What Is PPC (Pay Per Click)? An Introduction to PPC Marketing

My Post (16).pngPPC is a digital marketing channel that businesses use to drive traffic and conversions from search engines.

Maybe you are looking for ways to land your first traffic and sales for a new business or are considering ways to grow your brand’s presence online.

PPC can be a great way to market your business and reach new customers, but it can be a little confusing at first for those just getting started with the channel.

In this guide, we will help you understand what PPC is, how it works, how you can use it to drive success for your business and explain different platforms, and how they work.

  • What is PPC?
  • How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?
  • Why Use PPC?
  • PPC vs. SEO
  • The Main PPC Platforms
  • The Basics of Search Ad Campaigns
  • The Basics of Shopping Ad Campaigns
  • A Note on Other Bidding Strategies
  • Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis for PPC Campaigns
  • Where Can You Learn More About PPC and Optimizing Your Campaigns?

What is PPC?

PPC, which stands for pay-per-click, is an online advertising model where advertisers run ads on a platform such as Google Ads and pay a fee every time someone clicks on it.

Run almost any search on Google (or Bing), and you will see ads displayed at the top of the results page.

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See the product grid to the right-hand side? They are also ads that show when a search has a commercial intent.

Businesses use PPC to drive traffic, sales, or inquiries from their target audience. Common PPC platforms allow an outstanding depth of targeting, meaning that you can serve ads in front of those only who you deem to fit your customer demographic.

Search engines are the number one way that people look for suppliers of both products and services, and when there is an active audience looking for what your business offers, there is an opportunity to make a sale.

PPC can help you get in front of these people with a precise level of targeting that traditional advertising doesn’t allow for.

Want to target someone who lives in San Francisco who is looking to buy a used Ford Mustang? Easily done.

PPC offers you an opportunity to reach your audience at a time when they are looking for a business like yours while gaining data insights to help you improve the efficiency of the channel over time.

Paid advertising is big business, and it is reported that Alphabet (Google) alone earns more than $162 billion per year through their ad platforms.

How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?

PPC as a marketing channel covers a number of different ad platforms, with the most common of these being Google Ads and Bing Ads.

And within each of these platforms are different ad formats, including:

  • Search Ads
  • Shopping Ads
  • Display Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Gmail Ads

Most commonly, you will find that businesses start their PPC marketing on Google Ads, for the simple reason that it gives access to the largest audience of potential clients and customers, as well as a number of different ways to set up and run campaigns depending on your goals. – Read more

5 tips for starting international PPC

My Post (15).pngBe ready to watch for nuances of your targeted regions and adapt your strategy on a regional basis as you begin to track performance.

Expanding marketing efforts beyond your home country can be an exciting step. However, branching into new regions with PPC entails much more than simply copying your campaigns and changing the geographic targeting.

Don’t rush into setting up international campaigns until you’ve thought out budgeting, channel allocation, account structure, localization, and unique regional concerns. In this article, I’ll expand on each of these points to help you establish a framework for beginning to target other countries.

Budget for different costs by country

CPCs and CPMs to compete in ad auctions vary widely by country. You can get a rough estimate for projected spend in Google search by adding your keywords to Google Keyword Planner and setting the region to the country you’re planning to target. However, these estimates can be off, and you’ll get the best idea of average CPCs/CPMs once you actually start running a campaign and see actual figures.

In addition, costs for customer acquisition also will likely vary by country. If you’re just starting to advertise in a region that’s not familiar with your brand, you can often expect higher CPAs.

However, you might find the opposite to be true if CPCs are lower in that region. I recently launched a LinkedIn campaign in Latin America for a client, and we found that CPAs were less than half of our averages in the United States due to significantly lower CPCs.

Also, pay attention to CRM data to measure lead quality. While they may be cheaper in a region, a lower percentage of prospects may actually be the right potential customers. You’ll ultimately want to look at metrics like cost per qualified lead and cost per completed sale to determine what CPAs to aim for in your campaigns.

