Last updated on February 2nd, 2023
What if you have been told, “PPC isn’t just for big brands”. Pay-per-click or PPC is an effective means even for small businesses to drive traffic and compete in a target market. It is an ideal way to advertise as one pays only when someone clicks on advertisements. For growing brands, their PPC performance matters a lot to bring potential customers to their websites and businesses. In this webinar transcript, the PPC experts have shared hacks and tips on how to make the paid ads work for your business. Have a look!
Of all the advertisements and promotional means, PPC is perhaps the most economic and result-oriented online marketing strategy. You pay only when a visitor clicks on your advertisement. So, a company is showing its advertisement on a computer screen, it will not be paying for it. It will pay only when that visitor clicks on the ad. This is how it works. Also, PPC is cost-effective for small businesses as they pay only for the clicked ads.
The sole purpose of a PPC ad is to drive people to the website. Once the visitor clicks the ad and goes to the website, he or she can make purchasing decisions. Apart from this purpose, getting familiar with a PPC ad’s benefits is essential to understand why investing in it would make a lot of sense.
Generally, PPC ads allow you to reach your target audience without spending much money. They also offer instant web traffic by encouraging prospects to click on certain advertisements. With PPC ads, you can also generate warm leads by putting your products in front of an audience interested in what you sell. Another good thing about this kind of advertising is that they don’t need specialized design or skills. They can be easily set up on platforms like Google Ads.
That said, PPC ads can help your business in several ways. All you have to do is entice your target audience to click on your advertisement, go to your website, and take action. But, know that making the visitor click an ad is not easy.
But, most businesses fail to realize the full potential of PPC ads. They are unable to maximize conversions as they do not follow the best PPC practices. Many of them waste their money on ads for the lack of creative ad copies and bidding strategies.
To educate them more on PPC ads, Designhill organized a panel discussion on the latest happenings in paid media marketing on 17th September 2020. The topic of the discussion was – Boost Your PPC Performance Using Best Practices Tips Strategies Trends. They showed how to get the best performance and ROI from your PPC ad campaigns.
The experts discussed fine points of the PPC world, trends and how to do smarter remarketing in the post-COVID digital world. They advised on the ways to create powerful PPC strategies and how to work with AI tools and automation. You will also learn about how to wisely allocate your budget for the ad campaign.
About Our Panelists:
Aaron Levy has created strategies for big corporates as well as regional plumbers and agencies. He was involved in almost every channel online and email campaigns, affiliates, and a lot more. He is invited to speak at conferences worldwide.
Duane Brown has worked with brands like Telstra, ASOS, Jack Wills, Mopp, and others. Known for traveling and working around the world, He is currently living in Montreal and helping e-commerce and DTC brands grow through data.
Frederick Vallaeys is a leading influencer in PPC search marketing and is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He was Google’s first 500 employees and was the company’s first AdWords Evangelist. He now is a Co-Founding CEO of Optmyzr, a leading and award-winning PPC management platform.
Joe Martinez is the Director of Client Strategy for Clix Marketing, and one half of the Paid Media Pros YouTube channel. He regularly contributes to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and WordStream. He has also contributed to Social Media Examiner, PPC Hero, SEMrush, Unbounce, Leadpages, Optmyzr, and AdStage. He regularly speaks in conferences and has hosted webinars for SEMrush, Unbounce, Quora, and Microsoft Ads.
Michelle Bridger specializes in Facebook Ads and she has helped businesses grow with Facebook Advertising. She is known for generating leads and sales from Facebook Ads and ensuring great ROI.
- What are ins and outs in the PPC world for 2020
- What new PPC trends lie ahead for marketers
- Tips on how to do smarter remarketing in a post-COVID world
- Powerful PPC strategies to grab your customers’ attention
- Advice to get innovative with your target audience in search and social world
- Strategies to position yourself to work with AI tools & automation
- When & how to pivot your paid ads marketing strategy
- Tips on allocating your budget wisely & much more
Here Is the Video Of The Panel Discussion With The PPC Experts
Here Is What The Experts Advise On Getting The Maximum Out Of Your PPC Campaign
Designhill: We all know about keywords but what is that we need to unlearn and relearn about them? Any practice that has become redundant and does not work anymore for the PPC campaign?
It starts with keywords
Aaron Levey: Paid search and search, in general, has always started with keywords. But fundamentally, we’re trying to reach people. So, as we start optimizing, most marketers that we see start with keywords and go to audiences and then go to messaging and then to automation. I think that’s a little bit dated. And the challenge is that just because someone uses a word doesn’t mean that the word means the same thing to a given person.
