The power of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

I was listening to a recorded teleseminar by Chris Cardell and Jay Abraham on how to make your website more profitable with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and there were a number of points I found particularly pertinent.

1. The difference between the Google Network and Google Content Network

When setting up your Google PPC campaign it’s important to recognise the difference between the two networks above.  The Google search network is your standard Google landing page and the sponsored ad sections that appear at the top and to the right.  i.e.

The Google Content Network displays ads on other websites as per the image below (see right-hand column):

It’s important to have a separate approach to your advertising copy for these networks.  The first targets users when they are actively searching on keywords relevant to your product/service.  The second relies on typical interruption advertising techniques.

According to Chris Cardell you should ideally split these campaigns – turn off the content network on your main search campaign and set up a duplicate campaign for the content network.  You can then introduce banner and video ads once you’ve mastered standard text ads and discovered what ad copy works well.  Be sure to split the ads for both networks and measure and optimise on the content network separate from your standard Google search campaign.

2. Importance of Click Through Rate (CTR) and Quality Score

Bearing in mind that PPC on Google is not a straightforward auction, you should work to improve your CTR which in turn has an impact on your quality score.  Google rewards relevance – relevance is partly demonstrated by CTR.  i.e. If people click on your ad, it means that they found that it was relevant to the particular keyword they were searching on.

Over a period of days and weeks you could double/triple/quadruple your CTR by continually changing and testing your ad copy.  By testing which ad copy has a better CTR, you can get rid of poor performing copy.  This ongoing optimisation ensures that you are making your ad copy more relevant to searchers, increasing CTRs and thus growing the traffic to your website.

It’s also useful to look at the competition and what ad copy they’re using to drive traffic to their website, which keywords they’ve selected, and what offers they have on their landing page.

Here’s an example of the benefits of ad copy optimisation taken from Cardell Media:

By increasing the CTR you also reduce the Cost Per Click (CPC) and increase the number of times your ad is served.

3. Improve your landing page’s relevancy

Take the following steps to improve the relevancy of your landing page:

  1. Include the keyword in the title of your page
  2. Ensure the keyword your page mentions the keyword
  3. Create a separate landing page for each keyword

Whilst the teleseminar emphasised this 3rd point, it’s not always possible to do this when you’re managing large keyword lists and a corporate website that spans thousands of pages.

I know from my experience that it would be impossible to create a separate landing page for each keyword across the search campaigns I manage.  Whilst we do serve a separate landing page for each campaign that we’ve created, I think we could improve our relevancy by trying to serve separate landing pages for each ad group, and ensuring that these ad groups are narrower in focus.

I’m interested in understanding how other companies are managing their search campaigns as per the points above.

4. Improving conversions

This is the key area to focus on which will deliver the most business benefit – converting visitors to customers.  The teleseminar called out the following areas to focus on to help improve conversions:

  • copy
  • headlines
  • relevancy
  • offers
  • testing and tracking

If a typical website has a conversion rate of 1% or less, it’s easy to see how growing this number can have a huge impact – and is a lot more cost-effective and efficient than trying to grow your website traffic.  This is where the real opportunity lies.

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2 thoughts on “The power of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

  1. 1)Apart from Google Network (google search) and Google Content Network… there is one more network where Google PPC ads appear called ‘Google Search Network’.. its a part of Google network where google have partnered with other sites to display PPC ads based on the keyword search… e.g. AOL, Ask.com, Amazon… etc

    2)addition to the 3rd point – Improve your landing page’s relevancy —> the keyword formula mentioned above mostly work in SEO and not PPC (acc to my experience) … PPC users look for the right and relevant information for what they are searching for and not bothered about the keywords etc in the landing pages. however having the ‘keywords’ in your adtext may increase the click through rate but ultimately will not have any effect on conversion rate. thanks

    Results shows that the 70% searchers use PPC advert for their decision making (purchases) purposes however only 35% use SEO for t

    1. Thanks for the pointer regarding the Google search network.

      In terms of the landing page relevancy, I agree that the keywords are intrinsically linked to SEO. However, in terms of PPC, it’s important to ensure your selected keywords and ad copy are relevant to the landing page your audience arrives at to avoid high bounce rates. I also believe that, as people become more au fait with paid search, they will be less inclined to click on sponsored links unless they are advertising clear promotions.

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