While optimum organic search results can be obtained by implementing several SEO strategies, paid advertising requires marketers to pay the owners of the ad space. There are several categories of paid ads, including PPC (pay-per-click), PPI (pay-per-impression), and display ads.
PPC is a form of search engine marketing where search engines allow the advertisers to display their ads on the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). Here, you need to pay a fee to the search engine every time the ad is clicked.
Though the term PPC also includes paid ads on social media networks, such as LinkedIn and Facebook; today we will focus on Google Ads only. The blog explores several Google Ads strategies to help you extract the best results out of your PPC ad campaigns. However, before that, we will discuss the benefits of paid ads generally implemented by the experts of digital marketing services. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
# Benefits of Paid Ads
Here, we will discuss a few benefits that you can derive by investing in paid advertisements. This will come in handy when you hire the services of any PPC management company for you would already know what to expect of it.
1. Greater Brand Visibility: A successful paid ad campaign can improve the rank of your website and display it on the first page of search results. This effectively enhances brand visibility and awareness, which is so crucial to your business.
2. Drive More Conversion and ROI: Since PPC ads target specific keywords, which any potential lead may use to search for information, products or services, these have higher chances to drive conversions. In fact, according to Unbounce, PPC visitors have 50% more chance of purchasing something vis-a-vis organic visitors. Thus, it can generate a higher ROI (return on investment).
3. Measurable: PPC ads that are run through the Google Ads platform are easily trackable. As a result, you can determine which ads are impactful in driving more traffic.
4. Target a location: Here, you can choose to display the ad in specific countries, cities, and zip codes. This option enables local businesses to connect with people residing near them.
PPC is a powerful marketing tool that can effectively help in enhancing online visibility, driving traffic, generating conversion, and boosting ROI. Most often, PPC shows faster results than SEO since the latter takes time to generate organic leads. This contributes to making many website owners believe that they can rank high through PPC without investing adequate resources, effort, and time in search engine optimization. However, that is not the case at all.
PPC doesn’t replace or reduce the efficacy of white label SEO strategies in boosting organic traffic. Rather, it should be considered as a complement to other inbound marketing strategies.
By now, you must have received enough information about PPC. In the following passage, we will discuss some effective Google Ads strategies to help you obtain a higher ROI (return on investment).
# Effective Google Ads Strategy
According to a survey, the first-page minimum bids for Google Ads have gone up by 15%. On the other hand, the number of ad slots on the desktop version has been reduced from 11 to 7 (source: Karooya). Such competition makes it essential for the advertisers to learn some effective Google Ads strategies to survive in the market without wasting money. These strategies will help to improve the quality score of your ad. Before delving deeper, let’s explain the Quality Score in brief to offer you a comprehensive idea about paid ads.
Quality Score is a rating from Google given on the basis of the relevance of your ad ( for example, how closely the keyword relates to the ad, and how closely the ad relates to the page content) in order to ensure that you are not directing traffic to irrelevant pages. For example, an advertiser may bid on “shoes” when he actually sells “vacuum cleaners”. Google tries to regulate such black hat strategies in order to enhance the user experience.
The Quality Score ranges from 1 to 10 and helps Google to show a relevant ad as per the score. If your competitor bids on a keyword at $6 and has a Quality Score of 3, while you bid on the same keyword at $4 and obtain a Quality Score of 7, Google may give your ad a higher rank because of its relevance.
Below, we will explore a few Google Ads strategies to improve the Quality Score.
- Select the Right Keywords
Performing keyword research will effectively help to generate the top keywords in your particular niche. Tracking their performance is also important before bidding on the same keywords. Let’s explain it with an example.
Suppose you have placed a bid on the keyword “digital marketing agency”, Google may show your ad when someone searches with the term “best digital marketing agency”. You can check the Search Terms Report of Google Ads to know the keywords for which your ad has been displayed. The ‘Match Type’ column of the report indicates the proximity between the search term that triggered your ad and the actual keyword you used.
