1 Marketing Automation Beginner s Guide to PPCs Callidus Callidus Software Software Inc. Inc. All Rights All Rights Reserved.
2 Table of Contents Introduction Different Types of PPCs Plan out the Campaign How to Implement a PPC ad - Organize Your Account - Work Towards a Good Quality Score - What Goes Into a Bidding Strategy? LinkedIn Ads Work on a Simpler Model Campaign Settings Optimization Measure Results
3 2 Introduction Are you new to pay per click campaigns or PPCs? Planning is essential to a successful PPC strategy. Plan everything, right from goal setting to a budget to laying down a tactical plan of action. You need to constantly track click through and conversion data. Tweak, optimize and experiment with your bids based on the data. In the PPC world there is constant room for improvement. The end goal should be to get maximum number of conversions with minimum ad spend. Different Types of PPCs Google AdWords and Bing Ads are two of the largest network operators. Both operate under a bid-based model. LinkedIn ads are another effective channel for B2B PPC advertising. There are two main types of PPCs search engine marketing and placement ads. Search ads appear on search websites. The text ads appear either on the top, right column or bottom of the search results page. Google and Bing offer this service.
4 3 Fig 1 - Search ads appear at the top and right sidebar of the SERP as seen here. Placement ads appear on non-search sites across Google s Display Network. These ads can appear in web pages, videos and apps in the Display Network. They are of three types automatic placements, managed placements and retargeted ads. Google offers all three types while Bing offers automatic and managed placement ads. a) Automatic placements - Based on keywords, topics and other factors your banner ads, text or video ads appear on Google s Display Network of thousands of websites such as YouTube, NY Times or Families.com. In automatic placements, wherever content relevant to your business appears, your ad will automatically be placed next to it.
5 4 Fig 2 - The placement ads are in the sidebar on the right hand side. Source: webdesignerdepot.com b) Managed placements - If you want more control on where your ad appears, you can choose the specific sites where you want your ad to appear and bid for the same. This is called managed placements. c) Retargeted ads allow you to target a person who visited your website but failed to convert. You can follow them with your ad on other sites that they visit on Google s Display Network. You can select the category of sites you want to follow them on. You can exclude certain categories of sites if you so wish, such as, retail or travel. Google Adwords and AdRoll offer retargeted ads.
6 5 Fig 3-3 steps to how a retargeted ad works. Source: Adroll.com LinkedIn Ads LinkedIn is like Facebook for businesses and is therefore very effective for B2B advertising. The social network allows you to bid based on a cost per click (CPC) or a cost per 1000 impressions model (CPM). In the case of LinkedIn, the ads appear within the site based on the targeting criteria you set. The placement ads appear on LinkedIn s Audience Network, which is similar to Google s Display Network. Through this LinkedIn members see your ads on other sites they visit. In LinkedIn ads you can target your audience based on company, job function, age, title, industry, seniority, gender, geography and groups (on LinkedIn).
7 6 Plan out the Campaign Identify your business goals. What do you want to achieve through your PPC campaign? It could be: Traffic to website Brand awareness Sales and conversions A large chunk of PPC advertisers use the channel for increasing brand awareness, says the State of Search Marketing Report Fig 4 Source: State of Search Marketing Report 2012 by Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization and Econsultancy.
8 7 Close in on your target audience. Identify your target audience, their geography, what sites they visit and what keywords they use. Use Google Placement Tool for this. Find suitable channels. GoogleAdwords, Adroll, Bing Ads, LinkedIn ads, social media and industry sites are your playground. Use Google Analytics to choose the ones that are most popular with your audience. Identify your keywords. Each of your product names /service offerings should be part of your list of keywords. Use Google Analytics and Google Keyword Tool to identify keywords related to your product/service. This should be an ongoing effort. Constantly update your keyword list as and when you come across new ones. Also, identify your long tail keywords as a lot of web users type in long tail keywords in search engines. Don t just make keywords out of the words you use internally to describe your business. Find out what keywords your customers use. Talk to your sales team. They will be familiar with your customers language. Anybody who searches about your niche area should see your ad. Identify negative keywords. This list will contain the words you do not want to bid on. Negative keywords help avoid irrelevant searches and reduce cost. For instance you might want to avoid people who are researching or looking for jobs. If you operate in the marketing software domain, add the below words (among others) to your negative keyword list to avoid researchers.
