You have probably seen sponsored search ads placed on top or on the right of search results on Google or Yahoo. Let's review a few of the most common questions regarding pay-per-click advertising, and see how you can put together an effective search ad based on these five easy-to-follow rules.
Q: How do Google ads work? Does it cost a lot of money to advertise on Google?
A: Sponsored search advertising has been on the rise for many years. Pay per click (PPC) is the form of advertising where the advertisers only pay if someone clicks on their ad. The cost per click (CPC) can be anything from $0.10 to $10 or more, and advertisers can limit their daily advertising budget at any level.
Q: Does anyone ever click on those sponsored search ads?
A: According to GroupM U.K. and Nielsen (via SearchEngineWatch.com), more people click on “organic” search results than on paid ads. Researchers gathered data from 28 million people and 1.4 billion searches, discovering that 94% of search engine users click on organic results, while only 6% clicked on paid ads. However, one might argue that the people who are looking to actually buy something are more likely to use paid ads than organic results. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are 100 billion Google searches every month, and 6% of 100 billion people is quite a big number.
Q: Where does one start with PPC advertising?
A: The two leading PPC advertising programs are Google AdWords (google.com/adwords) and Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing Ads (bingads.microsoft.com). Try either of the two; the tips given below apply to both.
Q: Five tips for creating effective search ads?
A: Remember, you have limited space (only four lines) to make AIDA (attention-interest-desire-action) impact. By following the tips below, you will draw more attention to your ads and ensure that your CTR (click-through rate) goes up, which leads to both more traffic and lower cost per click.
1. Be targeted Repeat in your ad heading the exact phrase that your prospective customers are likely to use. Don’t make people think too much. Be direct, specific and targeted. For example, if your customers are likely to search for “leather office chair,” try putting “Leather Office Chairs” as a heading in your Google ad. This approach will require that you have different ad groups for several key phrases; one universal ad won’t work.
2. Stress the key benefit. Stand out. As always in marketing, the point is to stress the key benefits, not features. Stand out and give them the main reason to choose you over the competition. So the second line of your ad could be something like “Largest selection of office chairs,” “100% genuine leather,” “Next day delivery,” “100% satisfaction guarantee” or “Free delivery.”
3. Provide a call to action This old marketing rule becomes even more important in the online marketing age. You should always prompt people to act: “Sign up for our e-newsletter,” “Buy now,” “Order today and get 10% off,” etc. Again, always use a call to action. Remember, your customers are literally only one click away.
4. Put the most important keywords in the display URL When specifying your website address, Google lets you use a so-called “display URL.” This is the URL that you want to show to others. The display URL does not have to be the real website address on your website. That said, if your company (mycompany.com) is in the leather chair business, your display URL could be something like: www.mycompany.com/leatherchairs.
5. Use a landing page When people click on your ad, they should be “landing” on a separate page on your website. This page is called a landing page, and its purpose is to finish the job of educating customers and closing the sale. It also makes it easier to track the effectiveness of your ads. The landing page should not have too much content or too many distracting links; it should just seamlessly repeat the content of your Google ad, reassure visitors about the product’s benefits, give them peace of mind through a satisfaction guarantee and let them order right away. Keep it simple. It works! So here is your new Google ad: Leather Office Chairs Huge selection. 100% genuine leather. Order today and save 10%. www.yourcompany.com/leatherchairs. •