When it comes to the success of your company, you need to be recognized. Creating a website and making sure it’s rich in SEO to snag organic traffic from Google is good, but it might take a while. What should you do in the meantime? PPC marketing helps fill in the gap nicely.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, marketing is not only beneficial when your company is trying to climb the Google ranks, it also helps when you need an extra little boost.
This is not to say SEO marketing is unnecessary. SEO marketing is critical if you want your company’s website, blog posts, etc., to be some of the first things people see when they search the web. A website rich in SEO helps bring in organic traffic, or potential leads who found your website by doing a search for what your company does.
The Imperfections of SEO Marketing
However, it’s important to keep in mind that SEO marketing isn’t perfect. Since no one outside of Google knows exactly what makes up their search algorithm – the thing that ranks websites in a specific order – you have to use the information that seems to work.
Google looks for websites that it feels best answer the searcher’s request. A lot of factors are used, such as relevance, quality backlinks, proximity to the search, and, most importantly, keywords. Google looks for the specific key phrases (such as “Maryland PPC company”), and depending on how well the phrase is used in the article, decides where to rank that particular page.
What makes it even trickier to navigate is that Google rankings are constantly changing. While you might rank 28th overall for a specific keyword on a page, a month later that page might rank 4th – or it could fall out of the top 100. You have to constantly keep an eye on your SEO rankings, and work on adjusting the SEO on your page if it’s not ranking well.
If you have a team of experts at SEO marketing, this isn’t something you have to worry about too much. If you’re doing it yourself, though, it can be rather time consuming.
And that’s where PPC marketing comes in.
PPC Marketing Makes Things Easier
While the importance of SEO marketing can’t be stressed enough, it does take time and effort to do it well on a consistent basis. The problem, then, is if you want to get your company’s website to the very top of Google while you’re waiting on your SEO work to pay off.
PPC marketing gives your company that flexibility. When done correctly, PPC can boost your website so it’s the first thing a person sees when they do a specific keyword search. Using PPC marketing, you don’t have to worry about how well (or not so well) you’re doing with SEO on your website.
With PPC marketing, you create the specific keywords you want to use – they should be the same ones you hope potential clients will use in their search. When a person does do a search for your keyword (in this instance let’s use the keyword “couches”), a list of links will pop up at the top of the page with a little “AD” icon next to it.
Easier, but PPC Marketing Isn’t a Guaranteed Thing
Here’s the thing with PPC marketing – much like with SEO, if you know what you’re doing, you can stay at the top. If things are a little muddy, Google will punish your lack of clarity with poor ad performance.
The good thing about PPC marketing, other than putting your website front and center, is that you only have to pay for using it when someone clicks your link (hence “pay-per-click”). Obviously, you want people to click on your link, but if they don’t, it’s not costing your company anything extra to use PPC.
Getting your company’s link to show up so people can click on it is the bigger task. Just because your company is willing to pay to have your website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) doesn’t mean it will automatically show up there every time someone does a search for your keyword. Even though your organic rankings aren’t necessarily a factor here, there are other things you have to keep in mind.
- Quality Score: This is what separates the PPC ads that show up from the ones that no one will ever see. It might seem like a discouraging thing, but it’s actually a good thing for your company. There are thousands of people (and companies) out there that will try to post shoddy websites for even shoddier services. If they’re using the same keyword as your company, what is there to differentiate you? A good Quality Score will factor in click-through rate, the relevance of the keyword you use for your ad, the overall quality of the page your link goes to, how long it takes to load that page, and your geographic location, all to show the searcher the most relevant ad results. If you do well in these things and your company lands a solid Quality Score, your PPC ad will leap in ranking over an inferior ad with a lower Quality Score.
