Advertising per clicks - PPC (Pay Per Click) - Google AdWords
In the 12th episode of our series, we present the principles of marketing based on PPC (Pay Per Click), i.e. advertising that is billed for clicks. Sponsored link campaigns are one of the most common ways of advertising on the web in recent years. There are many advantages for PPC, which we will try to present in this text. See how the ad is billed for clicks.
The most important aspects of per-click advertising will be looked at using Google AdWords as an example. At the beginning, we will explain how Google AdWords works, what forms of search advertising can take, and we will show you where AdWords ads are displayed. Next, we will present how to prepare an advertising campaign in Google AdWords and how to choose the right keywords, as well as how to monitor the effectiveness of the campaign, how to create reports and conduct remarketing activities in AdWords.
The principle of operation of AdWords
Google AdWords works in a simple way, in which many factors depend on the advertiser himself. Let's start from the beginning - Internet users search through search engines for interesting content - texts, offers, advice, etc. Let's assume that a potential customer enters the phrase "mountain bikes Wrocław" in Google - if you have a store selling bicycles, SERP - search results page - is the place for your advertisement.
It may appear in the search results for the said phrase. You will pay for this type of advertisement only when the user clicks on it and goes to your website - this is the PPC advertising mechanism already mentioned. You set your AdWords daily budget and the maximum cost you will incur for each user click on your ad in search results.
The ad will appear on the SERP in the section of Google's paid search results - sponsored links. What does its position then depend on? Similarly to SEO mechanisms, an important role is played by the matching of the keywords you set for the ad with the phrase typed by the user. The content of the ad itself in the search engine is also important - make good use of only four lines of text that you can put in it (headline, two lines of the actual ad text and the page URL line). On the other hand, a place in the sponsored links section of the SERPs is the result of some bidding between advertisers - which will offer a higher bid per click. The rate increases with the popularity of certain phrases.
You can also choose to show your ad in specific geographic locations, which is especially important if you care about customers in a particular city or region. Then your ad will be displayed to them first and foremost.
Advertising charged for clicks and available forms of advertising
We mentioned the small amount of space you have for your Google AdWords ad, but a short text resembling a classic, organic Google search result is not the only available form of AdWords advertising message. Google distinguishes between several different forms of AdWords advertising:
Text - a short ad containing only words limited to the headline, URL, and actual ad text. This form is extremely easy to edit.
Advertisement with extension - a text advertisement extended with additional information, e.g. a telephone number, a link to a specific page or a company address. You can choose the type of extensions depending on the devices on which your ad will appear.
Image - advertising in a graphic form, both static and animated.
Application ads - allow you to send the customer directly to the application store or to a specific place in the application itself. Advertising intended especially for mobile devices.
Video - an advertisement in the form of a video clip, intended for websites that cooperate with Google, incl. for YouTube.
Shopping ads - Ads that focus on specific products in your offer. In such a message, you can include a photo of the product, its short description, as well as information about price and availability.
Call-only ads - This is a type of ad that primarily includes a contact phone number. By clicking on it, the user connects to the advertiser by phone. However, it is only available for devices that can make phone calls.
Some advertising forms are available only for certain devices, mostly mobile. Not all types of ads are also available for all possible types of campaigns, and hence - ad networks. Now we will devote a moment of attention to the concept of the advertising network in terms of Google.
Where are the ads displayed?
You can run Google AdWords campaigns not only within the Google search engine itself. Your ads may also appear on other services on the Google Network - this depends on your choice of campaign type, which may include Search Network Only, Display Network Only, or a hybrid model that includes the Search Network with an Display Network extension. Therefore, it is worth saying a few words about what networks are - search and advertising.
It is part of the Google network, which covers Google search results and the so-called search results. "Partners in the Google search network", i.e. websites that use Google engines in their search engines or websites such as Google Video, Google Maps or Google Shopping. You can choose whether your Search campaign ads will show across the entire network (Google + partners) or only on Google Search.
On the Search Network, you can apply ad formats like text ad, augmented ad, image and video ad, and Shopping ad. How are advertising messages presented, e.g. on Google SERPs?
AdWords ads must be tagged in the search results - each of them may include the word "ad" or an ad group may be defined as "sponsored links". Advertising content can be found either next to (usually on the right), above or below the organic search results.
The Display Network is the second part of the Google Network that includes Google Partner websites - this includes YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, as well as numerous applications available for mobile devices. It is estimated that there are over 2 million websites in the Google advertising network. Placing your ad on the display network is a chance to reach a really large audience.
