Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) can be a very effective marketing tool when used skillfully and wisely. Recently, I posted a series of three articles explaining how you can run PPC ads on a budget, target your ads using keyword phrases based on buyer-intent and creating a landing-page or micro-site for a targeted Pay-Per-Click ad. This article is a quick recap for anyone who still may have reservations about trying PPC advertising as a marketing channel for your eCommerce website. The trick is to have a plan. No one wants to waste a dime on ineffective ads that reach the wrong people. (That statement is as true for traditional advertising as it is for online advertising.)
The difference is you can advertise for a lot less on the Internet if you do it carefully by setting your budget and bidding on targeted keyword phrases that reach your niche customer. You don’t need to have your ads appear in the #1 spot. Being in the 3rd or 4th position is fine. Save money that way. Spend the time to research keyword phrases and find those that your customers are searching on that you can afford. Track everything! Limit your spend by the day if you’d like. That way, if you’re paying for clicks and not converting your visitors to buyers, you can tweak your PPC ad. So, how do you get started?
1.) Set your “Networks and devices”
The Google Display Network used to be known as the “content” network. When display network is turned on, your ads will display anywhere that the keywords that you are bidding on are displayed. If you’re just getting started, leave “Search” on and turn off “Display Network”. This way your ads will only show up in the search results when someone keys those terms into the search box. (Chances are that this is your best chance to reach buyers.) You don’t want your ad showing up in random blog posts about your product. You want it to show up when someone is ready to buy.
2.) Buyer Intent Focused Keywords
When someone is interested in buying a product, they usually start with research and then gradually work their way down to the point where they’re ready to buy. If your reason for running a PPC ad is to make a sale, then you want to bid on keywords that target the person who is ready to buy. (For more details, check out my post “Are Buyers or Window Shoppers Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads?”)
3.) Negative Keywords
Enter negative keywords to prevent people who are searching for your product (using keywords that you want to avoid) from ever seeing your PPC ad. For example, if you’re selling fine art, you may want to exclude people who are searching on terms like ‘clip”, “print” and “poster” from seeing (and clicking on) your ad. Using the right negative keywords can be as important to your campaign as choosing the right ones.
4.) Landing Pages & Micro-Sites
When someone clicks on your pay-per-click ad, you don’t have to send them to your home page. Actually, you probably shouldn’t. I often talk about the “3-second rule” which refers to the amount of time that a website visitor spends before deciding whether they’re on the “right” website. If the web content of the page that you send them to does not match your ad, they’re out-of-there and you’ve spent money on a click with no monetary return. (For more details, check out my post “Are People Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads and Leaving?”)
I hope this alleviates some of the fears and reservations some people may have about trying PPC ads. Again, start slow, track your results and tweak your ads until you’re achieving the results that you expect.
Are you running PPC ads? What has been your experience? What advice would you have for someone who was thinking about trying pay-per-click advertising but still has doubts?