Is Pay Per Click and Google Adwords Dead?

Is Pay Per Click and Google Adwords Dead?

Certainly not!

Here are some questions featured in “Making Money Magazine” that we took the time to answer

{1] PPC has now taken its place as a reputable advertising channel. What advice would you give to a small business that was thinking of getting into PPC for the first time?
It’s really important to get to grips with all the terminology so for example “CPC is cost per click”, “CPM is cost per thousand impressions” and “CPA is cost per action”.

Beginners need to do some research into three main areas initially and those are – understanding the Google Adwords interface, keyword research and advert copywriting. I would advise clicking around the Google interface to get familiar with all the buttons and options it gives. Don’t be afraid to read the help section or go onto the Google YouTube channel and get some free advice! Keyword research is so important and forms a core part or any successful campaign.

So start by looking at the keywords which Google suggest you use and then ask friends, family, customers or existing clients what words they use to find your products or services. Finally the first thing people are going to see is your advert so it needs to grab their attention. Remember you’re in competition with other adverts on the page so you need to think about how you can stand out. This might be through offering better value, faster service, more attractive offers or just because you inject a little humour or even controversy into the advert!

[2] Cost has traditionally been a barrier for smaller businesses as the best keywords attract high bid prices. Are there any strategies you can suggest that a small business could use to improve gain good keywords and improve their click through rates?
Yes absolutely. Google some time ago introduced its quality scoring mechanism which enables it to show better quality adverts as opposed to advertisers who just pay more than everyone else. According to Google, a quality score “is the basis for measuring the quality and relevance of your ads and determining your minimum CPC bid for Google and the search network. 

This score is determined by your keyword’s click through rate (CTR) on Google, and the relevance of your ad text, keyword, and landing page.” This means that for those on a limited budget you can still rank for those expensive keywords if you follow a few simple rules. Start by focussing on smaller, more targeted keyword groups. Your adverts should include the main keyword in the title of the ad, the body, and the URL if possible.
Using Google’s Site Related Keywords tool will also help by letting you know whether Google thinks your landing pages are relevant to your keywords. A good click through rate is above the 0.05% rate that Adwords asks you to maintain so that advert keeps running for each keyword. Also think about not using very general keywords and focus on using targeted keywords which describe your actual products or service in a very specific way. Finally try to create ads that are highly targeted to the keywords in that Ad Group

[3] Smaller businesses often think that a PPC campaign is a quick fix to falling sales. How should small businesses integrated PPC advertising into their other promotional activity?

As with most marketing activities taking a connected approach with each strategy is really important. So for example your PPC campaign maybe used to drive traffic to register for an event that happens offline for which the user receives some kind of discount or incentive. This can work quite well and helps to give your brand a larger footprint in the consumers mind where you tie up offline and online marketing messages which they receive. Including keywords words that you’re paying for into promotional messages that get the consumer to search can take them from a flyer or radio advert onto your website.
PPC is really good for time based incentives where there’s a quick sale, new items just in and seasonal or holiday related fast moving consumer goods. Using pay per click in an overall campaign for branding, getting more downloads, registering consumers for events, or capturing their details as the first part of your sale process can be very effective.

[4] Fraud continues to be a problem with PPC campaigns. What advice would you give to site owners to minimise their exposure to this type of fraud?
Unfortunately you can’t completely remove the risk of click fraud. You can, however, reduce the likelihood that it will wipe out your click budget by doing some of the following. Set varying bid prices for content-targeted sites by reducing your exposure and limiting your placement of ads on low value websites relevant to your keywords. 

Ensure that you keep track of your advertising campaigns by using tools like Google’s “Campaign Performance” and “Account Performance”. With these you see the number and percentage of clicks that Google has categorised as invalid. Lastly you should target high-value websites for your adverts. Some low-quality websites are a minefield for click fraud.

[5] Measuring clicks has now become somewhat of an art form. Are there any platforms you can outline that can give an SME detailed insight into how their campaigns are performing?

Google Adwords is a great place to start but combining it with Google Analytics can make it even more powerful. Doing a search in Google for “ppc bid management software” will give you a comprehensive list of tools to choose from.

[6] How can an SME improve not only their overall click through rate, but also the conversion of these visitors into actually buyers?

Conversion rates online still remain in single digits and is key to seeing a return on your investment in PPC. An essential part of this conversion process is your landing page, the page your visitors will be taken to immediately after they click on your advert. There are a number of factors to consider that can help to increase the chances of a click converting to a sale. Firstly is the ‘click promise’ which describes what the visitors expects to see after clicking on your advert; and that is basically whatever it is you’ve advertised. Sounds obvious right?
But if you do a search right now for ‘cheap flights to New York’ and click on the adverts that promise to give you just that, you’ll find many of the clicks take you to a homepage, or a list of flights from around the world, or first class flights to New York; not just the ‘cheap flights’ which is what you’ve asked for. This is common place online with advertisers and PPC, so the opportunity out there for small businesses is once someone clicks on your advert that you ensure that you give them exactly what it is they’re looking for. No more and certainly no less.
This will include the title of the page, the main image on the page, the words describing the product or service and then a very clear call to action. How many times have you gone to a page and were unsure about what to do next? Don’t let this be the case for your visitors.

[7] What do you think the future of PPC marketing looks like? Are we going to see any major changes over the next few years?

We will certainly see changes over the years but what PPC has to its advantage is a very clear proposition and that is paid for placement. Unlike the every changing face of SEO or social media marketing PPC has been a little more stable with the main challenges being increased click costs, fraud and overall competition (which is good for the consumer).
The future of PPC will determined by the direction of what the visitor and consumer wants and does which will ultimately lead to more sophisticated advertising platforms, more demographic targeting tools and very likely further integration with social media platforms.

Join the conversation

There is no custom code to display.