PPC Key Pointers

So, you’ve yet to embrace Google AdWords but have heard it’s important to your digital marketing strategy. Fear not, understanding AdWords isn’t as tough as you might think and you can get to grips with the basics of PPC with a few key pointers to get you going.

Understanding AdWords is not just for marketing agencies. Businesses can just as effectively run their own PPC ads with an AdWords account and control their own ROI. Granted, it’s not an easy practice to master at first, but once you get the formula right, you can see instant, and often very exciting results.

Advantages of PPC ads using Google AdWords

There are three distinct plus points for using AdWords to run PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns:

  1. You can tap into your target market of users who are searching the internet in real-time and choose where your ads appear
  2. You can set your budget at what you can afford and never spend more. You can also adjust your CPC (cost-per-click) bidding
  3. Your ads get qualitive data that is accurate and insightful, enabling you to adjust your ads accordingly

All three points offer flexibility and control, which means you can manage your PPC ads effectively, to maximise your ROI.

How Does AdWords Work?

Using Google AdWords enables you to add paid search ads to Google’s search network. Ads appear at the top and bottom of Google’s search engine results pages, although position depends on your bidding strategy.

Relevance

The most important thing about your ads is relevance. PPC means you pay-per-click, so you need to ensure your keywords, ad copy and landing page are all relevant to one another. You want to maximise CTR and minimise wasted clicks that will cost you money.

Keywords

This is the crux of AdWords – selecting the most relevant keywords that your target audience will be searching on. Different keywords carry different levels of popularity based on monthly search volume and so some are more competitive than others. The keywords you use trigger the ads to appear when a user searches on them.

Bidding

The position of your ad is determined by a number of factors, the most important being what you and your competitors bid for each keyword, to achieve the highest position. AdWords gives you an idea of estimated first page big, estimated top page bid and estimated first position bid. The more competitive the keyword, the higher the bidding will be.

CPC

The cost per click is the maximum bid you are willing to pay for each keyword. This will depend on how many ad groups you are running within a campaign, how many keywords you are targeting within each ad group and what your daily budget is. For example, if you have a daily budget of £20 and you are targeting 10 keywords, each at £2.50 per click, you will spend your budget in just 8 clicks across your keyword set. Once spent, your ad will not show until the following day.

Quality Score

Your quality score is mainly based on the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page and your CTR. A quality score will be given to each keyword and will be marked out of 10. If you get a low-quality score for a particular keyword, it increases the CPC for that keyword. This is hard to come back from, without increasing your budget, so it’s important to tighten up relevance right from the off.

Keyword Match Types

You can set parameters on the keywords you target to capture search terms written in an exact manner or with a similar relevance. Doing the latter brings more traffic, however it can bring irrelevant searches which can cost you an unnecessary click.

There are 4 keyword match types:

  1. Broad Match, e.g.men’s shoes

written openly with no punctuation. This targets anything associated to your keyword, even if the keyword is not in the phrase.

  1. Broad Match Modifiers, g. +men’s +shoes

This is written with plus signs at the beginning of each word in the search term. It is similar to a broad search but offers more control as the words have to appear in the search

  1. Phrase Match, g. “men’s shoes”

This match type is telling Google that you want men’s shoes to appear in that way, but words could be added either side, such as offers on men’s shoes, or men’s shoes special offers.

  1. Exact Match, g. [men’s shoes]

This indicates that you only want a search for men’s shoes with no other words, written exactly in that formation.

Everyone uses a slightly different strategy in the employment of different keyword match types, but it’s good practice to use a combination of all of them if you can.

Search Terms

You can monitor what search terms people are using to land on your add, based on the keywords you have chosen and how loose they may be in terms of associated words (if using say broad match or BMM). These two match types are designed to be open, and you have the flexibility to look at what searches these have attracted. You can then filter out any irrelevant searches into your negative keyword list (list of words you don’t want you ad to be associated with) and then phrase match any that are highly relevant to your ad, to attract more of the same.

So, there you go, some pointers to get you going. Don’t forget, AdWords takes practice and it’s unlikely that you will nail a perfect campaign to start with, but with the level of flexibility and control and the transparency of data, you have the tools to be able to adjust and adjust until you get it right.

Watch and reap the ROI!