So as we evolve, we become better marketers. Then, I think we have to look at what a word or phrase means as well as keywords when we are building our accounts out. But what does that word mean, given the person who is searching for it? And how can we leverage that to paint a better user experience versus providing the same answer to everybody that exists?
I mean, you think about Designhill, someone who is looking for 500 business cards for a networking event is very different from someone who is looking for 50,000 business cards for their entire staff. But, they probably search for business cards.
So, what we have to do is look at keywords as part of a puzzle. And the answer is a little bit less easy than it may have used to be. It is the same challenges that used to be that we just have more data about humans now.
It is also about the customer journey
Michelle Bridger: It is about the customer journey and speaking to them where they are and especially speaking to them in the story. So just looking at keywords and the targeting is missing the human element, and more than ever, you need to be creative.
Frederick Vallaeys: I think of the keyword as that magical moment of relevance when the users told you precisely what they needed. But you are not the only advertiser who’s figured that one out. So, now, it’s about being unique, creative, appealing, and having a great offer. That is what draws the user in through your ad, the ad extensions, all that stuff.
Keyword Show More Queries Now
The other thing I want to point out, though, is that a keyword is no longer a keyword. I mean, it used to be that you can tell Google like this is the word that I want to show up for. And now Google is like, wow, that kind of means the same as this and that. And so they start showing you for a lot of related queries.
This is good for smaller advertisers who are not PPC experts. That is because you don’t have to do the work of figuring out every single thing that the user might type in. But it also means that maybe you have to look for some additional control, some notifications, maybe monitor the search terms report. And that’s a whole new topic that we can debate quite a bit today because Google made some changes to that.
Designhill: What can be done in a case where the generic keyword cost per click is too high and the longtail keyword volume is too low?
AB Test Your Ad Copy
Duan Brown: I think we see that with a lot of competitive spaces, or even when you see brands bid on your brand name. They are trying to drive up costs. A lot of brands don’t spend a lot of time just AB testing their ad copies. You could have two completely different ads. And even though they have the same idea around it, they can cover it differently even if they are showing against the same keywords.
So even if you have a high CPC, or it’s a super competitive space make sure you spend time AB testing your ad copy. That could be the big difference between somebody clicking on your ad and converting and somebody clicks on your ad and then deciding they don’t want to buy your product. None of the people spend time thinking about that ad that they show to people.
Sometimes if you’re in like SAS or subscription-based business model putting your price point in that is a way to differentiate your ad. You can differentiate your ad from those who just say buy us because we’re number one. Well, everyone in the space campaign is number one. So, figure out a way to make your ad unique and stand out and then get that click and get that convert.
Yeah, regarding ICBC, a lot of times what we have done is looking at alternative channels. So, we will look at specifically, we’ve done a lot, Dwayne mentioned SAS, I’ve worked with a lot of SAS clients to work with lawyer accounts where CPCs, we’ve seen easily hit triple digits.
So to kind of step aside from that, we have looked at other channels like Quora. We looked at some of the other social channels where we can still get in front of the right audience. But, we haven’t been as competitive either because people aren’t doing it or just due to the way some of these other channels are set up.
We can get in front of a highly relevant audience more on the social side, and still sometimes get the same if not better results. Because we’re hitting people at other angles and understanding that people go to more websites than just Google. There are other ways to still reach that same audience.
Bids and CPCs are part of the system
Aaron: What we are working on with our teams is to look at Google as a system. Bids and CPCs are one element of that system. I think we’re going to talk about quality scores a bit later. But that’s certainly one of the elements to work to optimize things like landing page optimization, post clicked on optimization, and before user experience optimization. You can afford to pay $100 a click if you have an 80% conversion rate. But you can’t afford to pay $100 a click if you have a 2% conversion rate.
So, in some ways, Google’s a good economic system that people will pay as much as they can afford. If you can afford to pay more, then you’ll win those auctions and you’ll box other competitors out. If you can’t, then the market is going to price you out. So it’s about optimizing the elements that go into the CPCs and also what comes afterward.
Therefore, figure out how you can make the economic situation work for you. You should know that something high costs pieces of software are inherently going to be expensive. The best you can do to optimize the other parts of it will certainly help you out.
Designhill: Will automation completely do away with the conventional methods of running a PPC campaign?
Aaron: Overall, I’m not too concerned about it. A lot of things like automation, simple scripts, things that Google is taking over has made some of our jobs easier. Now, in terms of automation, do I like seeing less search term reports? And do I like to have less control over my ads? No, not necessarily. So there are ways that we can either automate reporting or make certain things easier. We can focus on strategy.
Automation Can’t Tell Stories
One thing that I haven’t seen automation understanding human emotion in ways that we could tackle it. Could it get better? For me, it’s got a long way to go. It’s very good from the hardcore data aspect, from what we’ve seen working on those types of numbers.
