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How I Learned To Love PPC

How I learned To Love PPC

Google Ads – PCC or Pay Per Click – was was only three years old when we started designing websites for customers in 2003. Hardly anyone used it, and it was rarely discussed by website design agencies. Since then, it has grown to a business of almost $100 billion per year.

Back then, organic search was the rule of the day. It was fairly easy to rank a website, too. And since most of our customers wanted and needed simple brochure sites, generating traffic via  Google Ads wasn’t much in demand.

Competitive Internet Marketing Has Changed the Priorities

Fast forward to today.
Internet marketing has grown enormously and changed dramatically. Only those rare market segments with few participants garner effortless organic rankings in Google and other search engines.

But if your business is active in a competitive market segment, high organic rankings demand a great deal of time and effort. This is usually done via very sophisticated and laborious SEO work. And that means spending a fair amount of money for SEO experts to do the work.

In addition, it’s even harder to achieve and maintain top rankings in communities outside of your own business location. Many businesses want – and need – customers from adjacent communities in order to prosper and thrive.

And So, We Turned to Google Ads

As high organic ranking became progressively tougher, it became obvious to us that our business clients needed a different solution. We started to investigate Google Ads PPC advertising as a means to generate traffic, customers, and revenue. And honestly, in the beginning, our efforts came up somewhat short.

But as our skills evolved, we were able to configure the ads, keywords, and ad groups to pinpoint prospects with great precision.Today our ads are reaching high probability prospects. And the ROI for our customers is substantial.

It’s become clear to us that when business owners want grow their revenue and customer base, the best digital campaigns combine organic and paid search.

Big Fish and Smaller Fish

Major companies discovered this fact long ago. (Google Ads’ largest customers include Amazon, AT&T, Priceline, Microsoft, etc.) And with their deep pockets and big agency help, they can negotiate the world of Ads quite successfully.
Smaller businesses, however, have found that including Ads in their marketing strategy has not been easy. The two main reasons: Increasing complexity and overspending.

The Increasing Complexity of Creating Google Ads Campaigns

When we started using PPC ads from Google, implementing a campaign was fairly straightforward. Now, however, if you visit the Ads blog (https://adwords.googleblog.com/) you’ll find a number of features you need to know about, including:

  • Quality Score
  • Ad Extensions
  • Remarketing
  • Enhanced CPC
  • Keyword Match Modifiers
  • Call Tracking
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Landing Pages
  • Budget Optimization
  • Negative Keywords

Managing all these features takes time and skills we have had to develop over the years.

The Pitfall of Overspending

It’s fairly easy to allow Google Ads to make decisions for you, but that turns out to be inefficiency. The system maximizes outreach and clicks, but does not maximize relevance. You end up paying for clicks that do not bring you new customers or prospects. Instead, you come away with a low ROI.

Our experience is that a properly configured Ads campaign is well worth the monthly ad spend. We can help your small business effectively reach new prospects and customers that you would not reach if you let the program make your decision. A little help with Ads configuration is a cost-effective decision.

We have personally experienced the power of Google Ads for small businesses in such markets as construction & farm equipment, roofing, off-road power sports, auto repair, website design, hardware, professional services, vacation resorts, groceries and lawn care.

How We Make PPC Work For You

First, we choose your marketing geography carefully, running ads only in your business marketing area. If you are not careful and end up running ads throughout the US, it can quickly become expensive and discouraging.

We ask you to set a realistic budget. Ask yourself these questions: How many leads do you need before you make a sale? What is the lifetime value of your typical customer? How many more customers do you want or need at the present time?. For a rather exhaustive take on this subject I recommend Jeff Sauer’s guide: https://www.jeffalytics.com/google-adwords-budget/

We research and choose keywords carefully. This is a complex topic, best left for a more detailed post. Essentially, we work to find which keywords your prospects are using to find your goods or services. We assign either a phrase or modified broad match to those keywords. Then, we keep close tabs on the search terms report. We can add negative keywords to filter out unwanted search phrases. A well-placed call to action encourages the click.

Next, we design your ad campaign’s organizational structure, grouping related keywords and ads.

After that, we create text ads with embedded keywords. It’s best to test variations on ads to see which ones get the most positive response, so we do that as well.

This is followed by adding all relevant ad extensions to make the most of your text ad.

And Finally, Back to Your Website For a Landing Page

Designing a landing page for each ad or ad group is essential. Once a potential customer has clicked on your ad, he needs to be shown a page  relevant to his search. Of course, the pages vary, depending upon the search term. We’ve learned that using a website homepage is not the proper pathway, as the click topic is specific and homepages tend to be more of an introduction to the business.

Ready to Schedule a Google Ads Campaign through Site Guy? Contact us.

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