PPC Advertising Campaigns

PPC advertising campaigns are used by businesses and consumers to drive online traffic to their website.  An advertiser usually has one account.  Within this account, he or she can have many campaigns.  If you drill into a single campaign, you can potentially see many groups known as 'ad groups'.  If you drill into an ad group you can see keywords and ads that belong to the ad group.  The keywords you bid on trigger the ads that you write.

The Biggest Benefits of PPC Advertising Campaigns

Control - You control what page the user lands on after they click your ad. You control the amount of money you want to spend on a daily basis.
Flexible - Unlike TV, radio or newspaper advertising, PPC advertising campaigns can be started and stopped at any time.
More Targeted - If you consider newspaper advertising, you are paying to place ads in front of everyone that subscribes to the newspaper.  With PPC advertising, you are placing your ads in front of people that search for specific phrases making your ad more relevant and targeted.
Get on the First Page - PPC advertising is an alternative option you can use to appear on the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing if your website doesn't rank on the first page of search results.

Pay-per-click bidding is not the only advertising option however.  It's important to be aware of the two primary types of bidding options: pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM).  These bidding options are set for each campaign within your advertising account.

Campaign Bidding Options

The PPC Bidding Option

PPC stands for 'pay-per-click' which means you only pay if someone clicks your ad.  If nobody clicks your ad, you don't pay.  Pay-per-click is the most popular type of advertising model because it's actionable, measurable and provides high-quality traffic assuming you've optimized your PPC campaign correctly.  Thanks to online advertising platforms such as Google Adwords or Bing Ads, anyone can create a PPC campaign and begin advertising right away.

The CPM Bidding Option

Another type of advertising model exists called CPM bidding.  CPM stands for 'cost-per-thousand-impressions'.  With CPM bidding, you don't pay-per-click; instead you pay per 1,000 impressions of your ad.  This type of advertising strategy is used typically as a way to increase branding and awareness.  The idea is to plaster your ads all over the place and measure the lift by watching metrics such as view-through conversions.  CPM bidding is generally only allowed for ads that appear on websites.  For example, Google Adwords doesn't let you select the CPM bidding model for search network campaigns.

In my opinion, the CPM advertising model is a waste of money.  You pay every time your ad shows 1,000 times on websites (display networks).  Sometimes your ad can appear below the fold or in places that no one will see it.  If no one sees it, it's a waste of money to pay for the ad impressions.  Second, any time I have ever attempted to beat my cost-per-conversion metric using a CPM bidding model, it's never worked.  I'm convinced that cost-per-click (aka: pay-per-click) provides a better cost-per-acquisition for smaller advertisers.

How do I create a PPC advertising campaign?

In a nutshell, you select keywords that relate to your products, services or content on your website.  You then group similar keywords together into what's called 'ad groups'.  For each ad group, you write ads that relate to the keywords in the ad groups.  These groupings of ads and keywords exist inside what you would call a 'campaign'.  My software PPC Campaign Generator helps build PPC campaigns using this exact methodology.

What should I do after I build my PPC advertising campaign?

PPC advertising campaign management begins.

When you first launch your PPC campaign, I strongly recommend running search query reports on a regular basis.  Search query reports let you see what people actually typed into the Google or Bing search box and then clicked your ad.  You'd be surprised how poorly Google in particular broadly matches your keywords to actual search queries.  You will see irrelevant keywords that you most likely don't want to pay for.  That's where negative keywords come in.  As a tip, I like to negative phrase match all my negative keywords if possible.  It makes everything much easier from a management stand-point and also achieves the goal of preventing ad impressions for irrelevant queries.

Overtime you will want to optimize your ads for click-through rate (CTR) as well as conversion rate.

There are PPC advertising campaign management tools and software that bid automatically for you but the pricing on these tools usually cost too much for small advertisers  - generally 1.5% - 5% of the amount you spend on your campaign per month.  Example: if you spend $1,000 per month, you pay a 5% fee which is $50/month to use their automation software.  Set-up is also very complex even for the most skilled PPC manager.  It requires experience, know-how and familiarity with the tool to really leverage it.  As with anything, it takes a lot of time to learn.

This sounds complex...

The complexities of setting up a PPC advertising campaign are overwhelming for new advertisers.  You have to perform keyword research, then group the keywords into themes, then write ads that relate to the keywords and also communicate your offer in 95 characters or less, then make sure the settings within your campaign are set correctly and who the heck knows what all those settings do and how one influences another and AHHH!  I've been there.  Most people don't want to be PPC experts... they just want a quality PPC campaign running on Google and Bing in the quickest amount of time possible so they can focus on what they do best.  That's why I encourage you to check out PPC Campaign Generator.

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