Digital Marketing

How to Increase Sales with PPC Advertising on Google Ads

Praise Sim, Copywriter, GENIA

19 May 2020

With 4.92 million people in Singapore alone using the internet everyday, digital advertising has never paid off as well it does now. The good news is, you don’t require an extravagant budget to start a modest digital advertising campaign, but the results are astounding. If you know who your audience is, you can gain brand visibility in a matter of seconds and at an all-justifiable cost with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. It isn’t rocket science, you’ll see!

What is PPC?

PPC is the acronym for pay-per-click and as its name suggests, it’s a mode of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. You’ve most probably come across PPC ads on common platforms such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and each time you click on these ads, a cost is incurred for the host. Every business starting out wants to be heard not only loudly but in the shortest amount of time possible, and that is what PPC ads do for you. Google Ads for one, enable you to display ads in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), paying a fee each time a viewer clicks through from your ad to your websites, essentially buying visits to your site. 

Google PPC in Singapore

The most common forms of advertising in Singapore are: Search advertising such as Google and Bing Ads, Display advertising shown across Google’s partnered websites and Social advertising such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Amongst all the different platforms, Google Ads are the most popular and widely utilised. In fact, Google pay-per-click ads and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts all fall under Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tools, with the intention of giving people what they want, when they want it.

Google Ads are ads that show up on the search engine results page (SERP) upon search entry, displaying your webpage at the moment when users are looking for services or products like yours. If you’re just starting out with PPC advertising, Google Ads is a good way to drive traffic for your website in a quick and efficient way while ensuring that you are targeting good-fit customers. In fact, 34% of marketers believe that paid search is the most effective digital marketing tactic, while 28% believe it is the most difficult to execute. It is, however, not impossible with the right strategies and tools to get you started. 

 

How is the price for Google Ads determined?

Fundamentally, Google Ads is an auction-based platform with the idea of ‘you pay what you bid for’. You have the control to set the maximum click-per-cost (CPC) on your ad, which means that your actual cost will not go past the maximum. This is the case most of the time as you will pay the minimum amount required to clear the Ad Rank Thresholds and beat the Ad Rank of the competitor immediately below you.

The cost-per-click (CPC) is derived from taking the total expenditure on the ads over the total number of clicks. The more competition there is for a certain keyword, the more it will expensive the bids will be. The CPC defers for various keywords, ads and campaigns, hence a good grasp of Google Ads bidding strategy can help you optimise your cost-per-click such that you can rank well at the lowest cost possible.

It is also important to remember that Internet traffic is constantly changing hence it is important to re-evaluate your CPC bids regularly.

How can I lower the cost for Google Ads?

Every business will naturally want to pay as little as possible for their advertisements, and by adopting these simple strategies, you’d realise that the cost for Google Ads is fairly reasonable! 

Long-tail keywords with lower search volumes and a more identifiable search intent naturally have lower competition since fewer people will bid on it. Moreover, long-tail keywords tend to have a higher quality score which works in your favour by lowering the cost-per-click.

Targeting low bid price’ keywords is an obvious way of lowering the cost of ads since keywords with low bid price have necessarily lower cost-per-click. This means staying clear of industry competitive keywords. You can better customise your keywords by switching your bidding system to manual from automatic.

Scheduling your ads is an effective way to cut cost as you can opt to show your ads during the time you think your audience is most likely to convert. For example, if you are looking to target office workers, you’d rather pay for your ads to run from 9-5 on Mondays to Fridays, rather than every single day of the week for 24 hours. Doing this can save you a good sum by reducing the possibility of irrelevant clicks. 

Using Negative Keywords can prevent your ads from being shown to people who search using those words. They prevent your ads from being triggered by irrelevant search queries that affect the number of clicks to your site, and hence your click-through-rate (CTR). Maintaining a healthy CTR will help improve your quality score and which will lower the cost per click for your ad (discussed in the next section).

If it’s your first time with Google Ads, take note of these pointers that can boost the performance of your ads. 

1) Boost  your AdRank & Quality Score

AdRank determines whether your ad is shown and the relative placement of it compared to other ads. It is affected by your bid amount and quality score. The key metric Google uses to determine the quality score is the expected click-through-rate (CTR) – how many people click on your ad upon impression. CTR is a good indicator of how well your ad matches the user’s intent, which is determined by the relevance of your keywords and whether your ad copy matches what the user is searching for. Google then analyses your landing page experience, whether it is indeed relevant to your ad and how easy it is to navigate. The language you use in your landing page will also be scrutinised in terms how it relates to what a user searches for on Google.

Paying attention to the Quality Score will go a long way in determining the success of your campaign and it will surely pay off in terms of lower acquisition cost and even higher placement. 

