Saturday, October 29, 2016

The ultimate paid advertising guide

Paid advertising is a fantastic way to drive more traffic to your site and to boost your revenue, but it can turn out to be expensive if you aren't careful. You are probably wondering, how do I make the most out of your paid ads without letting my budget spin out of control?
There are several simple ways to make sure we are getting the best value for money. 

The Biggest Advertising Platforms

The 3 most popular ad platforms are Google, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Google AdWords

When launching paid search campaigns on AdWords, you get a quality score that
determines how much you pay for a click. This is Google's way of determining how much your ad is related to the searched query. 

Here are the 4 major factors that impact the quality score:

·        - Keyword relevance within the ad group
·        - Ad copy relevance
·        - Click-through rate of your ad quality
·        - Relevance of your landing page

A higher quality score will see a significant drop in cost-per-click (CPC) and simultaneously increase conversion rates.

Here are the 3 ways to improve your quality score:

  Do a thorough keyword research

Keep digging and adding high-relevance keywords to your campaign. Add long tail keywords because of their specificity and typical position towards the end of the purchasing funnel. The prominence of long-tail keywords in a successful AdWords account is a major factor behind the high-quality score. These keywords might not improve your quality score directly, but you'll reduce your irrelevant impressions. This will result in improved click-through rate (CTR) and therefore increase your quality score.

  Improve your CTR

The best way of improving your CTR is by allocating a bigger budget for branded keywords. Reserve 15% of your budget for branded keywords. Another clever trick to improve your CTR is using site extensions like 'sitelinks.' 

  Constantly optimize your ad copy

One of the most important things you can do to improve your quality score is optimizing your ad copy consistently. Keep it more relevant and targeted. Optimize your landing pages. ​You must keep your ad copy relevant to the content on your landing page. Doing otherwise is the biggest mistake that will hamper conversion.

Facebook Ads

Much like Google, Facebook gives you a relevance score for your ads. It tells you whether or not your advertisement is showing to the people who care about it.

The factors that influence the relevance score here are similar to Google. A high CTR on your ad will show it's targeting the right people. ‘Shares' on your ad are a strong signal of its quality and hence improve your score. Likes and comments also play their part. Users ‘hiding' your ad in their newsfeed, on the other hand, will impact your score negatively.

So, how do you improve the relevance score and make your campaign more effective?

  Test your images

Images are usually the first thing Facebook users see. That’s why testing your images can make all the difference. Plain images tend to better than dazzling images. But you won’t be sure what effect your images have on the audience until you test a few different options.

  Keep a tab on your ad frequency

You may be surprised by this, but the CTR actually decreases as the frequency of banner increases. The thing is, an average Facebook user gets hit by a whopping 1500 stories when they log in. So, you can’t really bomb the audience with ads from left and right and expect a good response. Set an optimal number of ads and don’t try too hard.

  Target your audience

Laser-focused targeting can make a world of difference to your business. Facebook provides you with a host of targeting options, so make sure to take full advantage of it and narrow your audience down to your niche as much as possible. You can even create a custom audience using your email lists, and you'll massively improve your relevance score.

Twitter Ads

Twitter uses quality-adjusted bids to determine the ads. The score is determined by the 3 Rs - Resonance, Relevance, and Recency.

Engagement rate plays an important role, the cost per engagement is inversely proportional to engagement rate. This means that at a 60% engagement rate, the cost per engagement becomes one penny. And, at 36% engagement, it's two pennies.

Here are 2 ways of getting the most of your Twitter ad campaign:

  Promote only the best tweets

Use your Twitter Analytics to find the high engagement tweets and then allocate them your maximum budget for promotion.

  Narrow your targeting as much as possible

If the CTA on your landing page is the call button or if it's relevant to local customers, then you should try to target mobile visitors. You can also target people based on their offline activities by using “Select Behaviors.”

Creating A Great Paid Advertising Campaign

Creating and setting up a successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign takes knowledge and experience, but let’s start with the basic concepts you can easily implement into your own campaign.

First, let’s talk about three elements of a PPC project: ads, ad groups and campaigns. We're talking about a hierarchy in which the campaign takes the top shelf; ad groups come next and ads are at the bottom.