But to craft, a branding story even allows stuff that we’ve done socializing in the way that we can structure our campaigns. This is done to tell that story and focus on emotions with certain audiences. To me, automation hasn’t even come close to even performing well in that aspect.
Frederick Vallaeys: Google is doing automation in the first place is that there’s a lot of potential advertisers who don’t do PPC for a living. AdWords, Google Ads have become relatively difficult for them. So, Google is trying to find a way to make it possible for these potential advertisers to see some level of success on the system.
But aside from the assistance from Google, many PPC consultancy services are available today to guide businesses in managing their PPC advertising projects. To get help with Google Ads or other advertising platforms, consider consulting a dedicated and experienced PPC consultant.
They can help your business obtain better leads and turn them into repeat customers. They can also use their knowledge, skills, and expertise to help you implement and scale your existing PPC advertising strategy.
Shift from Manual Tasks
Google, in some cases of adding more automation, takes away some of the data that we relied on. We depended on the data to make better decisions to optimize our budgets, get lower CPC is better requisition, etc. That is where we get frustrated. I think there’s a shift from the very manual tasks that we used to do, which were not very appealing in many ways.
For instance, why spend time doing the math to figure out the cost per click when you have a cost per acquisition target? That should be automated reporting, like they were saying, like, why should we be spending hours pulling in data from different places, massaging it, and then putting it in the right place? Like that should be automated.
But there is a lot of stuff that machines don’t know. Joe was referring to human emotion. Maybe you sell a product to people who are very frustrated about something. So the emotion you’re going after is a frustrated user. Maybe you’re selling a lifestyle product, you want to go after users when they’re super happy. And maybe that level of happiness is not just for one person, but it’s for society as a whole.
Combine Automation With Business Insights
For example, we have wildfires in California. Everybody is a bit frustrated about not being able to go outside. How do you take that insight, and if you’re a furniture company turned it into saying, hey, maybe we should be bidding a little bit more aggressively because people are stuck inside their houses. And they want to make their houses a little bit nicer.
Let Google figure out the exact bids, keywords, and attacks, but you tell it like right now based on my business conditions is a great time for me to be selling. So it’s about marrying the automation from Google with your business insights.
Getting the context right
Duane Brown: Automation works when it works. And when it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I think that’s the challenge. But I also think the flip side is as smart as Google and people work at Facebook or like that. They haven’t built systems that understand the context. They don’t know the difference between milk chocolate and chocolate milk. Or, if you say this kid’s toy Lego blocks can make a motorcycle. They don’t know that like you don’t mean a Harley Davidson, you just mean a toy motorcycle. That means your ads get shown for motorcycles that we as adults would buy and take on the street. 19:48
I think that the challenge with automation is selling us the sizzle and that steak. But, it’s like a dumpster fire half the time if they don’t get the context right. I’m not fearful of automation. I just want them to do a better job of understanding like where they’re not hitting the bullseye so to speak.
Designhill: Do you think the strategy for ad bidding on any of the PPC channels has changed post-pandemic? What factors one should consider before bidding?
Michelle: I just do Facebook and Instagram advertising. So ours looks different for us than the ones on the panel. We were currently not doing as much manual bidding. We are not seeing a lot in terms of my particular niche my clients and customers are seeing. So for us, we are only seeing that it is more competitive.
Bidding is now more competitive
In the beginning, we saw a wonderful dip in prices, but it didn’t last. So we are just seeing that it’s gotten more competitive, and more rigorous to compete. The way that we’re working to compete then, is for us to make sure that the offer is even more clearer, telling more stories, getting more rigorous about having the creative, grab attention, and be relevant. So there are the elements of making an incredible stellar app that meets them on the customer journey.
Depends on industry type
Joe Martinez: For us, it depended on the industry. One of my clients could capitalize on anyone who had any cold or flu symptoms. So when this hit, they could benefit and they had like a remedy type thing. It wasn’t medical, but it could help lessen the symptoms of any cold or flu. So they got aggressive. They started to see more conversions. And we could test more automated bidding on a variety of either just the search or social channels.
Another client we had was SAS. They are in the medical industry and they had a hands-free product. You can do stuff online that you didn’t have to do in person at a medical office before. They could capitalize on it and become more aggressive.
I had a travel client. They wanted to have some sort of brand awareness. So they pulled back even though everything got cheaper. They had to shift their strategy and focus more on awareness and control that manually, even though things are better. So, for me, it depends on your industry, how the market has been affected by what’s going on in the world right now.
