Effective Business Marketing – Optimizing your Online PPC Advertising Campaigns
Understanding Pay Per Click Campaigns
Pay per click campaigns have been used for several years, and are very effective for many types of industries, including the real estate industry. In basic terms, a pay per click campaign is when you post an advertisement online with one of the search engines, and pay a set amount of money every time a potential buyer clicks on your ad. The online user will then be directed to your specified website’s landing page. The fee for each “click” is relatively cheap and if executed properly can provide an excellent return on your investment.
What’s NEW in Google AdWords for 2016
Changes in Text Ads
- Right hand Ads are gone
- Longer Headlines
- Expanded number of characthers in the description line (80 characters)
Changes in Display Ads
- Add Creation automated from simple advertiser input
- Set individual bid adjustments for each device top: mobile, desktop, tablet
Creating a Successful Pay Per Click Campaign
While this may sound quite simple, it does take some careful planning to create an ultimately successful campaign. The trick is to create an advertisement that will encourage potential buyers to learn more about you and your agency, and click through to your landing page. Keep in mind that not only do you have to make sure people looking for real estate in your area find you online, but you also have to entice them to believe you have something to offer that your competitors do not. Two of the most important aspects of any pay per click campaign is keywords and content.
Online pay per click (PPC) advertising is one of the most popular ways to reach more customers. Setting up a PPC campaign in Google AdWords or Bing Ads is quick and easy; optimizing your advertising can be a different story. Getting the most out of PPC advertising needs time, dedication and focus. CPC is also a term you should know as it’s essentially the same thing as pay per click. Instead, it’s cost per click. You’ll see CPC instead of PPC when using Google AdWords. PPC a phrase more used by humans.
Benefits of optimizing your PPC campaigns
There are several good reasons to spend some effort working on your online advertising:
- Standing out from your competitors – Higher quality advertising means your ads will get noticed and clicked on more often.
- More visitors to your website – Compelling, powerful advertising is more likely to entice visitors to your website.
- Reduced costs – You’ll spend less and get a better return on investment.
- Laser Targeting – Every marketer knows that the more targeted your message, the more likely you are to generate your desired result. With Google AdWords, You’ll be able to reach your target customer by Keywords they use, by particular device, by location, by the language they speak and even by action (such as a page view on your website). With these kind of specifics, you create targeted messages to reach each audience.
The beauty of Google AdWords is that the your ads are Targeted, and your conversions are measurable.
Getting Started with Google Adwords
If you don’t already have your Google AdWords account established, head on over to here: https://www.google.com/adwords/get-started/
In order to get the most out of your Google AdWords account, you’ll need to understand the basic organization in your dashboard. Taking just a few months to learn what goes where, and why will help you get started quicker, and then later know where to go to optimize your campaigns and ads.
Account – This is where you can access your settings as well as give others access, like someone you hire to run your PPC campaigns.
You’ll want to know about the 2 Main components you will be using in Google AdWords. These are your Campaigns and Ad Groups.
Last checked, you can have the following number of each in your account:
Campaigns – 10,000 (Including Active and Paused)
Ad Groups – 20,000 (per campaign)
Text Ads – 50 per Ad Group
Get comfy with the Campaign and Ad Group Tabs in your account.
From here, you will be able to
- View your spend from costs to clicks
- Sort out your campaigns by budget set, total clicks, and more. Click on the top of the column to sort the way you like.
- Change your campaigns and ads by simply clicking the pencil to edit
- By selecting the Edit Drop Down, you can edit multiple campaigns or ads
Tip: Once you create a successful campaign, you can duplicate it with ease! Simply put a check in the box aside the campaign you want to copy. Next, go to Edit and Copy and then Edit and Paste. You will need to paste again choosing whether or not you want your campaign to be copied in pause mode first. If it’s a large campaign, you may want to select it to run in the background.
Here’s the Quick How To Snapshot:
Use separate campaigns for search, display, remarketing, and different products and services in your Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns
Campaigns are the main high-level way you will control your advertising, but it’s not a good idea to use one campaign for everything. The narrower the focus of each campaign, the more easily you can measure and control each one. You can separate campaigns as follows:
- By type – Whether the campaign is for search, display, or remarketing.