You can decide for yourself on which landing pages in the advertising network your ad will appear or use Google's contextual targeting - then the advertising message prepared by you will be placed on websites with similar topics. The advertising network is great for image, video or multimedia advertising, although simple text ads can also be used.
Preparation of the first advertising campaign in Google AdWords
The following tips will help you create your first Google AdWords campaign and prepare advertising content based on sponsored links. At the very beginning, you need to set up your AdWords account - you can create one based on your existing Google account. If this is your first campaign, Google AdWords will guide you through the campaign wizard. This is the first step after logging into your AdWords account.
First, set a daily budget for your ad. Next to it, you'll see an estimate of the average number of impressions and clicks per day for your budget. The next step is to target the campaign to the location - you can choose Poland or all countries of the world. You can also determine the location yourself - specific places (towns) or an area within a certain radius from a specific point. It is users from the locations you specify that will see your ad.
Then the network to which the campaign will be targeted is determined. The Search Network will always be available, but you can also extend your ad presence to the Display Network. The next step is to choose keywords for your campaign - the wizard recommends using about 15-20 keywords. After adding each of them, you can check its popularity in the search network, as well as other related key phrases (just press the "More" button next to the added keyword). We will talk about the effective selection of keywords in detail in the next chapter of this section.
Next, the entrepreneur sets a rate for clicking on your ad. It can rely on the automatic setting of the rate by Google AdWords, which will correspond to the previously indicated budget, or determine its amount yourself.
The last element of the wizard is to create a simple text ad - the landing page of your ad is set, then its headline, two lines of content and the URL of the page that will appear in the ad and will be visible to its recipient. How to create a good text ad?
Put keywords in the headline and / or content.
Present your company's offer in the description.
In the second line of description, include clear and clear call-to-action.
Think about what distinguishes your company and its offer from the competition and write about it in the ad.
Write in the language of benefits - what good will customers choose your offer.
Inform about prices, promotions etc.
Match the ad content to your target audience.
After you create your first campaign and include your text ad in it, you can create additional ads (within the same or a different campaign). They can take various forms - the rules for creating text ads are, however, quite universal and can be adapted to different formats of advertising messages in AdWords.
Once you have set all the parameters of the campaign and created the first ad, you set the methods and form of payment for conducting advertising activities in Google AdWords. You can make ordered payments with your credit or debit card details, or choose to make manual payments in advance via cards or wire transfers.
Keyword selection is extremely important, so it is important to carefully analyze the effectiveness of specific keywords. Tools available on the web may be helpful for this purpose. The first of them and considered to be the most accurate is the tool available in Google AdWords - the Keyword Planner.
Thanks to it, you will be presented with keyword ideas best suited to your website. A table will appear with the proposed search terms, their average monthly number of searches, estimated competitiveness, and a suggested bid in Google AdWords. With the planner, you can add displayed words to a plan that provides a preliminary calculation of the number of clicks or impressions per word.
Remember that popular, general words generate traffic on your website, but precisely selected words increase the possibility of a purchase by the recipient of the advertisement. Frequently searched keywords tend to have higher click bids than rarely searched phrases.
It's also good to know what keywords competing sites in a particular industry are using. You can find out, among others, using the Searchmetrics tool. Also, try to use negative keywords, i.e. keywords that will not appear in the search results if you enter them in the search engine. This will allow you to narrow down the audience of your ad and increase the likelihood of reaching users who are interested in it.
The forms of matching keywords to the searched phrases are also important. We have already mentioned the exclusive match, and there are also:
exact match - that is, when the searched phrase closely matches the keyword, with possible slight variations of the component words.
phrase match - the searched phrase contains a keyword phrase, also in an inflected form and possibly accompanied by other words.
broad match - The search term is an expression with the keyword present, even in an inflected form.
If your company already has a specific market position, you can try to include its name in the keyword phrase. This will allow searchers to hit your page directly. When you focus especially on customers from your close environment, include in your keywords also words related to location, e.g. Wrocław, Krzyki, Lower Silesia, etc. Always control the effectiveness of specific keywords and modify them when they do not bring too much benefit to your website .
It is very important that you clearly define the purpose of your advertising efforts in AdWords. Thanks to this, you will be able to easily check whether the campaign is implementing it and, if so, to what extent. Check whether the current achievements satisfy you, and if not - act immediately and correct them. It all depends on what goal you choose. It can be obtaining sales leads, placing an order or simply increasing traffic on the website, which will translate into increased interest in the offer or company.