And see what your competitors are doing. Sometimes to me, I think it’s an opportunity to be aggressive. If you’re seeing all your competitors in your industry back and off, it is an opportunity for you to stay on top of your minds. What things do slowly get back to normal in your industry. You’re the ones that people remember.
Frederick Vallaeys: But it is not that you do not have to pay too much, nobody is flying. If you’re selling online stuff, everybody’s buying online. The stat that we haven’t mentioned today is that eCommerce has grown as much. We’re two years ahead of where we expect it to be at this point all because of the pandemic.
One thing that I find fascinating about PPC, like bidding aside maybe, is that in the pandemic, a lot of stuff has changed. It still changes daily. Just before this call, the panelists were talking about whose kids are in school. Michels are full time in school Joe’s are full time in school, but it depends where you are. And guess what two weeks from now is going to be different again. That is just school business, it’s the same thing our gyms and hair salons open.
What is nice about PPC is that you can be so responsive to how the world changes as opposed to search engine optimization. When it comes to optimization, you have to sometimes wait weeks or months for your changes to take effect for your message to be updated. In pay per click, you control the messaging. You can run the bid that makes sense for you in terms of the conversion rate. But you can boost that conversion rate by telling people prospective customers what they can expect from you.
So, when I was right at the beginning of the pandemic, trying to buy a Chromebook for my children. I couldn’t go to Best Buy as it was closed. But they still are not running. They said you can drive up to our store, buy online pick up in store Bovis. And so that quick shift of messaging by them still made sure that I could buy the same thing from them. Then in terms of conversion rate, I’m sure they just looked at how conversion rates shifted. They adjusted their bids to still have a great return on ad spend. But for me, it was almost the messaging that was more important.
Designhill: Experts say that by the end of 2020, Google will probably replace the extended search ads feature introduced in 2018. How do you think it will change the workflow of digital marketers?
Joe Martinege: I do not want that to happen but it probably will. There was an exciting question poll about the scale and making sure that you can do everything possible versus genuinely individualized. So, responsive search ads essentially mean that you give Google a couple of elements to an ad. For instance, you give them a couple of headlines and a couple of description lines, tag lines, and a couple of values. Then, Google picks the one that it thinks is the rightest for the person.
Also, Google is not necessarily the best at figuring out what someone wants. If you go through discover feed, you can see that they make somewhat rash decisions.26:54
Google favors click-through rates
After we have done a bunch of analysis on our side, we tend to work with larger advertisers. We have larger data sets, which is a luxury and also a problem sometimes. But in turn, we start to see what Google begins to favor. Also, responsive search ads tend to take priority. It should be no surprise to any consistently paid search person. But they almost always tend to favor the highest click-through rate because that’s how Google makes the most money and time will tell how that evolves.
We will have more tools to pin
So, if regular text ads are gone in 2021, which frankly, could happen, what I expect will happen is that we’ll start to have more tools to pin, based on audiences. We’ll be able to say if a person has or hasn’t been to your site before they see this set of copies, If it’s a male, they see this if it’s a female, they see this. So in turn, what we’re going to wind up with is almost Mad Libs, it’s a little bit of fill in the blank.
So when we’re thinking about automatic optimization, personalization, customization, etc, it is important to know what the ad looks like. If it is right, if personalization goes perfectly, we know that it’ll be perfect for that person. If it goes wrong, and the incorrect ad is served to a person, is that okay?
Figure Out A Perfect Ad
So, I think the future is a good deal of figuring out how perfect our ads could get. And if they go wrong, how wrong is it? And what level of wrong are we okay to tolerate? So make sure that people can see a piece of creativity or an ad or word that makes the most sense to them and won’t turn them off from your friend.
Changes Will Happen
I think we have all got used to ETS, but before ETS, we had standard search ads. We probably freaked out more than others when Google said OTAs were all the jam. So at this point, I kind of say the one thing in this job is constant change. You know, the minute you get comfortable, Google decides they’re going to change something. I am not worried if they get rid of ETS and make us use RSA is not to say like I’ve seen RSA hundred percent be successful in Cline’s accounts.
Know What Combination Works
I may need to be more granular with my campaigns or pin more of my ad wines to the ad. In that case, I’m going to do what it takes to find out what combination is going to work. You know, we’ve seen some RSA work in some kind of accounts. We have not seen work and others and so it just means we’ll have to spend more time testing stuff out. Google’s going to do more stuff next year. We’re going to hate some of it and we just kind of have to accept If we want to do this job sometimes.
Changes Beneficial to Average Advertisers
Duane Brown: Google put these changes there because it benefits the less sophisticated advertiser. We have discussed problems on this call already, such as if somebody’s looking for business cards. Aaron was making the example like, do you know if that’s a business customer, like a large corporation? Or is that somebody looking for 50? Free cards? Because they’re starting? Maybe, if things work out a consulting company, and they don’t want to pay for it.
