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If you need to drive traffic to your website, whether it’s for a new product or service or to generate some new leads, one of the quickest solutions is digital advertising with pay-per-click ads a.k.a PPC ads. This post looks at some of the most-frequently asked questions, including: What are PPC ads?

PPC ads are online ads that you pay for each time someone clicks on your ad, hence pay-per-click. You’re driving paid traffic to your site as opposed to organic traffic that finds you via search results. Google remains the top PPC advertising platform.

What’s one of the most-important things to know about PPC ads?

The biggest determinant of success is having a clear objective for these ads. Your goal or set of goals is first and foremost. Your goal helps with choosing keywords for your ad/ad groups, and the objective also helps guide what your ad should say as well as what happens when someone clicks through.

How does a PPC campaign drive traffic to my site?

When someone poses a question in Google that uses one of your keywords – and based on a bunch of targeting criteria and bids – your ad would show on a search results page. When that person clicks the ad, they will be directed to a page for that ad on your site. Ad clicks drive traffic to your site. A successful PPC ad campaign drives the right kind of traffic to your site. More on that below. We’ll focus on Google ads, as they are by and far the most-popular.

How long does it take to set up and launch a PPC campaign?

This varies depending on the number of campaigns and the size of campaigns, meaning how many keywords you have within a campaign. We consider a small campaign one that incorporates 20-30 keywords, which likely can take a few hours for us to create. 

Keep in mind, our digital ad expert has been doing this for a long time, so set up and launch will go faster based on experience. Also, the more keyword research that is needed, the number of ad groups you use and the number of ads to write, all add to the time needed to set up the campaign.

Again, start with the goal and objective of the campaign. From there, choose the best keywords based on the goal. Based on your keyword research, individual campaigns will be created with tightly themed keywords put into ad groups. 

Then, you write ad copy that relates to those keywords and the content of your landing page with a strong call-to-action. That way, Google finds relevance with your keyword, ad copy and landing page content and gives your ads a higher quality score.

What types of PPC ads are available?

PPC ads available on the Google network include search ads (which are text ads), display ads (image ads), video ads, and shopping ads (product listing).

PPC search ads can be expanded text ads or responsive search ads. Expanded text ads allow you to have three different headlines of up to 30 characters. You can have two different descriptions of up to 90 characters.

Responsive search ads allow you to include up to 15 headlines and up to four descriptions, with those same character counts. Google’s algorithm decides which headlines and descriptions perform best based on machine learning through response to the ads. 

Responsive ads offer a broader range to see how people are searching and what headlines they find most relevant hence perform best. You can then change your expanded search ads based on the performance of different headlines and descriptions.

How often should you check the performance of PPC ads?

Generally, for new campaigns, we think it’s a best practice to let ads run for two to three weeks so that at minimum the campaign can collect enough data to suggest relevant changes. Your budget deems how often you will analyze a campaign. There is never a set it and forget it approach. 

How do I know how well my PPC ads perform?

With responsive search ads, you can look at your Google ads account and see how well headlines perform, based on elements such as most clicks in a certain date range and which headlines had most clicks. Again, we think it’s best practice to let ads run for a couple of weeks before making any changes and a few months to test true performance. 

What are the targeting options for PPC ads?

For pay-per-click ads, location (where your business is located) is important to target, if you have services or products available for a specific region. Affinity targeting is based on potential customers’ lifestyle habits and longtime interests. Content Targeting is based on topics and placements searchers are viewing. You can also target remarketing ads, sending specific ads to those who have already visited your site and performed a specific action there, such as downloading an asset.

How do you determine a PPC ad budget?

Sometimes you have a set amount of money designated for digital ads. In that case, you would search for the best performing keywords within that allotted budget. The competition for specific keywords determines how much they cost per click.

If you’re flexible with a budget, you can begin by doing keyword research based on what you’re promoting and find keywords that way. Then you can forecast how much each keyword would cost per month, and then create a budget based on that.

What elements does a PPC ad need?

Begin with proper keyword research before you write the elements of your PPC ad. And, use the correct keywords for each ad. You want to ensure the ad headline and description are clear, concise and correlate with keywords, so the ad is relevant to those who are searching. You also want to make sure the landing page your ad links to is relevant to the ad itself.

How do you make sure your ad gets to the right searchers?

Google has a quality score metric to show how well ads perform on a scale from one to 10. 

Google defines quality score as: “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions. You can see your Quality Score by adding the Quality Score column to a report. The Quality Score … includes expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to the user, the more likely it is that you’ll see higher Quality Scores.”

There are many best practices related to quality score, but keywords are an aspect you can immediately control and update. We think if a keyword scores less than five, you may want to remove that keyword from your list or consider rewriting the ad, as it may not be relevant to your intended audience. 

We also recommend using negative keywords to prevent unqualified traffic, as that can also affect the quality score of a keyword. 

In Google Analytics, you can also look at keywords to see how much time people are spending on your site or a specific site page. If they’re spending a very short amount of time, there may be some disconnect from your keyword/ad copy and your landing page content. 

A simple way to think of this is: your ad either asks a question or makes a promise of something to the viewer. Does the landing page answer that question or keep the promise? Does it deliver what the ad said it would? 

How do I see the ROI on PPC ads?

ROI depends on what the goal of the campaign was. If the goal was revenue generation, you’ll be able to see how much revenue was generated via the ad/campaign. If the goal is lead generation, then you’re looking for people to download something or request a quote. Measuring your ROI then looks at those goals to determine the cost per conversion/lead as well as conversion rates. 

What does it mean when Google says my ad budget is limited?

If you have a very limited budget and it quickly runs out in a day, you may not be spending enough based on the keywords you’re using. If you can’t increase your budget, one thing you should look at is ad scheduling. Look at the times that people are clicking and converting. Then, set your ads to show only during those hours that have the best clicks and conversion rates.

This post is a quick overview of pay-per-click ads, mainly those that run in Google. Once you decide it’s the right time to run some PPC ads, you may have many more questions. That’s where we come in. Click here and we’ll be happy to point you in the right PPC direction.

This post answers the question:

What are PPC ads

What are PPC ads

PPC ads are online ads that you pay for each time someone clicks on your ad, hence pay-per-click. You’re driving paid traffic to your site as opposed to organic traffic that finds you via search results. Google remains the top PPC advertising platform.

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