All Things Digital


Pay-Per-Click Marketing: A ‘Nuts & Bolts’ Guide

Paid advertising is one of the most effective ways to grow your business in the online market. This guide to pay-per-click (PPC) marketing will discuss the “nuts and bolts” of this advertising strategy in detail.

Types of Paid Advertising

There are several types of online paid advertising techniques. 3 common types are:

  • Search engine advertising. This is usually what the marketing terms “PPC” or “CPC” are referring to. With search engine advertising, you pay for a highly visible spot in Google’s SERP rankings.
  • Display advertising. This could involve banner ads, flash ads, videos, or even native advertising. These ads are placed in high-traffic spots within 3rd-party websites for a corresponding fee.
  • Social media advertising. The last common type of paid advertising involves purchasing ad space and time within social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Types of Paid Platforms

Paid platforms include all of the big social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on), as well as Google AdWords and 3rd-party websites relevant to your target audience

What are Some Common Paid Advertising Strategies?

The most effective paid advertising strategy for your business really depends on your specific needs, circumstances, and goals. That being said, there are two common strategies that marketers use to maximize the impact of their paid advertising initiatives:

Prospecting Ad Strategy

Prospecting ads are basically advertisements directed towards consumers that are new to your business. As part of your prospecting ad strategy, you may use one or more customer personas to help you focus your efforts on marketing channels that will have the most reach and impact on your target demographic. For instance, if your “ideal customer” is highly active on social media, then an investment in Facebook Ads may be a wise move.

Remarketing Ad Strategy

Remarketing is all about getting a second chance at winning over interested consumers. Remarketed ads target visitors to your site that have already left, but may still be thinking about your product or service. In fact this group encompasses, on average, 98% of your site’s visitors at any given time. If ad parameters are properly set (such as a frequency limit of 4 to 5 times per day per consumer), then remarketing can be highly effective.

It’s important to note that prospecting and remarketing are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they usually work best when combined together in a unified approach.

The Importance of Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most vital components of any paid advertising strategy, especially with regards to search engine and social media advertising. If you chase after the wrong keywords, then your traffic may be full of consumers that have no interest in purchasing from you. Or even worse, your ideal consumers may never find you in the first place!

On the other hand, comprehensive keyword research can help provide a laser focus to your paid advertising initiatives, and significantly boost your ROI.

Keyword Match Types

For Google AdWords, there are 4 basic types of keyword matches:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

These types are classified on a scale of broadness versus specificity. For example, a broad match type will pull in search terms that contain synonyms for the target keywords (“tractors” for “semi trucks,” etc.), where an exact match will only capture search traffic that corresponds with the targeted phrase, word for word.

The goal for any marketer using keyword match types is to find the ideal balance between capturing a large volume of traffic, and attracting consumers with a high level of intent. This requires continual adjustment, and regular analysis of keyword performance.

Bidding Models and Strategies

When setting up a PPC campaign, your bidding model will be determined by your marketing objectives. For instance, if your main objective is to drive traffic to your website, then you may opt into a CPC (cost per click) bidding model. On the other hand, if you are mainly interested in driving brand awareness, then you will likely want to bid by vCPM (cost per thousand viewable impressions).

Viewing Your Competition

One neat feature that Google AdWords offers is the ability to peak into the performance of your top competitors. The Auction Insights feature allows you to compare your keywords’ performance against that of other bidders for the same advertising space, with metrics such as impression share, overlap rate, and top of page rate.

Ad Types and Formats Explained

PPC ads can come in many different types and formats. Sometimes the same ad type is referred to in several different ways, such as:

  • Google search ad
  • AdWords ad
  • PPC ad

Of course, ad functionalities and features vary from platform to platform. Whether you’re investing in Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, or another company, each paid platform should have detailed instructions on how to use their advertising service.

Types of Ad Targeting

There are several ways to target your ads, including:

  • Geographical, focusing on a particular region
  • Time-based, which is determined by specific days and times in which an advertisement will run
  • Device-based, if you want to target specific devices such as Android smartphones, for example
  • Demographic, for specific segments of the market according to factors like age, gender, education, income level, etc.

Of course, you will likely be able to use a combination of two or more of these targeting parameters.

Account Structure

Your Google AdWords account structure is important in the same way that a clean house or office is important: if you don’t keep things organized, you’re bound to lose something in the shuffle. In this case, a disorganized account can lead to lost opportunities.

Account Management and Optimization Tips

In order to best manage your AdWords account, first of all familiarize yourself with the basic elements that make up an account:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Keywords
  • Negative keywords
  • Ad text
  • Landing pages

Make sure not to add more ad groups to a campaign than you can reasonably handle. Always double check that your ads will lead consumers to the corresponding landing page for optimized results. Furthermore, invest in comprehensive keyword research so that you can add negative keywords as needed to weed out irrelevant searches from the query pool.

How Much Should You Spend on PPC?

Really, the answer to this question comes down to your business objectives and the constraints of your marketing budget. However, here is something to keep in mind: on average, companies earn $2 for every $1 they spend on a PPC campaign! That is some food for thought, isn’t it?

What is Quality Score, and Why Should You Care?

Quality score is a measure of relevance that Google and other search engines use to determine ad rankings, and cost per click. Basically, if your PPC keywords are highly relevant to the targeted users, if your ad has a high expected clickthrough rate, and if your visitors don’t immediately bounce from your landing page in disgust, then Google will reward your ads with more visibility, and charge you less per click. Not too shabby, huh?

Again, the best way to boost your quality score is to do some intensive keyword research. Make sure that you’re targeting the right users, and providing a superior experience; then, you can look forward to an “attaboy” from Google.

Partnering with the Paid Advertising Experts

If you need assistance in crafting and implementing a PPC strategy, and are looking to enlist the services of a digital marketing agency, then be sure to select one that not only has the expertise, but also cares about the ultimate success of each and every client.

For example, our team of experts at Highpurple is invested in the growth of each one of our customers. We take a holistic, long-range approach to digital advertising, and thus promote current results and future growth at the same time. If you’d like to reach out to us for a free audit today, one of our team members would be happy to assist.