Research top channels by region

Consider what search and social channels people use the most in the regions you’re looking to target. Targeting Google alone will exclude a significant number of users in several countries. For instance, Yandex covers 44% of the search engine market share in Russia, and Baidu has 66% of the market share in China.

StatCounter is a good site to start for research (with the caveat that no stats are going to be 100% accurate), as well as talking to contacts on the ground in regions you’re looking to target. Representatives at ad platforms may be able to assist in providing stats on regional usage, as well.

Plan for account structure

Separating campaigns by country, or by overarching region, allows you to better control bids and segment out reporting. This tactic also prevents countries with cheaper CPCs and high volume from cannibalizing spend, giving countries that may have higher CPCs, but quality leads, a chance to perform.

Separate geographic campaigns also allow for more accurate usage of time-based bid modifiers. If you lump the Europe and the US into the same campaign, and lower bids during the night in the US, you’re effectively also lowering bids during the workday in Europe. Keeping those regions in different campaigns allows you to apply hourly bid modifiers without worrying about hurting performance in time zones several hours away. – Read more

How to Get Started with PPC Automation in 7 Steps

My Post (14).pngAutomation is a common practice for marketers and businesses in 2020, offering streamlined, efficient ways to quickly knock out tasks that would otherwise take up a significant chunk of time. This is particularly true in the world of paid marketing, which requires long and sometimes tedious research in order to create successful campaigns.

Fortunately, with the use of PPC automation tools, it’s easier to optimize your ad campaigns, leading to more traffic and more conversions. These tools allow you to leverage valuable data, advanced technology, and AI and machine learning to drive more sales.

Matthew Soakell said it best:

All things have become automated to the greatest possible extent. Everything is so fast and progressive. The PPC industry is evolving as never before. This should be understandable to all PPC specialists. If you are not willing to adapt to the changes in a particular industry, you won’t be a good specialist. Fast adaptation to changes is rather important.

According to Hanapin’s recent study, 52% of marketers stated that AI and machine learning speed up their day-to-day work. This trend is only going to continue in the near future.

In this post, we’re going to take a close look at how you can use PPC automation to grow your business and improve your campaigns, taking you step by step through the process.

  • Key Benefits of PPC Automation: Why You Should Implement It
  • Getting Started With PPC Automation: The Ultimate Checklist
  • Infographics
  • Remember: Automation doesn’t mean set-it-and-forget-it
  • Conclusion

Key Benefits of PPC Automation: Why You Should Implement It

PPC automation is all about maximizing your time and resources, allowing you to pass off mundane, repetitive, or time-consuming tasks so that you can focus on overall campaigns and marketing strategy.

For busy advertisers and small business marketers alike, this is crucial.

There are five key benefits associated with PPC automation:

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1. Save time with automated bidding

Bid management is incredibly time-consuming, as it’s an ongoing, hands-on task. PPC automation can manage bidding for you, usually with a greater degree of accuracy and profitability if done right. Our PPC automation tool uses complex, expert algorithms to optimize your campaigns and your bidding strategy.

2. Instantly optimize your creatives

It takes a significant amount of time to generate compelling ad copy and to pair it up with the right advertising platforms. This is particularly true when you’ve got a large number of creatives that you’re testing. Automatic optimization based on data, however, can help you focus on what’s working.

3. Take advantage of lightning-fast A/B testing

A/B testing should always be executed for your PPC campaigns, but it can take a substantial amount of resources. Having PPC automation tools that tackle testing for you will help you optimize your campaigns and replace your best results next time around. – Read more

How to Win the “SEO vs. PPC” Debate

My Post (2).pngBelieve it or not, some marketers are still taking sides in the “SEO vs. PPC” debate. I can understand the passion on both sides of the aisle, but I’d compare it to an argument about the need for “air vs. water.” Depending on your immediate circumstances, one may be more important than another—but both are necessary for survival.

To those passionately arguing that SEO is better than PPC, or vice versa, I propose a truce based on the potential for incremental gains when we work together.

