With so many companies now trying to fight for market share and to grow their bottom lines, it is becoming clear that there are two technology areas that are going head to head to drive targeted focussed new business traffic for large, medium and small companies. These two technologies are SEO and Pay Per Click marketing.
As Search engine companies like Google make amendments to the way client searches are targeted, many companies can find it difficult to get to grips with a set of goals based on never ending moving goal posts.
So when you look at the plethora of Pay-Per-Click sites and the many different types of technology based euphemisms and you begin to delve a little deeper what can we learn about the practical use of SEO and PPC?
For the most part, SEO focuses itself around two key but distinctly different elements, Off-Page SEO and On-Page SEO. On-Page SEO concerns itself with the technical Meta data built into the website whilst Off-Page SEO looks at components that promote this website from an external source such as social links and other sites that back link to data on our business site.
Whilst SEO can be important for the Longevity of the site in terms of holding position in the Search Engines, the down side is that it can take a long time to gain rankings and can often mean more money is used to gain relevant rankings that drive new business.
For this reason more of the online marketing funds these days are being channelled into the Pay-Per-Click side of marketing business websites.
Pay-Per-Click marketing has a very powerful set of techniques built into the product so that, when configured correctly it can drive precisely targeted traffic to business websites. However, it does take a technical and creative skill to be able to bring vital elements of business understanding and technical skills to configure PPC to work effectively for a business.
If you are not careful; you might be selling football boots but may find that you are being inundated with searches from people looking to buy ladies’ thigh boots; whilst it’s interesting traffic, it may not be helping your sports company to sell its products. Even marketing experts can easily find themselves making mistakes when they enter a new market or start to embark upon using techniques to sell new products using PPC.
Configuring PPC to deliver / drive new business to a product-focussed landing page, needs a PPC expert to analyse each and every element of that PPC experience. From creating and split testing advert copy and continuing to strive to increase the effectiveness of that copy, to assessing every element of the landing page to try to ensure the Call-To-Actions are clear and cohesive. PPC specialists will always be looking to utilise and improve the conversions of the continual stream of focused and relevant business traffic, leaving no stone un-turned.
These PPC skills have been gleaned over years of technical and business experience and, when deployed correctly, cannot only improve the number of clients a business gets, but can save money too.
So the key point is, if you are thinking of setting up your own Adwords configuration, please think again, as there are very real and practically good reasons why PPC professionals charge a fee for the management of a PPC campaign.
If you are just looking at PPC for the first time or have heard others discussing it, you may not be aware that in terms of lost hours and the waste of funds in terms of irrelevant or useless traffic, hiring a PPC professional will save you money.
Here are 10 reasons why hiring a PPC professional would benefit any company.
When a PPC professional starts a campaign the first step is the keyword research. They are not only looking for people who want to find your company, they are trying to weed out the tyre kickers – people who just want to research and waste your time.
If the campaign is targeting the wrong keywords in the wrong way, this has many ramifications. Firstly, costs can spiral out of control, secondly the quality score can drop through the floor. Even when Quality Score and relevant keywords are identified it is important to ensure you pick the fights you can win in terms of the competitive elements and the cost of targeting specific keywords.
If you get this important element of the campaign wrong it can end up with you exhausting your PPC budget and getting a very low return on investment.
Keyword research for PPC campaigns is done in a very specific way and can take a lot of time to identify a clear strategy that fits a client’s budget and geographical targeting demands.
You could adopt to use paid tools but these can be extremely expensive and push the overall costs of your PPC activity way above the cost of employing a PPC professional.
Experienced PPC professionals usually look at a whole host of different types of analysis to try to form a complete business picture before selecting the keywords that will be targeted.
Advert copy is another part of the PPC campaign that is misunderstood or thought to be easy and/or irrelevant. Typically good PPC specialists are fully aware of how to find good copy, and to them the term ‘Split Testing’ is not just a throw away term.
Good PPC specialists spend enormous amounts of time ‘Split Testing’ advert copy to see if the conversions can be improved between the different adverts. Even when adverts are performing well, they will still be looking to create better converting versions of the same adverts.
Many people do not fully grasp the need to get a ‘Punchy’ headline and benefits and offers in the correct place, and all of this on a limited amount of text within the advert.