A PPC campaign corresponds to a single advertising objective. However, it encompasses all your advertising efforts and can contain as many products as you’d like. For example, you can have a seasonal campaign (like Christmas) and advertise all the products that fall under that season.

Ad groups are meant to advertise only one product. But, within ad groups, you can have several different ads and test which ad works best for the given product.

And, finally, the lowest in the hierarchy – ads. These are physical pieces of text, or visuals that will be shown to the audience

When setting up a PPC project, you will need to start from the top and work your way down. Since the campaign is the topmost element of the project, that’s what you need to focus on first.

First, you need to adjust the settings. You will need to set the bid strategy as well as the budget you will allocate to this project. It’s advisable that you start small, and then raise your budget as you test different ads and see what works and what doesn’t.

Next up, advanced settings. Some advertising platforms have the option of setting the start and the end of the campaign.

Now, you’re ready to focus on the ad groups. Two important things here are naming the different ad groups and finding who the target audience will be.

Targeting is the tricky part here, and we’ve already talked about it in the first chapter. It’s basically the keywords that you use to target your audience.

After all that is done, you need to create your ads. Here’s what elements you need to bear in mind while doing this:

·         Headline – This should be the title of your landing page or content
·         Description – Why a reader should click on the ad
·         URL – The link where you’re sending your reader
·         Network Specific Elements – Sitelinks, likes, shares, etc.

Now it’s time to start creating your PPC campaign, and the first step should be a killer research. 

Research and implement

If you need help with your PPC research, you can use one of these tools: 

iSpionage is an excellent tool that helps you find out everything about competitors' keywords, ad copy, and even ad budget. It basically puts you one step ahead of your competition and provides you with really useful information especially if you're working on a small budget. However, this tool is not free. It's pricing starts at $59 a month.

Keyword Spy is another amazingly helpful tool. It shows you what strategies your competitors are using emphasizing the most profitable keywords and the most successful ad copy. The best feature of this tools is the ROI indicator which reveals the keyword value. Keyword Spy’s pricing starts at $89.95 per month.

The Search Monitor is the right tool for enterprise-level campaigns that function on a large budget. It is a highly precise tool which provides full insight into all paid search activity of your competitors and market leaders across more than 1,200 verticals. Of course, this tool is a lot more expensive and costs $499 per month.

Keyword competitor is a really good option for those that don’t have a lot to invest in a tool. It gives you information on competitors’ paid and organic keywords, ad copy and landing pages. It also notifies you instantly if your competitors start gaining on you. The pricing starts at $29 per month with a free trial for the first month. 

Create A Landing Page

A mistake a lot of businesses make, is sending incoming visitors to their homepage. This is a no-no. You should create a unique page on your website. This may seem counter-intuitive, but there is very good reason for using this strategy.

Landing pages allow you to customize your messages for incoming visitors. This means the visitors land on a page with a consistent message that was started by the ad, which creates a cohesive experience for the visitor.

 Also, landing pages are extremely useful in tracking your visits, which basically shows how effective your ad is.

Sometimes, you can create a single landing page for an entire ad campaign. At other times, you may want to create a specific landing page for each keyword that you purchase.

Make sure to block search engine spiders. This makes tracking more accurate and reliable. If you get non-paid traffic through Google or Bing, you might get a false sense of how your ad is performing. 

Call To Action 

Your next step is to convert the visitors on your landing page into leads or customers. This requires a Call To Action. Every page you send your customers to should have a clear CTA. 


If you are thinking a week's ad campaign will turn over your company's fortune and increase revenue by ten folds, let me tell you now, you're mistaken. It's best not to go the paid advertising route then.

Think long term, because that's what'll boost your revenue. This doesn't mean you'll have to break your bank. You need to give it time and patience to get the best results. Accumulative trends and statistics will give you a clearer picture. Spend time on research, as we spoke earlier.

There is no quick-fire solution. Patience and observation will bear the fruits.

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Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate
- The number of sales of a product compared to the number of people who visit a website to look at that product, or to the number of phone calls or sales visits that are made. (Cambridge dictionary)

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