But if you just look purely at the keyword, Google knows what side somebody’s been to and the context of where the IP addresses. It is somebody at Google looking for a business card, that could be a huge order. So, Google is trying to show an ad that may be speaking more to the corporate customer. These are things that are relatively difficult for us as advertisers to do ourselves. And we struggled with that for many decades now. What Google’s trying to do is good.
But the question is are you happy with the average results that you get from Google? Or, are you the folks on this call, not just the panelists, but also the people watching. I mean, you’ve probably been on this call because you want to get better than average results. So it’s just going to mean, you have a little bit more work, more creativity to figure out a workaround.
Do Not Fight The Automation
Maybe you make a responsive search ad. You put in all the headline variations that are the same, just changing a single word or a plural to a singular. In this way, you limit the options that Google has and you are still getting what you had from an expanded text ad. It is a workaround. But don’t fight the automation, try to leverage it, play on top of it, and get the best out of it in combination with your strategy and skills.
Designhill: How do we ensure CTR with the least cost per click?
Michelle: So, the click-through rate is one of the first metrics that we look at. This is because if we can’t get the link, click-through rate, we’ve lost the battle. Therefore, we look at the click-through rate, which is to know the interest there, then we look at the link click-through rate as well. And we are even looking at the ratio between the two of them.
Know What The Audience Wants
To get the link click-through rate, we have to know that we’ve put an offer before that audience that they want. So, we had a webinar recently. That started in the middle of a live launch. And our link click-through rate was dismal. Then, we quickly scrambled to change up our creative, and our copy. And the audience was the same. But by changing the copy and the creative that we are seeing, we were able to quickly bring up our link click-through rate to an area that we felt comfortable with. And then the launch made over 145,000 inches, a very short amount of time.
So that leap click-through rate is important. If you’re not getting a link, click-through rate, where you want it to be, if you’re not getting the link clicks that you want, then it’s probably an offer issue.
Give The Right Message to The Audience
Aaron: You must present the right message to your audience. It is always said that search and social paid search ads are your best market research tool. Your audience will tell you exactly if you are giving them the information that they want. So, we look at it as an indicator of success, but not necessarily the meaning of success. I suppose some businesses do profit based on traffic, but most of our clients tend to profit based on sales or leads or something like that.
Get The Impression To Conversion
We will use the click-through rate as an indicator of conversion rate. If you have a high click-through rate, but a bad conversion rate. That means there is some sort of a message mismatch. You are probably getting a lot of people who are not clicking because you are not giving them the right information. If you have the two aligned, we have a metric that we like to call, which I call ICR, which stands for an impression to conversion.
We want to keep that as high as possible so that people are clicking and doing something afterward. When you get those to merge is when you have the most success. But since every ad platform is monetized based on clicks, they want a higher click-through rate. To some degree, it’s a balance to figure out how you can play, how the system wants you to play, and also what’s best for your business.
Target The Right User
Joe: I will answer it differently. We look at the click-through rate as something important. While we want people to be engaged, make sure it’s the right user. So, sometimes we’re willing to sacrifice, click the rate if it better helps us pre qualify that user kind of going back to the keyword discussion that we talked about if it is a more generic search term.
But, we are willing to put something in our ad copy that’s going to have a good chunk of peop3le not clicking on the ad. This is because we don’t want those users. For example, we have a SAS client that only wants enterprise level type businesses, but people search for a generic keyword and try to find it. So we lay that out in our ad copy for companies with employee sizes, x and up. And on these generic keywords, we don’t do it for all our ads just for those search terms. And we’re willing to sacrifice that click-through rate, knowing that we’re going to prequalify these users and get a more qualified user to convert on the site.
So we look at the click-through rate for the quality score aspect. But it comes down to the goals of what we want to do and who we are trying to attract.
And I’d like to be on that through. So CTR is certainly not the end-all metric. It is a good optimization indicator. For example, what you can do is you can look for a high click-through rate but low conversion rate ad. And, basically what it is saying is the user seems interested in what you’re offering.
But for someone is that landing page bad? Is it difficult to find what you just promised? Or are you over-promising in the ad? Based on that finding, now you can figure out well, should I fix the ad? And is my CTR unreasonably high? Because maybe I said you get something for free, when in fact you don’t? Or, is it the landing page that’s in some way broken? You do the flip side of that as well.
Then you can look at keywords and you can look at search terms. And you can say look for a search term. And the click-through rate relative to the keywords that triggered that search term. In the search term, it simply means that the user didn’t search for exactly the same thing as your keyword in many cases.