AdWords Conversion Tracking is especially useful for seeing whether your goals are being met. It allows you to check what the internet user did after clicking the ad and going to your website. All you need to do is place a conversion tracking tag on your website that you can generate when setting up tracking in Google AdWords or add it to a container in Google Tag Manager. Then you will be able to easily check whether your website visitors are performing activities consistent with your purpose.
What can you check with this tool? Among other things, which keywords, ads, campaigns generate the most valuable actions on the part of recipients, which translates into the distribution of funds for specific elements of the campaign. You can also check the effectiveness of advertising activities on various devices - e.g. smartphones, tablets, desktops.
Conversion tracking allows you to see the number of clicks with conversion, total number of conversions, and conversion costs. The activity of users who came to your website via an AdWords advertisement can also be checked thanks to Google Analytics. Simply connect to GA Google AdWords to track vital data on the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.
Remarketing in Google AdWords
Remarketing allows your ad to appear on the Google Display Network to users who have already visited your site at least once via sponsored links. The remarketing tag, which you can obtain via Google AdWords, allows you to reach these users. In the main view, you click Shared Resources on the left, and then in the Audience section, press View. Then, in the Website Users section, click Set Remarketing and complete the configuration. After that, in the Remarketing tag field, click on Tag details, then on Configuration, and then on Show AdWords tag for sites. After the remarketing tag code is exposed, you copy it and place it in the code of all pages of your website in front of the tag.
Your site's remarketing tag now works on the pages of your site, and you can get ready to create your first remarketing campaign. First, however, you need to create remarketing lists. In the mentioned Shared Resources section in the AdWords main view, you open the Audiences section. There you click on the + Remarketing list button - you set its name and add rules using the + Rule button. Establish conditions that will allow the user to appear on the list. Then decide how long you want them to stay on your remarketing list - you can also include previous visitors if they meet the conditions you've set. Now you need to save the list in order to create the campaign.
The campaign adds a remarketing list to a specific ad group. The rules for creating a campaign are slightly different for Display Remarketing and Search Remarketing. You can create ad groups in any of your existing ad campaigns using the + Ad group button on the Ad groups tab after selecting a specific campaign.
To start creating a remarketing campaign on the Display Network, select a specific ad group, then select the Display tab and click the + Targeting button there. Click the Add targeting menu and select Interests & Remarketing. Then from the available categories in the Select a category menu, click Remarketing lists and select specific lists. When you have finished your selection, write down your actions.
The search campaign is created similarly, but with some minor differences. In your ad group, click the Audiences tab, then click the + Remarketing button. Then you select Add Targeting Interests & Remarketing from the drop-down menu, and follow the same steps as for creating remarketing campaigns on the Display Network.
Creating reports on activities in AdWords is extremely useful - thanks to this, you can accurately analyze the data you are interested in. Reports allow you to monitor the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and its optimization. Through reports, you can check, among others The effectiveness of specific ads, what times of the day they are clicked most often, what is the effectiveness of the selected keywords, where your ads are displayed, from which search phrases people click on your ads, and on which ad network pages they appear.
How to create a report? It is very easy. You just need to be on the card with the data you are interested in, e.g. on the Keywords tab - you want to check their effectiveness in a given campaign on specific days of the week. In the small bar under the tabs (tabs) you click Filter - this will allow you to specify which keywords will be included in the report, e.g. those below the CTR of 5%. There may be more criteria for selecting specific records. Then you click on Columns and decide which columns (data) will be displayed in the created report. For now, you are skipping the Split menu and clicking on the little arrow on the right, behind the Columns button.
You are now going to configure the report. You give it a name and define the format in which it will be prepared. In the segment section, you choose - in this particular case - the day of the week, but you can also add other segments. Then you decide whether the report should be sent to your e-mail address or to the e-mails of other users of the AdWords account. Finally, you define the frequency of sending reports according to the established criteria - the report can be one-time, daily, weekly and monthly. You can also find reports in the Campaigns tab, in the Reports tab on the left.
In this part of the series, we briefly covered the most important elements of Google AdWords for you. You learned about the principles of AdWords operation, ad formats and the Google network. We explained how to prepare your first AdWords campaign and how to effectively match keywords to it. You already know how to check the effectiveness of the campaign and prepare reports.