Paid search advertising remains one of the most effective marketing tactics that any e-commerce business can employ. It can also be an exercise in frustration when the results aren’t meeting expectations – not to mention, a colossal waste of money. [Read more…]
A paid search advertising campaign, sometimes called PPC (short for pay-per-click, which is the term that means an advertiser only pays on a per click basis, when a person clicks on their ad), are used by webmasters and marketers to push traffic to their websites and e-commerce sites. For many, the traffic they receive translates into massive amounts of sales or traffic, which not only brings more sales, but can allow the website to grow their online influence.
When it comes to blogging, more traffic from PPC campaigns have a lot of benefits, including:
- Charge higher rates to website advertisers
- Grow number of returning readers/users
- Drive sign-ups for newsletters or giveaways
- Promote important posts that highlight a new company service or event
- Grow engagement through more social shares and comments, as more traffic usually equals more audience engagement.
For the majority of blogs, PPC ads aren’t used to drive product sales. Because of this, it can be hard to justify the cost. While Google AdWords occasionally sends out credits and coupon codes for beginning PPC advertisers, starting a blog PPC campaign requires know-how, patience, and initial cost.
If you don’t know how to build, launch, and maintain a PPC campaign, it is worthwhile to either pay someone to do it for you or to learn the entire process yourself. Google offers an AdWords certification program, as does Bing. In Google’s case, even though there is a cost to become certified, you can view the majority of the course materials for free. This can help you begin to craft a PPC campaign.
It’s important to note that even though search engines are the main place for PPC campaigns, Twitter and Facebook also offer advertising (and Pinterest is also beginning to roll it out). This is a good solution if you want to target a specific demographic, based on their interests or profile details, like age or location. Facebook occasionally also offers promo codes for new advertisers as well.
In order to make sure any PPC campaign is worth its cost, be sure to track its traffic. Use UTM tags to verify when traffic is coming from PPC ads in Google Analytics and make sure it can be tracked all the way to a company’s other external pages that are outside of the blog, such as products or contact us. When you have analytical proof of your results, your PPC campaigns are much more likely to become invaluable.
Like the title of my column implies, I do a lot of SEO work – both for clients and my own sites. However, I’ve recently started getting into PPC, or pay per click, marketing. This has been a great education.
One of the things that I’ve learned is the importance of testing. The fundamental principle in PPC seems to be to test every variable you can think of so your campaign is as efficient as it can be. PPC is the fastest way to drive targeted traffic to your site. However, if you’re not constantly testing in order to improve your campaign, you can quickly lose a lot of money. We as humans are not perfect, so your first ads and keywords will have to tweaked as you gain data from your testing.