Beginner’s Guide to PPCs by LeadFormix


LeadFormix gives you a beginner’s guide to PPCs or pay per click campaigns. We give you tips on how to organize your account, campaign optimization, bidding strategy and more.

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									Beginner’s Guide to PPCs

                   Beginner’s Guide to

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Beginner’s Guide to PPCs

Table of Contents

   Different Types of PPCs

   Plan out the Campaign

   How to Implement a PPC ad

         - Organize Your Account

         - Work Towards a Good Quality Score

         - What Goes Into a Bidding Strategy?

   LinkedIn Ads Work on a Simpler Model

   Campaign Settings


   Measure Results

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                   Are you new to pay per click campaigns or PPCs? Planning is essential to a
                   successful PPC strategy. Plan everything, right from goal setting to a budget to
                   laying down a tactical plan of action. You need to constantly track click through
                   and conversion data. Tweak, optimize and experiment with your bids based on
                   the data. In the PPC world there is constant room for improvement. The end goal
                   should be to get maximum number of conversions with minimum ad spend.

                   Different Types of PPCs
                   Google AdWords and Bing Ads are two of the largest network operators. Both
                   operate under a bid-based model. LinkedIn ads are another effective channel for
                   B2B PPC advertising.

                   There are two main types of PPCs – search engine marketing and placement ads.

                   Search ads appear on search websites. The text ads appear either on the top,
                   right column or bottom of the search results page. Google and Bing offer this

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                   Fig 1 - Search ads appear at the top and right sidebar of the SERP as seen here.

                   Placement ads appear on non-search sites across Google’s Display Network.
                   These ads can appear in web pages, videos and apps in the Display Network.

                    They are of three types – automatic placements, managed placements and
                   retargeted ads. Google offers all three types while Bing offers automatic and
                   managed placement ads.

                   a) Automatic placements - Based on keywords, topics and other factors your
                   banner ads, text or video ads appear on Google’s Display Network of thousands
                   of websites such as YouTube, NY Times or In automatic placements,
                   wherever content relevant to your business appears, your ad will automatically
                   be placed next to it.

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                   Fig 2 - The placement ads are in the sidebar on the right hand side.

                   b) Managed placements - If you want more control on where your ad appears,
                   you can choose the specific sites where you want your ad to appear and bid for
                   the same. This is called managed placements.

                   c) Retargeted ads allow you to target a person who visited your website but
                   failed to convert. You can follow them with your ad on other sites that they visit
                   on Google’s Display Network. You can select the category of sites you want to
                   follow them on. You can exclude certain categories of sites if you so wish, such as,
                   retail or travel. Google Adwords and AdRoll offer retargeted ads.

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                   Fig 3 - 3 steps to how a retargeted ad works. Source:

                   LinkedIn Ads

                   LinkedIn is like Facebook for businesses and is therefore very effective for B2B
                   advertising. The social network allows you to bid based on a cost per click (CPC)
                   or a cost per 1000 impressions model (CPM).

                   In the case of LinkedIn, the ads appear within the site based on the targeting
                   criteria you set. The placement ads appear on LinkedIn’s Audience Network,
                   which is similar to Google’s Display Network. Through this LinkedIn members see
                   your ads on other sites they visit.

                   In LinkedIn ads you can target your audience based on company, job function,
                   age, title, industry, seniority, gender, geography and groups (on LinkedIn).

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Beginner’s Guide to PPCs                                                                                                 6

                   Plan out the Campaign
                   Identify your business goals. What do you want to achieve through your PPC

                   It could be:

                           Traffic to website
                           Brand awareness
                           Sales and conversions

                   A large chunk of PPC advertisers use the channel for increasing brand awareness,
                   says the State of Search Marketing Report 2012.

                   Fig 4 – Source: State of Search Marketing Report 2012 by Search Engine Marketing
                   Professional Organization and Econsultancy.

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Beginner’s Guide to PPCs                                                                                                      7

                   Close in on your target audience. Identify your target audience, their geography,
                   what sites they visit and what keywords they use. Use Google Placement Tool for

                   Find suitable channels. GoogleAdwords, Adroll, Bing Ads, LinkedIn ads, social
                   media and industry sites are your playground. Use Google Analytics to choose
                   the ones that are most popular with your audience.

