With the advent of online marketing, we have seen a surge in business growth online and one of the more direct and profitable ways of late has been through paid search advertising (often referred to as PPC).
With PPC advertising you are able to get a direct results for your advertising cost almost immediately with very little to no start up. Depending on your business needs and goals, there will be different approaches to advertising with paid search, but the premise will always be the same, drive users to your website and get them to complete an objective.
Where to Start
There are a multitude of search engines available to advertise on, as well as a slew of ad networks and exchanges that also sell traffic. The savvy marketer will undoubtedly be able to dissect your business target demographics and advertising on the placements that make the most sense in order to drive more business home.
The main networks to advertise on and that have the most current traffic available are Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Facebook respectively. Each has their own merits and all of them have a ton of traffic available, however Google still reigns supreme amongst the search engines. Facebook is a completely different entity altogether with a different user base, so one needs to understand this and adapt to their core segment a little bit differently.
How Does It Work?
Once you have a website up and running and can handle bringing in more business, its time to start thinking about growing your business. One of the best ways to get your feet wet is with Google AdWords. This will put your ads in front of relevant users for various search terms and hopefully drive them to your business website in order to convert into measurable revenues. However before you dive in you need to understand the complexities, and why using a professionally certified advertising agency may be in your best interest.
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When starting an AdWords campaign there is a slight learning curve to understand the interface, but that is not all, you will also need to understand keyword research (the process of selecting the most relevant and targeted keywords for your business offering). You will also need to devise ad copy to compel and intrigue your potential customers interests. This alone is an art form in itself and there are companies out there who’s primary focus is writing ad copy for Google Ads.
You will also need to setup tracking for lead generation if you wish to measure your ad spend and find out what kind of ROI you are actually getting on your advertising. Because of the nature of this step there are a multitude of ways to measure lead gen, however we prefer using form submits and phone call tracking as they have proved effective over the past few years in lead scoring and delivery.
Once you have your ads setup, tracked and placed in Google, you will bid on keywords to get your ads to appear in the top of the search engines, and then watch as the traffic starts to fly in. Be careful not to set your budget too high and stay mindful of your click costs because it can be very easy to blow through a budget without realizing it and then having very little to show for it.
Landing Pages & Split Testing
Once you have your ads setup, the next logical step in the marketing progression is going to be setting up a page where you are driving your traffic to. Typically this will be one page on your website that will be designed a bit differently from the rest. There will be less links for the user to click off the page (the mindset being that once you pay for a click to get the user to your website, you don’t want to burn through that click cost and want to keep them there to accomplish your goals).
The landing page will also usually have a very bold and stand out call to action which directs the end user where you want them to go. This can be anything from a web app, to a phone number to dial or a web form to fill out to get some additional information. Sometimes landing pages will even utilize a two-step or multi-page walk-through whereas the user is led down a conversion funnel to an end goal. These are typically seen more on websites where a conversion may need more pushing from the marketers in order to accomplish a sign up or form completion.
Once you have the landing page setup you can start split testing various elements on the page to increase their efficiency and your overall sales or business goals. You would be surprised how much a simple headline can change the course of a users actions on a landing page, and without changing the titles and testing you will never know otherwise. This is paramount to a marketing campaigns success and we suggest using optimizely.com for your landing page split testing needs.
Here at Academic Ads we have built hundreds of online marketing campaigns and we have found that the premise is simple, if you put in the work, the results speak for themselves. The campaigns that are continuously worked on flourish in the online marketing world, and we know what it takes to make a campaign successful. The little things like emotionally engaging ad copy and split testing headlines on your landing pages can go a long way and we look to continue forging onwards with profitable ad campaigns for ourselves and for our clients.