One of the most difficult strengths the PPC specialist employs and demonstrates in every campaign is the ability to carry out extensive competitive research in a quest to ensure that the adverts stay in front in terms of conversions.
These sorts of skills only come as a result of lots of experience in marketing different businesses and carrying out exhaustive tests through PPC competitive analysis. It would be unfair to expect someone who is new to PPC to be able to adopt these skills overnight.
Creating the right kind of advert copy and using the powerful elements of the PPC platform can be the difference between being successful in PPC and just wasting lots of money and gaining no new clients. Do you really want to take a risky approach of trying to write the Ad copy with little or no experience?
Questionable copy can be both difficult to identify and have many negative effects on the overall campaign and can result in low conversions.
We talk to many clients who believe they have tried PPC and identified it as having made little or no difference in business terms.
When we ask them key questions like did the campaign employ a purpose built landing page optimised for the keyword? Or did you continually ‘Split Test’ both the adverts and the landing page for performance, the answer is either “NO”, or “Sorry I didn’t understand how and why that needed to happen”.
If these techniques are not adopted correctly and by a PPC specialist who has the experience in these areas, then the campaign has little chance of driving a decent return on investment. Many businesses operate using frameworks such as Google Adwords (implemented correctly) to drive most of their primary new business, as it’s effective and gives good returns on investment.
Google Adwords, like most technical platforms is a) very flexible, b) extensive and also has weaknesses. One of the weaknesses is the concept that not all of the Ad Extensions are shown continually. This can have ramifications on things like campaign tracking and also mobile extensions, as well as other key advert functionality.
Google Analytics can track the traffic that landed on the landing page but may not be very effective for tracking how many clients took action after landing on that page. Experience in Adwords and other key online marketing techniques is important in understanding how to bridge that gap.
Tracking traffic is one of the most complicated parts of setting up a campaign and there are several ways this can be handled. Choosing the correct technique for this relies heavily on the ability of the PPC professional to communicate the goals and objectives of the campaign to the website developers.
Good PPC programs should be able to track where the traffic is coming from in terms of location, which keywords are generating the traffic, and which adverts / landing pages are the most effective in converting.
All of this requires PPC and often other technical skills and a good understanding of any of the Adwords’ limitations. Effective tracking analysis will certainly assist in understanding which parts of the campaign are working effectively, and where placements and budgets need to be fine tuned to improve conversion.
Detailed tracking is complex and often HTML technical skills are required in order to put these mechanisms in place. Without this knowledge you would be best leaving these sorts of issues to the PPC specialist who is usually well versed in all of these aspects.
It pays to fully understand the terminology that goes with a Google Adwords campaign. PPC may seem straight forward but when it comes to elements of the different bidding strategies like CPM, CPC and CPA, it can all seem a little bit confusing.
PPC specialists spend most of their time analysing these parts of the campaigns and so its second nature to them to understand these and the difference between Impressions, hits and re targeting.
When you enter the settings area of an Adwords campaigns there are many different and very important campaign switches, these can be very confusing. You may think that they are not that important but getting these wrong can definitely be the difference between success and spectacular failure.
There are the geographical targeting settings, these can be set to ensure that the balance between driving focussed traffic, and ensuring that the targeting is not too broad for the traffic budget. Fine-tuning the campaign settings allows the PPC specialist to target any area of the country right down to the Post Code areas.
However, depending upon how the business is broken down and what the strategic plan for selling the products are, they will all need to be fully understood in order to decide what the campaign setting should be for the geographical targeting.
There are many different decisions that the PPC specialist has to make, when deciding on this targeting, should you break into a new campaign? Should you use different geographically focussed keyword groups? Should you target a mobile campaign with different settings?
When should you use Search network? What is the difference between Search and Display networks? When should you use partner or affiliate networks? What bid strategy should you use for each?
Not understanding these settings and how to manipulate them to gain the best performing traffic for your customer, can cost the campaign dearly in money and lost opportunity for new customer business.
When configuring Google Adwords it is becoming even more important that the traffic configured into the keyword groups, is targeted at specific landing pages. So just what constitutes a good landing page as far as Google is concerned?
The landing page should be:
In short if your landing page is weak, then one of the ramifications is that your Google Quality Score will be adversely affected, then the cost per click will be increased and this will make your overall campaign costs much higher.
Pay Per Click specialists fully know exactly what to look for in terms of the Google Quality Score components and exactly how to ‘Split Test’ between these landing pages.
