Pay Per Click Advertising. John Barron Webinar Summary

I was able to watch a recently archived Techspectations Webinar that John Barron Hosted, so I thought I would do a brief summary.

Why Use Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising?

There is lots of talk about social these days, but in reality lets be honest, who heads straight to facebook when they are looking for information. Search is still King

According to a study done by Engine ready people who arrive at your site via a PPC link as opposed to an organic link are 30% more likely to buy. The conversion rate stands are about 2% in comparision to 1.26% for organic.

PPC SEO Pay PER Click

Obviously it is vital to have a site that is built with SEO in mind. But by have a dual SEO and PPC tactic you can turn up on search results pages more than once. This helps you appear as a leader.

  • PPC allows you a lot of control of your the experience that will be had. By having having specific landing pages for different keywords and ads, you can decide what you want your potential customer to see.
  • PPC also provides the ability to do fantastic analytics. As I have mentioned before in previous posts. Tracking is king. By knowing what is working and what isnt you can drill down on the tactics that work best for you and increase conversions and sales.
  • PPC also allows you to have a varying budget. Whether this is for seasonal sales, days of the week, times of the day or general location you can alter your budget to suit your needs.

The search landscape is evolving and PPC is changing with it. More emphasis is now being placed on local and mobile search. PPC offers things like directly clickable phone numbers which are hugely important for local businesses targeted local traffic.

When a search is entered now results can contain shopping pages, local searches, images, videos, reviews. As the information that is available in organic search improves, it is harder for PPC ad to stand out. Therefor is is vital to make your PPC campaigns count.

  1. Define your goals :  What do you want to achieve? Leads, sales, promoting a product or event? These will then become your Key performance indicators (KPI’s) which will in turn help with your tracking.
  2. Tracking : Tracking is key. at the very minimum you should be tracking leads and sales. Other useful indicators are bounce rates, page views and time on site.                         Tracking phone calls clicked on directly from ad will become more prevalent. Right now there is no Irish company doing it. Perhaps displaying a unique phone number not displayed anywhere else will help measurement.

Building a Campaign

Create Buckets – these are groups of 30 – 60 keywords which can be used for ad groups.

  • Use Google Keyword Tool
  • Ask customers
  • See what your competitors are using.
  • Use common misspellings
  • Competitor names. By law you cannot use their names in your ad typebut you can use them as keywords. You may receive a lower quality Score for the Ad from this, but if conversions are good, then its worth it
  • 4 words plus works best. You may get less traffic but you will get a better conversion rate
  • Negative Keywordsbuilding a ppc campaign

Ad Copy and Landing Pages

  • Use Keywords in your ad. This will help to improve your ad quality score as well as standing out.
  • Use specific landing pages
  • Use compelling language
  • Highlight your key selling points. Bear in mind though that you may have to prove your claims to the Google editorial board.
  • Think outside the box slightly. For example John gave the example of using keywords of funeral homes for his florist client and making purchase and delivery there easy.

Track Early And Often

  • Dont set your budget to high at the beginning. You can always ad to the budget later.
  • Test your searches. Do manual searches for keywords and see where you turn up.
  • Make sure your keywords are targeted enough. If your terms are too broad you are going to get low conversion rate.
  • Make sure your metrics are working. Is Google analytics tracking your page properly.
  • Add to your keywords for phrases that are bringing the wrong traffic.
  • Cut out words that are not working
  • Use tools like Conversion Optimiser that helps you optimise your bidding.
  • Use multiple ads so you can test which ads are clicked on the most.

It is also worth noting that certain things are set as default on PPC campaigns. for example broad search is automatically used. It may get you better conversion rates by using exact term searches. Also your ads will be displayed both in search and display (various websites participating in Google display network). John suggests that you change this to just have search ads, as the ad type that works best for the GDN is different and should be done separately.

Ad extension allows you to extend out the size of your ad and take up more real estate on the page. This allows you to stand out more. Ad extension can be used for

  • Location – the address takes up an additional line
  • Site- menu items from your site appear on an additional line.
  • Phone number
  • Specific productsAd extensions PPC Google Adwords

You can get more of John at presentation is available at

Sensible Google Advertising

We had a gentleman Google come in and talk to us recently to give us some advice on search engine marketing. We have covered organic search so this was to focus on paid advertising through Google.