 2) Choosing the right form of Ad Campaign

Google Ads typically range from search, display to video ads, all of which are effective in their own right. However, it is critical for you to deduce what is best for your campaign objective.

Search Ads are effective because they display your on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) in a format that does not differ much from organic results, except for “Ad” denotation. Moreover, with responsive search ads, you can customise 15 different headlines and 4 different ad copies, in which Google will display whichever they deem most relevant to a search result. With Display Ads, you can tap into Google’s network of websites in various industries and display your ads to the specific industry you are targeting. These ads are effective in drawing the reader’s attention away from the content of the page to what you have to say and they are highly responsive to the devices they are shown on! Video Ads are those displayed in your YouTube videos. YouTube, similar to Google, utilises the search function to determine users intent and this allows them to place your ads effectively to capture your intended audience’s attention.

3) Conducting good keyword research

The importance of keyword research cannot be stressed enough, be it for paid searches or organic searches. As Google’s ultimate goal is to find the content or answers that best matches the intent of the user, how you choose these keywords will determine whether your ads are shown to the right audience. 

4) Crafting your headline and description

Your ad copy determines whether a searcher clicks on your ad or your competitors, the better the headline and description address the question the searcher has, the better your click-through-rate. With the limited number of characters, you should aim to deliver a concise yet powerful message to your audience that encapsulates the content of your page. But of course, it’s just as important to ensure that your landing page delivers for the prospect of conversion. 

5) Make good use of your ad extensions!

Ad extensions are free! They do not incur you any additional cost to make full use of them. Call extensions are an effective way to provide instant call support to your audience, Offer extensions help your business to stand out from other ad copies while Sitelink extensions provide additional links to your site, allowing you to promote other qualities of your page that would entice your audience. Ad extensions also help to boost your quality score and hence your Ad Rank!

SEO vs PPC Stats

How can I run a successful PPC campaign on ANY platform?

While some strategies and skills are targeted to specific forms of PPC advertising, there are some rules and strategies that are universal, applying them would enhance any PPC campaigns.

  1. Call-to-action

    The call-to-action (CTA) is perhaps the most important part of your ad. It is how you direct your users to take the next action and it can be as simple as a “Buy Now!”. Crafting the best CTA using industry-specific phrasings or messages in which you know your audience will respond to are ways you can grab the audience’s attention.

    Strong command verbs have also proven to be effective in garnering action because it gets your message across strong and concisely, which is what you ultimately want given your limited set of characters! This is in fact why verbs such as “buy”, “ shop”, ”download” and “subscribe” are popular CTA words, they tell you exactly what to do without beating around the bush.

    Another way to make your CTA pop is by including your brand’s unique selling point (USP). Believe or not, your competitors are probably using the same PPC strategies as you and you can’t afford to leave out unique selling propositions that make your brand the better choice over others. “Sign-up today and get the first month free!” is a popular CTA that makes ads stand out given the added bonus of cost-savings!

    Often overlooked is adapting your CTA to different devices. Searches made on mobile phones are often associated with “instant gratification” in which users are more ready to make a swift decision. Making the next move convenient can go a long way to increase user response. For example, enabling call or text extensions will make it convenient for mobile users to make the first enquiry. Lucky for you, Google gives you the ability to create a mobile preference for ads and have built-in “click-to-call” functions for this very purpose.
Ads extension for PPC

2. Provide free and useful content!

With Google, you can get answers in a matter of seconds, and the predominant expectation is that you will get it for free. Providing free content may seem unstrategic from hindsight because from a superficial point of view, you are providing at a loss. However, doing so helps you to get acquainted with your audience, which could do wonders in improving brand visibility and awareness. Moreover, if you can meaningfully tackle industry questions or consumer problems, it presents you as an expert on the subject. This will help you establish an authoritative status in your industry by creating the expectation that your page will deliver quality solutions to questions pertaining to your specialisation!

3. Build your ideal audience! Refine, refine, refine!

With Search Engine Marketing (SEM) such as Google Ads, your audience is determined based on your keywords you rank for! They should be curated from thorough keyword research with consistent tracking of results for each keyword. Don’t be afraid to refine your keywords until you find the best keywords with the highest click-through-rates!

For social media marketing such as Facebook Ads, it is crucial to fine-tune your audience such that you target demographics, interests and behaviour. If you have an existing customer list, you can go even further to create Custom Audiences from the list (newsletter subscribers, app subscribers etc) where you can target your ads to  ‘warmer’ customers. A key strategy for Facebook Ads is the re-marketing campaigns for people who have engaged with your site. But of course, you’ll have to be well acquainted with Facebook Pixel to monitor your web traffic and hence craft a custom audience from it. 