9 8 - marketing software PDF - marketing software definition - marketing software history To avoid job seekers add the below words (among others) to your negative keyword list: - marketing software jobs - marketing software careers - marketing software internships Use Google Keyword Tool and Google Analytics to build your list. Constantly update this list based on your observations on your traffic. Observe your competitors. See what kind of campaigns your competitors are running. How to Implement a PPC ad Organize Your Account An account consists of four main components: campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ad text. In an Adwords account you can have: 10,000 campaigns (includes active and paused campaigns) 20,000 ad groups per campaign 10,000 keywords per ad group 300 display ads per ad group (includes image ads) 4 million active or paused ads per account 5 million keywords per account
10 9 Fig 5 - Source: searchenginewatch.com Making sense of and reporting on thousands of ad groups and keywords seems like a gargantuan task. Make things simpler. Organize your account well. A well organized can also help attract the right traffic, increase revenue and your quality score. Create ad groups. An ad group is a set of keywords that have a common theme. Group your keywords that go together to form an ad group. Put 2-5 keywords in an ad group. Make as many ad groups as is practically possible.
11 10 For starters have ad groups for: Each of your products Your selling points Ways to describe your business Rivals brand names Having multiple ad groups helps you keep the ad copy and landing page as relevant to your keywords as possible. Suppose you sell red and white roses. Have a minimum of 3 ad groups Red Roses, White Roses and Roses. In the Red Roses ad group choose keywords that closely relate to Red Roses. Write ad copy rich with keywords; likewise in the others. Let s take another example of a marketing automation firm. You would ideally have at least two campaigns marketing automation and lead generation. Under each of these campaigns you would have different ad groups. For instance, in the marketing automation campaign, marketing automation software and marketing automation tool would be the ad groups under it. Fig 6.
12 11 It is important to map your keywords to the customer s buying cycle. For instance, Use short general keywords in research phase. Use short-tail keywords in narrowing-down search phase. Use long-tail keywords in decision phase. PPC Hero explains it well with the example of cookies. Here cookies is the general keyword. Oatmeal cookies and peanut butter cookies are the short-tail keywords and mrs.fields peanut butter cookies and peanut butter cookie store are the long-tail keywords used when the customer is ready to buy cookies. Fig 7. Source: PPC Hero.
13 12 Develop the ads. Include keywords in the ad copy for better response rates. The keywords appear in bold and help increase relevancy. Update your ad text regularly, say once a month, to see what fetches a better click through rate and conversion rate. Do A/B testing. While testing, change one thing at a time. For example, change the headline alone or change only the call to action so that you know what change helped make a difference. Google Adwords allows you to have a 25 character headline, 35 characters in each of the two descriptive lines and 35 characters for the hyperlink. Use all the allowed characters wisely. Ideally have 3 ad copies for each ad group. In LinkedIn you get more room for description text 75 characters. Fig 8. Create relevant landing pages. The landing page is a way to convert the hot prospect who clicks on your ad. Don t just send your audience to your home page. For each ad group make a relevant landing page with a prominent call to action button. While it would be great to have a landing page for each keyword, resources might be a constraint. Develop your banner. You will need banners only for your placement ads. Design your banner with attractive colors, interesting copy and a clear call to action. Work Towards a Good Quality Score Quality score is a key metric to lower costs. Google computes this score based on the relevance of your ad and landing page to the keyword bid for. Google
14 13 also takes into account how fast your site loads and what keywords are in your landing page among other factors. Quality score is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. A good ad will attract more clicks, giving you a higher quality score. The higher your quality score, the lower your cost per click. Google ranks all ads giving each ad an ad rank. The ad with the top ad rank appears right on top. The ad rank is a combination of your bid and your quality score. Ad rank = Quality Score x Max CPC bid The higher your quality score, the higher is your ad rank. Nine Tips to Improve Your Quality Score: Test your ad copy. This should be an ongoing effort. Use dynamic keyword insertion wisely in your headline to increase your relevance to users. Are you able to write keyword-relevant ad copy? If not, reorganize your account structure to align your keywords more tightly. Keep the number of keywords per ad group low. Keep the keywords in each ad group closely related. If a particular keyword doesn t align with the rest in an ad group, don t hesitate to isolate that keyword in a separate ad group. Have an ad group of misspelled keywords. In the ad copy use the misspelled keywords but use correct spellings in the landing page.
15 14 Run at least 2 different ads for each ad group. This allows you to test at all times. Make your ad copy logically proceed to the landing page copy. One should lead to the other. Have a specific landing page for each ad group. The landing page should contain the keywords in the ad group. What Goes Into a Bidding Strategy? Bidding is a crucial part of PPC. Bid too low and your ad will hardly appear, bid too high and you could lose your shirt. It is a tricky balance between traffic and profitability. For starters, set aside a budget for your PPC. In order to know how much to bid, you need to figure out: How much traffic you need for one conversion? How much can you afford to pay for one conversion without compromising your profitability? How many conversions you need to cover the cost of bidding? If you don t have exact figures, go by estimates. And always test, measure, experiment and improve. Check out Adwords Campaign Experiments to test parts of your account. With this you can have different bids on the same keyword. Observe the impact of the change on a section of your account without rocking the boat. Similarly you can test your ad copy or your landing pages. Google claims this tool can help you take better decisions and increase your ROI.