I can’t even attempt to cover the whole area, and this is a very simplified version.  The basis behind Adwords is

Bid price x quality score = position

Google’s aim is to display the most relevant ads to searchers. Quality score applies to both your key words and your account and is affected by a whole range of things including

  • The click through rates of your ad. The more people are clicking on your ad, the more relevant that google deems it, meaning the click cost will reduce. A click through rate (CTR) of 3% is considered good.
  • The load time for your landing page can also effect your quality score.
  • How closely does your ad copy reflect your keywords
  • The use of Keywords in the Ad title will effect quality score
  • Whether the landing page contains the keywords searched.  Every time someone does a search, they are looking for an answer. Does your page help them find that answer?
  • The overall account quality score. This will be affected by the history of the account.

His stand out advice was that tracking is key. The more tracking you do the better success you will have. You need to focus on where you are doing well and realise where you are not, and then remove your efforts from that area. Makes sense really. Particularly with all the tools that made available to you.

Tracking your adwords progress is Key. Use Google tools

Using tests to optimise your landing pages is really important. Amazon do so much testing on their pages that they know that having some one with a blue jumper will effect click through rates over some one wearing a green one say. Now this is just an example, but what is fact is that orange encourages the most click throughs out of any colours. It stands out like red, but its not as aggressive! Ah so thats why amazon is so orange! When your talking about the volumes that they deal with these things can have a huge impact.  But even on everyday websites making little changes like these can help.

You can use split tests where people who click on your ads will be brought to alternate landing pages. This means you can makes changes and decide wheich works better A or  B.

Alternatively there is multivariance testing, which allows you to change a whole range of layout, fonts, colours etc. But this is complicated stuff and perhaps we should leave this to the amazons of the world…for now.

Because of the cost associated with traffic from Pay Per Click (PPC) it is important to discourage the wrong kind of searcher. If you aren’t going to be able to convert them to a set goal whatever you decide that to be, well then they are simply costing you money. It is important there for to use negative keywords.

Negative keywords are words and phrases that you do not want searchers to associate with your products and services. When you add negative keywords to your PPC campaigns your ads will not be served if those words are part of the user’s search query. For example if you are selling a high end luxury cruise, you dont want to attract people looking for cheap/low cost holidays. So by having cheap as a negative keyword, any one who includes that in their search query won’t be served your ad.

Putting a price in your search ad will increase conversion rates too, as people who are out of your targeted price range won’t waste their time clicking through.

Mobile Search worldwide is predicted to be US$3.3 billion in 2011 sky rocketing to $20.6 billion in 2015. Its surprising then that so few companies have adapted their websites for mobile usage.  Mobile search is different with 70% of queries being fulfilled within a few hours.

By including a phone number in your mobile ad and enabling lcick to call, you will increase conversion rates.

Google Display Network, or Adsense is different from Adwords, as you are targeting people who are not actively searching. Therefore the click through rate is going to be lower. There are some techniques that you can use though to help improve this.

Remarketing allows you to target people who drop off in the conversion process. Because Google can track people through cookies, it is aware if people begin a transaction and don’t complete it. for example, if you decide to purchase a book and place it into your shopping cart, but then realise that you don’t have your credit card and don’t make the purchase. You can then be directly targeted on other websites to encourage you to buy the book again. The cost of acquisition for somebody that has already demonstrated a desire to buy the book, is lower than someone who hasn’t.

Google also automatically scans your emails, using their content to target ads. You email your friend about going on holiday in France. Hey presto loads of ads start appearing about things to do it France. I know, I think its a bit freaky too!!

Google indexing your emails. Remarketing. Cookies

Some other techniques you can use for targeting on the google display network

  • Contextual – target people based on clusters of Keywords
  • Placement – put your ads on specific sites
  • ICM – target people who like certain topics. Type in google.com/ads/preferences to find out which area you are most interested in!
  • Topics – Target sites of a particular topic.

GDN ads can be pay per click or pay per impression (usually 1000). PPI is used more for branding, which in turn can positively effect your search numbers

In my next post which will hopefully be soon I will talk about  how to get the most out of your Google advertising