What does PPC mean for your business?

The competition for visibility in the search results page (SERPs) is fierce, which is all the more reason that brands should stake their claim as a presence to be reckoned with online. Combined with a solid Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) foundation Pay Per Click (PPC) can garner more traffic for your brand on the results pages and if you’re not there, your competition surely will be and they are capturing all your sales conversion potential.

‘65% of customers click on ads when purchasing.’ (Think With Google, 2018)

At TRACE we understand that PPC can have a major positive impact on businesses and brands. Through our extensive experience managing both big name businesses and emerging brands in the luxury hospitality, lifestyle and wellness sectors we have developed a PPC approach which delivers real results. Here are some of the powerful benefits of using PPC:

PPC contributes to business goals. PPC can help you achieve a vast number of business and marketing goals. These goals range from high-level brand exposure to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale. Virtually any type of conversion goal can be tracked.

Pure power. PPC is a powerful tool for aligning website traffic drivers to end-goals. PPC can support many parts of the sales funnel and the path that your prospects take from awareness to becoming a customer. Regardless of the set of identified goals for your business and brand, PPC campaigns can be set up effectively to deliver traffic and conversion results.

PPC is measurable and trackable. A major benefit of PPC advertising is that it’s easy to measure and track. You can see high-level performance details including impressions, clicks, and conversions (based on your defined business goals).

Transparent auditing. There’s no mystery to your PPC performance. Stats are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing and what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget. In other advertising and marketing channels, the picture isn’t as clear for attribution of the budget to direct results. When you send your PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages and track it all the way to conversion using Google Analytics, you’re able to clearly see what you spent and what it drove in terms of your end goals. No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like that. At TRACE we are proud to be accredited as partners by the following channels:

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How PPC can positively impact your business.

At TRACE we recommend launching with a multi-layered approach in AdWords to test and ensure full coverage across the networks and targeting types that can gain brand exposure. This ranges from targeting keywords through text ads, to running ads through re-marketing based on their past behaviours, or focusing on specific audience demographics on the display network.

By testing and trying out a mix, we can ensure the full scope of AdWords is leveraged and that you’re getting as many impressions as possible while staying targeted to the personas in your prospective audience.

Referring back to the business goals, we can also monitor and see what performs best and set expectations on what the tolerance is for Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) to compare the different targeting methods and maximise profitability of your ad spend.

‘Ads in 1st position placement earn an average click through rate of almost 8%.’ (Think With Google, 2018)

One of the most overlooked advantages of paid search marketing is the ability to test online marketing campaigns through the vast amount of features and data that the available platforms provide to marketers. For example, if you wanted to know whether a specific product campaign you are launching is received well with a new marketing campaign and ad creative that you have put together you can setup a campaign in AdWords, run the ads for at least 30 days, and then analyse the data to see if it they were successful.

Besides Google being the #1 search engine with a market share of over 65% – 70% over other search engines it has also done an amazing job of amassing a network of publishers (other websites) to display Google’s sponsored ads for them. This reach is second to none and every advertiser is encouraged to at least look into how it might work for their marketing. A couple of great features that the top paid search marketing platforms provide advertisers with are geo-targeting and ad scheduling. Geo-targeting allows advertisers to select only specified locations all over the world to display their ads.

Ad scheduling allows us at TRACE to select specific days and times of the day to run your ads. This is extremely helpful for marketers who are very familiar with when they get the best response from consumers or when they are able to respond in a timely manner. For example, if you have a live chat feature as the main component of your website then it might be more beneficial to run your ads during the hours that your live chat is online.

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Network channels we work with on PPC campaigns.

The sheer scope of PPC networks in todays online environment is mind boggling and as you can imagine some are more popular, carry higher traffic volume and are more conducive to generating greater results than others. Top of the list of PPC networks is Google Adwords, which is the primary platform we launch all our clients PPC activity on first. The Google Adwords network allows us to place your brand message on the Google Search Results Page (SERPs), on content pages on websites opted into the Google Adsense network, on Youtube and within Gmail itself.

