Pay-Per-Click Advertising or PPC can be a great way to drive traffic to a website, especially a new website. I have a few clients that spend a healthy amount each month and it works for them. Not only does it drive traffic but visitors convert off of those clicks. If we can get a double threat (PPC presence and organic presence) or a triple threat (PPC + organic + local listing) on the first page of Google or Yahoo! the traffic and conversions from those PPC ads increases even more.
While this may work for some businesses, others don’t have the appetite or the budget to throw money at Google, Yahoo! or Bing every month. However, there is a way to leverage PPC, even for just a short time, to test keywords and copywriting to see what is really going to drive visitors to your site. On last week’s Web Marketing Wednesday we discussed selecting keywords and how often times business owners do not use the same phrases as their customer base. We also went through some other ways to discover keywords. Before we spend several months changing the website in order to incorporate those keywords we came up with, we probably should test them to see if they are really going to drive traffic and conversions.
The first thing you need to do is sign up for an Adwords account with Google. After you sign up you’ll want to set up a campaign. There are a couple settings during the sign up process you want to make sure you get correct in order to get the most from this test. The first one is under “Location and Languages”. If you are only serving a particular city or metro area, like a restaurant, make sure you select that option. If you are selling online or shipping products nationally then select that option. This will limit your ads to showing only to visitors in that area. Next you want to select the networks you want your ads to show up on. For now we only want these ads to show on the Google search engine results pages so we will select that option.
Next you want to set your daily budget. I recommend running this test for a minimum of 2 weeks. One month would be ideal. So set your budget wisely. We want it to be high enough to get enough data from the test, but not so high that you are uncomfortable with it. Lastly, under Advanced Settings pick a start date and end date.
Now that you have a campaign you will be prompted to write at least one text ad and then input all those keywords you have gathered up. Make sure you select as many of the suggested keywords as you think apply. The idea here is to get a wide range of keywords. Save your campaign and get ready to start tracking information.
Over time your ad will begin receiving clicks and the information will show up in Google Adwords. Here are the key performance indicators you want to look at – Clicks, Impressions, and Quality Score.
Clicks - If your ad is well written and targeted then you should get a lot of clicks on the ad. These are real visitors clicking through to your website.
Impressions - If you see a large number of impressions for your ad then you have a popular keyword that people are searching for a lot. This is good. If you don’t see a lot of clicks on this keyword then it could mean your ad is not very well targeted.
Quality Score – This is a score Google gives your ad based on your keyword selection, ad copywriting and relevance to the landing page the ad leads visitors to. If you have a poor quality score it could mean Google doesn’t think your ad and/or your website is very targeted to the keyword you have chosen. Try rewriting your ad before you discard this keyword.
After your test is over take a look at the information provided in Adwords. You will want to pick out the keywords that had a high number of clicks, high number of impressions and a good quality score. Once you have these keywords that you know will drive traffic to your website you can start marketing your site around these words and phrases. At this point you could remove these keywords from your campaign, add some more in and run the test again. This can be replicated as many times as you feel is necessary until you have a batch of keywords you can use across your website to target visitors that are searching for these terms.
This is a very basic introduction to PPC Advertising, but it should be enough to get you started. If you have questions, leave a comment below. Make sure to join me next week when I talk about how to use these keywords in your website.