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Growth: PPC and Analytics


PPC is an acronym for “pay-per-click.” It is a type of online advertising that charges a fee every time someone clicks an ad. PPC is a way to increase the visits to your site by paying for placement and advertisements. Most commonly, PPC is employed on search engines and their results pages. PPC ads appear at the top or on the side of the results, next to them or within a colored box.

The goal with a PPC ad is to make the visit worth more than the click cost. If the visitor ends up making a large purchase, the fee is definitely worth it. However, setting up a PPC campaign takes a bit of work.

A good PPC campaign requires research into keywords to find the ones that will work best for your goals. Also, it is best to have landing pages for your PPC campaign that will convert visitors once they are at your site. After all, the goal of PPC is conversions. If you set up everything well and run a relevant and targeted campaign, Google and other search engines will notice. Usually you will get charged less per click if you are doing things right, which leads to lower costs and better profits!

Now lets take a jump into building a PPC campaign. When researching keywords, you want to make sure they are relevant, first and foremost. Paying for words that have nothing to do with your business or campaign goals is a waste of your money. Focus on words that add value and high clickthrough rates; those will help lead to better conversions and more revenue. Also, be sure to include more than just the popular keywords. Adding long tail keywords can be very helpful. Long tail keywords are more specific and longer, usually three words or more, keyword phrases that searchers use in a more targeted search.  Although they are searched less, the people searching for them are most likely going to have better conversion rates and account for a significant portion of your search traffic. After you have decided on your keywords, make sure you are constantly looking for new, better ones as well as making your current list better.

Landing pages are the next stop in the PPC building process. Landing pages should be optimized to the keywords selected and have relevant content, a convincing call to action, and persuasive copy. An optimized landing page will help drive conversions. It is the first thing visitors see when coming to your website from a PPC link, so make sure you make it the best it can be.

One other thing to be aware of is the quality score Google uses. The quality score rates your overall campaign and is what determines if you get a lower clickthrough cost on your keywords. It looks at your keywords, landing pages, and campaign as a whole to see its success and relevance. The more relevant and successful, the lower costs you receive.

After building and implementing your PPC campaign, you need to analyze its performance. While Google’s quality score provides a snapshot, there are other reports you can use through Google Analytics. Of those reports, four of them do a great job of relaying the data.

The first is the keyword positions report. This report allows you to see how your PPC ads perform in various positions on the results page. Knowing the position of your ads and their performance can help you adjust your bids to target a specific position of the page. All of this will help increase conversion rates and sales.

Next up is the matched search queries report. This shows you the searches that triggered your ad to show up. One thing you can determine is if you should add or delete keywords. If a certain keyword is appearing for a non-relevant search and giving you bad traffic, then it is probably one you should not include. This report really helps with keyword targeting and getting an idea of what your audience is searching for and how they are finding you.

The landing pages reports are also helpful. They allow you to see not only the PPC landing pages but also the other entry points to your site as well. This report allows you to compare landing pages and see which performs better, so you know which one to use for your PPC campaign if you don’t already have one specifically designed for it. Also, during your campaign your can see how your page is performing and make adjustments (if any) from there.

Finally, the display targeting report can be especially helpful as well. This report will show you the bounce rate, pages per session, cost per click data and session and click count. All of this data allows you to see if you are targeting your ads correctly. If you are getting a lot of clicks and not a lot of sessions, then you are hitting the wrong audience and they are not interested in your site or offerings. Pay attention to the amount of pages per session and the clicks per session, because those are key determiners into how you targeting is working. If the ratios are high, you need to fix something.

PPC can help improve the conversions and sales for your business. Knowing the steps to building a PPC campaign and analyzing your results will significantly help your business.