5 Keys to Strong Online Presence: Understanding Pay-Per-Click

Well hello, and welcome to Aftershock Weekly. Over the next five weeks, I want to talk about five different components that are important to have a successful digital presence. Now, some of it’s paid, some of it’s organic, some of it’s analytics, so I want to take some time to dive into each component separately to talk about what it’s for, the best practices, and I hope this gives you a lot of value over the next five weeks.

The first one I’m going to talk to you about is pay-per-click marketing. PPC originally was created by Google AdWords in the 2000s, and it was a big change in the industry, because it used to work to where everything was sold based on impressions. So I would say, “I want my ad to show up a thousand times on this particular website,” and that’s called a CPM (cost per mil), so every thousand times it shows up, you’re going to pay a certain amount of money. Well, what they found was it’s not a great return on investment a lot of times when it’s just based on a CPM, or it wasn’t predictable, because an advertiser would say, “Well, how much traffic am I going to get from it? How much business am I going to get from it?” And those were not things in the industry at the time that they ever really gave you, they just said, “You’re going to have this amount of impressions, you’re going to have a ballpark between this and this as far as traffic wise,” and that’s it. There was no pay for performance.

So, Google AdWords came in and said, we’re going to make it to where we’re only going to charge you when someone clicks on your ad. So originally it was when somebody did a Google search they would have ads up at the top, and they would have ads at the side, and then a few at the bottom. And those were before the organic listings. And if you searched for, if you had a bike shop and you had a bike repair shop and somebody did a search for “bike repair shop near me” or “bike repair shop in Chandler” you could now hop to the top, put your ad up there with a unique call to action, sometimes it was an offer of what you can do, maybe sometimes it was just same-day service, but now they could click on that, go to your website, schedule their bike repair, give you a call.

Or maybe you’re a realtor, and you want to get people to come to your site who are looking for homes for sale in a specific area, and then give them an opportunity to search for those homes when they get to your website, and then once they do that ask them for their information. So, again, homes for sale in Chandler. Or maybe you’re in Chicago. You show them an ad, they come to your site, you’re only paying when somebody clicks on it. Now that’s extremely important because now you know that I have a baseline of how much it’s costing me per click to get somebody to the website, and then you can now look at the next analytic of okay, out of the people that are coming to the website, how many are calling, how many are submitting a form, how many are buying something, depending upon what your website is trying to get people to do.So pay-per-click has some very clear metrics to show you a return on investment pretty clearly. Or if you don’t have a good ROI, how you can change it.

So with pay-per-click, a couple of best practices. First, you want to make sure that you A-B Test your ads. You don’t always know exactly what’s going to get somebody to click through to your website, so if you’re running one ad side by side, you change one thing. It could be the headline, and the headline could be “Same Day Service.” One headline could say “25% Off Service.” See which one elicits a better click-through rate. Now that you have, this one is getting a better click- through rate, well, which one is getting more calls, more form submissions to the site. And you can look at that metric and say okay, this B ad is outperforming A. So now I want to test something else, so then you say instead of now Same Day Service, we’re going to look at maybe a different percentage off, a different call to action, whatever it is for your business. It’s going to be different for every kind of vertical. So that’s something you always want to do to make sure that you have the best ads sending the best traffic to your site.

Next, you want to make sure that you have very specific, defined keywords. Meaning that there’s different match types with Google AdWords. You have broad-match, which means you could say “apple” and they would show for apples, they would sometimes show for oranges, it’s a very, very loose way that they’re—they’ll show for pretty much any fruit if you just put apple and broad-matched. But then if you put phrase-matched, apple has to be in that phrase. So if somebody puts Gala Apples, you’re going to show up. But if you have Gala Oranges, which isn’t even a real thing, you’re not going to show up, right? But then you also have exact match, no now if we exact-match apples, then Gala Apples will not trigger an ad because Gala was not part of the exact phrase. So keeping those things in mind, phrase match and exact match are the only things that you really want to deal with.

The next thing you want to look at are what are some things that I want to make sure are not triggering ads. For example, bike repair. How about “free bike repair”? That’s probably something that if you want to put that as a phrase match, free bike repair, you’re not looking to do it for free. Or bike repair and maybe cities that are outside of the sphere that you service. So somebody, if you’re in Chandler and somebody says “bike repair in Glendale” maybe the word Glendale, maybe the word Peoria, those areas that are far from Chandler are negative keywords just to make sure that you’re there for bike repair and other keywords in a phrase match, but you’re excluding cities that you’re too far from. So with pay-per-click marketing, it’s intentional. People are going and making a search for something that’s what they’re looking for, you’re taking them to a place that’s giving them what they asked for, and now hopefully they’re turning into a lead and new customer. So that’s the first component.

So thanks for tuning in to this week of Aftershock Weekly. Tune in next week when we talk about Facebook Advertising.