By tracking the performance of the keywords with respect to the search terms, you can add, delete, or change the keywords accordingly.
The keyword match type instructs the search engines as to how aggressively or restrictively you want your keywords based advertisements to match the searches.
These are as follow:
1. Exact Match: Suppose someone searches with the phrase “men sports shoes black” and if your keyword is only “men sports shoes”, then the search result will not be displayed since the search term does not match with the keyword.
2. Phrase Match: Here, the ad will be displayed if the search term follows the same order of words, even if it contains other words. Continuing with the previous sample keyword, when someone searches for “men sports shoes black with spikes”, the ad will appear. But if the search term changes to “sports shoes for men black”, the ad will not appear since the word-order has been changed.
3. Broad Match: Here, the ad will appear if the search term contains the same combination of words as in the keyword. The words can be used in any possible order, with variations like singular or plural forms.
It’s important to adopt a keyword strategy very carefully. For example, bidding on the exact match keywords will help you to reach a narrow and specific target audience who search with the exact keyword. Since there can be numerous variations of search queries, chances are you may not drive much traffic through this.
To avoid such an issue, setting keywords to broad match is a popular strategy. However, this has a drawback as well. While it can drive a considerable amount of traffic, you cannot be certain if it is qualified traffic. For example, if someone searches with “black”, or “sports”, and your ad shows up, it may drive potentially unqualified traffic, resulting in wastage of your money.
To combat unwanted traffic, broad match modifier and negative keywords are some useful tools. The Broad match modifier (BMM) allows you to add a ‘+’ sign in front of the words in a keyword phrase. These words need to be present in the search term irrespective of the word order. Thus, it offers more control than broad match while ensuring higher flexibility than phrase match. Also, the ad will not appear for related or synonymous search terms.
Let’s explain this with the earlier example. If you modify the keyword as +men, +shoes, it can match “men blue sports shoes”, ‘buy shoes for men”, and so on. However, it will not match “gents shoes” because the word “men” is missing from the query.
A negative match keyword is another way to refine the keyword strategy. This allows your ad to avoid getting displayed for some search queries. For example, if you set “blue” to the negative match, the ad won’t show for any search containing the words – “blue sports shoes”.
- Improve the Quality of Ad and Landing Page
A catchy headline with a compelling ad copy revealing the service of the website is effective to catch more eyeballs. But, optimizing an ad has more to it. For example, a display URL or Vanity URL is an important aspect. The destination URL of the original page can look messy. The display URL needs to be readable and product or service-centric. This can effectively help to improve the Click-Through Rate (CTR). For example, if you want to publish an ad to sell grocery items, you can set your display URL to www.shophub.com/grocery-storehouse even though this is not the destination URL where traffic will be redirected after clicking the ad.
Refining the quality of the landing page is another crucial factor contributing to improving the Quality Score and conversion rate. The page should be user-friendly and provide adequate information to drive conversion. You can also use web analytics like Google Page Speed Insights and Google Mobile Friendly Test to check the quality of your landing page. It’s better to split up the ad groups into smaller and relevant groups and form a targeted landing page for each of them. This can help to reduce the bounce rate.
- Spend Your Budget Carefully
If you use relevant and popular match types, chances are you can receive excessive clicks resulting in your budget getting exhausted at the blink of an eye. To avoid such an issue, the Google Ads’ Campaign Daily Budget option allows you to adjust the budget every day and invest as long as your Return on Investment (ROI) is positive. You can also seek to decrease the budget on low-performing campaigns. This flexible budget management system ensures that you don’t run out of resources.
Paid advertising is undoubtedly one of the on-demand methods of enhancing brand visibility, growing brand awareness, increasing traffic, and boosting sales. However, only a strategic approach can offer you the expected results. Targeting the right keywords, continually optimizing the marketing strategy, and contacting a certified PPC service provider can ensure every penny of your PPC budget counts.