Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

What is Pay for Click (PPC)

What are Adwords?

How do I use Adwords to reduce my marketing spend?

Pay Per Click  is unlike traditional advertising where you pay to appear in, for example, an newspaper or magazine with no guarantee of success.
 
It costs absolutely nothing to advertise with PPC except for a small registration charge.  A relatively small charge is levied when someone clicks on your advert but that is only when someone is sufficiently motivated by your advert that they react to your call for action. 

When someone clicks on your ad you then pay a small sum … and the trick is to keep this cost low.  This is easier than many people think and I will explain how.


PPC works best by placing your advert at the top of the search engine listings. Once at the top it will appear on screen when a relevant Google, or other search is made, but you only pay if the reader clicks onto it.

The most effective form of PPC I have tried is Google Adwords.

Having said that the cost is relatively small I have to confess that a lot of people have spent a fortune on PPC and had very poor results.  These people claim that PPC is a total waste of money.  The reason for this is that they are not following the basic PPC rules that everyone needs to follow.  For those of us that follow the basic rules PPc has been a marketing revolution.  It has driven £00,0000 of enquiries to our websites that have converted into very profitable business.  For example one of my clients,Henley Water Gardens, spent less than £100 on Google Adwords and pulled in a massive £4900 of online sales.  These were sales with a very good profit margin. 
 
To keep your Adwords costs down you need to “bid” for the keywords likely to be typed into the search engine by searhers.  You can pay as little as 2p. Clearly those that pay most should get higher up the list but remember if no one clicks on your advert you are not charged and it is a combination of the ability to chose the right keywords and price bid that is part of the trick behind making PPC work.

The “better” your keywords the lower the price you will pay.  Price however is not the only factor in positioning an advert; the copy and keywords all influence the position your ad appears and it is possible to pay less than a competitor and still appear much higher up the rankings than them.
 
Landing page quality is another major factor taken into account by Google when it assesses your Google Adwords campaign and hence where you appear for the price paid.
 
The ability to write good copy and produce a quality page is as important here as it is in SEO.  The two are in fact complimentary.
 
One of the very positive aspects of Adwords is that unlike newspaper adverting where you might pay £500-2000 for an advert and not get a single enquiry you only pay when someone clicks on your advert and is “clicked through” to your website and proposition.  Obtaining a good Click Through Rate (CTR) is a really important factor in what you pay for your ads.  In any event, when properly set up, the amount you pay for Adwords is going to be very low in comparison to traditional advertising.

 

Like newspaper advertising it is also possible to limit the geographic area you advertise in – you could choose London, New York, Lancashire or a given radius from any point on the map if you wish.
 
The wider the area chosen the more competition you will have and theoretically the more you will need to pay to get to the top of the list. However many organisations only need to advertise locally and you can choose to advertise in a given radius around your premises.  Well chosen keywords with good CTR pointing at a page with a good quality score will always give good results at a low cost.
 
Many people also worry about having no control of their spend.  They believe that if you set Adwords up and let it run it will just keep spending until the bank is dry.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  When setting up Adwords you not only decide how much you bid for your keywords but also what your total spend will be.  At 5 pence per click a £5 maximum spend per day will buy you 100 self-qualified leads and the logic of using PPC over newspaper advertising becomes obvious.  Get the price down to 2 pence per click and you have a potential 250 clicks.  In both cases the total spend per day wil be determined by the sum you set (it is slightly complicated by being based on a daily spend averaged over the month but don’t let that put you off).
 
Although PPC is simplicity itself there are a number of tricks to determining success.  One advantage of Adwords is the ability to test two or more adverts side by side.  After a while you will see which one perform best and can either focus on them.  The trick is to delete the poor performers and write a newe ad to compete with the best performing one.  This form of natural selection meands you are constantly testing, measuring and improving your campaigns; this reduces cost and improves profits.  Alternatively you can set the system to favour the better responding adverts but still show your poor ones occasionally. This ability to test and measure makes it a useful tool in reaching niche targets and as a research tool.
 
In terms of research you could run Advariants to test what people respond to best.  The ide is to run similar adverts but alter one key benefit to test which one peole prefer.  Often referred to as “split testing” this is an expensive process offline but with Google Adwords you can test ideas very quickly and at very low cost in the actual working environment.  Remember there is a distinct difference between Adwords, focus groups and surveys.  Adwords demonstrate what people actually do whilst focus groups and surveys indicate what people say they will do or claim to have done.
 
For example a business might promote conference facilities with the following core text:
 
Large Conference Centre
In rural setting
Close to M5
www.yoururl/conference
 
An advariant of this could say:
 
Large Conference Centre
In rural setting
Plenty of parking
www.yoururl/conference
 
Another might say:
 
Large Conference Centre
In rural setting
Overlooking nature reserve
www.yoururl/conference
 
 
We can only guess at the benefits that will attract people to click through and a single advert in the press would provide us with little information.
 
Rotate the above three adverts automatically and you will almost certainly see a preference emerge.  You can test as many variations as you wish and this can then be used to help you tweak the content of everything from web pages to leaflets.
 
Split testing can be extremely complex but if you approach it at a basic level and build your skills over time it can give excellent results and reduce waste at the same time.
 
I recommend running several adverts, with various keywords, at any one time. The budget can still be minimised but the impact of this method far exceeds single PPC adverts that may not have the best keywords.
 
As your campaigns mature it is then possible to take the best performing keywords and build campaigns around them.  This has the virtue of improving the Click Through Rate (CTR), which will then drive down the cost.
 
Google Adwords are an extremely powerful marketing medium through which thousands of prospects, who are actively searching for what you have to offer, can be encouraged to visit your website.  When set up correctly the cost per lead is very low and Adwords have generated very profitable repeat business for me with an expenditure of just pence.
 
The above may seem amazing – spend a few pence and get a customer that pays you thousands of pounds – but it is perfectly true and I am happy to provide evidence to anyone who wishes to contact me.


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