For those seeking answers to the question, “should I invest in PPC or SEO,” buckle up—we’re about to unpack a debate that has raged for more than a decade to help you decide how to prioritize your digital marketing efforts.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is the difference between SEO and PPC?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of improving your brand’s visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) to attract more visitors to your web properties.

It’s not limited to just web search engines, though. SEO strategies also improve your visibility in maps search results, image and video search results, shopping listings, app stores, and social media search results.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising positions your brand in sponsored ad positions on search results pages. Advertisers have more control over the targeted keywords, audiences, and creative, but they pay for each click to their website.

Screenshot of a typical Google Ad
A search ad is most commonly found at the top of the search results.

Many marketers oversimplify the difference between SEO and PPC with a half-truth like, “SEO is free but PPC costs money.” While it’s true that clicks on organic search results don’t cost you money, there’s a good chance that your content won’t rank consistently well unless you invest in people, content, and tools to step up your SEO game. You get what you pay for.

Another misperception is that PPC has to be expensive. Sure, PPC can be pricey if you don’t put proper safeguards in place to protect your wallet. You wouldn’t just leave your debit card hanging out of an ATM, would you? No, you protect it with a PIN and withdrawal limits. Similarly, you protect your PPC spend by setting daily budgets and monitoring your campaigns for wasteful spending on irrelevant keywords.

Which channel is better at increasing revenue?

That’s a trick question. It’s both.

SEO and PPC can generate qualified traffic to your site and improve your chances of converting more visitors to customers. And surveys conducted by Google and Nielsen suggest that brands get more combined clicks on ads and organic results when both are present on a SERP. Sharing insights and integrating your paid and organic search strategies will yield more growth than focusing all of your resources on one versus the other.


How do you measure the success of an SEO strategy vs. a PPC campaign?

Start with your business objectives. In most cases, the overall aim is to increase revenue, leads, sales, or engagement. Successful SEO and PPC strategies can create measurable impacts on your business, quantified with a few key metrics at each step in the customer journey.

This is not an exhaustive list of the metrics that you can measure, but it does show the similarities and overlaps between SEO and PPC that can be exploited.

The SEO or PPC zealots can each claim superiority in some of these metrics. But savvy marketers realize that neither channel exists in a vacuum and we should focus on the contribution of each channel to shared goals.

Attribution Is the Future Present

In most cases, consumers interact with your brand multiple times before converting. And like snowflakes, no two conversion paths are the same. There are likely multiple touchpoints that must be accounted for to get a true picture of the customer journey.  – Read more

Is Click Fraud Devouring Your Ad Budget?

My Post (1)Click fraud occurs when a pay-per-click advertisement is clicked on by a user with malicious or disingenuous intent. Click fraud first came to light in 2005, when several major cases were taken to court.

However, it continues to poison marketing campaigns—and find its way into more and more courtrooms. Juniper Research estimates that click fraud cost advertisers $42 billion in 2019.

In a time when advertising budgets are being cut and many businesses are facing economic uncertainty, putting every ad dollar to good use goes a long way.

This article explains what click fraud is, shows how it can impact your campaigns, and shares ways to reduce its impact on your marketing.

How click fraud works
There are many ways to implement click fraud. Here’s a rundown of causes:

1. Click farms. Some businesses approach companies on the “dark web” to click on ads on their website. The clicks aren’t from potential customers, but they’re often from real people.

These dodgy arrangements are often called click farms. Some networks are highly sophisticated, and organisers disguise their IP addresses. Click farms are often a combination of real people and bots.

2. Competing businesses. Competing businesses may click on each other’s PPC ads to waste money. If you conduct some intricate research (detailed below), you may be able to identify the IP address of competing businesses. If you can—great! Loads of PPC platforms (Google Ads included) allow you to blacklist IP addresses.

Competitive industries, such as insurance, travel, and finance are especially susceptible.

3. Potential buyers. Believe it or not, consumers who highly value particular brands click on competitors’ ads—knowing it will cost them money. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it.

