google ppc, google adwords

By Joy Gendusa

Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can be a puzzling form of marketing for many small business owners. While Google PPC can be a very valuable tool for connecting with prospects, building brand awareness and generating leads, it can also be complex. Here are four aspects of PPC marketing that can help you solve the puzzle and build a strong foundation for PPC success.

 1.    Niche Keyword Groups: Relevance is the key to an ad’s success. An ad for landscaping gets ignored when placed in the search results for the keywords “local laundromat.” It gets noticed and engages interest when placed in the search results for the keywords “lawn care.” Make your ad relevant to the needs of your prospects by finding out what they are searching for in Google. Then, organize those keywords into niche keyword groups. An ad for landscape maintenance goes into a different group than an ad for landscape design, because the prospect searching for one doesn’t necessarily want or need the other.

Organizing your keywords lets you target specific prospect groups and present them a more relevant marketing message. As a result, your ads appear more relevant to prospects and your click-through rate improves.

When you achieve these two goals, Google rewards you with a high Quality Score. PPC ad campaigns with high Quality Scores get a lower cost-per-click rate. They are also given more prominent ad position for both image ads and search ads.

2. Design and Message Consistency: There are three steps in the PPC process: 1) Grab prospects’ attention with your ad, 2) Direct them to a landing page specifically designed to build trust, and 3) Present an enticing offer to convince them to fill out a contact form.

For image ads, you maintain consistency by creating a similar visual look between the ads and their landing page. For text ads, your landing page should continue discussing the topic the ad introduces while reinforcing it to build trust in your company. If your landing page looks different than your image ad or your offer is unrelated to what the ad discusses, your prospects could think the ad was a scam, that they’ve linked to the wrong site, or that your company is disorganized. All of these outcomes mean losing that prospect, so maintain a cohesive look and message throughout your ad process.

3. Phone Response Optimization. Who likes free leads? I know I do. Optimizing your ads for phone responses gives you free leads. Here’s why: Google only charges you when a prospect clicks your ads. If they see your number and contact you by phone, you don’t pay a cent. Phone response optimization can boost your return on investment with little hassle on your part. Make sure you feature your phone number in all image ads and text ads, and restrict your ad display hours to only the times you are in the office. This gives your prospects the opportunity to choose a call over a click, and generates calls during times when you can make the most of them.

4. Ad Extensions: In PPC advertising you aren’t given much room for copy (usually around 35 characters per line). Google has extension options to help you communicate important marketing information without counting towards your character limit. The 6 available extensions are:

  • Location Extension: Shows your location and links a map with directions.
  • Product Extension: Displays photos and prices of your products from your Google Merchant account.
  • Site Link Extension: Displays multiple links to pages on your website, such as About Us, Contact Us, Products, Services, etc.
  • Phone Number Extension: Gives your prospects a click-to-call number beneath each ad.
  • Social Media Extension: Shows off how many +1s your Google Plus has to build credibility.
  • Seller Rating Extension: Displays the seller rating your customers have given you, but Google only shows your rating if it’s 4 or 5 stars, so there’s no risk.

To get more PPC targeting options that most businesses don’t know about, download a free report here.

Joy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of direct mail marketing firm PostcardMania.