Online Advertising – No matter what you’re selling, the people looking for your products or services are searching online. Whether it’s on their phone, tablet, laptop, or computer; people use the information superhighway to find what they’re looking for. What’s more, is that most people generally don’t make it past the first page on the search engine results pages or SERP’s.
So, how do you make it on the first page? Online advertising through mediums like Google AdWords & Bing Ads put your business in front of your top prospective customers. These are online advertising platforms that create an auction for businesses to compete over what ads show to search engine users. Online advertisers that have an in-depth knowledge of these platforms have the ability to optimize their campaigns to achieve the best results.
Before creating a campaign for your online advertising campaigns, it is a best practice to clearly define your business goals. With your goals defined, you will then want to figure out what are the key performance indicators (KPI’s) that will directly tie to your core business goals. If you are more concerned with reaching a large audience than making sales, you would want to measure impressions (how many times your ad has been displayed). If you are most concerned with driving phone calls, then you would want to measure how many times your ads lead to a phone call and so on.
A successful online advertising campaign needs to have a system of measurement in place in order to analyze what is driving these KPI’s and what is not. For many advertisers, this is an analytics platform like Google Analytics. If you don’t know what is working, then you may be dumping money into strategies, campaigns, ads, or even keywords that don’t produce results.
The main goal of search engines is to provide the best and most relevant results to the user. If a search engine user types in “running shoe” and it triggers results for “sneakers,” then the user might become frustrated. This is why Google and Bing reward advertisers that have relevance in mind when building out their campaigns by using a quality score. The quality score calculates how relevant the keyword, ad, and landing page are in relationship to each other.
Keywords are at the foundation of search engine marketing. When a search engine user enters a query into the browser search bar, the search engine will bring back the most relevant results. Online advertisers will bid on the keywords that they expect will lead to a sale, lead, call or some other type of positive conversion KPI that translates directly to their business goals.
Keyword targeting requires a keen sense of what will result in KPI conversions. For example, a pizza restaurant might bid on the keyword “pizza” and not see positive results. Why would this happen? The search engine user may be looking for “how to make pizza” or “pizza origins” and it triggers the ad. A better keyword might be “pizza near me” or “pizza restaurant.”
Ad groups allow you to group keywords that are similar in order to create a more relevant ad for those keywords that take them to the most relevant landing page. So, for example, if you are selling automobiles, you would not want to group trucks along with cars. This is a broad example. You would want to be more specific with your groupings like 2017 Dodge Ram or 2017 Chevrolet Silverado into their own ad groups. Being specific in your targeting is crucial in your online marketing campaigns.
The online auction will take the ad with the highest ad rank and reward them the top position. Ad rank equals quality score + bid + expected clickthrough rate. The advertisers will set a max CPC (cost per click) or the most you are willing to pay for a click for a specific keyword search term.
For example, one advertiser has a quality score of 3 with a bid of $3, and another advertiser has the quality score of 7 with a bid of $1. As long as the expected clickthrough rate is the same, the 1st advertiser has an ad rank of 6 (quality score 3 + $3 bid) and the second has an ad rank of 8 (quality score 7 + $1 bid).
The advertiser with the top position only needs to pay as much as they need to beat the next ranked ad. So, if expected clickthrough rate and quality score are the same and one advertiser bids $1 and another $2; the advertiser with the $2 bid only needs to pay $1.01 to win the bid.