- By products and services – Use a different campaign for each offering or group of offerings.
- By audience type – Target specific audience groups with different campaigns.
- By location or device – You might want your ads to only appear to people in certain places, or using certain types of device.
- By match type – Separating keyword match types into different campaigns makes keyword matching easier.
Real Estate Agent Examples:
Campaign 1 – Push locally for IDX sign ups
Campaign 2 – Home Values (Listings)
Campaign 3 – Ads for recruiting Talent to your Team
Campaign 4 – Rentals and/or Property Management
Campaign 5 – Commercial
Campaign 6 – Retargeting
Campaign 7 – Different Website
Campaign 8 – Specific Listing
Campaign 9 – Another Location you service (Expansion Teams will want to keep each location separated)
and so forth.
If you want a better performing pay per click campaign, it’s important to understand a key concept, the quality score.
A container for your ads, keywords and audiences. These are generally sharing a common Theme. You can have millions of keywords and ads. Your keywords will all be relevant to each other in each group. The most successful AdWord users have campaigns with very specific settings and ad groups with very specific goals.
By the way, if you don’t see this full drop down from your + Ad option under your ad groups, try the campaign dash instead.
Types of Ads
Text Ads are made up of a Headline, 2 description lines, your chosen display URL and the destination URL you want your visitor to be taken to when they click.
Text Ads can be run on Google Search Results Pages, Google Partner Search Results and on Google Networks. You’ll have choices on how to run these.
Mistakes to Avoid When Creating your Text Ad
1.) Don’t use any words with all Caps or random capitalization
2.) Don’t use excessive punctuation or symbols
3.) Don’t use extra spaces
4.) Don’t include phone numbers in text ads (Otherwise, you’ll need a Call Only Ad type)
5.) Make sure your Display URL is the same that is in your actual URL you want to send your visitors to. You can have a /XX after the domain name, but the display domain MUST be part of the URL you are sending your audience to.
6.) Don’t include http or https in the display URL
Image Ads are not found on Google Search Result Pages or partner sites. Image ads are used frequently in retargeting. Image Ads are created from the Campaign. Once you create your ad, you will select which Ad Group you want it to be part of. Simply choose Ad, Image Ad and then enter your URL to get ideas from (or upload your pre-created ad). Google will scan your site and make suggestions. You can edit from there or accept one of the options as your Ad. Before you save, you’ll want to select an Ad group appropriate for your ad.
Video Ads – A video or video clip shown on websites next to relevant content and YouTube.
Dynamically Created Ads are created dynamically (automatically) based on the content on your website and the search phrase used by the searcher. These are best used with static pages than with constantly changing inventory. You’ll want to use your locations and target your users as small as you can focus your ads.
You might choose from:
- Pages where titles include certain words
- Pages with URLs including particular strings of text
- Pages including certain words
When Google locates a search that is a match for the dynamic ad target you created, it automatically creates your headline and destination URL. This URL then links to the page on your site. The headline is auto generated using the phrase (search query) entered in the Google search bar, and from the title of the chosen page used for the ad. One great feature is that Dynamic Search Ads allow for longer headlines than other ads, therefore improving the ad visibility. You get to control the two description lines and display URL in the ads yourself.
Rich Media Ads are also available when you reach the more advance stages of Google Ad Campaigns.
Where will my Ads Be Displayed?
- Google Network – Thousands of Display and Search Network websites and Google search engine results.
- Google Search Network – Google SERP’s – Search Engine Result Pages as well as other Google products such as Google Maps, and even other search engines such as AOL and Earthlink (Text Only)
- Google Display Network (GDN) – A wide variety of sites spanning over millions of domains such as About.com, New York Times, HTV, Youtube, Google Finance, Gmail, even Apps! Most experienced will tell you the display network converts higher, yet costs more. (Text and Rich Media Ads)
Ad Position (where your ad shows up amongst the sponsor placements) is not just about how much you bid
Google has recently removed the right hand column text ads. This means fewer opportunities to get visibility in paid results. It means the landscape is going to become more competitive and how much you spend, and well thought out your ad is, in addition to how well defined the audience, the better chance you have of taking a top position.
