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  • Quick Guide To PPC Management: Get The Most Out Of AdWords

Quick Guide To PPC Management: Get The Most Out Of AdWords

Category: B2B News

How much money do you think Google makes from advertising? Whatever sum or percentage you’re thinking about right now, double it, triple it, quadruple it. You’ll get to the real figure, and you’ll also understand why this article is so valuable.

The more you learn about PPC, the more you’ll recognize it’s a complex and widespread segment of the market, and that there is a lot more to it than people typically think. Whether you’re starting a new business or simply want to learn more about PPC, here are all the details you need to really make it work.

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The Basics of PPC Management

First of all, before we even get into the basics, let me answer the question above for you. So, how much money did Google make last year from advertising? Almost all of it. And how much is that? Simply put, Google’s revenue for 2018 stands at around USD 136.5 billion. That’s a lot of money from commercials. Now that I’ve got your attention, we can proceed.

The first thing you need to know is this one – PPC is not limited to Google. We did, indeed, use it in the exposition, but that was only because it’s the largest search engine out there at the moment. However, the largest doesn’t mean it’s the only one which provides PPC services. As a matter of fact, all the available search engines do.

For example, besides Adwords, which belongs to Google, there is also Bing, part of Microsoft, Yandex Direct, coming all the way from Russia, Baidu Paid Search in China or adCenter. These are only a few.

The second thing you need to know – PPC doesn’t only serve ads on the result pages. The best example we can use here, so that you can easily see what we mean, is Google again. It’s a common misconception that PPC places ads solely on the search engine’s result pages. That’s not true at all, and you might have seen it yourself, even if you didn’t know what you were looking at.

If you ever went on YouTube, Google Maps, Google News or Blogger, you might have noticed ads playing right before the videos or placed at the bottom of the pages. That’s because Adwords lets advertisers place their ads directly on the websites they choose.

Apart from that, it’s not always just text ads. It can also be banners and videos, and they’re still considered paid search. There’s also an option Google offers, called Managed Placements. This means that if you, as a website, join this network, you can put your ad directly on the site you choose.

What Are the Benefits of PPC?

Another question you might have asked yourself, upon finding out everyone is making use of PPC, is why? What exactly are its benefits? It’s an excellent question that surely needs answering.

1. PPC Boosts Traffic & Brand Awareness

First of all, PPC will enable you to direct as much traffic as possible towards your website very fast. Right after you start your own campaign, or campaigns for that matter, ads will start coming up in as soon as one or two days. This sudden appearance creates brand visibility.

In turn, this prominence will increase traffic on your page and, if you happen to have a business run in the online, it will generate revenue, as long as it’s done correctly. The standard rate here is about 40% or even 50% of your income solely coming from ads. Not too shabby.

2. PPC Campaigns Permit Laser-focus Targeting

Second of all, apart from money, there is another benefit. PPC will allow you to have complete control over everything advertising-related on your website. You will be able to track all the money, down to the last cent, that you can spend or receive.

Furthermore, you will be able to customize your campaigns according user preferences. Want to attract a customer with limited internet access? Simply display your advertisement as a text ad. Targeting tech-savvy individuals with lightning fast connections? Focus on video ads! You can create as many PPC campaigns as you wish, and experiment with them based on user behavioral patterns.

What does this customization mean? That you can, then, calculate your ROI (return on investment) very easily, as far advertising goes. Also, based on it, you can optimize your campaigns after that, so you have even more traffic, visibility and, ultimately, money.

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3. PPC Can Persuade SaaS Customers to Buy

The third benefit of PPC speaks directly to the SaaS industry. One challenge software developers and vendors typically have, is getting their clients to commit. In fact, Nerds Do It Better CEO once said that the reason the vendors are failing at attracting new customers is that they ‘tried to kiss their customer on the first date.’ Evidently, he is right and here is where PPC comes in.

Most developers place ads for their pieces of software online. Prospective clients click on them and are led to the vendor’s website. The next step is an offer for a 30-day free trial. This is the kiss that happened too early and of which the CEO spoke.

Instead, many software selling companies have discovered that, if their PPC campaign leads the new coming customer to a demo reel rather a trial period, chances are they will want to commit and pay for your SaaS subscription. This also applies to B2B software.  

4. PPC Improves the Online Credibility of B2B Companies

Finally, the fourth benefit of PPC is related to B2B marketing. There is a simple question here that has an even simpler answer. Should one use PPC for B2B software marketing? Yes. There are plenty of reasons to do it, too. Here are three of them.

  • You can control the SERPs a lot better that before.
  • You have a lot more control over the brand message if, for example, the company in need of advertising has had some bad publicity. By adding commercials at the top of the page, you will be able to combat the negative effects of that publicity. By means of consequence, you will be able to control the brand message a lot better.
  • You can maintain the account quality because advertising via AdWords grants credibility to the company you’re advertising.

How to Get Started with PPC

The good news in this regard is that it’s as simple as cake. As long as you have a working knowledge of a computer and using it online, and you follow the instructions laid out for you below, there’s really no way you can go wrong. Here are the instructions.

Step 1. Create your AdWords account.

You can do some research online, but you can find the ultimate tool that teaches you how to build your account on its very own page. Go to adwords.google.com and follow the steps outlined for you there.

You will come across four sections which you need to fill out correctly and with verifiable data. The four sections are About your business, Your first campaign, Billing, and Review.

In case you come across any difficulties, Google has free support to help you along. All the phone numbers are toll free, so you can call anytime and speak to them as much as you want.

Step 2. Choose the appropriate keywords.

Be careful how you do that because these will be the words that will trigger your campaign and, consequently, your ads. One tip here – keep it simple and general. Think about what people might be searching for on Google when it comes to the area your business is trying to cover.