If you see a high click-through rate on a specific search term higher than your keyword, that’s an indication that that might be a super relevant variation that maybe you hadn’t thought about. Maybe you can add that As a keyword, write a better ad text for it that’s more compelling. And so all of these things help you get towards a better quality score, a higher position in the ad auction, a lower cost per click as a result of that. And hopefully, at the end of the day, the thing you care about is cheaper leads and more profits.
Designhill: Many PPC advertisers still find quality score a little confusing metric to fully pay them or Master? What can we do to improve the quality score?
Machines Do Quality Scores
Duanne: We see it a lot on Reddit. People ask about quality scores, and what can they do to improve them? But the question is are people converting that acceptable CPA or CPL, cost per lead or cost per acquisition, or if you have a roast goal. That is because I think the trick that we don’t talk about with Google is, machines do the quality scores. So, if a machine gives you a four or five, you could do a million things over the next year, and never move the needle on that quality score.
And sometimes there are bigger fish to find your account there. You could rework their ad copy. So that’s my goal in getting less campaign tanking, and we’ve looked at everything else, then maybe I’ll look at the quality score. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s something you should focus on. It’s an easy thing to look at and say, hey, we got from a five to a six, but it’s just a machine that decides your quality score. And it could be a red herring, your account in terms of like performance, and now you do.
Quality Score Based On User Behavior
Frederick: At the end of the day, the machine is looking at user behavior. So, if you have a low-quality score, we know that’s not resonating with those users. I fully agree that the quality score is not always the right thing to try and affect. Because you might do far better like doubling your conversion rate by fixing your landing page than by getting a 10% boost in quality score.
But, I do like to look at it as a gauge of how successfully am I doing the thing that Google likes. And at the end of the day, if Google doesn’t like what I’m doing, then I’m not gonna show a lot of ads anymore, right? So, I have to, in some way, figure out what the machine likes. Hopefully, the machine is pretty in tune with what the user likes. And so that is why I do look at it quite a bit.
First, Find The Right User
Joe: I will go back to the SAS example when we were kind of pre-qualifying users. We were understanding and were taking a hit on quality score because of our click-through rate, our expected click-through rate was going down. But what we do is we first focus on finding the right user, and how we’re converting first. I’m not focusing on quality score, as my first metric, I’m focusing on converting the right user. Then we have this baseline, we’re converting well. But our ad impressions might be going down because our quality score is low.
So, after we find the right user, we should improve either the landing page experience or the click-through rate through this audience. We are trying to target them later on, improve the quality score, to get more impressions to lower our CPAs and CPCs. Therefore, I’m going to focus on the conversions and my target audience first, and then what I can do to make Google happy second. That is because the people make you money, Google takes your money. So I’m going to try to make money first. Then give Google a little bit more money.
Frederick: Score looks a little bit different on Facebook and social networks, right, like so what should people focus on? outside of Google? Is there a quality score equivalent?
Michelle: It’s called quality ranking. And it has to do with engagement, conversion, and then the quality of the ad. We use it but once where I troubleshoot it is a little hard. So we’re watching it, but our first eyes on the return on ad spend.
If we’re seeing the return on ad spend, either dip or not be at the level that we want, then we’re like okay, now we’re looking at the quality score, and how can we increase that engagement? How can we put more of a story ad in front of them? How can we come across with a creative, that’s more of a lifestyle type of image, or a video, something that’s more engaging to them. So we’re then going back based on the ROs. Okay, and now we’re seeing how we can be more granular.
Designhill: Let us say a PPC advertiser has done all of that. But the PPC landing page couldn’t cut through it. So what are the hallmarks of a good PPC landing page?
Michelle: Before we ever run advertising, we are going through the client’s landing page with a fine-tooth comb. We often see if we can make it clearer. So, between your ad and landing page, it should be congruent, or you lose it. We even want the branding to be similar because we want it to be as seamless as possible.
Landing Page Should Be Congruent
The number one thing to consider is that the landing page needs to be congruent. And then the other thing is that right at a glance, the top part of the landing page, the offer must be clear. Clients often think that they are being clear, but it may not be. My clients are in the digital market and digital marketing, and they have a digital course.
They run online courses by doing webinars, video series, and they are authors, coaches, speakers, and influencers. So, they are selling a digital product. And so we are teaching and getting people into the free training that they have. That is different from an e-commerce product and we have a couple of those clients.
But, in terms of that type of landing page, we’ve got to be clear about what the free training is about whether it’s a video or a webinar. There can be no question at all. And it’s got to happen in a split second at that top banner, you know what it is, then we want the button above the fold. That means someone doesn’t have to scroll down for it. Because 50% of the time people don’t scroll.