16 15 Things to Keep in Mind While Bidding: If you have a limited budget, bid high enough to be in ad positions between four and eight so that you appear on the first page of search results. If you are more aggressive, start by bidding high. Accumulate click through and conversion data, analyze the data to trim your bids. Aim to get maximum conversions at the lowest price. Bid differently on different keywords based on their importance and relevance. A good thumb rule would be to bid high on 10% of the high-quality, high-converting keywords and bid low on the remaining 90%. Only the top ten bidders are displayed on Google. Bid high on long-tail keywords since these are used when the customer is in decision phase. Bid high when bidding on a new campaign since you have no quality score to back you up. Don t make bid changes too frequently. You need some historical data before you can make the right decisions. Set maximum bids for your ad groups. While it would be nice to bid high for all keywords, your budget may not permit it. On some keywords where you bid low, make up for it with your quality score. Create keyword-relevant ad copies and landing pages to shore up your quality score. Use Google s free conversion optimizer tool to fix the optimal maximum bids.
17 16 Consider the cost per acquisition model. If you have the option, consider bidding for a cost per acquisition rather than through a cost per click model. Google will allow you this privilege only if you have substantial amount of conversions. In the cost per acquisition model you can trim your costs since you pay only for each sale or download rather than every click. LinkedIn Ads Work on a Simpler Model Every account is organized into campaigns. Each campaign will have: A daily budget Targeting options Ads Fig 9. For every campaign have at least 3 ads. You can have a maximum of 15 ads. Vary the copy, images and call to action to see what works. Campaign Settings for AdWords Location and language - Choose which location and language you want your ad to appear in.
18 17 Choose the network Search, display or retarget. Device Choose which devices you want your PPC ads to appear on such as laptop, smartphone etc. AdExtensions Put out additional tidbits about yourself so prospects are keener to click on your ad such as address, phone number, how much you are liked on Google+ and additional URLs. Ad extensions go a long way in raising the click through rate. 1) Social extensions Connect your Google+ business page to your AdWords account. Then your +1 annotations will appear in your ad. Fig 10 - Maria Foret and 28 other people +1 d this company on Google+. 2) Location and call extensions Give your office location and phone number, so when someone searches for your product/service and he is in a physical address close to yours, your address and phone number will appear below your ad. This urges the viewer to visit/call your office. Fig 11 - The ad gives the address and the phone number of the pub urging the viewer to call/visit the place. 3) Add site links Use site links to get more space for ad copy. You can add as many as 10 site links when you select your campaign s settings. The links appear below your ad copy.
19 18 Fig 12 - In this ad four site links are seen below the ad copy urging you to order online or locate a store. Optimization You need to optimize your campaigns to improve the click through rate, reduce costs and increase conversion. Optimize for higher conversion rather than higher clicks. Use Google Adwords or Google Analytics to analyze your campaigns. Here is a list of things you can do to optimize your PPC campaign: Update your keywords often Remove your non-performing keywords Update your negative keywords Write great ad copy that converts Create relevant landing pages Have a clear and prominent call to action button on your landing page Use geo-targeting Test different ad positions on the SERP Evaluate your quality score If conversion is low, try different things with your ad copy, display URL, landing page etc. But change one element at a time so you know what makes a difference.
20 19 Measure Results You can use Google Analytics or a third party tool to measure your PPC campaign. You need to monitor: Click through rate (CTR) This shows you how many people clicked on your ad. Your ad s CTR is a good indicator of how your ad is performing. Generally, good ads have a CTR greater than 0.025%. Conversion rate - Google Adwords provides a conversion tracking code that can be incorporated into your landing page to monitor the conversion rate. This will tell you how many of your visitors converted. - LinkedIn offers a lead collection feature that allows advertisers to collect leads directly through their LinkedIn ad campaigns. Click on the Leads tab in the Ads Dashboard to view your leads. You can also filter your leads by time period, contact status and campaign name. Bounce rate This will tell you the number of people who look at your landing page and go away without taking any action. Average time spent on site - This tells you the average time spent on your site in minutes. Number of pages visited It tells you the average number of pages visited on your site.
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Written by: Benjamin Smith, Digital Marketing Expert Copyright 2013 WSI. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Paid search advertising (pay-per-click or PPC) are ads
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