresponds to a strong action such as a sale or a lead, rather than a page-view or anonymous download. Structure Your PPC Campaign: In a PPC campaign, keywords are at the lowest level, and similar keywords are grouped together in an overarching Ad Group (Figure 5). A campaign is just a collection of Ad Groups, and it s recommended to have a couple separate campaigns, each catering to a specific action or product. Therefore, you can assign different budgets, actions, and targets for each campaign. Campaign Ad Group 1 Ad Group 2 Keyword 1 Keyword 2 Keyword 3 Keyword 4 Figure 5: Structure of a PPC Campaign Pick the Best Keywords: Keywords are the cornerstone of a PPC campaign, and they are the words that users feel are most relevant to their search and what they enter into their query. Good keyword selection is crucial and should not be overlooked or skimped on. If you pick keywords that are too broad, your ad might show up for people who searched for something similar but have no intention of buying your product. In this process, conduct thorough research in customer terminology and competitor sites, as well perform keyword expansions with software such as Wordze. Determine Optimal Settings: PPC offers incredible control and flexibility, so now it s time to pick the optimal settings for each keyword. You can specify the type of targeting, bid amount, ad copy, landing page, scheduling, geographic location, and search engine.
7 Page 7 Determine Keyword Matching and Bidding: There are three types of keyword matching broad, phrase and exact (Figure 6). Broad is a search result that includes any of the search terms. Phrase requires the words to be in the same order as the original search term, but additional words can be included. Exact gets the searcher the exact phrase they typed into the query. It s advised to bid on a variety of these match types for all your keywords, and then once the data roles out, refine based on what s working and what s not. Exact Match Tennis Shoes Phrase Match Vintage Tennis Shoes Search: Tennis Shoes Broad Match Shoes for Playing Tennis Figure 6: Examples of broad, phrase, and exact matches for the term tennis shoes. Create Enticing Ads: Writing an appealing ad will attract searchers to click on it and visit your page. You only have a short amount of space (usually 85 characters on Google) to make your pitch, so make it count. A good PPC ad should include a strong call to action, such as buying a product or downloading something for free. Also, an incentive such as limited time or web only discount could spur the searcher to immediate action. Develop at least four ads for each Ad Group, so you can mix-and-match headlines and copies, and determine exactly what generates the most clicks and conversions. Automated Bidding by a PPC Manager: A good PPC manager should be using a automated bid tool, which is a tool based on set of detailed rules programmed for each keyword. It automatically bids based on the ROI and conversion characteristics of the keyword that fluctuate over time. These rules are meticulously crafted based on the expertise of the specific PPC manager and are constantly being updated, so it s like having a PPC expert rigorously watching and adjusting your campaign every second of every day. This allows for constant bidding so that nothing falls through the cracks, and your PPC manager can focus on other important aspects of directing your campaign.
8 Page 8 Be Cautious of Automated Services by Search Engines: Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft will offer you various automated services of their own, but beware of some of these options. Google offers automated bidding, which is not recommended because the search engine will automate your account in ways that get you the most clicks, thus making them more money, but might not be increasing leads and sales for you. Additionally, Google Search engines also offer dynamic keyword insertion, which automatically inserts the actual search term into your ad. This can appeal greatly to searchers, because if you are bidding on a keyword running shoes, and someone does a search for red running shoes, you can have red running shoes to show in your ad. However, use this carefully, because anything the searcher types can show up in your ad, including typos and the word free, when your product or service is not free. Design Landing Pages: The landing page is the page that the visitor first sees after clicking on the PPC ad, and acts as the deal-closer. You should make a landing page specifically dedicated to PPC, focusing completely on the action you want the visitor to perform. A good PPC landing page should succinctly answer the following questions: Where am I? What can I do here? Why should I do it? You want to make information as clear and accessible as possible, and the action you want them to perform (such as to download a demo or fill out information) to be quick and straightforward. Consider Content Networks: Utilizing content networks is one of the biggest undiscovered opportunities for marketing. A content network is when your ad shows up on other websites without the user doing any kind of search. The ads show up on a webpage where your keyword is relevant to the content. These ads might lead to less clicks because readers are not actively searching for a product or service. However, if used correctly, Content Networks can tap into a whole new potential client pool. Content Networks are especially valuable if no one is currently searching for what your company provides, or your product is so new that you literally have to put it in front of people so they know about it. The intricacies of using content networks to the greatest advantage is complicated and require a lot of expertise to implement correctly, otherwise, your ad might be showing up on irrelevant sites or not showing up at all. Experiment and Refine: The most important thing about PPC is to keep testing and improving your campaign. The ease, flexibility, control, and speed of PPC make this incredibly easy. You can easily review your PPC data, and determine what works and what doesn t. Armed with that information, make the appropriate changes, and watch new results flow in immediately.
9 Page 9 Conclusion: Your Next Step with PPC PPC can be a great investment for your company, and it s important to have the right strategy. PPC marketing is an effective and instantaneous way to draw targeted traffic to your site, and an experienced PPC provider is an essential part of your marketing campaign. A PPC campaign gives you vast options, unparalleled control, and detailed tracking, all at an affordable price that you determine yourself. PPC can accommodate any budget, from small to large, and can benefit all companies, from start-ups to established corporations. With the correct strategy in place, PPC advertising is a cost effective solution to producing highly targeted traffic, and combined with SEO, you have yourself a secret weapon that will surely propel you to the top of rankings and generate higher leads and sales. The Webmarketing123 Advantage At Webmarketing123, leading PPC and SEO experts are dedicated to offering the latest search marketing techniques and best customer service to get your site to the top. Webmarketing123.com is a full-service search marketing agency dedicated to making our clients marketing heroes through developing, implementing, and managing natural search engine optimization and paid search advertising campaigns for your website. We help you: Dramatically increase the quality and quantity of website traffic, Significantly improve the rate at which those visitors convert to customers, and Maximize the return on your marketing investment. To help you make the most of your PPC campaign, we come up with the best strategies that are specific to your company and your budget. We have analysts continuously watching and improving your campaign, and you will receive personalized reports that let you how exactly your campaign is performing. We believe in the power of search marketing, and we have a dedicated and passionate team of SEO and PPC experts, and our job doesn t end once we get you to the top of search engines we re committed to achieving the best results for your company, and ensuring you get the increased quality leads you want. We are constantly researching the most cutting edge search marketing techniques, and we make education of our team, clients, and prospective clients a top priority. We apply our expertise to your site to help your business grow, and in every interaction, our clients are increasingly impressed by our knowledge, ability, and flawless execution. Because of these high standards, you receive campaign strategies and levels of client service that are world-class, and you will achieve results that exceed your marketing goals. To find out how Webmarketing123 can help your business increase site traffic and conversions, contact Devon Paguio at or visit us at
Internet Marketing 101: How Small Businesses Can Compete with the Big Guys Small businesses often feel they are at a distinct disadvantage when competing against large enterprises and their massive budgets.
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