Pay-Per-Click: What Marketers Should Know

Before reading this blog: This blog assumes you know the basics of how Pay-Per-Click increases website traffic. If you are not sure what Pay-Per-Click is, please read
“The Difference Between SEO and Pay-Per-Click” first.

Pay Per Click: What Markers Need to Know

Google Adwords reaches the most people. Yahoo Search Marketing is #2. MSN Search Marketing is #3. Start with Google Adwords.

  1. Look before you leap. Formulate your ROI equationto estimate investment and return. It may look something like this:I want ____ new customers per month from Pay-Per-Click.
    x historical sales conversion rate of __%
    = we need ____ leads each month
    x historical rate of __ % of visitors contacting us through website
    = we need ___ visitors / monthNot sure how to do this? Ask us.

    Then you can find out: Which keywords may bring that amount of visitors? -and- How much will it cost to target those keywords?

  2. Quite often the #1 ad spot is not the best bang for the buck. The fourth position has been known to bring more visitors per dollar. This is because it’s usually the first in the sponsored ads on the left hand side of the screen. This all depends on how much competition there is. The take-away here is to test positions #2 – #5. You tell Google which position you’d like to be at most of the time.
  3. It’s possible to pay less per click than a competitor and rank higher. Google Adwords’ “Quality Score” is a rating of how well your keywords, ad, and landing page jive. Higher relevancy = less ad spending + more conversions. Have your ads, and landing pages use your keywords for that ad.
  4. The landing page is critical to converting visitors into buyers/leads, but landing pages are often overlooked and not optimized. For best results, have everything about the landing page be consistent with the ad, give clear benefits, adequate illustrations, and a clear call to action. A professional website design helps instill a little trust with visitors too.
  5. Google Adword’s “Remarketing” can raise brand awareness and leads. It displays your ads to visitors who did not convert on your site after arriving their from Adwords. These ads show on other websites. The idea is if you’re target audience keeps seeing your ads, they may come back. It also makes it looks like your company is “everywhere”. Try it out.
  6. Review estimated keyword data with a grain of salt. Google’s Keyword Tool and other tools can provide great insight into what people are searching for and how often. This data can really help you plan. But remember, this is “estimated” data. The only way to get actual numbers on impressions, cost per click, and other metrics is to run a campaign. Consider your first two months as “testing” months.
  7. Bidding on broad keywords costs a lot and usually brings little ROI. If it looks like there’s plenty of people searching for your keywords, whittle your keyword lists down to be more specific. Use “exact search” and not broad search. Also use “negatives” to ignore phrases or variations of keywords that do not bring sales/leads. This has led to lower cost per clicks, and more clicks without increasing budgets for our clients.
  8. Opt out of “content networks” that don’t bring in results. All the major Pay-Per-Click programs display your ads on “content networks”. Find out which ones are costing you without bringing in results and opt out of them. You can usually find these, by reviewing your web analytics and looking for referral sites with high bounce rates. You’ll be able to use that portion of the budget towards the venues that work.
  9. Review your cost per click and calculate cost per sale/lead so you can improve web marketing ROI. We started working with one client – managing their search marketing and helped them see they were spending $400 to sell a $500 product. They didn’t realize the majority of their sales came from natural Google ranking. With this now evident, you can believe we rearranged the strategy.
  10. Cast your net wide and then narrow it down based on your data.
  11. Proactive testing and measuring optimizes the spending and return. The “Set and forget” approach wastes money, and misses opportunities. Constantly test and measure new variations of ads, landing pages, and text to find what sticks – but make sure you clearly detect the results of your changes. Too much change can make it difficult to tell what change really made the difference.
  12. Hire a specialist to partner with you to achieve your objectives. You’ll gain from their experience, expertise, and constantly be in-the-know on how to get the most from your Pay-Per-Click budget. The investment usually pays for itself quickly.

What would you add to this list? Post your comment below.

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