The google adwords quality score and how it affects what you pay
The quality score is one of the most important parts of your online advertising. The advertising system examines every keyword in your account. It then assigns each keyword a quality score, normally between 1 and 10; higher is better. The quality score is based on three main areas:
- Relevance to the ads in the ad group – How closely related is the keyword to the ads in its ad group? For example, if someone searches for “water filter,” is that keyword in an ad group with ads that specifically advertise water filters?
- How likely people are to click on the ad – If the ad gets shown to someone, are they likely to click on it? This is often decided by the wording of the ad.
- The quality of your landing page – If a person visits your landing page, will they find what they’re searching for quickly and easily?
When you state how much you’re willing to pay for a click on a specific keyword, you’re bidding on that keyword. Your bid is combined with your quality score and compared with all of the other advertisers bidding on the same keyword. The higher your quality score, the higher your ad will rank, and the more likely it will appear next to the search results.
This means raising your quality score is one of the best ways to control your costs and get your ads seen by more people. The following list of best practices shares some practical advice to improve your quality score and performance.
Choosing your Google adwords Keywords
You’ll want to first do some research using Google’s Keyword Planner. In your AdWords account, Click on TOOLS, then Keyword Planner
Using the Google Keyword Planner, you’ll be able to do several things
1.) Learn how people search. You’ll see real search terms and the volume of how many people searched each month and where. You can drill down to only in your local service area if you like and not include out of town searches. You can search globally, by county, by state, by country and so forth.
2.) You’ll learn the relevancy for how well that keyword ties into your business.
3.) You’ll be able to determine an estimated cost of your spend for that keyword
4.) You’ll be able to measure the competition and determine if that is truly a keyword you want to start competing on.
(by the way, you want to be real sneaky? Head over to SEMrush.com and look at exactly what your competition is doing on AdWords. You’ll find the keywords they use, the ads, and their spend!)
Let’s here from AdWords to get you started:
Understand Google adwords match types and how they control when your ad appears
Match types decide if your ad shows up in a particular search, They come in four types:
- Exact – Your ads will show only if your specific keyword is typed into the search engine.
- Phrase – Your ads will show if your specific keyword is part of the search query.
- Broad – Your ads will show for search queries related to your specific keyword.
- Negative – Your ads will never show if this keyword is in the search.
For example, if one of your keywords is “blue widget”, it would show as follows:
- Exact – Only if the user types “blue widget” into the search engine.
- Phrase – If the user types “buy blue widget,” “find out about blue widgets,” or a similar phrase into the search engine.
- Broad – If the user types in “green widgets,” “blue tools,” or something similar to blue or widgets into the search engine.
- Negative – Your ad will never appear if “blue widget” is part of the search query.
Using the right match type is important because of the impact on quality scores. One of the quality score measures is how likely people are to click on your ad.
The advertising system measures this by comparing how many times your ad is shown (impressions) against how many times people click on it (clicks). This is known as the “click-through rate” or CTR. A higher CTR means a better quality score and is the single biggest factor in deciding the quality score of your keywords.
If you’re using broad or phrase match, it’s possible your ads are appearing when they shouldn’t be. If you only make blue widgets, and a broad match shows your ad when searching for purple widgets, people won’t click on it. This increases your impressions, lowers your CTR, and makes your quality score worse.
It’s a good idea to start with exact match keywords and expand into phrase, and possibly broad match when you’ve got good measurements in place.
Use negative keywords so your ad only shows when you want it to
You use negative keywords to stop your ads showing when you don’t want them to. For example, if you have a broad match search for the keyword blue widgets, you might create a negative keyword for purple widgets. Then, your ad would show for blue widgets, green widgets and the like, but not for purple widgets.
Negative keywords are one of the most powerful tools for reducing unwanted impressions and improving CTR.
Make sure your ad groups are tightly themed
Within each campaign, you will have one or more ad groups. Ad groups are made up of keywords and ads. When someone searches for a keyword in the ad group, an ad from the ad group is shown. The tighter the focus of your ad groups, the better. If possible, try to limit each ad group to between 1 and 4 keywords, and a few ads.
