What is a ppc campaign? How does it work? And, most importantly, what benefits can such a marketing strategy bring you ?
In today’s article, we take a foray into the fascinating world of paid marketing and discuss keywords, ads, budgets and bid amounts in a PPC campaign on google ads and how to track conversions.
PPC campaign as a marketing strategy
A PPC campaign or Pay-Per-Click campaign is a marketing strategy that allows marketing agencies to place ads on an advertising platform, and pay the platform host when their ad is viewed. The purpose of the ad is to send the clicking user to the advertiser’s website or app, where the user can complete a valuable action called a conversion , such as purchasing a product.
A PPC campaign on search engines is a popular way of advertising because they allow marketers to display ads relevant to what users are searching for.
Marketing services , such as Google ads and Microsoft ads , work with real-time bidding (RTB), where the product or service offered for advertising is sold in an automated private auction that uses real-time data.
How does the search engine query ads campaign work?
Every time there is ad “space” available on a search engine results page, there is an instant auction for the keyword used.
A combination of several factors, including the amount of the bid and the quality of the ad, decides the winner who will appear in the first position. These mechanisms are what keep the PPC campaign gears moving. It all starts when someone searches for something on a search engine.
If there are marketers interested in showing ads related to a user’s search query, then an auction is triggered based on the keywords that are bid by the advertisers.
Ads that win the auction will then appear on the first page of search engine results under the paid ads section. To engage in these operations, advertisers use accounts on PPC campaign platforms like Google ADS to set up ads and determine where and when they would like these ads to appear.
Accounts are divided into campaigns to make it easier to manage and report on different locations, product types or other useful categories. Campaigns are further divided into ad groups containing relevant keywords and ads.
Keywords are at the heart of a PPC campaign , connecting advertisers to users’ search queries. Strong keyword research is the foundation of a solid marketing strategy .
Queries are actual words that users type into the search field of a search engine to find results. On the other hand, keywords are what marketers use to target these users by matching words to queries.
Keywords are different variations of words or phrases used to search for information on search engines. Depending on the types of keyword matching they use, marketers can match words to search queries.
For example, agencies can choose a marketing strategy to match keywords exactly to search queries or allow variations such as different word order, different spelling or inclusion of other words.
It is also possible to use negative keywords, words that will prevent search query ads containing those keywords from being triggered, in order to avoid attracting irrelevant traffic with your ppc campaign.
PPC Campaign – Ad Copy
Ads generally contain headlines, descriptions, and a URL. On a search engine, they may appear at the top of the results or at the bottom of the page.
It’s a good practice to test different versions of your ad text to determine which version performs best. Services like Google ads and Microsoft ads offer features called ad extensions that help improve the appearance of ads.
Budgets and offers for a ppc campaign
To participate in the auction, the marketing agency must decide how much they are willing to spend for a particular keyword. This is done using campaign budgets and bidding at the ad group or keyword level.
Budgets are set at the campaign level and the limit can be exceeded daily, but the monthly limit will not be exceeded. Budgets should be set based on the overall strategy of the account, but a more precise way to control spend is with offers.
All ad groups must have set bids, but word-level bids take precedence over ad group-level bids. Bidding strategies can be applied to individual campaigns or a portfolio of multiple campaigns.
Thanks to the RTB system, the actual amount paid by the advertiser depends on competitor activity and ad rank, not just the maximum bid.
Winning an auction isn’t just about having the highest bid. Search engines also consider other factors to determine which ads should be in the most valuable place in SERP results.
Search engines have their own specific ways of considering other elements to determine ad rank.
A PPC campaign on Google, for example, considers:
- The value of the offer.
- Ad relevance and quality.
- Search context (such as the user’s device and time of day).
- The impact of the format (for example, if it includes extensions that improve the format of the ad).
- Quality Score (Quality Score is an indicator that determines the relevance of the ad)
The Quality Score components are:
- Historical click-through rate (CTR).
- The relevance of the keyword to the ad.
- The relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query.
- Landing page quality.
- Ad relevance is absolutely essential; the higher the Quality Score, the lower the CPC (cost per click).
Search engines penalize agencies that approach a poor marketing strategy by bidding on keywords with low quality scores. The consequences are showing their ads less often, even if they have set high bids.
That is why it is very important to opt for an attractive and relevant ad that includes keywords with high search volume.
But the quality of the landing page should not be neglected either; ads will be shown less often when they direct to sites with a low user experience.
The web page must be relevant to the user, load quickly and provide a user experience as pleasant as possible.
Targeting (Ad Targeting) with a PPC campaign
Choosing the right keywords is what allows marketers to show ads to relevant audiences.
But there are other targeting options available to optimize your campaigns, including:
- Device targeting
- Location targeting.
- Targeting by day and time.
- Demographic targeting. This way, advertisers can target evening mobile users or users under 25 and within a certain radius of a certain location to optimize the performance of their ads.
These are valuable because different variations of ad text, for example, might perform better for one group of users than for another.
Using remarketing tools that allow for more specific messages for texts and adjusted budgets, it is also possible to target or exclude previous visitors to a website who perform subsequent searches.
Bids can be automatically adjusted for keywords based on targeting options, giving marketers greater control over traffic and spend by bidding to customers most relevant to their business.
As a marketing strategy , the purpose of this hard work is not just to get clicks. The real end goal of the campaign is to get conversions.
These are the actions that marketers want users to complete after clicking on their ad.
Common examples of conversions are:
- Purchasing a Service.
- Subscribe to a newsletter.
- Making a phone call.
It is vital to track conversions to know if a PPC campaign is performing well and how many conversions can be attributed to paid search at the expense of other marketing channels (seo, referral etc).
Platforms like Google Ads can track conversions by using a code snippet placed in the source code of the conversion completion page (reached after conversion, such as a thank you page) to collect post-conversion data.
Tracking conversions can be tricky, as conversion paths also tend to be more complicated than a simple ad click and outright purchase.
These often include multiple searches and website visits, or may lead to an email, phone call, or store visit. Using an analysis service such as Google Analytics to interpret the collected data.
We hope you enjoyed the article! If you need help with an ads campaign or any other online marketing service, then don’t hesitate to contact us today for a full quote for the services you need.
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