Pay Per Click Advertising

At the top of new and emerging forms of online advertising lies Pay Per Click (PPC). Most people have probably had some exposure, at minimum, to this topic, which is such a new form of advertising that some industry experts say we’ve barely even scratched the surface of what can be done with PPC. But there are some things we know now, even early on, to help craft and maintain PPC ad campaigns.

PPC is basically when certain sites, particularly search engines like Google and social sites like Facebook, allow people to buy listing space which appears next to certain non-paid results. The sites are simply selling real estate on their pages for advertising.

PPC Advertising Basics: Bids, Quality Scores and Landing Pages

Pay Per Click Advertising

PPC advertising is a fairly simple concept at a high level. Basically, companies pay for ads on a 3rd party site, but only when those ads are clicked. The amount paid per ad is set up on an auction system; so basically you set bid prices you’re willing to spend per ad click, and if you’re the highest bidder, your ad gets displayed.

There’s a little more to PPC than bids. The other main component is what’s called a quality score. Basically, a quality score is determined based on the relationship between keywords, ad text, and landing page text. If your keywords match the ad text, which in turn strongly relates to the text on your landing page, then your ad will have a high quality score.

A landing page is simply the page that your ad links to. Landing pages should be highly relevant to your ads, and the keywords in each ad should appear on the landing page. It’s important to be a bit technical here with the number of keywords, and the number of total words on these landing pages. More on this later.

Proceed with Caution: Don’t Overspend on PPC Campaigns

As great as PPC campaigns can be, businesses should proceed with caution. This caution is needed because PPC can become very expensive, and bring in little to no new business if done improperly. Setting up an effective PPC campaign takes time, effort, and knowledge.

In order to avoid overspending on PPC campaigns, do keyword research. Keyword research will tell you how much traffic a given keyword will likely generate. Here’s where you’ll need to get a bit technical. Take your top 3-4 keywords (those most directly related to your product or service, and with the highest potential search traffic) and write ads based on each keyword. Make sure that each keyword appears 3-4 times in the body of your landing page.

For search engines to consider your content of good quality, your landing pages should be between 500-800 words in length. Your keywords should appear 1 time per 100 words. This ratio is important because you need good keyword density, but it’s also very important not to overstuff your content with them. Using the above information should give you high quality landing pages, that will perform well.

Negative keywords are also important. Negative keywords are basically those keywords you don’t want your ads displaying for. These are very important when cutting down on wasted ad spend. Some examples are educational materials, job seekers or free/low cost, etc. Obviously if your products/services are related to these topics these aren’t going to work for you.

Stay tuned to this pay per click advertising series. Our next topic will be on Google AdWords!