Landing pages are now an extremely important link in Adwords campaigns that drive vibrant and focussed traffic, they are optimised for relevant keywords and good clear cohesive call to action statements.
PPC specialists are well versed in designing good converting very relevant and optimised landing pages, and also knowing how and when to test between them effectively.
It is normal for Pay Per Click specialists to have worked with a large number of businesses across different sectors. Many of these PPC experts will have a good level of knowledge of working with similar customers.
They can bring this competitive knowledge to bear in your account and this sort of competitive experience can save you a lot of money in marketing.
If you are new to PPC it is most likely that you may not have come across the term, and may not be sure how you detect that click fraud is actually happening. Click fraud can occur from time to time and this is where another source is clicking your adverts very regularly.
Most of the major search engines do random audits to try and detect this behaviour but sometimes you will notice that this sort of behaviour is costing your PPC campaign dearly.
At times like this you need someone with the experience to analyse log files and analytics to try to accurately detect this behaviour and then follow the search engine process for reporting and escalating this behaviour.
If click fraud can be detected and it’s happening extensively, this can be reported to the Search Engine provider and it is possible to request a refund if Click Fraud can be proven. This is an areas you may have to look at if you are managing your PPC account personally, as it takes a person who understands the detail in an analytical way, if you have no experience in this sort of analysis it may be best leaving it to the experienced PPC specialist.
It’s just like the old joke, how many programmers does it take to change a light bulb? None, it’s a hardware problem.
When you are working with PPC and you are involved with the larger Search Engines companies, it is important that you are able to fully understand the software changes in the PPC frameworks. Google keep continually developing their products and procedures and policies around the use of their technology.
The Google Adwords framework is now host to a very technology-rich framework including Ad Groups, adverts, advanced keyword algorithms, analytics. Google Ad Extensions, Reporting tools etc.
The product is developing all of the time and it is very important to keep abreast of these technology areas so that you can maximise the return on investment and indeed stay on the right side of their policies so that your campaign/website do not pick up penalties that can cost the business dearly.
Good digital marketers are able to keep ahead of the changes by communicating on forums and reading the endless technology bulletins. For the most part it’s a key ingredient in the role of any technical software PPC specialist. If this is new to you are much better off engaging a technical PPC specialist.
Managing PPC campaigns and keeping up with all of the extensive developments in the campaign’s running settings takes a lot of time. You need to watch daily to see what is triggering the campaign, you may think you know the keywords algorithms and even when you do inappropriate searches can still trigger the campaign.
These may need to be identified and added to the Negative keyword lists, as there may also be useful keywords that can be added to the campaign. These tasks can be time consuming and if you are managing a business you are already most probably dealing with many different sorts of jobs.
Do you really want to be taking on another, especially if the learning curve is technically quite a steep one?
If your PPC is finely-tuned and managed correctly it can be a powerful online, automatic new lead and demand generation system, that can assist your business to grow.
The task of administering such an important part of the business growth plan should be given to someone who truly understands the diverse world of PPC Marketing.
A professional business website is a only half the story, whilst its important, having an approach to traffic is also just as important. SEO and PPC are different but have similar objectives in terms of their ability to work together to develop vibrant traffic sources for the website. PPC works rapidly to grow the business in the short term whilst the organic growth through SEO has time to develop.
These areas are very technical and understanding exactly what needs to be done for both is an extremely arduous task. It also requires a depth of technical knowledge in more general online internet marketing.
Online digital marketers often understand both SEO and PPC and are well versed in how these two technologies can coexist together. If you are new to these complex areas of online traffic generating tools and associated techniques then it is best left to the experts
Many businesses benefit from growth in new customers on a daily basis using PPC. It has become the defacto standard in PPC Marketing frameworks. However, if it is implemented incorrectly you may not see the business potential and growth that other companies are enjoying.
With the powerful Keyword targeting, advanced advert capability, and extensive advert extensions, targeted relevant traffic can be channelled to your landing page. The landing page focuses things even more, highlighting key functionality that the searcher is looking for and then presenting a clear cohesive Call-To-Action.
When PPC is configured well, the quality algorithms built into Google Adwords reduce the costs and increases the traffic based on these measurements. Call or contact the experts here at SEO CoPilot for a free assessment on PPC advertising! 01246 540 869