Pay Per Click (PPC); also called paid search, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Cost Per Click (CPC), is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.
With Google holding just under 90% of UK search engine market share in 2014, its advertising platform Google AdWords is a good place to start.
“70% of Mobile Searchers Call a Business Directly From Search Results… ” – Search Engine Watch
The paid search (or sometimes called sponsored) listings on Google can be identified by a small orange tag stating ‘Ads’.
These ads appear across the top and right side of your search engine results page (SERP).
In its simplest form, PPC is a keyword auction with each advertiser bidding a CPC for the amount they are prepared to pay for a searcher to click on their ad.
Google then takes this CPC and applies a quality score multiplier based on the relevance of the advertiser’s ad and web site.
This process is designed to create a fairer auction in which relevancy over budget wins.
How do I know if I need PPC?
Given the size and structure of the your area and Channel Island markets, you need to assess whether investing in search engine marketing is a cost effective use of your marketing budget.
Here are some scenarios in which PPC may be considered a beneficial marketing activity:
Growing your Business
If you have a product or service that is utilised by customers outside of your area and/or Jersey, you are likely to be in a competitive and crowded marketplace. This can be applicable to those businesses with products that have no Channel Island affiliation e.g. e-commerce, online gambling, through to those with specific market knowledge e.g. local estate agents and channel island recruitment agencies.
With PPC accounting for over 77% of unbranded search term traffic (Hewlett Packard Study), your brand needs to have a presence to create awareness and generate targeted traffic.
PPC provides quick results and instant exposure for these unbranded, generic search terms that may take time to achieve through SEO.
PPC and specifically the Google AdWords platform enables targeting not only by search term, but also across locations, times, device types and audiences.
Total budgetary control complimented by this targeting means PPC is a cost effective platform to test territories for potential business growth.
Introducing new products & services
Your business may be well known for a certain product or service within your area, Jersey and the Channel Islands. A lot of island business operates through word of mouth, but this can cause a problem if you aren’t yet known for the product or service you are introducing.
With 93% of online experiences beginning with a search engine (Forrester), PPC enables you to obtain a presence alongside relevant generic product searches e.g. ‘your area interior designer’ and aid your association with that service.
Creating Brand Awareness
There are many studies to highlight the impact of PPC and SEO on brand awareness and recall. New Google/Ipsos MediaCT research shows that search advertising doesn’t just drive conversions, it also lifts top-of-mind awareness by an average of 6.6% points. This uplift increased to 9% in both the automotive and B2B verticals.
Alongside search ads, PPC goes beyond simple keyword searches offering branding activity through the Google Display Network. This network is the #1 global display ad network, reaching over 90% of internet users worldwide, with more than a trillion impressions served to over 1 billion users every month. It provides an excellent entry point to display advertising and additional targeting through Google audiences and remarketing can see this activity become a cost effective of sales as well as awareness.
The Benefits of PPC
PPC provides marketing insights that should be integrated throughout your marketing. It benefits your business on a number of levels that include:
The speed at which PPC delivers results means that it is the perfect test bed to review search term performance. These insights should form part of an integrated search strategy ensuring the best approach to your ongoing SEO.
Quick driver of Cost effective, targeted traffic
Well managed PPC activity provides a quick route to increase the volume of targeted traffic to your web site.
You have total control of your budget and when optimised accurately, activity can be adjusted to result in PPC being a key driver of cost effective sales.
PPC generates traffic from a wide range of search terms resulting in your brand gaining exposure to a large, relevant audience actively looking for your product or service.
This exposure increases brand awareness, new customers and market share whilst also providing you with valuable product performance data.
The immediacy of traffic is a key reason to include PPC in digital marketing launch strategies. However, it is the term ‘targeted traffic’ that is most important and places PPC as an essential ongoing source of customers. Setting up a PPC account is easy; setting up an effective
PPC account takes research, knowledge, ongoing optimisation and experience. Optimisation is the term given to the process of continuous refinement of activity to improve results.
It is this process that results in PPC being one of the most cost effective drivers of customer acquisition and sales.
“an effective PPC account requires research, knowledge, ongoing optimisation and experience…”
The above is only true if you apply the common benefit applicable across digital marketing – tracking! Tracking is the term applied to the process of monitoring performance.
Implemented correctly, tracking such as the free tool Google Analytics and paid solutions such as Kenshoo, Marin and IgnitionOne, enable more effective paid search management and understanding of performance and your ROI.
