A Great SEO Tool: The PPC Campaign
Easy, efficient and exciting. Three words that best describe PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. What other SEO marketing tool offers you the most reliable way to get customers? Traditional ads (print, radio, and TV) have a limited shelf life. You front the money for them, and you can’t easily monitor the ROI. You can’t even control the budget for them because something invariably goes wrong (e.g. prolonged schedule). With a PPC campaign, you are in control because you set the budget and you can create the ad inexpensively. It’s one thing to create the campaign, but the ultimate goal is to convert visitors to customers, and you want a lot of conversions (a high conversion rate). PPC campaigns are easy to create, and the results are exciting. They will definitely have a positive impact on your business, from website traffic to brand awareness.
SEO first came on the digital marketing scene in 1997, when websites and search engines were becoming part of our lives. Websites replaced business cards and gave marketers a better way to promote a business. Although businesses paid a lot of money to web designers to create their informative and attractive sites, it was the content that drew the visitors. There are three tiers of finding a website. The first tier would be the website’s URL. The second tier would be the company name, location and/or product. The third tier would be keywords that described the company’s product or services and the region the company was located in. For example, to find Bob’s Flower Shop in Cleveland (OH), the user would type “Bob’s Flower Shop,” “Cleveland” and “Pink Roses” in his or her search query. This created organic search results, since the keywords weren’t created from an SEO algorithm.
Then marketers caught on to the power of search engine optimization. Web content writers or web designers could place meta tags in the HTML, causing Google’s bots to instantly index these tags. The more alt and meta tags, the better the search rankings. This created organic listings on search engines. There were other SEO website tricks, such as keyword stuffing, increasing site speed and exchanging links. However, Google frowned upon keyword stuffing and penalized websites that engaged in this practice. At first, the main goal for a business was to be found through organic rankings, this meant the business had to have a high ranking to be found on page one of Google. A long-term goal is to maintain this ranking and a high quality score. Google rates PPC ads for their quality and relevance. A high score is rewarded with higher rankings and lower PPC costs.
Ways to Improve your Conversion Rate
For our money, having the best value is very appealing. This is why a PPC campaign is perfect for those on a budget or creating a campaign for the first time. It mainly consists of ads that are places on websites and other platforms that publish content. When an advertiser’s ad is clicked, they pay a fee. The more they pay, the more traffic is directed to their site. This may lead to converting users to customers.
- Ads & Landing Page – You want your PPC ad to complement your landing page. Customers expect the landing page to be a larger version of the ad, otherwise, you will confuse them. On top of that, you’ve now lost a sale. The placement of an ad can be managed (you choose the website, video or app) or automatic (automatically placed based on keywords). A great ad can achieve a high quality score. Landing pages are a great place for link building, which creates organic clicks and increases the credibility of a company.
- Test, Test, Test! Just like location, location, location, testing is a major factor in what works for the customer. It’s not a one-and-done deal, either. You should continuously test your ad to a small sample of your audience ensure that you are getting the best results, such as running A/B/C testing. This often a forgotten part of an SEO strategy.
- Filter Negative Words – We want to get rid of negativity in our lives; same goes for negative keywords. These words have no relevance to your product or service, but have a chance of being affiliated with your product or service. Because of this, you want to filter them out. They greatly impact your PPC campaign because your ad could show up when negative keywords are used. Remember, you are paying for each click, and the wrong click costs you money. It also takes away quality traffic. For example, you are selling plumbing supplies, but you do not sell toilets or bathtubs. You can filter out the words “toilets” and “bathtubs.”
- Different Devices – By now, you would think that marketers have picked up on the fact that people use each of their devices differently. They haven’t. For example, you don’t use your laptop the same way you use your smartphone. You must optimize your devices. Google understood this and created device-level bidding in AdWords. This gives marketers greater control over their ads.
- Put Offers in your Ads – Nothing catches a consumer’s eye more than an offer or discount. This includes using the right words in your ad, such as sale, bestseller, great deal and new. Don’t forget to emphasize the sale period by using words like limited-time offer and act now. You can take advantage of Google’s “promotional extensions” this way. Visitors will love your website if there are regular sales, which will give a boost to your conversion rate.
- Increase the Clicks – You can increase the number of clicks for your ad by focusing on the audience and the right ad placement. For example, you would not place an ad for a heating and air condition company on website that sells beauty products. Again, testing is a must!
- Remarketing – This means increasing the frequency and the number of places where your ad appears. The goal is to lure those who visited your site and then left back to your site again. You want to convert them from visitors to customers. You should repeatedly show your ad on any website that accepts the Google Display Network. Remarketing reminds people to purchase your product or service while increasing your brand awareness.
These methods are the foundation of your PPC campaign. You can easily measure your click-through rate for your ads with Google Adwords. You can even link your Adwords to your Google search console to track paid and organic reports. This type of paid advertising is one of the many great marketing tools you can use to get more conversions and achieve higher rankings (SERP). You can also utilize social media platforms (i.e. Pinterest) to increase organic traffic through search ads and by the search terms in the ad copy. Today, there are many SEO algorithms that pick the most used keywords or phrases for a company, as well as their variants. By using these predetermined keywords, a marketer will increase the quality traffic to his or her client’s website, which can generate more leads and sales.
Take your Internet Marketing to the Next Level
It’s amazing to see how SEO has evolved in the past 20 years. What started as organic traffic and an organic listings turned into paid ad campaigns and brand searches. A company’s marketing strategy has also dramatically changed with a major shift to digital from TV and print. This has given digital marketers better control over marketing costs and more effective tracking of their marketing efforts.
Now that SEO is here to stay, you should include PPC campaigns in your digital marketing plan. PPC campaigns offer control and flexibility. And it’s exciting to see them in action.
At Results Driven Marketing, we will help you understand the nuances of PPC campaigns as well as SEO strategy. Contact us today for a free “Web evaluation.
NOTE: Originally Published in June of 2018, this article has been updated!
Director of Search Engine Optimization for Results Driven Marketing, Managing Editor or TAPinto The Mainline, and the artist behind The World’s Friendliest Superhero, Steve Myers is a creative force in the digital marketing industry. Dubbed “Doctor Digital” by his colleagues, he takes a light-hearted approach to Search Engines and how they work, mixing in comics, hip-hop, and popular culture to help explain the complexities of AI, algorithms, and structured data.