                   Identify your keywords. Each of your product names /service offerings should
                   be part of your list of keywords. Use Google Analytics and Google Keyword Tool
                   to identify keywords related to your product/service. This should be an ongoing
                   effort. Constantly update your keyword list as and when you come across new

                   Also, identify your long tail keywords as a lot of web users type in long tail
                   keywords in search engines.

                   Don’t just make keywords out of the words you use internally to describe your
                   business. Find out what keywords your customers use. Talk to your sales team.
                   They will be familiar with your customers’ language.

                   Anybody who searches about your niche area should see your ad.

                   Identify negative keywords. This list will contain the words you do not want to
                   bid on. Negative keywords help avoid irrelevant searches and reduce cost.

                   For instance you might want to avoid people who are researching or looking for

                   If you operate in the marketing software domain, add the below words (among
                   others) to your negative keyword list to avoid researchers.

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Beginner’s Guide to PPCs                                                                                                  8

                           - marketing software PDF
                           - marketing software definition
                           - marketing software history

                   To avoid job seekers add the below words (among others) to your negative
                   keyword list:

                           - marketing software jobs
                           - marketing software careers
                           - marketing software internships

                   Use Google Keyword Tool and Google Analytics to build your list. Constantly
                   update this list based on your observations on your traffic.

                   Observe your competitors. See what kind of campaigns your competitors are

                   How to Implement a PPC ad
                   Organize Your Account

                   An account consists of four main components: campaigns, ad groups, keywords
                   and ad text.

                   In an Adwords account you can have:

                           10,000 campaigns (includes active and paused campaigns)
                           20,000 ad groups per campaign
                           10,000 keywords per ad group
                           300 display ads per ad group (includes image ads)
                           4 million active or paused ads per account
                           5 million keywords per account

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                   Fig 5 - Source:

                   Making sense of and reporting on thousands of ad groups and keywords seems
                   like a gargantuan task. Make things simpler. Organize your account well. A well
                   organized can also help attract the right traffic, increase revenue and your quality

                   Create ad groups. An ad group is a set of keywords that have a common theme.
                   Group your keywords that go together to form an ad group. Put 2-5 keywords in
                   an ad group.

                   Make as many ad groups as is practically possible.

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                   For starters have ad groups for:

                            Each of your products
                            Your selling points
                            Ways to describe your business
                            Rivals’ brand names

                   Having multiple ad groups helps you keep the ad copy and landing page as
                   relevant to your keywords as possible.

                   Suppose you sell red and white roses. Have a minimum of 3 ad groups – “Red
                   Roses”, “White Roses” and “Roses”. In the “Red Roses” ad group choose keywords
                   that closely relate to “Red Roses”. Write ad copy rich with keywords; likewise in the

                   Let’s take another example of a marketing automation firm. You would ideally
                   have at least two campaigns – marketing automation and lead generation. Under
                   each of these campaigns you would have different ad groups. For instance, in the
                   marketing automation campaign, marketing automation software and marketing
                   automation tool would be the ad groups under it.

                   Fig 6.

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                   It is important to map your keywords to the customer’s buying cycle. For instance,

                   Use short general keywords in research phase.
                   Use short-tail keywords in narrowing-down search phase.
                   Use long-tail keywords in decision phase.

                   PPC Hero explains it well with the example of cookies. Here “cookies” is the
                   general keyword. “Oatmeal cookies” and “peanut butter cookies” are the short-tail
                   keywords and “mrs.fields peanut butter cookies” and “peanut butter cookie store”
                   are the long-tail keywords used when the customer is ready to buy cookies.

                   Fig 7. Source: PPC Hero.

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                   Develop the ads. Include keywords in the ad copy for better response rates.
                   The keywords appear in bold and help increase relevancy. Update your ad text
                   regularly, say once a month, to see what fetches a better click through rate and
                   conversion rate. Do A/B testing. While testing, change one thing at a time. For
                   example, change the headline alone or change only the call to action so that you
                   know what change helped make a difference.

