There’s no doubt that pay-per-click advertising with Google AdWords is one of the surest ways to raise brand awareness and acquire new customers quickly but unless you know what you are doing, paid search can be tricky, and if you’re making mistakes, it will cost you dearly so what is a good basis for best practice?
Relevant Ads & Quality Score
Quality Score, which is Google’s all-important metric for pay-per-click advertising is primarily focused on the quality of your keywords, your ads, and the landing pages users come to from clicking those ads.
In general, the higher your Quality Score the lower your costs will be and it is believed that for each point your Google Quality Score is above the average of 5/10, your cost-per-click CPC will drop about 16%.
As such, if you have a score of 8/10 you should experience about a 40% total cost per click reduction compared to the cost per click to you with a score 5/10.
Conversely however, if you are below average and your score is a lowly 3/10 then you can expect your cost-per-click to be 67% higher than average. Drop to 2/10 and your cost per click is believed to increase by some 150% and at 1/10 by a massive 400% over the average.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has worked in search marketing for more than 5 minutes as Google basically rewards relevance and punishes the irrelevant.
Since Quality Score determines where and how often your ads appear and crucially, the cost to you, it is important to boost your score, improve your click-through-ratio CTR and lower your cost-per-click by having someone who knows what they are doing working consistently on your Adwords account.
The main areas of focus are:
- Keyword Research – Use highly relevant keywords for your campaigns.
- Keyword Organisation – Split your keywords into tight, organised groups that can be more effectively tied to individual ad campaigns so as to make them more relevant and less scattergun in approach.
- Refine your Ad Text – Use narrow in focus, less broad PPC ad copy that is targeted to your individual ad groups as opposed to a one size fits all approach. More effective ads get higher CTR, which is one of the best ways to improve Quality Score.
- Optimise your Landing Pages – Follow landing page best practices to create pages that connect directly with your ad groups and ad context and provide a cohesive experience for visitors, from keyword through to conversion.
- Adding Negative Keywords – Continuously research, identify, and exclude irrelevant search terms that are wasting your budget.
Need help with Pay-Per-Click Campaign?
In choosing the right people to help with an Adwords Campaign you need more than just someone who knows how to set one up on Google’s software and Adwords is no different to other forms of marketing in that (as demonstrated with Quality Score) you are rewarded for relevance and punished for mediocrity.
Adword Reseller v Professional Marketing Consultants
This is a hot topic at present as many new ‘PPC agencies’ aka Adwords Resellers employ many times more ‘account managers’ than they do search and ppc marketing ‘professionals’ and your bank account is where it will hit you hard when they get it wrong.
One of the most common drains on a PPC budget is wrongly placing low relevance ads in the wrong segments and seeing click throughs well below the market average. It is lazy and avoidable. Such Adword resellers give the industry a bad name and many sell a good game but rarely deliver.
It doesn’t help when your adword reseller acts as a buffer between you and Google and in doing so hides the costs they incur whilst charging you a flat fee, irrespective of performance or adword cost.
Whether relevant ads are not placed correctly and in turn are not using their fullest potential or at the other end of the scale where irrelevant ads are placed in highly competitive key word markets doing no more than pissing your budget away, the adword resellers mentioned in the many stories of regret you will see on the likes of Trust-pilot all scream out about one common trend. Namely one of a well talked game in the sales phase that once the smoke screen clears it gives way to a poorly run Adwords campaign with little to no transparency and a year long contract trapping you to something you would rather cut off your own arm than continue beyond the first month.
The right approach to PPC
Marketing is a skilled profession and like many professions it has different elements and specialisms and the quality of the output is directly relevant to the quality of the input.
You can put a monkey at the piano but more fool you if you expect him to play Mozart and whilst account managers and sales people working for adword resellers (for example Yell) know the basics and can talk a good game compared to you the business owner customer, it doesn’t mean that they understand what makes for successful marketing or not.
Sadly, a lot of adword resellers are in the business of just selling Adwords and whether they work for you, or not, they get paid regardless and hide behind long term contracts to keep you.
Good PPC marketing looks at the entire sales and marketing lifecycle, the target audience and the relevance of not just the campaign and its ads but the next steps involved after audience engagement through to acquisition and how each step supports or hinders the sales and marketing function.
Think of it this way, a PPC campaign is like the bringing of the proverbial horse to water but whilst the saying goes, you cant make him drink it, the reality is that you can get the horse drink the water with good marketing if you have the right horse, the right water and the right way of bringing both of them together.
Want to know more?
If you want to learn more about this subject in general, how to better rank your site for SEO or Pay-Per-Click and to better engage with your target audience then feel free to get in touch for a no obligation chat from an SEO and PPC Consultancy that will understand you, your business and your target audience