Show The Benefits and Not Features
And then we want the benefits of showing up for that training, not features. So the benefit is the transformation that they’ll experience by showing up. And then we’ll often have a bio, but that’s before the fold underneath the fold. And that’s also then we include testimonials frequently. So it is a different kind of a landing page than an e-commerce site. But all of those things need to be in place.
Aaron: I think the audience has a sneaking suspicion of what direction I’m going to go, which is audiences. So, specifically thinking about b2b, but frankly, any sort of non-E-commerce process. Different people want different things out of their website. Some people want all the information while others want none of the information.
But the typical format of a lead generation landing page is a couple of bullets, you get a title and fill out a form. We reached a point where a lot of times, the simpler the landing page, the poor quality of the lead winds up being. That is if you don’t prequalify people, you’ll get a lot of leads that will just wind up wasting time.
So we’ll have to figure out what sort of information do we have to give people ahead of time. When making the first decision and give their information out or signing up for an email list, or even going to your site. But make sure that you as a company have the right information from that person who knows what they’re signing up for.
Weed Out Time-Wasting Cases
We have several clients in the IT services area such as a help desk for a business. And all the time there are all sorts of people who think they’re reaching the help desk for Verizon or Vodafone or whatever issues they’re having or fixing their TV. And now to some degree, a landing page won’t fix that and people don’t feel like reading and they just want to yell at something. But in other cases, you can sort of weed out some of those.
Light and User-Friendly Landing Page Works
Here’s the other issue tying back to quality scores. You have to think about it from a development and a speed perspective. Everybody wants to make the web faster. So, if you have a heavyweight landing page, that loads slowly, you’ll get punished. If you have a fast, lightweight landing page that loads fast, you’ll get rewarded. Therefore, you have to be careful with development to make sure that as you’re putting the information on there, you’re making it light and user friendly, so that people will be happy when they get there.
Designhill: Society as a whole seems to be moving in two directions, pure practical physicality versus individualized service. Do you think that PPC will move to these ends of the spectrum too?
True Personalization is Unlikely
Aaron: I don’t believe that the web will ever get to true personalization. It will never get perfect, especially as the world is moving towards privacy and information protection and being able to opt-out of data. So, I don’t believe that data will be truly democratized meaning that everyone will have access to everything to give the perfect message to the person. I don’t think that that’ll ever happen.
More Conversation Opportunities
But what I think will happen is we’ll have more opportunities to have a one to few conversations, and that you’ll be able to have an ad that is dedicated towards a group of people or a group of keywords that fit certain criteria. But you won’t be able to say that someone gets the perfect ad. There is just not enough data and computing power in the world, much less the desire for consumers to have that. So, I think that we’ll be able to get more customized, but not necessarily personalized.
Duane Brown: I think personalization is great, but most people agree that it’s just individuals on this call, and not as marketers. We probably hate it at times, because we get too many ads, and there is not enough frequency capping going on. So, I think for most people, especially people on this call, we should all just focus on the next few months. What you want to do as a business, and then worry about like the far future years from now.
There is just too much going on to think about, like where we are going to be three years from now. I can guarantee you will not be anything we predict right now because so much will change by the end of 2021.
Designhill: When you were talking about automation, Joe made a great point about human emotion. Now we want to know that, absent a data-driven approach, how should companies approach that angle creatively?
Joe: I think focusing purely on the data all the time can hinder creativity. If you’re always focusing on what you see in what we’ve done in the past, then you can wind up just doing the same thing over and over again. If you’re always going by what the data says, and then a pandemic hits, you might be throwing it for a curveball right there.
I will say that data is just assessing what you have done. So use the data to analyze the performance of what you’re doing. And yes, it can help make some tweaks for any future decisions. But when launching new products or focusing on a branding effort to an audience that has never been exposed to you, data does not help much.
Similarly, when you want us to try different ad creatives, I do a lot with video, and focusing on just serious what the data says videos doesn’t help from a creative standpoint of making a video that can make someone laugh trigger an emotion. And that’s something where we use the data to analyze our creative and branding efforts after the fact it’s not necessarily going to be our main guide all the time.
Designhill: Do you guys think there are unexpected changes to PPC execution that the marketers should be aware of, especially in the post COVID world? What would be the newer trends like the way businesses acquire new customers?
Fredrick: More people are going to buy through e-commerce, and online pick up in-store. There’s going to be fewer store visits, gyms have to function at reduced capacity. So, the business world has changed. How much you can spend on acquiring new customers in some cases is resulting in the change as well.
It doesn’t matter if there’s a pandemic or not like Google’s always going to change stuff, and we’re gonna have to adapt and that’s what makes PPC fun. That’s why most of us in this call have been doing it for over a decade. But if you don’t like change, and you’d like just figuring out what to do. Then keep doing that for the next 10 years hire and hire one of these guys, because they enjoy figuring it out.
