Implementing successful Pay Per Click (PPC) search marketing campaigns
A typical Internet search: you go into Google, type in what you`re after and click on the first few search results. Those websites on this first page of search results have got it made – the more they get clicked on, the higher their ranking and the higher their ranking the more they get clicked on, but where does that leave the new starters or the sites which have thousands of worthy competitors?
This is where implementing PPC (Pay Per Click) search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns come in. In short, PPC is like having an advert within a search engine. You choose keywords, you pay the search engine a fee to `buy` those words at a daily limit, people search for them and then your site features on the first page of the search results.
However, it`s not as straightforward as it seems. It`s extremely fruitful if done in the right way and a successful campaign could make or break your website.
Choosing the right keywords
In practice, you need to choose the most relevant keywords for your site and bid for them. Your competitors will in all likelihood be bidding for many if not all of the same phrases, so you need to really research which words are most cost effective. A mix of common and obscure phrases are useful; the former will provide regular traffic whereas the latter will be cheaper but still boost visitor numbers. The balance between these and accurate research into them are key to success. The Google AdWords keyword suggestion tool is a great free keyword research tool that can help you develop a long list of keywords for your PPC campaigns.
The Google Adwords keyword suggestion tool is invaluable in implementing successful PPC campaigns because it shows you what search phrases come up time and time again and which of those are popular amongst other advertisers, and hence for which phrases you`ll have the least competition for. Since Google and other advertising systems allow you to track at an individual ad unit / phrase level, you can also see which ads, copy and search terms are most effective. What many people have not yet realised is that Google has now added search volume numbers to its keyword tool which gives a far greater sense of perspective than the green scale bar in the previous version.
Develop and target the right landing pages
The next step is to choose the right landing pages – the pages on your site that the link from your PPC ad lands on. There is little point in spending a huge amount of energy in identifying the most relevant words if the content to which your ad links is weak. Consider which pages are most popular and which have the strongest links to either keep visitors within your site or indeed to drive them to whatever your ultimate objective is.
Your site should be of sufficient quality and content richness to ensure you do not suffer a landing page quality score penalty from the search engines (and thus greatly elevated bid prices for search terms). It pays to experiment with different landing pages of different quality and depth to identify the “sweet spot”.
PPC for affiliate marketing
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