Loyal buyers of other brands don’t care about your ad budget or your search terms. Thankfully, the effect of these types of clicks on your campaigns is minimal.

4. Automated programs (bots). Perhaps the biggest culprits of click fraud are robots—malicious computer programs (botnets) that automatically scan the internet and subtly carry out clicks, trying to pass as human.

Wired refers to these as “hordes of linked machines controlled by rogue software.” They may be random and created simply to annoy people and businesses.

A recent Imperva Incapsula Bot Traffic Report found that 48.2% of website visits are by humans and 51.8% by robots. (Some 22.9% are “good” robots and 28.9% “bad” robots.)

No matter the cause of click fraud, the losing party is the business paying for the ad. After all, they want potential customers clicking their ads, and each instance of click fraud makes advertising more costly.

So how much should you worry about it?

How much of an impact does click fraud have?
“Click fraud can be extremely unsettling for well-to-do publishers and advertisers on search,’ says Grayson Kemper, Content & Editorial Manager for Clutch, “particularly during a time when many businesses are operating with an incredibly tight budget.”

However, for most small businesses, systemic click fraud is rare, according to Marcus Miller of Bowler Hat:

You may lose some clicks to competitors and window shoppers, but we don’t see much of what we would consider true click fraud.

If traffic seems low quality, we will tweak targeting or, in very rare occasions, block IPs, etc.—but in most instances, this is just not that common.

Typically, just using very tight targeting, not showing ads in countries where there are higher instances of click fraud or click farming, and using paid social—which, as a closed network, seems much less susceptible to click fraud—seems to work.

That said, it’s not all hype, either, as Christian Nicolini, Senior Director of Paid Media at Ignite Visibility, notes:

Most click-fraud cases manifest from third-party display placements. However, we also see affiliate click fraud, competitor click fraud, click farms, and bots. While publishers have drastically improved their security, our team uses a combination of manual and automated tools to combat click fraud.

From a manual response, we create internal reports to collect click timestamps, action timestamps, user agents, IP addresses, and create a master exclusion list of speculative activity. We’ve also experimented with several automation tools, like ClickCease and Clixtell to automate this process at scale.

Our advice to advertisers with smaller budgets: Stick with buying ads on owned properties (e.g., Facebook ads, Gmail, Discovery, search) and monitor your audience targeting in third-party serving environments (e.g., Google Display Network).

Indeed, individual cases and the collective impact is staggering.

There are some major botnets out there. For example, “Chameleon” is estimated to cost advertisers upwards of $6 million every month. Ad Age estimates that $1 out of every $3 spent on PPC is subject to click fraud. FraudLogix said that 50% (yes, 50%) of all ads that gained an impression in 2016 were a result of non-human traffic. – Read more

Smart campaigns helps small businesses reach more customers

My Post (1).pngSmall businesses are looking for tools to get their business online and reach the right audience. Smart campaigns, built specifically for small businesses, is an automated tool that helps you promote your business on Google. We recently rolled out Google Ads Smart campaigns to all 150 countries where Google Ads is available. Businesses of all sizes can now get ads up and running in just 15 minutes. Additionally, we’re making Smart campaigns easier to use: there are new features that can help you sign up from any device, stand out on Google Maps, see your results right on Google Search, and control when your ads show.

Sign up directly through the mobile app

Now you can sign up for Smart campaigns and run ads directly from the Google Ads mobile app on Android or iOS. We’ve made the process faster and easier, so you can start advertising right away. In-app signup is currently available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Japan, with more countries to follow.

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Your ads can be up and running in minutes with the Google Ads app.

Helping you stand out on Google Maps, for free

Every month, over 1 billion people use Google Maps to see what’s around them, search for businesses, and find directions. Promoted pins on Google Maps help your business stand out during these moments by displaying a prominent, square-shaped pin. You can also highlight specific services such as pickup and delivery, or other unique offerings.

As people begin to visit businesses in person again, we want to send more customers your way. Through September 2020, you won’t be charged for any clicks, calls or sales from Promoted pins.

