PPC, or Pay Per Click, online advertising has remained largely untapped as a valuable resource in online marketing strategies. The reason? Most brand owners and managers aren’t sure how it works or how they can leverage it for the betterment of their brands.

For you, that ends right now.

Let’s get started.

What Paid Search Looks Like

When a brand creates a PPC ad, it will appear on the search results page, along with other organic search results, based on search term and keyword matching.

Getting your ad to appear in search results can be a highly competitive task. Google, for instance, only offers seven PPC ad spots in any given search results page…and appearance is not determined on a first-come-first-served basis. Instead, factors such as these are taken into account:

  • relevance of the material to the search terms…because Google wants to protect its reputation as the top-producing search engine
  • quality of the experience at the other end of the link…because Google wants its users to have notably positive experiences
  • anticipated influence of the material…because Google has branded itself as a global influencer
  • highest bid for a particular keyword or keyword phrase…because Google is a business too

Some Helpful PPC Tips

As you create your PPC ad, here are some pieces of advice to keep in mind, for saving time and money (and accruing more of each):

  • Conduct keyword research. This means really getting in there with your ideal customers. Take note of the language they use, and the individual words they’re using to search for problems, solutions and benefits like the ones your brand directly addresses. Use the Google Keyword Planning Tool to contrast the popularity of keywords with the number of global and/or local searches for each. Oftentimes, a less popular keyword will allow you to make a bigger impact because there are fewer competitors to contend with.
  • Concentrate on long-tail keywords. This about getting specific about the identity and habits of your ideal customer. Know if your targets are well-versed in the industry (using precise jargon-type or technical language) or if they are just starting out (using more general terms as a way to introduce themselves to the industry). Long-tail keywords usually apply to the former, and act as direct lines to prospects that are ready to act.
  • Know your objective. The purpose of your PPC ad is not to sell your product, gain another name for your list, get a registration for an event…the singular goal of your PPC ad should be to get the click. online-marketingAll the other stuff should happen when they get to your landing page. Remember this as you create your ad’s headline, description, URL and ad extensions (information about your business). CAVEAT: This doesn’t mean getting the clicks of people who will not be interested in what you’re about to offer. Too many unqualified clicks will classify your ad as click-bait and soil your brand’s reputation. So get them to click, but be authentic with your intentions, so that the right people click and won’t be disappointed when they land.
  • Name problem, benefits and call-to-action in the ad. In your headline and description, make sure people can easily see what they can expect and what they should do to learn more. Be succinct and clear—this is not the time for flowery or pun-laden language.
  • Test and measure results. In order to know if your time and money are being well-spent, you must know what works best and then maximise your attention to that thing (keyword, audience, etc.). Use the analytics available to you…and use them often. Note which ads are performing the best—these are the ads that Google “liked” and that should be imitated and re-tested. Run different versions of the same ad to contrast results. What you learn will not only tell you which online marketing PPC campaigns to scrap and which ones to monopolise, it will provide invaluable insight into how you can create new ads that out-perform the old ones.
  • Use the negative keyword function. There may be keywords that seem related to your brand, but aren’t…words you have used in your ad that apply to a different type of brand, but that you don’t want working for your brand. Include these as Negative Keywords as you create your online marketing PPC campaign, and eliminate spending money for momentary (yet costly) attention from people who are not your ideal customers.
  • Consider your brand’s local/global status. Does your brand serve only local customers? Or are you more interested in building a global brand? If the former is the case, then use keywords for your PPC ads that include geographical cues (e.g. London, Houston, Hong Kong, Calgary).

Now you have a basis on which to begin your first (or your first effective) PPC ad campaign. You’re sure to have questions about what’s next, or about more specific aspects of the process, and I invite you to connect with our branding community by joining the How to Build a Brand Facebook group, where you’ll meet other business owners and entrepreneurs, find support as you move forward, get exclusive access to live B.R.A.N.D. Breakthroughs sessions and much more. See you over there!

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