Last week I talked about SEO, and how it can make you available when and where your target audience needs you most. The goal of SEO is to let Google and other search engines know that you are who you say you are, and that you will give the answer the searcher is looking for. Search engines look at lots of factors like proximity, relevance, and authority. Today, I am going to write about a shortcut that can get you there faster.
For most local businesses, this is the very first place you should start. You should be considering a layered, or omni-channel marketing strategy—but it can get costly. So, if you are a traditional business with competitors in your local market, you can get results quickly by using Paid Search Advertising. Sometimes called PPC, SEM, or as I call it, Paid Search.
Two Advertising Approaches: Active Search vs Passive Discovery
There are two ways people will come across your brand. The first is through active search. In the days of phone books, we would open the phone book and look alphabetically for businesses. For me, that was usually pizza delivery. Today, that type of lookup is primarily done on Google and other search engines.
This is why I call these types of customers Low Hanging Fruit. This group knows what they want, and they are actively looking for an answer or solution. You want to make sure you show up when they are looking.
SEO is a good way to be near the top of search results organically—meaning not paid, but it still usually costs money to get it done right. It’s important, but results can take a while.
The Shortcut is to purchase search engine ads to ensure you show up at the top, or near it, at least some of the time. You can buy ads with Google to make sure you are found when someone is searching. Done properly, you can see results almost immediately.
When someone isn’t aware of your company or product, you need to help them discover you. This is where other forms of advertising come in handy. Social media, video ads, and magazine ads are all ways you can help people learn about products that they may not have searched for because maybe they didn’t realize it existed.
This is called passive discovery, and it’s also where your creativity can be most valuable. The better you are at capturing attention quickly with your ads, the more effective they will be.
A good example of this is Poo-Pourri. I don’t think anyone knew they might want to mask the smell of going to the bathroom until Poo-Pourri was invented, and then most of us knew we wanted it. “Do Not Go In There!” is now a thing of the past with this clever product. Their creative ads took the world by storm.
I encourage you to test which would be the best way to get people to know about your product or service. One way is to analyze the traffic happening in your market. Use that as a guide for determining whether Paid Search (PPC) is worth your investment. Conduct a Keyword and Traffic analysis, or have your marketing person help you. We are great at figuring these things out, just let me know if you would like a free assessment.
If you have something unique or slightly off from what the mainstream is doing, you should focus on passive discovery types of advertising. In another example, as you may already know, I own a RoofMaxx Dealership with my son who runs it.
It is a great business in a very competitive market. Roofing companies are a dime a dozen in almost every market. Roof-related searches are big in most markets, and many roofing companies are spending thousands of dollars to show up on top.
Because Roof Maxx is a unique product that can be sprayed on old roofs to make them last longer, we want to be discovered by people who are concerned about aging roofs. However, if we show up when people are searching for replacement options, it is often too late. If a roof is too far gone, it won’t allow Roof Maxx to work properly. This means we would pay big bucks to show up at the wrong time.
Instead, we need to help people discover our spray-on treatment before it is too late. This is why this product falls into the passive discovery category. Therefore, we use print magazine ads, online videos, and social media ads to help our customers discover who we are.
Now that you understand these two different approaches to advertising, this next section will show you how to take the shortcut that will make sure you show up at the top of search results when people are actively searching for you.
Tips for Running a Successful Paid Search or PPC Campaign
Paid Search or Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be an incredibly effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website, and increase your online visibility. So, first things first, make sure your website operates well. Be sure it is designed to capture a potential customer’s information, so you can capture that lead. This is massively important. If your site isn’t working properly, let’s fix it first.
Assuming your website is good, let’s go over how to run a successful PPC campaign. It requires more than just setting up a few ads, and waiting for the clicks to roll in.
Second, define your WHY. Why do customers like you? What do you do that is uniquely amazing? Knowing that makes your content creation so much easier. Who are your ideal customers? What are their pain points and challenges? What motivates them to make a purchase? Use this information to create ad copy and landing pages that speak directly to your target audience.
Thirdly, set your campaign goals. What do you want to achieve with your campaign? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales?
2. Choose the Right Keywords
Choosing the right keywords is vital. The right keywords are key to the success of your PPC campaign. Conduct keyword research to identify the terms and phrases being searched for by your target audience. Use keyword research tools to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords to help you reach your target audience. Again, if you need help with this research, it is something we do really well.
Once you’ve identified your keywords, organize them into ad groups based on their relevance to your products or services. This will help you create targeted ads that are more likely to convert because they will be delivered to the right people, at the right time.
3. Nail the Creative
Your ads should be compelling, relevant, and highly targeted to your audience. Remember you have about 3 seconds to capture a viewer’s attention. Use your target audience and keyword research to create ads that speak directly to your potential customers. Use attention-grabbing headlines and titles, compelling ad copy, and strong calls to action to encourage clicks and conversions. Use this link full of awesome words you can use to capture emotion in your titles.
Make sure your landing pages are highly relevant to your ads. Your landing pages should provide a seamless user experience that matches the messaging and branding of your ads. Don’t just send people to your main website hoping they find what they were looking for. Customize landing pages and give them what they want as conveniently as possible.
4. Monitor and Optimize Your Campaign
Once your campaign is up and running, it’s important to monitor and optimize your performance. Use the data provided by your PPC platform to track your performance, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your strategy as needed. Google will even give you optimization suggestions. Use them if they make sense. Otherwise, look at what’s happening in the market. Eliminate Keywords that don’t, or shouldn’t, apply. Add new ones suggested by the system that might apply to you.
To optimize your campaign for maximum results, test different ad copy, landing pages, and targeting options. Use this type of A/B testing to test different ad variations and landing pages to see what works best for your audience.
A/B testing is simply using two versions of an ad, image, video, title, or some different variable and measuring which version works best. I recently ran two ads on Facebook for the live seminars I offer. I was surprised to see which ad performed better. I assumed the video would do best. Actually, the click-throughs were higher on the static image, not the video however, I did get one more share of the video. Here are the different ads.
Which one would grab your attention?
5. Focus on Quality Score
Quality Score is a metric PPC platforms use to evaluate the quality and relevance of your ads and landing pages. The higher your Quality Score, the lower your cost-per-click (CPC), resulting in higher ad rank. It is worth the extra effort to get things right, so your ad spend will be most effective.
To improve your Quality Score, focus on creating highly relevant ads and landing pages that provide a great user experience. Make sure your landing pages load quickly, are mobile-friendly, and provide high-quality content that matches the messaging of your ads.
Running a successful PPC campaign requires careful planning, research, and optimization.
By defining your WHO, WHY, and goals, choosing the right keywords, creating compelling ads with killer headlines or titles, monitoring your performance, and adjusting as you go, you can achieve your marketing goals and drive targeted traffic to your website.
When done right, marketing is an investment, not an expense. There are people looking for you. We can help them find you with the right tools. Let us know if you would like to discuss driving more traffic your way. As always, we are here to help. Book a call here, if you want to get into the specifics or just want some advice. We are happy to help.