It can be a very effective form of lead generation; however if not done right it can be very expensive. Paid advertising is relatively new as far as marketing goes, started off by Google and now widely available across all search engines and referral websites. This is either adwords advertising, or adsense. Google have done very well out of it as they charge a business for visitors to click on their website link. Regardless as to whether sales are generated, the business would pay for the number of times that their adverts are clicked on by web users. This could range from a few pence to over £30.00 for once click! The idea is that if a web user keys in a search phrase, the adverts are triggered to appear and hopefully the web user will visit them instead of using the organic search results. The problem is, that not all web users are potential customers. For more information about how pay per click marketing works click here.
Not all clicks on your adverts will be from potential customers, in fact only about 30% will be. Of that 30% you need to factor in people coming and then leaving. A good rule of thumb is a bounce rate of 1 in 10, so for every 10 potential customers that visit, 1 places an enquiry or calls. This means that the ‘waste’ from unwanted clicks and bounce rate does play a massive factor in your conversions. Unwanted clicks (which will click) would be:
The above will constitute for around 70% of your clicks, these are chargeable by Google (and constitute 70% of their income) so your goal is to either ensure that your loses are minimised or that your CPC (cost per click) is as low as possible.
There are a few ways to keep your costs down. You are always going to get waste (which are still charged) as your competitors will be researching, people will click by accident. Here are a few things to consider in keeping costs as low as possible:
Try to be as specific as possible; the broader your keywords, the wider range of people will see your adverts. So instead of paying for ‘website design’ try ‘website designers near Cambridge’ – this will only show your advert when people are looking for a Cambridge based website designer.
Negative Keywords are phrases that you can delete from your listing. So using the above example of ‘website designers near Cambridge’ you can set ‘website designers collage near Cambridge’. This will prevent students from seeing your advert if they are looking for a collage near Cambridge.
A good area of paid media tips is to set timing on your ads. You can set your adverts to appear at certain times of the day. Set them to appear just in the evenings, on weekends, bank holidays. Using the timings tab you can control when your adverts appear.
Paid adverts work on a bidding basis. All advertisers will bid how much they want to spend on clicks. The adverts that appear higher on the page mean that they are paying more to have their adverts clicked on (the lower would mean they are paying less). You can set a maximum CPC so that you never pay more than a certain click cost. Your adverts may not appear as much, but this controls your spending.
The landing page is the page that visitors will see. The page needs to be aimed to what they are looking for. So using the above example ‘website designers near Cambridge’ you need to ensure that the page the visitors come to says ‘website designers in Cambridge’ as the main heading – so they get are assured they have come to the right place. Bounce rate (people visiting and then leaving immediately) can be reduced by a very tailored landing page.
Costs of PPC are not cheap; if you are paying £0,70 for a click, then you need to get around 50 before you can assess effectiveness. That means you need to spend £35.00 before you can see how things are going. Setting a daily budget is important; it cannot be too high (in the early days) and cannot be too low.
As you can see is a bit of a minefield. There are lots of considerations and lots of areas that can be tweaked. Missing something out can result in major financial losses. Many companies have blown a years advertising budget in a few days because of charging straight in. The business that can be gained through effective paid search is massive; however if not done right it can spell disaster. PPC companies can provide paid media help and support from their experience of knowing how the control panel works, how to control your budgets, how to set up keywords and negative keywords.