                   Google Adwords allows you to have a 25 character headline, 35 characters in
                   each of the two descriptive lines and 35 characters for the hyperlink. Use all the
                   allowed characters wisely. Ideally have 3 ad copies for each ad group. In LinkedIn
                   you get more room for description text – 75 characters.

                   Fig 8.

                   Create relevant landing pages. The landing page is a way to convert the hot
                   prospect who clicks on your ad. Don’t just send your audience to your home
                   page. For each ad group make a relevant landing page with a prominent call to
                   action button. While it would be great to have a landing page for each keyword,
                   resources might be a constraint.

                   Develop your banner. You will need banners only for your placement ads. Design
                   your banner with attractive colors, interesting copy and a clear call to action.

                   Work Towards a Good Quality Score

                   Quality score is a key metric to lower costs. Google computes this score based
                   on the relevance of your ad and landing page to the keyword bid for. Google

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                   also takes into account how fast your site loads and what keywords are in your
                   landing page among other factors. Quality score is rated on a scale of 1 to 10,
                   with 10 being the highest.

                   A good ad will attract more clicks, giving you a higher quality score. The higher
                   your quality score, the lower your cost per click.

                   Google ranks all ads giving each ad an ad rank. The ad with the top ad rank
                   appears right on top. The ad rank is a combination of your bid and your quality

                   Ad rank = Quality Score x Max CPC bid

                   The higher your quality score, the higher is your ad rank.

                   Nine Tips to Improve Your Quality Score:

                           Test your ad copy. This should be an ongoing effort.

                           Use dynamic keyword insertion wisely in your headline to increase your
                           relevance to users.

                           Are you able to write keyword-relevant ad copy? If not, reorganize your
                           account structure to align your keywords more tightly.

                           Keep the number of keywords per ad group low.

                           Keep the keywords in each ad group closely related. If a particular keyword
                           doesn’t align with the rest in an ad group, don’t hesitate to isolate that
                           keyword in a separate ad group.

                           Have an ad group of misspelled keywords. In the ad copy use the
                           misspelled keywords but use correct spellings in the landing page.

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                           Run at least 2 different ads for each ad group. This allows you to test at all

                           Make your ad copy logically proceed to the landing page copy. One should
                           lead to the other.

                           Have a specific landing page for each ad group. The landing page should
                           contain the keywords in the ad group.

                   What Goes Into a Bidding Strategy?

                   Bidding is a crucial part of PPC. Bid too low and your ad will hardly appear, bid
                   too high and you could lose your shirt. It is a tricky balance between traffic and
                   profitability. For starters, set aside a budget for your PPC.

                   In order to know how much to bid, you need to figure out:

                           How much traffic you need for one conversion?
                           How much can you afford to pay for one conversion without
                           compromising your profitability?
                           How many conversions you need to cover the cost of bidding?

                   If you don’t have exact figures, go by estimates. And always test, measure,
                   experiment and improve.

                   Check out Adwords Campaign Experiments to test parts of your account. With
                   this you can have different bids on the same keyword. Observe the impact of the
                   change on a section of your account without rocking the boat. Similarly you can
                   test your ad copy or your landing pages. Google claims this tool can help you
                   take better decisions and increase your ROI.

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                   Things to Keep in Mind While Bidding:

                           If you have a limited budget, bid high enough to be in ad positions
                           between four and eight so that you appear on the first page of search

                           If you are more aggressive, start by bidding high. Accumulate click through
                           and conversion data, analyze the data to trim your bids. Aim to get
                           maximum conversions at the lowest price.

                           Bid differently on different keywords based on their importance and

                           A good thumb rule would be to bid high on 10% of the high-quality,
                           high-converting keywords and bid low on the remaining 90%. Only the
                           top ten bidders are displayed on Google.

                           Bid high on long-tail keywords since these are used when the customer is
                           in decision phase.

                           Bid high when bidding on a new campaign since you have no quality score
                           to back you up.

                           Don’t make bid changes too frequently. You need some historical data
                           before you can make the right decisions.

