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Pay Per Click – what’s really important?

PPC What's Really Important

Using Google marketing is a key driver of leads for many of our clients, and many wonder; what’s really happening on the back end? Let’s break it down into a few core items that insure Pay Per Click success.

So, what exactly is PPC or Adwords? At its core, AdWords is an auction system. But the auction system isn’t based solely on money and how much you bid for a keyword. The auction system is based on who has the highest Ad Rank for a given keyword auction. Whoever has the highest Ad Rank gets to the highest ad position and shows up highest in the ad rankings.

Ad Rank is a number based on three things: your bid amount, your keyword quality score (1 to 10), and your use of ad extensions.

Ad Rank formula = Your bid amount × keyword quality score × ad extensions

Google doesn’t divulge how much weight is given to each factor. Most believe that the bid amount and the keyword quality score are given lots of weight, while ad extensions is a smaller factor in Ad Rank. Here’s the simple part: The bid amount is completely under your control. The more you bid for a keyword the higher your Ad Rank goes.

The keyword quality score is under your control, for the most part. But getting a good keyword quality score isn’t as easy as saying “okay I want to bid $5 on this keyword.” It takes a lot of knowledge and skill to raise keyword quality scores which is why many rely on an experienced agency to handle Adwords. The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to the keyword, the higher your keyword quality score will be. This is why we stress that web page content is key to successful PPC campaigns.

Landing pages and adwords

Another huge factor is the clickthrough rate (CTR). It’s the biggest determinant of keyword quality score. The higher your CTR is, the higher your keyword quality score will be.

Here’s a few important items to consider prior to building an Adwords campaign.

  1. Define your goals. Be specific. This is the foundation of any plan. Ask yourself: What do we offer? From our current product line and/or services, which ones would benefit us most to increase sales? What makes our business special and unique? Where do we offer our products and services? Who is our target audience? What is our budget? We will fine tune your marketing campaigns with your business goals as the foundation.
  2. Detailed keyword list. We create a laser-focused keyword list based on deep research on major search engines. A better list also insures lower cost per click and improved conversion rates. Through constant real-time analysis we are always improving your target audience, and your bottom line.
  3. Know your competitors like your best friend. We do a competitive analysis – What are their strengths and weaknesses? This is like a road map to success. Tracking competitor prices and offerings will keep us in the best position to compete with them. It could be that your competitors are already benefiting from something that could also apply to your business.
  4. Adjustments. The first month is data mining (collecting data) and allows us to fine-tune a PPC campaign for launch, and maximize return on investment. With that we track conversions, locations, time of purchase, page path and audience to show customer behavior and popularity in group demographics. We constantly refine ad campaigns day-to-day using a combination of real-time google analytics, audience & location tracking, weekly A/B testing, combined with good old fashioned marketing expertise.

With a little understanding of what’s involved in a successful PPC campaign, you offer your digital agency the best insight into your business insuring a win for everyone!

If you would like to learn more about how your business can use Google Adwords to grow your business, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Google marketing experts at Harper.

Contact us today to get the conversation started!

About the Author: Steve Harper


Radio/TV and media personality Steve Harper leads Harper Marketing – a premier, full service marketing agency on Long Island, NY.  Harper Marketing specializes in digital and traditional marketing for businesses of all sizes.


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