We’ve started rolling out Promoted pins to Smart campaign advertisers with a Google My Business profile and will be fully available in the coming weeks.

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Grab the attention of more potential customers with Promoted pins.

Easily see how your ads perform directly on Google.com

If you want an efficient way of checking your ad status, this feature is for you. We’ve made our reporting features more accessible—with a quick search, you can instantly see the status of your ads, how they’re performing, and how your ads look to potential customers. First, sign into the Google account you use for Google Ads. Then search for “My Ads” or “Google Ads” directly on Google.com. This feature will be available to all Smart campaign advertisers in the coming weeks. – Read more

3 Forecasting Strategies For PPC Data Anomalies

My Post (7).pngCOVID-19 is impacting every area of our lives. Working for an agency, or within a marketing department, I imagine it impacted your client’s marketing budgets (or your own) for the immediate future and most likely, for the rest of the year and into next year.

I have a client that was severely affected by COVID-19 in an extremely positive way – they could not keep up with the influx of demand. This drastically shifted our digital priorities and budgets. We are now in the midst of putting together budgets for their upcoming fiscal year, and in doing so, ran into quite a few hiccups because of COVID-19 and the resulting performance and budget shifts.

As a result, I’ve found there are a few different ways to review PPC data from the COVID-19 period.

There are three scenarios I would encourage you to look at as you create new budget projections for this year:

  • Digital revenue as is (no adjustments, no normalized numbers, no accounting for increases/decreases in spend)
    • This situation focuses on revenue to dollar ratio that actually happened before, during, and continuing through the virus outbreak
  • Digital revenue with the impact of COVID-19
    • This situation focuses on revenue to dollar ratio and any compensations that were made to your marketing budget due to the virus outbreak
    • Situation two is different from situation one as situation two takes into account if you raised or lowered your digital spend due to COVID-19. Situation one focuses on maintaining everything ‘as-is.’
  • Digital revenue without the impact of COVID-19
    • The final situation focuses on throwing out data from the COVID-19 period and considering whatever performance happened as an anomaly. A line would have to be drawn at the onset of the virus to an agreed-upon date to when normalcy in performance is/was anticipated.
      • In the case of my client, it was March 15 – to date (or until demand died down to normal levels.)

Strategy One – Projections Without Adjustments

This situation is likely the easiest to account for projections. Many marketers would likely deem this situation ‘passive.’ It is putting you in a passive position where you aren’t letting external factors impact your decisions. Your marketing dollars are set and you will not shift one way or another due to performance.

To forecast within the parameters of situation one, project budgets with all metrics remaining constant. For example, all CPCs, impression share, CTR, and CVR are assumed to not change compared to your lookback window (lookback window = the time frame you are referencing performance to project future time frame, such as last year, six months, thirty days, etc.).

In the example below, you’ll see that the revenue forecast is closely correlated to changes in the cost or budget. That is because we assumed all other metrics, like CPCs and impression share, would remain constant.

Strategy Two – Accounting For Fluctuations

Situation two differs from situation one because you are accounting for any fluctuations in the budget you made due to the virus. This situation also anticipates performance taking time before it adjusts whether it is because the virus will calm down, seasonality, or general interest returns or declines. This situation adjusts for seasonalities AND anomalies.

When accounting for fluctuations due to COVID, or any other unexpected event, you are taking into account the performance from the time period of the event and including that data in your averages (or however you choose to do your forecasting). Depending on the industry, this strategy may be the most misleading in budget forecasts. – Read more

When To Create New PPC Campaigns

My Post (1)The world of paid search is unique for all account managers, every account, and so forth. No two accounts managers are identical in the way that they strategize and no two accounts are identical in terms of what optimizations and changes should be made. With that being said, generalizations can be made and then altered with the account in mind.

In this post, we will discuss at which point new paid search campaigns should be created and the process behind it. This is from my time as an account manager and may vary by account vertical, platform, and network.

