This is a guest post brought to you by Mediaworks, creative search and digital agency.
In a world where over 3 billion people use the internet, it seems obvious that businesses need an online presence in order to flourish. Despite that, 60% of small businesses with between 1 and 5 employees don’t have a website. For businesses that do have their own website, profits can be lucrative – but only if you can capture an audience and create sales.
Whether your website is ecommerce-driven or not, you could benefit from paid advertising that helps guide customers to your brand and encourages them to make a purchase or decision of some kind. From boosting sales to increasing newsletter sign-ups, paid ads give your business access to targeted, tailored advertising. But to get started, you need to know what you’re doing.
Pay per click
Pay per click advertising means a charge each time a customer clicks your advert. A form of advertising that sees your advert placed on search engine results pages, PPC offers significant return on investment if managed properly. As an example, at Mediaworks, some of our campaigns have achieved ROI’s upwards of 1153%.
However, the popularity of AdWords (Google’s pay per click tool) comes with its own problems – larger companies with more money to spend tend to fare better. The 1153% ROI was delivered for a spend of £9,155, returning £105,602 in revenue. As more businesses competing for the same target phrases drives the cost up, some smaller businesses with less money to spend simply cannot compete.
Essentially, PPC works like this –
- You approach PPC with an idea of what products or services you want to target and advertise for. Once you have this idea, head to AdWords and create your account. Once your account is set up, you can use a tool called Keyword Planner (a free-to-use Google feature) to conduct keyword research (see below) for your products and services and create an initial account structure.
- Once in Keyword Planner, select a product or group of products (for example, Nike shoes) and type in related keywords that you think users would search for when looking to buy that product. Keyword Planner also suggests similar keywords which helps you choose your final list – there may be some keywords you didn’t think of but still have a large search volume. These might be worth adding to your list to maximise your advertisement reach.
- Once the list has been finalised, you will find the search volumes for each keyword, the estimated cost per click and the competition score.
- Try and select keywords that have more volume but cost less per click. However, if you have the money to spend, these keywords are usually more direct and can help you sell.
- For example, the keyword ‘Nike Air Force 1’ gets 90,500 searches per month and has a suggested bid of £0.50. ‘Nike shoes’ gets 673,000 searches but has a cost of £0.19. This is because the ‘Nike Air force 1’ keyword is more likely to result in a direct sale for a company advertising those specific shoes, as the searcher is further in the buying cycle.
- Your first ‘Ad Group’ will now be complete. Repeat this process for all other products/services.
- After you have conducted the research and created the initial account structure, you can export this into your AdWords account.
- Now you have your keywords, you select how much you want to pay per click on those keywords. AdWords will inform you of the estimated first page bid, and the estimated first position bid for reference. You can select whatever value you like, depending on overall budgets.
- The next step is to create your adverts. In each Ad Group, we recommend creating two or three ads with slightly different messages or offers to entice searchers to click your ad.
- There are a variety of advert extensions and targeting settings you can then use to refine your campaigns and maximise your clicks and conversions.
- After this, set the campaign to run and you’ll start appearing on Google!
- PPC only costs when someone clicks your ad, meaning you only pay when valuable traffic reaches your site.
- PPC is the most relevant and targeted approach as it’s delivered to a user who is actively looking for what you are advertising – they are searching for what you sell.
- You can modify your budget and see the data change in real time.
- Competing with larger firms that have lots of money to spend on ads can be tough as they have more buying power.
- Working out your ROI can be complex, as someone may visit your site through an ad and then return to buy later.
- Sometimes ad clicks in Google are accidental or people simply want to research your offering and are not necessarily looking to purchase.
Paid advertising through Facebook is a popular form of advertising for marketers and businesses because it delivers targeted ads at an often younger demographic. Facebook is the world’s leading social media platform, making it a lucrative way to advertise.
To get started, you’ll need to create your business page. From here, navigate to the ‘create an ad’ section. There, you’ll be able to select an objective for your campaign, such as boosting your social posts or getting people to visit your site.
Next you’ll be able to select a target audience, which you can choose from a combination of age, gender and interests. It is here where Facebook advertising shines. For example, a footwear retailer could select people interested in the brands they sell and target ads at a specific age group to increase ROI. The targeting options on social media are typically better at identifying a more specific group of people than on Google.
- Relatively low investment can generate targeted, engaged traffic.
- Can expose your business to customers who may not have found you through search.
- Can drive new traffic, but can also bring in more social ‘likes’ and engagement.
- Users will not be actively looking to buy when browsing social media, so your ad may fall flat.
- Social users are fairly savvy about advertisements, so it can be better to use paid ads to push content.
Display advertising, such as that provided by Google AdSense, is the process of placing banner ads on websites. This can be costly, but has the benefit of attracting an audience from a specific site. For instance, placing a banner on an outdoor forum to attract visits to a camping retailer could be effective.
The steps are more complicated than AdWords and Facebook advertising, but essentially you’ll need a graphic designer make your advertisements before following Google’s steps.
- You can target specific websites to try and attract a similar audience.
- Visual, more eye-catching ads.
- For brand awareness, this is a great approach, as the number of impressions are much higher than on Google search.
- Some internet users avoid ads with ad blockers and ad-blocking browsers.
- Some users are ‘ad blind’ and simply ignore banner advertisements.
If you have a business, you’ll be able to benefit from paid advertisements. You’ll need to look at your website, consider your customers and tailor your efforts to your audience. A combination of the above, if you have the budget, is an effective way to capture traffic. Just remember – organic search and other methods are still a great way to get traffic for free.
Mediaworks is an award-winning creative search agency that helps businesses stand out online. The company specialises in SEO, PPC, web development, content marketing and CRO, helping brands make the most of their web presence.
Whatever your goals, from increased traffic and revenue to understanding how your audience interacts with your site, Mediaworks is here to help. We offer actionable, measurable results, boosting businesses across the UK – from SME’s to blue chip enterprises.