The Basics of PPC

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Like it or not, PPC is steadily becoming an incredibly important part of running an online business. A massive 97% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising – so yes, people are clicking on those ads.

The ins and outs of it are a little tricky to understand at first, but a pay per click ad program could be beneficial to your site or to your client. No digital agency these days doesn’t do PPC – so learn with me!

SEO KittyA good pay per click program needs to be monitored constantly, analysed and refined as the months go on. PPC engines allow you to bid on a certain keyword – that is, any term you want your ads to appear for. It’s highly targeted and can be an economical way of advertising.

Keyword planning

It’s of upmost importance to be targeting the right keywords for your brand. And don’t just think about the shorter keywords – longtail search terms need to be considered too. It’s well worth involving longtail keywords into your PPC strategy, as these ones are often overlooked and are less premium than the shorter terms

Keyword planning can be described as somewhat of a ‘family tree’. The further down you go, the less the keywords are going to cost. However, as long as you’ve hit the long tail terms appropriate to your brand and according to previous conversions, they can be very cost-effective since more competitive keywords can cost A LOT more per click.

SEO Kitty

Targeting longer tail keywords could well be what makes your PPC campaign successful – so bear that in mind.

You can’t come up with a good keyword list if you don’t know your website and the product that is intended to be sold back to front. A good place to start is the sitemap – categories, especially for ecommerce websites, are often laid out for you all ready to start building a list from.

As shown in the rough and ready diagram above, you can start coming up with keywords according to categories and sub categories – and a bit further down the line, you can start bidding for more specific search terms such as location or brand.

It sounds a bit like…

How many times have you gone into Analytics and seen that a few places under the keyword ‘GPS’ is ‘Sat Nav’. Or maybe you’ve been a bit annoyed that the article that most people have been finding thanks to the search term ‘plumbers in Sheffield’ has also been found by a resounding amount of people looking for a ‘plummer in Sheffield?’. Know your audience. It’s not about them being able to spell – it’s about search habits.

It’s not uncommon for brands to bid on deliberately misspelled keywords – the benefits being higher conversions compared to the price.

PPC Bids

Of course, the more competitive keywords are going to cost more. Click costs continue to inflate, and thus keeping track of bids is absolutely paramount to a good PPC campaign. Bid management tools are excellent for helping out with this, as they set bid rules which includes your marketing objectives and can apply your maximum cost per acquisition. Google Adwords is the only one I am familiar with, although I’ve heard good things about Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft Ad Centre.

If you want to intensify the bidding of certain keywords at certain pivotal times, such as the weekend or perhaps if your brand becomes particularly relevant on a holiday or date, campaigns can be activated according to your specified time.

The negative keywords

SEO Kitty

Urgh. It’s so annoying when something completely unrelated ranks for your brand or client name.  And it would be pretty annoying if you were paying for clicks by people looking for something entirely different.

Let me make an example – if your brand is called ‘The Room’, then you don’t want people who are actually searching for the hard-hitting film drama The Room by Tommy Wiseau clicking on your ad. Negative keywords, or excluded keywords, prevent your ad from being brought up for an unrelated query so your costs aren’t driven up for no reason.

Your negative keyword list ought to include terms like ‘free’ or, if you wish, search terms regarding the care of a particular product or more broad searches for particular brands.

As part of a good PPC campaign, you’ll need to check up on your negative keywords as your brand changes. I wouldn’t recommend trying to get yourself some metrics by leaving out negative keywords – it can cost a great deal for false click throughs, and of course those high bounce rates aren’t going to work in your favour.

Wasn’t that interesting? :)


Written by seokitsy

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