Pay-Per-Click and Google AdWords 101
All companies want to see their websites or URLs appear at the top of search engine rankings. However, earning increased exposure through organic search results isn’t something that happens overnight. Ideally, your digital marketing campaign should be a mix of paid search tools and organic optimization. However, not all paid search options may be ideal for your business. Understanding how to stretch your online advertising dollars helps to not only optimize your budget, but it also allows for flexibility if you choose to refocus your efforts from one paid method to another.
If you’re new to paid search tools, AdWords might be the ideal method for you to start with. AdWords utilizes the “pay-per-click” advertising philosophy: You set an advertising budget, and only pay when your ads are clicked upon. When displaying your ads, you bid for certain keywords and phrases associated with your service sector. When those phrases are put into a search engine, your ads appear.
Getting the Most Out of Your Campaign
Sounds simple enough, right? However, without the right guidance, you can easily blow through your PPC budget without generating the results that you want. They key to your success lies in the selection of your keywords and phrases. Consider the following tips when contemplating which you want to bid on:
- Understand the different types of matches: You have options when it comes to selecting your keyword matches. Exact match only displays your ads when the user’s word or phrase matches yours exactly. Phrase match allows for variations of a phrase. Broad match lessens the triggering criteria even further and allows your ads to show up on any searches Google deems to be relevant. A modified broad match category also exists which allows you, not Google, to determine relevancy.
- Bid according to match types: Bid higher on exact matches as these offer the most highly targeted advertising. Reserve funds to bid on phrase and modified broad matching, while avoiding broad matches altogether.
- Avoid negative keywords: Phrase and modified broad matching criteria includes a range of keywords to help determine relevancy. Generally, any keywords that don’t match buying signals are considered to be negative. Thus, when creating your criteria, avoid words that could cause your ads to appear in results not aimed at customers. For example, you wouldn’t want to appear in an informative search where a user is simply looking to learn more about your industry.
One more thing to consider are your campaign settings. These allow you to further customize your matching criteria. Consider your target audience’s typical search behaviors (i.e., when they’re online, their demographics) and adjust your settings accordingly.
Utilizing PPC and AdWords as part of your online marketing strategy can be a great, low-risk way to help drive traffic to your site as you’re waiting for your organic SEO efforts to catch up. As you can see, however, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Taking the aforementioned tips into account will help you to avoid missteps and maximize your ROI.