The Dominance of Google & Facebook (VisualCapitalist, 2018)

Google and Facebook control 57.6% of the digital ad market, with their market share only growing.

Very similar to Google contextual ads via Google AdWords, advertisers have the ability to strategically place advertisements into YouTube videos provided by willing video publishers. Next time you are checking out a video on YouTube you might notice the ads that come up during the video you are watching. Another form of video advertising is click to play video ads, which allow advertisers to create video ads that can be placed on publishers’ websites for even more branding, exposure and marketing.

‘An average of 2:1 is made by businesses using Google Adwords.’ (Think With Google, 2018)

Adwords allows advertisers to promote their brand, product and/or service to users within Gmail inboxes. This is a very powerful method of getting your brand message in front of existing customers, competitors’ customers or users that receive mail that may be aligned with what your business is offering. For instance, a hotel brand could target Gmail users that have received a flight booking confirmation email, and send them an email ad promoting their hotel and offering a special discount if booking through that email. This is just one of the many powerful and effective ways of getting your brand message in front of your ideal target audience when it’s relevant to their needs.

Bing has its own PPC platform that operates in a similar fashion to Google Adwords and gives you the ability to advertise on Bing, Yahoo and Microsoft’s other search partner sites. Facebook and Instagram dominate the social media space and also offers PPC advertising on their platform. Both channels are considered powerful tools for brands, as they provide a large amount of targeting criteria allowing brands to promote their products and services to a specific audience using demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural data.

One of the major benefits of PPC is the ability to run re-marketing (re-targeting) PPC campaigns, which allows us to reach people that have already visited your site – the perfect way to cross sell and up-sell your product or service to repeat customers.

PPC employed in conjunction with a A/B tested optimised landing pages, and a properly engineered conversion funnel will enable your brand to capitalise on the large volume of user searchers seeking your product or service, helping you generate increasing sales and outperforming your competition.

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How PPC improves traffic to your website.

Our Technical Directors can setup a PPC campaign on Google, Yahoo or Bing (Microsoft AdCenter) extremely quickly. This translates into advertisers being able to get advertisements for their website on the first page of the main search engines within minutes of a campaign setup and activation. With our technical knowledge and expert campaign planning we specifically target channels that we know will generate the highest traffic to your business.

PPC also carries valuable benefits for new websites that have little to no exposure on the search engines. A PPC approach to ranking is often a big contrast to starting up SEO efforts, which can take an investment of time and attention to get the same type of positioning and traffic that AdWords offers within minutes of launching your campaign.

When compared to other channels such as email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand, and you aren’t limited to your existing followers or customer lists. PPC lets you quickly cast a wide net to find new prospects and customers.

‘The top three ranking ads earn 41% of clicks.’ (Think With Google, 2018)

The most powerful digital strategy for driving traffic is to combine a quality SEO foundation with strategic PPC campaigns. This approach will increase your ability to capture the maximum available user clicks for your niche through as many channels as possible using relevant ad targeting and compelling ad creative.

As a marketer, it is crucial to be able to drive as many people to your website as consistently as possible. With paid search marketing, traffic amounts can be controlled as they are tied directly to how much the advertiser is willing to pay per click, per day and per month.

At TRACE we manage this budgeting in real time across your campaigns to ensure your conversion potential is maximised and your advertising expenditure is controlled.

PPC works incredibly well with other marketing channels. With your SEO investment in producing original and unique content to support your customer buying cycle and establish thought leadership positioning, AdWords as a PPC engine can drive visitors to content more quickly and improve the ROI on your content investment.

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How much should you budget for your PPC spend?

CPC stands for ‘Cost-Per-Click’ meaning that you you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and is taken to your website. Some clicks are under a dollar, while others exceed $50 depending on the competition of the search term (keyword). For example, the more niche your product or service is and thus the less competition you have, the cheaper your CPC is likely to be. Industries such as banking and insurance have extremely high competition and their life time value of a conversion is very high, so their average CPCs tend to be upwards of $50.

