Google AdWords is an important tool in building your brand, increasing site traffic, and driving leads. Known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), AdWords ads are the ads that appear above organic search results (either in a yellow box or with the word “Ad” next to it) and on Google affiliate sites. You set your bid for particular keywords and your ads compete against others for the top placements. You then pay each time someone clicks on your ad. It looks good to the consumer for your site to appear in one of the top 3 slots of Google ads as well as in the top of the organic search results—this ads credibility to your brand/practice.
If you decide to run PPC campaigns, it is important that you hire an expert to set up and manage your campaign so as to ensure you are getting the most for your money and targeting the audience most effectively.
Within Google AdWords, there are two different networks on which you can run ads—search network and display network. It is important to know the differences between the two to know which is the most appropriate for your marketing goals and which will bring you the best ROI.
Ads that run on the search network are the ads that appear in the yellow box above organic search results. Search network ads allow for very specific keyword targeting, which, when used properly, often results in a higher ROI.
Well-written, thoughtful, keyword-rich text ads are essential to getting people to click on your ads. Here are a few tips for writing effective text ads for the search network:
- Keywords: use the exact keywords that the user searched in the ad several times
- Utilize ad extensions: sitelink, location, call extensions
- Display URL: customize the display URL to be visually appealing and include the keyword if space allows
It is important that you divide up your ad groups by very specific keyword variations so that your ad that appears is targeted to the exact term the user searched. For instance, create one ad group targeting “dermatology” keywords and another targeting the variation “dermatologist” and then use those exact terms in the text of your ads.
Another facet of successful PPC ads is the landing page. Make sure that when a person clicks on your ad, they are directed right to a page specifically dedicated to the topic they searched (and make sure it is user-friendly on all devices!). You’ve already caught their attention with your ad, now you need to keep them on your site by providing relevant, useful information. And don’t forget your call-to-action!
Display network ads are ads that appear on Google affiliate sites. They can be text, image, or video ads and tend to be less expensive than ads on the search network. The targeting options available for display network ads are less specific than the search network, which generally results in a lower CTR (click through rate), making these types of ads best for brand recognition.
If you are going to run display network ads, nice, professional image ads are a great choice to catch the attention of consumers.
Measuring PPC Success
There are a few ways to measure the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns. The first statistic you should know and watch is CTR (click through rate). This is the percentage of people who actually click on your ads when they see them – clicks divided by impressions. A successful search network campaign should have a CTR of 2% or higher, while the display network will always be lower (less specific targeting).
Conversion tracking is another important way to track ROI. You can set up conversion tracking within AdWords to track certain actions that consumers take after clicking on your ads—i.e. filling out a contact form, downloading a document, or calling your office. This will allow you to determine if people are finding what they are looking for once they click on your ad and if you are getting legitimate leads from your PPC.
Google Certified Partners
Be sure to hire a Google AdWords certified partner to set up and manage your PPC. This ensures that the company you are working with has taken and passed Google’s certification tests and is well versed in PPC best practices.
Pay-per-click ads are also available on Facebook! Learn more about Facebook ads.