Google AdWords, the main form of Pay Per Click (PPC), is a highly effective channel for anyone looking to build their turnover quickly. But it’s also a versatile marketing tool that offers more than just straightforward sales opportunities. You can use AdWords to build your email database, to test SEO keywords, or just to raise awareness of your brand.
In this blog we’ll be examining these and some of the other ways to incorporate Pay Per Click into your integrated marketing strategy.
The first thing to decide when planning an AdWords campaign is exactly what you want it to achieve. This will determine your bidding strategy, the type of copy you write, and the landing page you choose for the campaign.
Although AdWords is often referred to as ‘pay per click,’ bidding for clicks isn’t the only option it offers. Less well known is its ‘cost-per-thousand-impressions’ option, which involves paying a sum for each thousand times your ad is shown on people’s screens.
For getting sales, or sign-ups to your website or mailing list, cost-per-thousand-impressions isn’t so useful. But deployed alongside your other marketing channels it can be great for building brand awareness or creating a buzz leading up to a big product launch.
That’s because when someone sees your message on social media, and then on Google search, and then gets a personalized email, each exposure to the message reinforces their overall impression, making them more likely to respond.
Bidding for clicks rather than impressions can be even more versatile. For example, we looked at email marketing in the last blog and saw that you can use PPC to build your email database. Instead of clicking through to a product landing page, you simply set the ad to click through to a sign-up landing page.
You can also use PPC to help find out what your customers are really interested in. There are two ways to do this.
First, by analyzing your results to find your best performing PPC keywords. Study these, and you will know what your customers are searching for.
Second, by analyzing the copy in your best performing PPC ads. Ask yourself how the best ads differ from your poor performing ads and try to work out exactly what’s causing the difference in performance. Once you’ve got an answer, you’ll have a good idea about what’s attracting the people who click on your ads. This in turn should tell you a lot about your customers’ needs and interests.
You can then use this valuable information to craft better campaigns across all your other marketing channels.
PPC can help improve your SEO, too. We’ve already mentioned briefly in an earlier blog about how you can cross-fertilize keywords between PPC and SEO. The importance of this shouldn’t be underestimated, because optimizing keywords in SEO is a substantial investment, and you don’t want to waste money optimizing the wrong ones.
Even when you know your business well it’s difficult to be sure which keywords are really important. So it’s sensible to use AdWords to try out keywords first, before including them in your SEO campaign.
Without waiting months for your SEO efforts to give you enough data to analyze, PPC lets you quickly generate the large traffic flows you need to feed a statistically relevant A/B test. This will help you pinpoint high performing keywords (or high performing copy for that matter) by comparing their performance over a period of time.
There are several clear advantages to trying keywords out on PPC before using them as part of your SEO optimization campaign.
First, PPC is a much faster and cheaper way of seeing whether the keywords bring traffic.
Second, by using analytics it will also tell you quickly whether they bring conversions, and therefore whether they’re really worth the effort.
Bringing traffic and bringing conversions aren’t always the same thing, because poorly researched keywords may bring traffic to your site for the wrong reasons. When that happens the traffic often fails to convert.
Google quality scores
PPC will also help your SEO in another way. By looking at the quality score Google assigns each keyword, you can learn how appropriate Google sees that keyword as being to your chosen landing page.
If the keyword has a low-quality score, chances are it’s not a good choice to be included as part of your SEO optimization campaign, because Google doesn’t view it favorably for your page.
AdWord’s fast results make it the perfect complement to your other channels, helping you hone them to improve their effectiveness. And it’s a versatile and effective channel in itself, making it an invaluable part of your integrated marketing campaign
In the next blog we’ll be looking at incorporating video into your integrated marketing strategy.