PPC ? Adwords? What is it?

Within each search engine results page (SERPS) you will have organic results (SEO) and paid results (AdWords). AdWords is a pay to play channel as you pay the advertiser e.g. Google, Bing or Yahoo, each time someone clicks on your advert (Pay Per Click). The appeal for marketeers is that you can target many keywords and variations and display a different message in the advert copy and direct the users to a specific landing page for each campaign. As it is Paid you can launch an AdWords campaign nearly immediately (some industries need approving before going live). This post is giving an overview focused on Google but you should also consider other advertising platforms such as Bing, Amazon, Youtube etc the theory is all pretty much the same.

 

Keyword Research for PPC

Keyword research is required for this channel, and you are likely to have a mix of Brand eg Hilton Hotels, Non Brand eg Hotels in London and Long Tail Keywords, Hotels near SW1 with pool 5*

The closer your prospect gets to conversion the keywords will change to indicate intent. As the user get’s closer to conversion the keywords they uses change. In other words, as the intent to take an action grows, the keywords change to indicate that.

Low Intent Medium Intent High Intent
Hotel London Hotels near St Pauls Cathedral Hilton Hotel London with Business Facilities St Pauls
Cancer Charities Cancer Research Donate to Cancer Research UK
Fragrance Candles Yankee Candles Large Lemon Lavender Yankee Candle Next Day Delivery
High Volume Low Volume
Low Conversion % High Conversion %

 

Low intent keywords indicate the user is interested in the topic, but not sure what he or she wants yet. Medium intent keywords indicate a desire for specific items, services, or results, but are intended more for research and less for purchase/action. High intent keywords indicate the user is ready to buy or take action as soon as possible. Don’t forget you can also switch the type of advert depending on the device, and time of day. For example, if I am at home on my desktop you could show me an advert shows me options with site links to click and call, or make an order, if I was out shopping and on my mobile you could target and highlight how far away I am from your pizza place and order and carry home, saving delivery.

example of adwords for mobile and desktop

How does Google serve PPC adverts? 

You be under the impression that the number 1 slot on any given PPC SERP is based purely on how much that brand was willing to pay for the position. This is not the case. Google uses an equation to determine your placement for any particular keyword search.

That equation is Ad Placement = CPC bid x Quality Score

google quality score for adwords

CPC= cost per click.  In other words, it is the price you will pay every time a user clicks on your ad. Your CPC bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click for that given keyword. This is set by you, either at the keyword or Ad Group level.

Your Quality Score is a number Google gives your Ad based on a number of factors, summarized in this video.

 

What does Broad Match, Modified Match, Phrase Match , Exact Match and Negative Match mean? 

You need to be aware of the type of keywords you can bit on within your AdWord Campaigns.

They are as follows:

Broad Match are eligible for any searches that include any word in the keyword, in any order (e.g. “women’s shoes” would match for “women’s heels”, but also “women’s rights”, “men’s shoes”, “women’s snow shoes”, etc.) Broad keywords drive clicks, but potentially include lots of irrelevant clicks. Watch these for conversions to see if you need to make them more restricted. You can waste a lot of money heading right into broad match when you should mixes up your keyword types.

Example keyword = women shoes

Example search term = buy women shoes

Modified Broad matches: By adding a “+” in front of any words in a keyword phrase, you’re only eligible for searches that include those words. This is more restrictive than Broad.

Example keyword = +women +shoes

Example search term = shoes for women

Phrase match: Your ads will show for any search that includes the words in your keyword in the exact order you’ve specified. The search can have words before or after the phrase (e.g. “cute women’s shoes”), but nothing in between.

Example keyword = “women shoes”

Example search term =buy women’s shoes

Exact match: Only the exact keyword phrase by itself is eligible. Using this match results in less traffic, but if the keyword is very targeted to your product, you can drive high CTR and Conversion rate, and keep costs low by not targeting uninterested searchers.

Example keyword = [women shoes]

Example search term = women shoes

Negative Keywords: Adding or subtracting certain words from a search can indicate very different needs. Say you’re selling women’s casual and formal shoes. Someone searching for “women’s shoes” is probably interested in what you have to offer. But someone searching for “women’s athletic shoes” probably isn’t. You can add “women’s athletic shoes” as a negative keyword to your Ad Group, and this will prevent your ad from showing up.

What are Ad Extensions and Site Links?

Site extension links are a productive, oft-overlooked element in any good paid search ad. They eat up more page real estate and allow the user to select the best link for them, increasing conversion rate.

adwords example ppc

You can also use Ad Extensions which are additional call outs to enhance your adverts. You can use extensions to focus on reviews, business address.

Finally, you need to accept that your users will be using Mobile and therefore your PPC strategies need to be ready for this and adapt to mirror the context of your users needs and use this as an opportunity to provide a different advert to improve the relevance for the searcher.

For example, on a mobile device you would want to offer an option to Call you direct or mirror the advert based on their proximity, or to order online for delivery at home.

New stuff ?

Google are ALWAYS testing, and there have been some interesting changes as spotted by Barry Schwartz, as you can see by the image, Google AdWords ads are looking like organic listings.

barry schwarts

They are also testing site link extensions bleeding into expanded text ads, and carousels are being used on mobile adverts where you can swipe for more information, or focus.

new ppc format

Personally, I think this is a nice move for the users from a UX angle, but for marketing folk, get your house in order 1st and then focus on the different ad types. If you are not sure about your AdWords account, check out Wordstreams AdWord checker for free.