By now pretty much all business owners have realized that digital marketing is a requirement of being viable in the 21st century. But what type of digital marketing makes sense, and doesn’t, for you? Pretty much all companies have a website, many have a social media presence, and may have dabbled in web banners, paid placements, and paid search. Maybe you tried Pay-Per-Click Advertising and didn’t have success or are trying to get started. This article will give you the questions to ask to find out whether you should invest in PPC and why previous efforts may have failed.
What is PPC?
Pay-Per-Click advertising is, as you might expect, advertising that charges you when someone clicks on your ad. Most commonly PPC refers to the sponsored ads that appear at the tops of the search results, but it can also be a banner ad or video that appears after you visited the advertiser’s site, or otherwise showed an interest in their product.
PPC is different than traditional print or traditional web banner advertising in that it can be tightly targeted at interested users. With the search marketing ads that appear in Google search results, you can choose to display your ad based on the text of the search, date, time of day, and even the user’s demographic profile. Further, you can adjust your bid based on these factors and more to get clicks that are most likely to convert to leads and sales.
Evaluating if PPC Advertising is a Good Fit for Your Business
Do you have a good or service aimed at consumers? If your answer is yes, then you should know that 87% of shoppers begin their product search online (Source – Salesforce). If you aren’t appearing at the top of the search results, you can be assured that your competitors will.
What if my business sells to other businesses? Marketing to B2B is somewhat different, but search marketing remains very important. The difference is understanding how to narrow your focus. With consumer-oriented search marketing, you may cast a wide net and refine from there, but with B2B you need a clear understanding of who you need to target. If the decision-maker you are marketing to has latitude to choose a vendor based on their own research then PPC can also be your best tool for reaching them.
Branding is also a consideration for B2B. Even if your type of product can’t be sold online getting your brand message to those in the market can help close the deal.
Have You Tried Pay-Per-Click Advertising Before and Been Dissatisfied?
By its nature PPC advertising is highly competitive, and not just regarding ad spend. If your campaigns aren’t fully optimized and based on a data-driven approach you may be at a disadvantage. Success in PPC begins with a realistic analysis of goals and historic activity.
Was the campaign driving traffic but not sales? If this is the case evaluating what kind of users were clicking and why is an important first step. Refining your audience, giving them a clear call to action and a throughline from the first impression to the sale is vital.
Were you getting sales, but weren’t sure if it was cost-effective? Conduct a realistic assessment of what a sale is worth and base your goals on this. Be transparent with your marketing team about how clients from search marketing are behaving. It may be possible to revise a campaign to be profitable with tweaks to target audience, message, and conversion optimization.
Getting Started with Paid Search
Whether you are starting out, returning to search marketing, or wish to improve your existing campaigns there are some important steps to take to maximize your potential for success.
Understand your goals – realistically evaluate what is needed to be profitable and what a new client is worth to you. Understand that this is a competitive environment and that having an experienced team building your campaign and integrating closely with web development is essential.
Dig through your data. Knowing how people are finding your site and interacting with it is essential for success. In most cases, you will need landing pages that are designed to turn your hard-fought visits into conversions. Coordinate your content creators and digital marketing team to maximize conversions. If there are pages where people are leaving the marketing funnel, find out why and correct.
Maintain communication with the digital marketing team. Your insights into your clients and their behavior can be a great resource in optimizing your advertising campaign. Let them know if you have offers that can be incorporated into your marketing.
Evaluate and refine your marketing based on new data. The competition never really stops, whether it’s finding the right price point, message, or finding a new audience.
Finding the Right Team
Now you know the board strokes, but how do you choose a team to make this happen? There are some important factors to consider. Do they have certifications? Ask what different certifications they have achieved to verify their knowledge. For example, Google offers certification for each of its PPC Advertising services (Search, Video, Display, etc.) as does Microsoft advertising, and there is another certification for Facebook/Instagram.
If Google is your platform of choice, and it should be if your goal is to reach the largest audience, you may want to ask if your digital marketing provider is a Google Partner. This indicates a level of certification, experience, and history of ad spend that Google is willing to endorse.
Probably the most important factor in choosing a pay-per-click advertising agency is how available they are. Do they answer the phone? Are they able to answer your questions and incorporate your input? Do you get a call center or can you get in contact with the team actually managing your account? They should be comfortable answering questions and willing to help you quantify the results.