Competition is not the only factor that determines the CPC you are charged. How your account is organised, optimised and managed effects the cost of your clicks. The better that your keywords are organised into tight ad groups and trigger keyword relevant ads that drive to keyword specific landing pages, the higher your quality score (QS) will be and the cheaper your CPCs will be, compared to your competitors who might have poorly organised accounts and ads that are not keyword rich. This is one of the key elements to organising a PPC account that our Technical Directors at TRACE take the time to focus our expertise on from the outset. We understand that a campaign setup and structured well at the beginning of the process requires less optimisation and reorganisation later on.

‘Consumers visiting a site through paid ads are 50% more likely than organic visitors to buy a product or service.’ (Think With Google, 2018)

How Do You Determine How Much To Spend On Your Business PPC Activity? At TRACE we use in depth keyword research to determine the available search volume for your target terms, combined with industry benchmark data to determine the optimum media spend for our clients so that they can gain a valuable amount of search engine Share of Voice (SOV). This is to say, that your budget level determines how often your ad will be shown for your select keywords (searches). A 100% SOV means that your ads will be shown 100% of the time anyone searches for any of your selected keywords, allowing you to gain 100% exposure to your target audience. All ad networks enable us to setup a budget in advance of launching a campaign so that we can allocate a daily spend, and manage your advertising costs, so they do not get away from you, and you don’t over spend your monthly budget.

How much a brand decides to spend on PPC is often dependant on the size of the market opportunity (search volume), and the size of their available online marketing budget.

Client PPC accounts under TRACE management have a designated minimum ad spend with the search engine or social platform/s. TRACE’s monthly management fee is billed directly to the client via our automatic monthly payment system while the ad billing itself is managed directly by the client to Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. TRACE does not operate a back end profit share like many agencies do. This means that the profits our clients drive from the campaigns we manage is 100% retained by your business. For more information and to talk further about how TRACE can execute your next PPC campaign reach out to us and we’ll be happy to talk.

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Frequently asked PPC questions.

  1. Are PPC ads a waste of money?

    This is a point that is quite often raised as clients invariably know of someone who has run PPC ads that weren’t effective or profitable, or they have attempted to manage a PPC campaign of their own unsuccessfully. The truth is that PPC ads are incredibly powerful when setup, managed and executed by professionals. PPC campaigns can be incredibly versatile, targeted and costs effective as campaigns are audited and managed in real time. If your accounts and campaigns are setup properly the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

  2. Where should our PPC ads run?

    The general answer here is to run PPC campaigns where you know customers are going to see your message and where it makes best sense for your budget. In many instances this means Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram and more recently Pinterest and YouTube are showing great returns for our clients at TRACE. We manage campaign budgets for our clients constantly adjusting ad positioning on channels to maximise exposure and conversions.

  3. What’s the key to PPC profits?

    There are two core secrets to PPC advertising success, choosing your audience and selecting your message carefully. Ideally you want to match your audience and message with 100% accuracy and this is the main reason why many PPC campaigns run by other parties fail. At TRACE we meticulously research both our clients’ audience data and are involved in the content creation of ad campaigns. Using our metrics and experience we can position your ads directly in front of audiences that are most likely to react to your message. We constantly test, adjust and refine our campaigns that are running to maximise sales conversion potential.

  4. How much should we budget for PPC advertising?

    There is no one flat rule which will work for every company or situation. Our approach is to start small and scale up, this way we can show positive results before moving onto increasing budget expenditure. Once we have learned the buying behaviours of your true audience we can prospect for audience matches – other customer demographics that we know will be best suited to respond to your business message and convert to real business.

  5. How do we get started with PPC advertising?

    The first thing we do after detailed consultation with our clients is setup the channels, whether it be across Google and the other search engines or the social platforms (or all combined). We consult on the creative process using our experience to help design compelling text or display ad campaigns. This is the initial setup phase of your PPC account and it’s vital it is executed perfectly to ensure your campaigns perform to their maximum potential.

  6. I have more questions, who do I speak to?

    You can talk to our SEO, PPC or CRO team. Just send us an enquiry here and we’ll setup a call time to have a chat.