This is a guest post by Tim Wilson, a content manager for HostPapa.
Beginning your new business during our current digital generation poses exciting challenges, potentials for heavy amounts of traffic, and incomes that amass the billions. Since visibility for websites has become highly vital and competitive, search engine king Google created an innovative, thorough and level playing field for beginning web users, and professional marketers, in the form of AdWords.
Modeled after America’s Yellow Pages and photocopied from Idealab, this innovative method of placing advertisements to harvest visitors has bagged Google billions of dollars yearly, and will continue this for as long as they remain king. For our newly born internet businessman or lady, we’ve prepared this crash course in pay per click marketing, invoked back in 2000 by Google and somewhat dabbled with by Amazon in the past, too.
So, What Is This ‘PPC Marketing’?
Remember growing up to hear that money can’t buy love? Unfortunately, that’s become a paradox in today’s internet business world as this is the exact definition of pay per click marketing – purchasing search engine popularity by bidding an ‘x’ amount of money on twenty-five word advertisements and leveraging that recognition to boost sales, increase awareness of fads, and simply prove your business model is more viable than your competition. You are purchasing a block of virtual space located on some page that is displayed when internet users type in keywords you chose to describe your business, blog, movement or personal desires. Without proffering technical verbiage, this would be the simplified version of this complex marketing tool.
What Are Common Words Around The ‘PPC Block’?
To talk like an avid pay per click marketer, you need to understand Google lingo. Here are perhaps your more popular definitions that search engine marketing professionals – the grunts working night and day to make these advertisements powerful – will often use when talking amongst each other.
- Cost per click – How much the visitors’ clicks are actually costing, despite your bid.
- Impression – The act of showing an advertisement 1 time upon page load.
- CPM – Cost of 1,000 impressions, estimated by CPC.
- Keyword tool – a tool that allows consumers to ‘peek’ at popularity of search terms to see potential competition and response when bidding on one, two, and three (or more) keywords.
- Long tail keyword – a longer variation of keywords which are commonly searched. (i.e. “what is work” instead of just “work”.)
- Click thru rate – Number of times a user clicked on ad divided by actual number of times advertisement was shown. (i.e. if ad was shown 10,000 times and was clicked 55 times, the click thru rate would be .55% or .6% rounded.
- Landing page – the initial place where an advertisement click will take the end user.
- Geotargeting – the act of geographically (i.e. location) targeting where your search keywords are to cover. Note that more specific campaigns that use geotargeting experience better results, along with other notable parameters.
- Maximum CPC – this is the most you told Google in AdWords you can afford to pay for 1 click. Note that some keywords will have mandatory amounts to reach 1st page in searches.
There are probably hundreds of more technical terms used by the big guns who take on search marketing daily. For the layman, however, these terms will get your going down the right path.
What Can PPC Marketing Do for my Business?
Since search engines have only one mission – bringing the most relevant results for words typed into a given search box – you can target specific customers that will want your product or service. The goal, however, is to make sure that finding your business in search engines doesn’t take an eon; that being said, positioning your business within the first 20 search results is optimal since the best matched businesses for stated keywords will be amongst those top twenty. The end goal, however, is to spend the least amount of money in propagating higher search results, and we accomplish this through many methods which include:
- Enhancing our websites so advertisements we buy accurately reflect the page for which we want customers to click;
- Writing captivating 25 word ads that accurately depict our product, service or business model in such a manner it entices people to visit;
- Position keywords which are exacting to our websites yet also have negative keywords, or words which draw negative traffic or responses around our own business model;
- Perform research on competition websites to better understand what they’re spending based on historical trends in searches, competition and overall customer interactivity;
- Running small test ads with low budgets to see how well you’ve begun your campaign.
These reasons quantify our internet advertising success against offline marketing efforts and allow us to adjust keywords, business plans and further generalize out marketing plans so funding can be properly allocated yet not over-spent. Although aggressive search engine marketing professionals scoff at helping new businesses get acquainted with using Google AdWords, many more positive companies are in existence to assist newbie PPC marketers in ad creation, correct keyword choices and exclusions, and setting comfortable budgets that still render amazing results.
So, How Can I Begin?
Since pay per click marketing models have changed exponentially since AdWords begin, older how-to’s and information sources that aren’t updated may perhaps lead your research efforts astray. Aside from scouring Google’s vast help topics and talking with professionals in the industry, self-teaching is nearly the best way to begin your pay per click marketing efforts. So as to not waste your efforts, these are the suggested footsteps to take when you’ve allocated an ‘x’ amount for your online advertising budget.
- Find an excellent keyword research tool, such as GoogleTrends, to see popularity of your business’ keyword choices and which regions have popularized your specific business through writing of press releases or other popularity demographics. Perform several searches using one, two, three and four words to describe your business, and read the advertisements closely that come up. Do they truly resonate the business? Did the descriptions under the links catch your eye? Jot down a few of them and memorize the ones that spoke to you as a consumer.
- With ideas in mind, head over to GoogleKeywordTool to research how popular keywords that describe your business are, and how high the competition to purchase advertisements using that keyword has been over the past year divided into average monthly search volume. The goal is to have high search volumes yet low competition (usually phrases would match this category) because those are terms which can get you ranked with little effort or spending.
- Click on the headings to outline the keywords which fit the description above in descending order, and download the .csv file and open up using Excel. You can import these later into your campaign.
- Make absolutely sure your website isn’t in maintenance mode, contains plagiarized content and all meta data is correct to form. For assistance with meta tags and proper writing, perform a search on that phrase. Starting an advertising campaign on Google will become costly should your content and heading code become amiss.
- Scour the web for coupon codes, or head toward your hosting provider and either ask them for Google AdWords coupons. You may also search Google for the same; the goal is to get started and test the waters on Google’s dime before diving in and investing.
Taking these initial steps into account, and taken seriously, will tremendously increase your chances of successful advertising campaigns. Researching your competition and trending keywords cannot be stressed enough when you begin pay per click advertising without outside marketing assistance.