Michelle: It will remain the same. We see that more than ever, how extreme is the need for flexibility today. The need for creativity, to be able to pivot quickly with the messaging is much more these days. So, when COVID hit, we had to quickly change messaging on several of my clients. In this way, they were able to capitalize on the trajectory that they were already on or to be able to change directions entirely.
There is the extreme need to be able to just turn on a dime, even more so than ever. The ad costs are rising, and won’t be going down. It is about just being willing to pay more to bring in a client and stay rigorously flexible and creative.
Designhill: What would you suggest to people who are starting a new PPC?
Frederick Vallaeys: When you are starting on PPC, I think you should watch stuff like this. The experts are happy to share information. And kind of like coming into it from the perspective of we need a keyboard and an ad. Those are the basics.
But there’s so much more to it. It’s also asking yourself the question, are you in PPC for the long haul? Do you want to make this a career? Or, is this just something that you happen to need to do? Because your boss just told you, you need to have a PPC campaign, you’re going to do it and you’re going to walk away from it.
So if you’re into it, get educational materials and consume as much of that as possible to talk to the experts. If on the other hand, this is more of a task you have to do. Like so many experts, I don’t know if Designhill has PPC professionals for hire, but like these guys are all for hire. Tools optimizer is a great tool that will help you at least do some of the basics. But figure out where you stand right and what your long-term goals are? Because I think that’s going to influence the decision you make in that regard.
Learn From Various Sources
I read a lot of stories, and I’ve talked to a lot of people who used to work at Google and then went somewhere else. And in turn, what happened is they built their whole career speaking Google language. Then they went to other companies that don’t speak the Google language.
So, it’s important to diversify where you learn from your gut. Check your sources and use them just like you would at universities that you use and get information to help springboard yourself. Take the information that you learn not as fact but as different tools in your toolbox that you can leverage as you deploy your marketing strategies.
We are all experts but also don’t listen to all of us verbatim because your scenario is going to be different from ours. So, instead, take the information that we give you, save it in your little file, save the button in the back of your brain, and then pick when to use it. And that’s only a decision that you can make.
Learn and Practice All The Ad Platforms
Things are a lot different than when I started in 2007. Google’s like shooting fish in a barrel, which is easy. And I think I’m gonna start today, I think trying to master one ad platform, whether it’s Google, Facebook, or Snap Ads. Then, expand out and learn the other platform. So if you start on Google learn Facebook research on Google learn Snap and vice versa. The best marketers are deep in one to two channels, but they understand how the whole funnel works, they understand how other channels work.
Do not become just a Google marketer, or just a Facebook marketer, because it limits your ability to do your job. It also just limits your career trajectory as you go. I don’t think Google or Facebook are going to go anywhere.
Seek Out More Information
Joe: And two things that have always been helpful is, no matter how long we have all been in this industry, we all seek out information. So, we are always learning to try to better ourselves, and things change. The way that we do things now is completely different than I think when each of us started within this industry. When you are involved with any paid media, job, or career, that’s something that you have to keep in mind.
Another thing is I never consider myself an expert in every single area of paid media. Dwayne talked about Pinterest in D2C, and I learned a lot about data analysis from Aaron seeing it, stuff that I’m not familiar with, just do the clients I’ve had in the past.
So I rely on outreach to other people within the community who are good at their jobs that I may have not previous experience with. So, you have to have that drive to be on top of it and to do good at your job, especially as to how fast-paced this industry is.
Designhill: You are an expert in that. So, what would you suggest to the people who are just starting in context with the Insta and Facebook ads?
Michelle: I think it’s great to focus on one platform, in terms of whether you’re Google or Facebook, that focuses on one platform, and the other is to become a great marketer, not just a media buyer. So, media buyers would be placing the ad setting it up to be good to be exceptional.
You need to be a marketer and understand what works in the entire funnel. So, become a marketer that can understand the language and what’s happening in the entire funnel, not just a media buyer.
So, hopefully, this panel discussion gives you some useful insight into how to boost your PPC performance. You learned the best practices to do the PPC ad campaign. Now recheck your campaign strategy and make the corrections to maximize your benefits from the ads.
But, pay attention also to your brand’s visual identities. Your logo, website design, brochure, business cards, and a host of marketing materials must be designed well. These visuals must make a lasting impression on your target audience.
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PPC ad campaigns are highly effective means of driving potential customers to websites and businesses. But you need to adopt the best PPC practices. The experts advise following some basics such as AB testing of ad copy, understanding automation, and personalization, showing the benefits and not features in the ad, etc.