                   Set maximum bids for your ad groups. While it would be nice to bid high for all
                   keywords, your budget may not permit it. On some keywords where you bid low,
                   make up for it with your quality score. Create keyword-relevant ad copies and
                   landing pages to shore up your quality score.

                   Use Google’s free conversion optimizer tool to fix the optimal maximum bids.

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Beginner’s Guide to PPCs                                                                                               16

                   Consider the cost per acquisition model. If you have the option, consider
                   bidding for a cost per acquisition rather than through a cost per click model.
                   Google will allow you this privilege only if you have substantial amount of
                   conversions. In the cost per acquisition model you can trim your costs since you
                   pay only for each sale or download rather than every click.

                   LinkedIn Ads Work on a Simpler
                   Every account is organized into campaigns. Each campaign will have:

                            A daily budget
                            Targeting options

                   Fig 9.

                   For every campaign have at least 3 ads. You can have a maximum of 15 ads. Vary
                   the copy, images and call to action to see what works.

                   Campaign Settings for AdWords
                   Location and language - Choose which location and language you want your ad
                   to appear in.

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                   Choose the network – Search, display or retarget.

                   Device – Choose which devices you want your PPC ads to appear on such as
                   laptop, smartphone etc.

                   AdExtensions – Put out additional tidbits about yourself so prospects are keener
                   to click on your ad such as address, phone number, how much you are liked on
                   Google+ and additional URLs. Ad extensions go a long way in raising the click
                   through rate.

                   1) Social extensions – Connect your Google+ business page to your AdWords
                   account. Then your +1 annotations will appear in your ad.

                   Fig 10 - Maria Foret and 28 other people +1’d this company on Google+.

                   2) Location and call extensions – Give your office location and phone number, so
                   when someone searches for your product/service and he is in a physical address
                   close to yours, your address and phone number will appear below your ad. This
                   urges the viewer to visit/call your office.

                   Fig 11 - The ad gives the address and the phone number of the pub urging the viewer
                   to call/visit the place.

                   3) Add site links – Use site links to get more space for ad copy. You can add as
                   many as 10 site links when you select your campaign’s settings. The links appear
                   below your ad copy.

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                   Fig 12 - In this ad four site links are seen below the ad copy urging you to order online
                   or locate a store.

                   You need to optimize your campaigns to improve the click through rate, reduce
                   costs and increase conversion. Optimize for higher conversion rather than higher
                   clicks. Use Google Adwords or Google Analytics to analyze your campaigns.

                   Here is a list of things you can do to optimize your PPC campaign:

                           Update your keywords often
                           Remove your non-performing keywords
                           Update your negative keywords
                           Write great ad copy that converts
                           Create relevant landing pages
                           Have a clear and prominent call to action button on your landing page
                           Use geo-targeting
                           Test different ad positions on the SERP
                           Evaluate your quality score
                           If conversion is low, try different things with your ad copy, display URL,
                           landing page etc. But change one element at a time so you know what
                           makes a difference.

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                   Measure Results
                   You can use Google Analytics or a third party tool to measure your PPC campaign.

                   You need to monitor:

                           Click through rate (CTR) – This shows you how many people clicked
                           on your ad. Your ad’s CTR is a good indicator of how your ad is performing.
                           Generally, good ads have a CTR greater than 0.025%.

                           Conversion rate
                               - Google Adwords provides a conversion tracking code that can be
                                 incorporated into your landing page to monitor the conversion
                                 rate. This will tell you how many of your visitors converted.

                                    - LinkedIn offers a lead collection feature that allows advertisers to
                                      collect leads directly through their LinkedIn ad campaigns. Click
                                      on the Leads tab in the Ads Dashboard to view your leads. You can
                                      also filter your leads by time period, contact status and campaign

                           Bounce rate – This will tell you the number of people who look at your
                           landing page and go away without taking any action.

                           Average time spent on site - This tells you the average time spent on your
                           site in minutes.

                           Number of pages visited – It tells you the average number of pages visited
                           on your site.

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Beginner’s Guide to PPCs

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