Test variations of your ads
The text you use has a big influence on whether people click on your ad. Even tiny changes can make a difference to the CTR and your quality score. You should always be testing variations of your ads to see which of them perform best. Google AdWords has a built in “experiments” function where you can directly test ads against each other.
Add keywords slowly
You might be tempted to add lots of keywords to your account to get maximum exposure for your ads as quickly as possible. A better approach is to add keywords slowly, measure how effective they are, and gradually increase your ad groups and keywords. This will help you understand exactly how everything is performing.
Measure your results and make improvements
You can only improve what you can measure, and when you’re spending money, it’s even more important. There are many ways you can measure your PPC performance, including:
- Keyword reports – The quality score, CTR and various other aspects of individual keywords.
- Search term reports – The search queries your ads are appearing for.
- Placement reports – Where your ads are appearing.
You can also links your Google AdWords account to your Google analytics account. This can provide detailed information on how people behave on your website after they’ve clicked on an ad. Such insight is invaluable for improving your Pay Per Click Campaigns and increasing your return on investment.
Control your budget
Remember to watch what you’re spending and where you’re spending it. Review your bids on a regular basis so you’re not paying too much for a click. As your quality score improves, you can reduce your bids slightly and keep the same placement in the ad results.
Consider hiring a PPC advertising agency
Because there’s so much work involved in creating, maintaining, and optimizing your content, you might want to hire some help. A dedicated PPC agency will have experts who can enhance your campaigns so you get the results you want. Ultimately, it’s a case of balancing the cost of an agency against the time you have to review and improve your own PPC campaigns.
Spending some time and effort optimizing your PPC advertising will help your business thrive. Your ads will be seen by more people, you’ll see increased visits to your website, and you’ll reduce your advertising costs.
Best Practices when running a Pay Per click Campaign with Google adwords
Here is a list of steps to help you start your own pay per click campaign:
1. Create a clear set of goals and objectives for your campaign. These must be set before starting your campaign in order to provide you with a means of measuring your success.
2. Set a clear budget amount that you have available to spend on your campaign. This will help you determine how often you can place your ads. Most companies offer both daily and monthly plans.
3. The next step is to choose a company to post your pay per click advertisements. The two most popular search engines are Google AdWords and Yahoo Bing Advertising. Carefully look over the features offered by both companies to determine which offers the best option for your campaign.
4. Select the keywords you want to use in your campaign. You should select several main keywords based on the information listed above and use them throughout your campaign. Be sure to localize your keywords. For example, do not simply use the keyword phrase real estate, instead use Miami real estate.
5. Next, you need to create your content by including useful information that will entice the potential buyers to learn more about you and your real estate options. It is vital that you link each advertisement back to a dynamic landing page. This landing page can be used to provide the potential customer with more information about your services. This is your chance to earn a customer, so use your landing page to sell yourself by explaining how you can help the potential buyers with all their real estate needs. Include any information that set you apart from your competitors. Link this landing page to the keywords within your ad.
6. Once you post your ad, be sure to sing up to receive analytical data. This data will tell you how successful, or not successful, various ads and marketing strategies are at obtaining new customers. This data is crucial to help you make any changes to your current, and future, campaigns to maximize your success.
How the Ballen Method Can Maximize Your Success
The Ballen Method is a specialized plan designed to help those in the real estate market maximize their pay per click campaigns. This method helps real estate agents incorporate a variety of online marketing strategies, including social media, blogs, press releases, videos, classified ads, lead generation techniques, enticing landing pages, and trending keyword usage. Together these marketing techniques can help increase your real estate agency’s online presence and improve your search engine ranking to a first page rank.
To get the most out of the Ballen Method, you must first set up several features to work with your website. These feature include a presence on the various social media sites, including a YouTube channel, an online blog either within your current website or separate, an account with various press release syndication sites and classified ads sites, a drip email, and lead capture page.
If your goal is to increase your online presence, improve your search engine ranking, pull in more potential buyers, and boost your business, contact us and start implanting the Ballen Method into your online marketing campaign today.