The purpose of a targeted PPC (Google search and display advertising) campaign is to show your website to more potential customers (impressions) and bring them on to your site (Click through rate).
Your keyword targeting and bid strategy will influence the number of impressions you achieve and the CTR will be influenced by relevance to that search, ad copy and ad design.
Your actual conversions (that is, someone on the site taking an action) is influenced by the structure and usability of your site, ease of use (‘UX’; user experience) and relevance of copy and images used. Work undertaken to improve this is called CRO (conversion rate optimisation). We have a tool called ‘heat-mapping’ to show how people are interacting with the site, and Google Tag Manager to track any actions they take (eg, clicking the phone number link, sending an email, completing an enquiry form).
Ultimately, the goal of PPC is to generate the maximum amount of traffic at the most competitive price.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the ‘organic’ alternative – so rather than paying google to present your page on page 1 of a relevant search, you optimise the site to rank organically in a high page 1 position. This is more complex and takes time, but it should run alongside a paid campaign. Optimising your site will improve your online visibility over time.
Display ads vs search ads
Display is sometimes referred to as ‘remarketing’. Essentially, display ads are images – the sort of ads you see embedded in news pages, within Facebook and other third party sites. These ads target people who have been to your site but not converted. The ad effectively ‘follows them around’ with the hope they will click the ad and visit your site. As this targets only people who have been to your site before (through a search campaign), the numbers are lower.
The ‘scaleable’ area will be optimising your search ads and investing more money in those ads.
Bid on the relevant keywords. There are tools to help you set a keyword strategy for your campaigns. We typically follow a ‘phrase match’ strategy – this means that Google will show your ads to people who search for similar keywords. You can fine tune the campaign by tracking and setting ‘negative’ keywords, this is where we exclude specific keywords where they are not relevant.
Over time, this makes your campaign more targeted and relevant and will increase the click through rates.
You can research additional keywords for the campaign, where there is high relevance and search volumes. For example, some keywords may have very small volumes. Keywords with higher search volumes will be more competitive (as more businesses chase them) and your bid strategy will need to reflect this or your ad won’t appear in those searches (because you’re being outbid).
Your bid strategy will also affect where you rank – position 1, 2, 3 etc. The higher you rank, the more clicks you’ll get. So, impressions and page position are directly correlated to bid strategy.
You can use a combination of ‘standard’ and ‘responsive ads’. Standard ads are set by you, they don’t change. Responsive ads will change based on the keywords used in the search, so Google picks from a set of options and presents a more bespoke advert to the user. You still control all of the variables, but you give Google the option of which ones to use. This ‘should’ deliver campaigns with a higher CTR.
You can have as many of these ads running as you wish, it just takes some time to set them up. Over time, you can see which ones work best for you and fine tune your campaign to maximise your clicks and conversions.
Google will give you insight into your web users including, for example, age band. You can then target the age groups that respond best. If you have a product or service that has a specific age range, you can set this from the outset. For example, a Club 18-30 holiday would target people of that age group only. If you’re not sure, target widely and fine-tune based on the performance over time.
Remarketing / Display Ads
Display ads can drive traffic to your site but be cautious looking at ‘just’ conversion rates – these could be misleadingly low. The conversion rate may be low, however display ads are very positive for ‘trust signalling’ and often potential buyers will click the ad but return to the site later to convert, so tracking site traffic is a better indicator than conversion via this channel.
You can see which other businesses are bidding on your keywords and how they compare with you in terms of impressions (market share) and page position (if they are above you, they’ll be getting more clicks). Your bid strategy (ie. your spend) will help improve your visibility.
In Google Ads, go to Keywords and then Auction insights and look at who’s competing against you, what their impression share is and their ‘position above rate’ to see how you compare.
Does Site Speed matter?
Yes, as with organic keyword rankings, site speed does impact your Google Ads and your customers’ on page experience (which affects conversion rates). Check out our blog on site speed HERE.
If you need help, call in the experts. We can manage everything for you and help you increase your lead generation and drive down your costs.