For Google Analytics and other tracking support, please contact Coloma Communications.
Our Approach to PPC
The complexity of PPC management has increased over the years, and although this requires greater time and understanding to manage, it brings with it an opportunity for advanced targeting and higher returns.
Where an optimised website provides the foundations of future SEO success, an accurately built PPC account provides a platform for ongoing optimisation and growth. If an account is already in place, then an audit is recommended to ensure that is follows PPC best practice.
We marry analytical and creative PPC capabilities with market insights to deliver effective PPC account builds and ongoing optimisation:
The importance of your account structure cannot be stressed enough. The right structure enables effective budget control across campaigns, keyword relevant ad copy and the ability to test and optimise activity to improve performance and maximise return.
Coloma Communications completes an in-depth handover at the start of activity to fully grasp your brand and business objectives. On an ongoing basis, both Coloma Communications and your team would work in close partnership with regular communication to ensure the strategy stays on track and moving targets are met.
Our comprehensive approach takes advantage of the range of campaign settings available:
Type & Network
The process of keyword research is time consuming and must be completed to a granular level. Coloma Communications’s extensive experience in building and developing PPC accounts enables us to produce comprehensive keyword lists that remain drivers of targeted traffic and sales.
Once a keyword list has been developed, our team shall apply and test match types as explained below:
Broad match allows your ad to show for searches on similar phrases and relevant variations, including synonyms, singular and plural forms, possible misspellings, stemmings (such as corset and corsetry), related searches, and other relevant variations.
Searches that can match: ‘ppc agency’, ‘your area seo agency’, ‘recruitment agency’.
Broad Match Modifier
Broad match modifier allows your ad to show for searches that include your broad match keyword or close variations of your broad match keyword.
Example: +your area +seo
Searches that can match: ‘your area SEO’, ‘find a your area SEO agency’, ‘SEO in your area’.
Phrase match allows your ad to show only for searches that include the exact phrase, or close variations of that exact phrase, with additional words before or after.
Example: digital marketing agency
Searches that can match: ‘digital marketing agency’, ‘how much is a digital marketing agency’, ‘how do I review a digital marketing agency’.
Exact match allows your ad to show only for searches that use that exact phrase, or close variations of that exact phrase, and no other words.
Example: [your area PPC Agency]
Search that can match: ‘your area PPC Agency’
Negative match ensures that your ad doesn’t show for any search that includes that term.
Example: -creative -paris
Searches that won’t match: ‘creative agency’, ‘paris seo agency’
Ad Copy Strategy
It is best practice to have three ads per ad group plus mobile ads (where applicable). Your ads need to conform to 25 characters on the headline followed by 35 in the descriptions line 1 and line 2. Coloma Communications shall develop and audit your ad copy in line with best practice and our experience of managing many leading PPC accounts.
Ad Copy plays an important part in the performance of your PPC activity and targeting properly to the keywords contained within the corresponding ad group impacts your quality score which in turn can reduce your Cost Per Click (CPC). Your quality score is also impacted by your ad copy Clickthrough Rate (CTR) and different ad copy must be tested to find not only the best CTR, but also the highest converting ad copy to optimise against business not PPC metrics.
Finally, we shall apply ad scheduling to enable visibility at the best conversion times. This can be applied on an hour of day and day of week basis.
There are a number of different options available to aid your bidding strategy. Coloma Communications believe in using technology to enhance our management and don’t agree with relying on automated rules that are unable to apply expert knowledge to performance.
Ongoing PPC Management
Our performance-driven approach sees insights and analytics sitting at the heart of our strategies. This approach enables us to provide you with a clear picture of what is and isn’t performing. We then apply ongoing testing and optimisation strategies to achieve incremental improvements in performance that result in significant collective gains.
Advanced PPC Strategies
Following a comprehensive account build and extensive testing and optimisation, further account growth can be achieved through more advanced strategies that can include the extensive range of Ad Extensions available: App, Call, Location, Review, Callout, Sitelinks, Consumer Ratings, Previous Visits, Social Extensions, Dynamic Structured Snippets and Seller Ratings.
In addition strategies can be built out to include remarketing, Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), Product Listings Search Ads (PLSA), Call Tracking, feed management and a host of betas that Coloma Communications is able to access as a leading digital marketing agency.