Is PPC advertising the best choice for my business?

The great thing about PPC is that you have good control over your budget and you can roughly predict the returns you get from your ads. In fact, you can determine your daily budget in advance and calculate the estimate of the average cost per click for the specific keywords you want to target. Moreover, if you’re confident with your campaigns, PPC is extremely scalable!

If your business is just starting out or desires immediate results, PPC will naturally be a good option since you know for sure that your ads will show up at the places you intended it to. It is, therefore, a generally reliable and consistent tool to attain your campaign goals: increasing sales, generating leads, promoting brand awareness etc.

If your business specialises in ‘big ticket’ items or services in which you’d expect a high-profit margin on a single purchase. Services or products such as lawsuits, jewellery, automobiles etc are considered to have high-profit margins. Such transactions can more easily justify the cost put into PPC advertising.

Similar to high profit margins, if your customer lifetime values are typically high, you can easily justify the advertising budget. Customer Lifetime Value is the “metric that indicates the total revenue a business can reasonably expect from a single customer account” Examples include college degree programmes, cable & utility subscriptions etc. All in which you’d expect recurring business from the same customer over a prolonged period of time.

PPC is also extremely handy when you are marketing time-sensitive products. Seasonal sales such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas are extremely time-sensitive, making PPC a good option because it will get your message out to your audience within minutes and end it whenever its no longer relevant. 

What happens when you hit the wall with PPC advertising?

Most, if not all, of my clients, have used some form of PPC advertising to gain brand visibility, generate leads and conduct sales. Many of these campaigns are short-lived because it is simply too expensive in the long-term, especially when sales or conversions are not keeping pace with the paid campaigns. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it is true for every sole–PPC marketing campaign. Unfortunate, but true, is how much your business grows from PPC is tied to your advertising budget! The moment you stop paying for clicks, your growth from this form of advertising will take a pause.

This can be quite devastating to many businesses who have spent tremendous time and money into trying to perfect their ad campaigns (curating audiences, finding the best keywords) and neglect the delivery of quality content that their ads claim. There is absolutely no substitute for good content, especially when you are looking to build your brand. While PPC advertising is a great way to gain instant visibility, it is not be a substitute for putting in the effort in creating content for an organically competitive webpage. In fact, organic traffic beats out PPC traffic any day. Simply because when your site is optimised to rank well organically on Google, you can expect traffic flow 24/7 without incurring any additional cost. Whereas running your ads 24/7 can easily burn a hole through your pocket. Arriving on the first page of Google organically is no easy feat, but with the right strategies over the long term, the results are simply astounding. That being said, how can you refine your marketing strategy to achieve stellar results 24/7 and ensure that it is a cost sustainable long-term plan for your business?

SEO vs PPC ads In Singapore

How GENIA can help you develop a unique and effective SEO strategy

A common misconception is that SEO and PPC are mutually exclusive, but nothing can be farther from the truth! Both SEO and PPC are Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tools. The main difference between them is that traffic from SEO is free while traffic generated from PPC isn’t.

Our mission is to turn your business into a content hub and help your business establish an authoritative website, “an established resource centre for a particular niche”, where people go to whenever they require information from that particular industry. The best way to do so is by generating traffic to your page consistently and sustainably, and the only way to do so is to generate organic traffic through smart  SEO planning, powered by strong content.

PPC is like a faucet: once you turn it off, it stops providing you leads. SEO is long-lasting and while it’s never truly done, it’s like a rolling snowball: it takes a while to get going and it may slow down at times, but once it gets the momentum up, there’s no stopping it.” Quote 

To find out how your business can take the next step in boosting your search engine results, click on the WhatsApp button on the bottom right or fill up the contact form below.

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For many small business owners, getting started on social media can be a little daunting, especially when you are boot-strapped or face lack of manpower and time. However, it does not have to cost very much to grow your business on social media such as LinkedIn. 

Here are 15 ways on how small businesses can grow their connections organically on LinkedIn.

  1. Define your purpose.

Identify at which stage of your marketing funnel you want your business to focus on and set goals to reach them. Is it to build awareness of your business, garner more engagement or convert people to transact with you? Knowing your business goal will help you work on a strategic social media strategy that will produce successful outcomes at every stage of the funnel.

  1. Build a LinkedIn business page.

According to Forbes, only 57% of companies have business pages. The remaining 43% are missing out on a free opportunity to generate leads, talent, and, ultimately, revenue. A business page allows you to post content, advertise your solutions and how it can alleviate your target audience’s pain points. While building your own LinkedIn personal page is important, a business page allows you to focus on providing value-added information that your customers can relate to.

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