Let’s pause for an example. Let’s say you are attempting to sell headphones. The first keyword that comes to mind and that you could use is ‘buy headphones.’ However, this is merely one of the thousands, if not millions of keywords you could possibly use.

If you don’t feel comfortable in doing the keyword research and selection on your own, there is a tool you can use, coming from the almighty Google as well. It’s called the Google Keyword Tool and it will aid you immensely in your search. You can create an account to use it or you can use the AdWords account you’ve already created, as outlined in Step 1. Also, the tool is free of charge, as is their phone support.

Simply put, the Google Keyword Tool will show you just how popular and sought after is a particular keyword you are thinking of adding to your campaign. Building on the example above, you introduce ‘buy headphones’ in the tool’s search engine and it tells you if people actually search for that or not and just how much.
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Step 3. Define your target audience.

Just like in any other business, the smartest thing you can do at the beginning is to try and find out to whom exactly you are selling your products or services. Are you addressing children, teens, stay-at-home moms, business women, adolescent girls, people who own pets, farmers? Track down the people who would be most interested in what you have to offer and address your campaigns to them.

Who Wins the Top Position When the Ads Are Ranked?

The primary criterion Google uses to determine who should win the first place as far as ranking goes in the ‘ad war’ is quality. There’s actually a formula they use, and it goes like this:

The Ad Rank = max. CPC x Quality Score

Where,

  • CPC = ‘cost per click’, meaning the max sum you wish to pay for one single click on one of your ads.
  • Quality score = is a factor a tad shrouded in mystery because we don’t really know what are the exact factors that influence it. However, we do know some of them, such as:
  • How relevant your landing page is in connection to the keyword
  • How relevant your ad is regarding the keyword
  • How well does your landing page work (one that loads slowly, for example, will always score lower in quality)
  • The CTR, or click-through-rate
  • How well your campaigns have performed in the past.

One thing you must remember here – the higher your quality score, the lower your CPC will be.

Writing the Ad Copy

After getting through all this technical stuff, you’ve come to the fun part – writing the actual ad copy. Obviously, you can outsource this task to someone, if you feel the need. However, if you want to do it yourself, here are a few pointers.

  1. The headline must never be longer or bigger, for that matter, than 25 characters. Here is where you cram as many keywords as you possibly can, all the time keeping within the limits.
  2. Description Line 1 has a 35-character limit. Do not exceed it.
  3. Description line 2 has a 35-character limit as well. Don’t exceed this one either. These lines, 1 and 2, is where you describe whatever you are trying to currently sell. Start off by pinpointing the benefits your good has in the first line and finish by adding the price in the second.
  4. The URL needs to have a maximum of 35 characters as well.
  5. The landing page URL can go up to 1024 characters and, you’ve guessed it, it would be a good idea not go beyond that point.

One very important tip here – you need to make sure your ad is natural. Do not go overboard in describing the product to an extent that readers and Google, for that matter, know you’ve embellished things. Are your headphones good? Fantastic, write about that. Don’t go saying they can make it sound like Jay-Z is standing right next to you.

Let’s discuss the difference between URL and landing page URL. The main difference between the two is that the URL is static and you cannot click on it. In the same way, it’s not even real. It’s only there for display, that is why it’s also called ‘the display URL’. The landing page URL, on the other hand, is the actual link people will be clicking on to get to your page.

Let’s look at an example. Your website is www.headphones.com. The product you are trying to sell is a pair of Beats by Dre and customers can find it on the following page – www.headphones.com/products/Headphones/BeatsbyDre/whatever. You could make your display URL something like www.headphones.com/BeatsbyDre. Your real, landing page URL will then be the actual URL of the page on which you can find the product itself.

Tips – when it comes to writing the copy, there are certain regulations concerning ad text and it’s best you research and find out all you can about them. For example, you are not allowed to use an all-capped text AS SUCH. In the same way, you are not permitted to state that your product is the best on the market if you cannot make use of several credible sources which attest this. Here are Google’s Ad Guidelines.

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Let’s Go Back to Targeting

In the above paragraph on how to get started with PPC, step 3 of the process stated that you, as a seller or provider, need to determine your audience. As far as ads are concerned, you can use three targeting options.

  1. The device – select only the devices you are targeting. It can be a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, or even a desktop computer. Don’t forget about mobile network types, such as carriers or Wi-Fi.
  2. Position – this option refers to the actual geographical location where you want your ad to show.
  3. Language – pretty self-explanatory, this option allows you to choose the language you desire to target.

Don’t Forget About Tracking

There’s one more step, which is crucial and you must not overlook it. Once you are done creating all your AdWords accounts and set up all your campaigns, including billing information, you absolutely have to make sure everything you did was correct and up to par with Google’s standards.

When you get into this whole game, you’ll discover many third party services who are willing to do this for you, but, for now, let’s list some free tools for that.

  1. Google Analytics – evidently, we could not have strayed far from the mother ship, Google. If you have already installed Analytics on your device, it will be very easy to link it to your AdWords account. Then you can share data or choose the auto-tagging option, highly recommended by Google.
  2. Conversion tags – you can track your PPC activity via conversion tags. However, you need to code them into the confirmation link a user gets when he or she tries to buy something or subscribe.
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  3. URL parameters – they too allow you to track your PPC activity via Google Analytics. When you pair up a keyword with a URL, you have to enter some UTM parameters, such as ‘campaign’, ‘keyword’, and ‘content’.

All in all, how easy is it to use PPC? It is very easy, in fact. The only catch is that you have to devote a lot of your time to it. You must first do extensive research, so that you make sure you understand all the concepts, the terms, and the rules. If not done correctly, PPC can lose you money. Once you get the hang of it, though, you will have unlocked a great source of revenue and online publicity.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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