As a company or brand, you want all eyes on you. For this, you need to show up among the top ranks of Google SERPs (search engine result pages) and be visible on YouTube and various other platforms. There are two ways to achieve this: organically and through paid advertising. And as any experienced London Digital Marketing Agency will tell you, it’s best practice to use both.
Organic search results come about through months (or years) of quality content production and a strong SEO. Consistent blog posts and social media content will slowly increase your domain’s authority and move you up the search rankings.
Then there’s paid search and pay-per-click advertising (PPC). This allows you to get around the system and build a following in the hopes of generating leads, closing sales, and recouping your investment. You can’t just throw money at a system and expect a good return.
You’ll need research, a little finesse, and, of course, a lot of optimization for this.
That’s where we come in.
Optimizing Paid Search and PPC | Terms to Know
Before diving into the details and offering actionable tips, let’s cover the basics.
What is paid search and what is pay per click advertising?
Almost every Google or Bing search results page will contain a few links at the top with the words “AD” next to them. These appear above organic search results, allowing marketers to obtain exposure without needing to invest months in organic content development. The corporation or brand receives a specific amount of money each time one of these links is clicked.
Some terms to know are:
Within the search query, you can focus your adverts to certain keywords. As a fitness supplement manufacturer, you might target terms like “pre-workout smoothie” or “top supplement for working out.”
- Short-tail keywords, like the former, will have more companies and businesses vying for usage.
- like the latter, will have less competition and will cost less to advertise for them.
The price per keyword, or in the case of Google “Google Ad Word,” depends on how much competition there is for the keyword. As mentioned, long-tail keywords will cost less.
The impression share of your PPC ad indicates how well it is performing. It’s basically the amount of impressions you got divided by the number of estimated impressions you were eligible for.
As opposed to target keywords, these are keywords you don’t want to appear for. To continue the workout supplement example, you may want to exclude “workout shake weights,” considering the user was probably trying to find the viral product “Shakeweight”
To obtain the best traction for your business, you must alter your bids for the keywords you want to rank for on a regular basis. To avoid squandering marketing expenditures on unrelated search queries, you should monitor your impression shares and eliminate any negative keywords once your ads are up.
Is the picture of paid search and PPC clearing up? Great, now onto the optimization process:
- Optimizing Your Bid
- Placement Scrubbing
- Optimizing Ad Copy
- Optimizing Conversions
- Optimizing Against Competitors
- Monitoring Search Terms
- Optimizing Internal Levers
As you’re probably well aware, being on the front page of Google is everything. What’s more, being in the top 3 spots grants the vast majority of clicks.
Being number one? That’s what optimized paid search strategy is all about.
But wait, you don’t only want to be the first result on a Google search engine results page (search engine result page). You want to be the first result on important search pages. You’ll need to fine-tune your bidding approach for this.
- If you’re ranked two or three for Ad Words that generate a positive ROI, you want to increase your bid to push these to rank one.
- If you’re rank one for Ad Words that are not generating a positive ROI, you’ll want to decrease your bid (or remove this keyword search altogether)
This is where budget management comes in. PPC and paid search marketing can quickly burn through a marketing budget if not thoroughly researched beforehand. With some Ad Words reaching into the $40-$60 range per click, you’ll want to make sure you’re on top of your bid adjustments, and if you’re working with a smaller budget, targeting more long-tail keywords.
Google Ads Agency has automatic bid strategy and formatting tools to help ensure you’re not completely out of your depth. Utilize these bid strategies—Google’s machine learning has gotten fairly apt at understanding consumer habits.
These adverts aren’t just for Google, Bing, and other search engines. It’s also vital to note that sponsored search marketing methods can be used to target ecommerce platforms, YouTube, and high-traffic websites. To generate a ROI through conversions and leads, each of them has its own targeting strategy.
Optimizing Your Ad Copy
The PPC Agency London have one chance to capture the user’s attention and incite them to click. This means you need actionable words, a relevant title, and an optimized ad copy.
Per the actual copy, you have 135 characters to grab a user:
- 30 for the Headline
- 90 for the Body
- 15 for the URL Ad Path
That doesn’t give a lot of leeways, which means you may need to optimize on the fly. If your impression share is less than ideal before you remove the Ad Word try changing up your ad copy to see if you can’t generate more interest.
- Your Headline is the most important section—make sure it’s relevant and direct
- Use actionable words in your Body copy
- Keep the ad copy positive
- Utilize the theory of opposite (if you use words like “high”-quality, try “low” cost)
- Ensure you get to the point in the first 5 words
Optimizing Conversion Rate
If you have a high impression rate but a low conversion rate, there may be nothing off with your ad copy or targeting abilities. The problem might simply be you’re targeting the wrong audience.
Utilize key search tactics, including Affinity, In-Market, and Similar To Audiences in your search campaigns to increase conversions.
These will direct Google to serve ads to more qualified leads (those who are likely to convert!).
Optimizing Against Competitors | Control Your Brand and Industry
All of this strategy and research is not being done in a vacuum. Remember that you are competing against your entire industry here. That’s why, if you’re a smaller player, your best bet is to focus on long-tail keywords that have less competition. Similarly, if you’re an up-and-coming player, you may have competition for your own brand name.
Larger companies with limitless marketing budgets can buy Google Ad Words that target smaller competitor’s markets, including going after competitors’ own brand name.
If your company is not the first link on a SERP when you type in your brand name, you may need to run ads on your own name to make sure your competitors aren’t stealing your traffic.
Another competitor-driven strategy is to identify what Google Ads are being used by competitors and what their ad copy looks like.
With an Auction Insights report (which identifies what competitors are also serving ads for your keyword sets and how often), you can better understand competitor analysis. Use this to determine what type of messaging competitors are using and how they’re driving traffic.
Monitoring Search Terms
Google Ads gives advertisers the unique ability to see exactly what users are searching for when serving them your ads.
This provides strong insights into the psychology of consumers, which then allows you to make adjustments to not only your ad campaigns but website copy too. Additionally, high-performing search terms should be added to your campaigns so the amount of budget spent and where that traffic is directed to is intentional.
On the flip side, if a search term is irrelevant to your product or service, it should be added as a negative keyword to prevent ads from serving similar searches in the future.
Optimizing the Internal Levers
There are a host of valuable reporting insights Google Ads provides. These insights include:
- Age ranges
- Household income tiers
- Devices that made the search query
Advertisers can alter their bids and optimise for certain demographics as data is acquired (depending on what drives conversions or wastes expenditure). This constant pushing and pulling of knobs allows your brand to explore new territory and reach new people.
Starting at Ground Zero
If your business is launching a sponsored search marketing campaign, be sure you have a solid foundation to build on. Despite the fact that Google offers excellent measurements, reporting insights, and management options, optimising in real time without prior study will waste marketing resources.
It’s for this reason digital marketers will run an audit of a company and their audience prior to launching a campaign. The better and more in-depth the audit, the less waste will be spent during the marketing effort.
Finsbury Media is a Digital Marketing Agency. We specialise in helping businesses optimise their website for better SERP rankings, generate quality paid search campaigns, and reach more customers. Contact us today to see how we can help you grow.