For the sake of this post, we will focus on three networks within Google: Search, Shopping, and Display.

Search

For search, a few scenarios for creating a new campaign include;

  • You have no search campaigns. This may be obvious but search is going to be lower funnel traffic as users are actively searching. If you are looking to make a sale or generate a lead, search should be your first touchpoint.
  • A new product was released. Sometimes products are released and are nearly identical to products already around, which may not require new keywords. For example, if you sell a dress in black and the dress is now made in white, it’s probably not going to require a new campaign but rather just a few additional keywords. However, on the flip-side, if you recently only sold dresses and now you are going to offer men’s shirts, a new campaign would be needed.
  • You expanded to other locations. I highly encourage segmenting campaigns by larger geographic regions. For example, if you offer your services in the US but expand to the UK, it makes sense to create a new campaign for the UK rather than targeting the UK and the US in the same campaign. This allows for more control over dayparting, bids, keyword language, creative, etc.
  • Traffic. When it comes to traffic, as an account manager, you will need to use your knowledge and past experience to determine if a new campaign is needed. One example would be if the campaign budget is limited and additional budget can’t be justified at the campaign level because performance goals aren’t being met. If you then look at the ad group level, if one ad group is performing better than the campaign as a whole, it may make sense to pull that ad group out in order to increase spend and drive additional traffic to those keywords.

The above can be applied to other search platforms, such as Bing, as well!

Shopping

For shopping, the article linked in the header gives a great breakdown of how to structure shopping campaigns. Some rationale for creating a new shopping campaign include;

  • You have no shopping campaigns. Again, this may be obvious but shopping is going to be lower funnel traffic as users are actively searching. If you are looking to make a sale, shopping should be another campaign type that is launched early on, as it allows for more ad real estate to be filled and gives users a visually appealing ad to draw them to your site.
  • New Product Categories. This is entirely dependent on how your campaigns are segmented. If you have all of your products in one campaign, you will want to ensure new products are active but it may not require a new campaign. On the flip-side, if you have a catch-all campaign (as mentioned in the article linked above) and higher priority campaigns, you will want to consider if a new campaign should be launched. This could be determined by the amount of traffic generated to the products via the catch-all campaign or if the product is a high priority for the business as a whole.
  • Promotions. If you have promotions running, it may be beneficial to think about new shopping campaigns. The reason being is that it’ll allow for more control over the traffic specifically going to a group of products. For example, if you sell a tablet that’s on sale for the month of December, by creating a campaign specifically for the tablet promotion, you will be able to exclude specific searches and allocate as much (or as little) spend to the campaign as you want.

The above can be applied to other search platforms, such as Bing, as well! – Read more

Navigating the road ahead: How consumers are adjusting to COVID-19

My Post (28)COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives and how we connect with the world around us. Things like social distancing, curbside pickup, and at-home workouts are now commonplace. The necessary measures taken to manage the pandemic have not only disrupted the global economy, but have also altered consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior. These shifts are constant and they’re happening rapidly—and we want to help you navigate them. Today, we’ll share five key trends we’re seeing and provide helpful resources for adjusting your media strategy.

What’s changing with consumers?

As of this week, there are over four billion people staying home worldwide. And while we don’t know how or when this crisis will resolve, we do have new insight into how people’s needs and behaviors are changing:

People are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented levels.

Connecting with the world online is more important than ever right now, with at-home media consumption increasing dramatically and influencing all aspects of life.

  • In the U.S., staying home has led to a 60 percent increase in the amount of content watched. Americans are watching roughly 12 hours of media content a day, according to Nielsen data.
  • Consumers across the globe are spending 20 percent more time in apps and games than they did a year ago and app usage in China grew to five hours/day on average (+30 percent year over year), according to App Annie.


People are turning to Google for important information and content to meet their essential needs.

With businesses adapting to delivery or online models, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when they can get what they need.

  • According to internal data, searches for “food delivery services” have grown globally by more than 300 percent year over year.
  • Americans are watching videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate 31 percent higher than they did the same time last year.
  • According to internal data, searches for “online pharmacy” have grown globally by more than 100 percent year over year.