- Wide Range of Keywords: This is the bread and butter of PPC marketing. Without the right keywords, no one will ever find your PPC ad. Because of this, you need to come up with a rather lengthy list of keywords related to what your company has to offer. This way, you can get your name in front of as many people as possible. Your keywords should include a combination of the following: what you do, what services you provide, what products you sell, a specific city or cities, a specific state, a specific service provided in a specific city, etc. If your company sells couches in Frederick, Maryland, you might come up with the keywords, “couches in Frederick”, “couches for sale in Frederick”, “comfortable couches in Maryland”, “leather couches for sale”, etc. When creating your keyword list, think about how many different ways someone can search for your company.
- Creating Your Budget: Using Google AdWords is phenomenal in that you can customize almost every minute detail of your budget. Do you want your ad to show up when it’s raining in a certain area? You can do that. Do you want your ad to show up only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.? That’s doable. Of course, creating a PPC marketing plan does require you to have an AdWords budget. After all, there is that pesky “pay” in pay-per-click. If this is your first time putting together a campaign, you should plan to run it between three to six months. For any real traction, you should consider setting aside at least $500 per month for your budget. That might sound a bit pricey, but if you want to attract new leads while your organic SEO marketing grows, search engine marketing (or SEM) is the way to go.
- Target the Right Area: Your company only works within a certain area. That’s fine – your company is the best at what you do for your city, county, state, or region. This is why being able to greatly customize your PPC ad is helpful. As mentioned earlier with keywords, using them to hyper-focus your target area gives you a leg up when you’re trying to reach your market. People searching for services such as yours will oftentimes add a location when doing their query. If they’re looking to buy a couch, they’re more likely to search for something local since it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy one in another state. This is the advantage you have with AdWords. Adding the specific areas you cover will help Google see your ad’s relevance when someone does a local search.
- Create Negative Keywords: Just when you thought you were done creating keywords, there are still more to create. This time, your company needs to create a list of negative keywords. The term might seem odd, but it actually is quite helpful for your campaign. Negative keywords eliminate searches that might seem related to your keywords, but in actuality it’s not. By telling Google “no, don’t add anything from my company’s campaign for (negative keyword),” you’re saving your company time and money. How? Again, let’s say your company is a purveyor of fine couches. You don’t, however, sell used couches. So, by adding the negative keyword “used couches” to your campaign, Google will skip over your ads if someone does a search for used couches. Doing this prevents your ad from popping up when someone searches for used couches, thereby making sure the person isn’t clicking your ad and wasting your money. Your company should have just about as many negative keywords as you do regular keywords. Think of all the variations of things people could type in that you don’t feel is a good fit for your company.
Still Confused? There is Hope
Look, because of the nature of what you can and can’t do with Google AdWords and PPC marketing, it’s completely understandable if you’re currently feeling a little lost. Rest assured, you are not the only one. Many companies try to do this on their own and spectacularly fail, resulting in wasted time and wasted money.
Honestly, unless you’ve taken classes, watched extensive videos, or studied the best practices of PPC marketing, it’s going to be tough. Just like mastering SEO marketing, it takes some time, energy, and studying to get PPC marketing right.
Maybe your company doesn’t have the time or manpower to put together a successful PPC marketing campaign? It’s not that you don’t want to do it, it’s just you don’t have the time or the expertise to do it well enough so that you’re not losing money. Fortunately, there is hope for your company.
Campaigns Can Work with the Right Maryland PPC Company
That’s why we’re here. As a premier Maryland PPC company, New North has PPC marketing (as well as SEO marketing) experts who’ve studied the best ways to get the most successful campaigns, and we’ve helped companies just like your craft PPC campaigns that generate real leads for their business.
We’ve helped companies like yours, and we can help you, too. Contact us today, or give us a call at 240-575-5887, so we can see where you are in your journey of growth, and guide you to where you want to see your company.
Will C. Franklin is New North’s master at messaging. As an expert copywriter, he works to understand our clients and then crafts the language that will bridge them to their customers. He’s the mastermind behind New North’s social media channels. He is also frighteningly good at trivia. Twitter LinkedIn Email