People are discovering new connections and nurturing relationships (virtually).

Even as people physically distance themselves, they’re using technology in new ways to connect with each other.

  • 50 percent of U.S. consumers said they have used video to communicate with family and friends. In fact, as of April, Google Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding nearly 3 million new users everyday.
  • On YouTube, we’ve seen a rise in “with me” videos, where people film themselves going about ordinary tasks like cleaning and cooking. In the US, views of videos containing “study with me” in the title are 54 percent higher compared to the same period last year.


People are adjusting routines to be at-home-first.

As daily routines and schedules adjust to new realities, so have online and at-home habits.

  • Search interest for “telecommuting” in the U.S. reached an all-time high on Google and YouTube in mid-March, and continues to grow with no sign of slowing down.
  • Workout routines have changed. There’s growing search interest for “stationary bicycle” worldwide since the beginning of the year, especially in Spain and France, and “dumbbell set” in the UK.


People are practicing self-care more. 

People are focused on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs, in addition to those of friends and loved ones. – Read more

How to increase online sales in three easy steps through PPC ads

My Post (26)Coronavirus and related quarantine measures led to an increase in online sales, video content consumption, and the time people spent on the internet in general. That’s why PPC ads are more relevant than ever now for your business. Well crafted ads can be a great way to improve your conversion rate and profit.

In this article, you’ll find the most common errors in contextual advertising and get practical recommendations on setting up effective ads.

The most common errors when setting up ads

1. Contactless ads

Advertisements without contact information take up less space in SERP and lose to competitors’ ads due to the fact that they are less noticeable and informative.

2. Lack of quick links and favicon

This error leads to a decrease in traffic, CTR, and means that the ad budgets will rise.

3. Ads are not optimized for the Google Display Network

A search engine ad campaign is different from one shown on the Google Display Network. If you just copy ads, you’ll not get a good result.

The main difference between campaigns on the thematic sites and in search:

  • Images are not displayed in search but on thematic sites, they must be added.
  • Advertising on thematic sites should be more creative than in search. There are many different formats in GDN you can experiment with.

4. Lack of division into the industry and regional campaigns

Without this separation, you can waste the budget. Dividing the campaign, you’ll identify which industries or regions are more effective, which part of the campaign should get more attention and budget.

5. Improper structure of PPC ads campaigns

The campaign structure does not appear from scratch but is created on the basis of internet demand and customer market analysis (customer needs and requirements, product demand, and other such parameters).

For example, you can create the following groups from your PPC campaign: On a company brand, on general keywords, on regions, on types of the product, on promotions, and on competitors.

6. The site doesn’t load when clicked

Often, a campaign is running but a server is not configured to process the labels of advertising systems. Therefore, when you click on an ad, the site may not load.

How to set up an effective PPC ads campaign

Work with contextual advertising involves continuous analysis. Before launch, it’s an analysis of the target audience, the strengths and weaknesses of the product, the activities of competitors, and niche filling. Since the situation on the market is changing dynamically, before running an advertising campaign, you should carry out a direct analysis of contextual ads, their results, as well as competitors.

Before starting a PPC campaign

As I’ve already said, you should make a deep analysis before setting up your advertisements. You should learn:

1. The target audience

These are people whose attention you want to capture and convert them into buyers.

A specialist should understand their pains, determine triggers of influence, find out which style works best to communicate with them.

You can do it with the help of different polls and surveys among your clients, talking to your customer support team, and studying your competitors.

2. The product

How are you selling the product? How is it made? How is it different from competitors? What value does it create for buyers? What are its strengths and weaknesses? You should know answers to all these questions because it’ll be rather difficult to sell a product or service without them.

3. The niche

Each business has its specifics. It can be something more familiar to each of us (for example, retail, like Amazon) or something non-standard from B2B (business to business) sphere (for example, content marketing services). Study sites from given examples to see the difference between niches.