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Driving Sales by Pay Per Click


Driving Sales by Pay Per Click

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Pay Per Click is the Tactic of Choice In tough economic times, customers are holding back and buying less. They are pickier about what to buy. On average, shoppers spend a month doing research online before making a purchase. This makes online search even more important to marketers. “The recession is driving marketers to concentrate on gaining new business, even more than on customer retention objectives,” according to David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst. “Search is the ultimate online acquisition tool, and therefore is positioned to do relatively well in this economy”. Research shows that search engine marketing (SEM), including Pay Per Click (PPC), is expected to grow and reach $26 billion by 2013.

Source: eMarketer So, where do you begin? In all marketing campaigns, it is crucial to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Where will your audience go to begin its search for the solutions that you provide? In the Internet world, 81% of all users start at a search engine to find what they are looking for. “Customers are going to search engines because they are looking for better deals”, says David Hallerman. “And marketers are going to search engines because that’s where the customers are.” Since the majority of the online public turns to the search engines first, marketing on search networks such as Google® and Yahoo!® should be a critical component of your online marketing strategy. And the fastest way to break into search engine marketing is through Pay Per Click advertising. Online marketing analysts agree that a successful Pay Per Click campaign can generate a conversion rate of 1.5% to 3%. For online retailers, Pay Per Click is particularly effective, with a conversion rate sometimes reaching 5% or higher. Pay Per Click advertisers continue to report the highest return on investment compared to other forms of online marketing:

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Driving Sales by Pay Per Click

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What Is Pay Per Click? Pay Per Click advertising builds on the popularity of search engines to bring your message to consumers at exactly the time they are looking for you. Most Internet users are familiar with PPC ads – i.e., sponsored links – which appear to the top and right of natural search results. These ads are displayed when the user types a keyword into the search engine that matches the keyword chosen for your search engine marketing campaign as relevant to your business.

An advertiser only pays for an ad when a visitor clicks on it and is taken to the advertiser’s Website. PPC campaign managers bid on keywords with the amount they are comfortable paying per click and the search engine uses that bid, along with a number of other factors, to determine ad placement and how often the ad will be shown.

© 2009 Network Solutions, LLC

Network Solutions, 13861 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon VA 20171

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Driving Sales by Pay Per Click

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PPC is relevant advertising. Unlike other forms of traditional and online advertising, only consumers that are already searching for your products will see your ads. This leads to a friendlier user experience for shoppers, less wasted ad costs for you, and a higher conversion rate for your ad campaigns all around. In addition, Pay Per Click lets you to create ads that are targeted to a specific geographic area where your customers are located. In 2001, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that online advertisers were spending an average of 4% of their marketing budgets on PPC advertising. In 2007, that number jumped to 48%. The PPC industry is booming and with search engine usage rising rapidly year over year that trend is likely to go up. Can You Stand Out? Search engine marketing and Pay Per Click advertising are enjoying huge success, with many the larger companies taking advantage of the opportunity. It is natural to wonder if smaller businesses can be successful competing against larger budgets and more resources. Can your business and budget make a difference? The answer is yes. Several key features, unique to the Pay Per Click model, work very well with the limitations of the smaller business. In all advertising, placement is crucial to success. Google® and other search engines are dedicated to serving their visitors with relevant results, so the price bid for each keyword is not the only factor they look at. The algorithms determining how ads will be placed are complex and take many factors into consideration – relevance of keywords, ad copy, Website landing page, etc. With enough skill and knowledge behind your campaign you can achieve great placement results without breaking the bank. Additionally, advertisers only pay when someone takes an action – so you can buy as many or as few actions as you can afford. You are not competing for impressions with larger budgets and rarely are shut out by price restrictions. Because of its flexibility and unique model, PPC can often be the marketing tactic that facilitates the growth of young companies. However, the key to PPC success is knowledge and skill in managing campaigns. It is very easy to set up and start your own PPC campaign but there is danger in assuming that ease of setup means it is easy to maximize your results. Users with little experience or specific skill in PPC management can find themselves overspending their budgets with little or no results. Many small businesses never realize the success that can be achieved with PPC campaigns because they assumed they could do it on their own and failed. Like all other specialized fields, PPC advertising takes learning and experience. Pay Per Click Providers To avoid making mistakes and spending hours of precious time studying and learning PPC techniques, many business owners opt to outsource the management of their campaigns to third party providers. Even larger businesses find it can be easier to let experts handle their campaigns. There are many providers out there – how do you find the right one? When looking for a PPC provider, it’s important that you look for the following features: Dedicated support – You should work closely with your campaign manager so they understand your business needs and marketing goals clearly before they begin to set up your PPC account. An introductory interview is generally the best way to get started. Periodic follow-up conversations with

© 2009 Network Solutions, LLC

Network Solutions, 13861 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon VA 20171

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Driving Sales by Pay Per Click

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your campaign manager are important to monitor the progress of your marketing efforts and make adjustments as your business needs change. Thoughtful and informed keyword research – Your campaign manager should draw upon an in-depth analysis of your Website and goals to generate a keyword list that your customers are most likely to use when searching for your products. Your campaign manager should have tools to help prioritize which are the most important words based on cost and popularity. In addition, a skilled campaign manager will be able to filter out negative keywords or terms that could drive unwanted clicks on your ads such as “free offer”, for example. Strategic ad copy – Your provider should be knowledgeable of the format of successful ad copy as well as how to write ad copy that will lower your overall cost and improve the relevancy of your ads. Timeliness of activation – Your campaign should be active within a week of purchase. Robust reporting – You should have access to on-demand reporting that tracks the performance of your advertising campaign across search engines in near real time and provides valuable information on visitors to your Website who can convert into buying customers. It Is More Than Just Clicks Pay Per Click advertising can mean more than visitor traffic to your Website. It can be a source of relevant customer leads that are created when visitors to your Website are encouraged to take action such as making a phone call or filling out an inquiry form. There are a number of actions that potential customers can take online or even offline. Your campaign manager will be able to recommend lead types that will benefit your business the most. Phone calls – Customers clicking on your search engine ad can be directed to a page on your Website that prominently features a unique phone number. Customers will call this number to inquire or buy your products and services. Your PPC service should be able to track all phone calls and even record them so that you can listen to the conversations at your convenience. Phone call tracking is ideal for service-based companies. Emails – In addition to a phone number, your landing page can feature an email form that potential customers will use to reach your business. This can be a great way to build a marketing database of customer contacts. Forms – Submission forms are unique for each business. Customers use these forms to subscribe to a company newsletter, receive discount offers, request a catalog or sign up for a free trial. In return, you get valuable information about potential customers who are interested in your products and services. Shopping cart checkouts – For online retailers, a search engine ad can lead to a Web page with an Add to Cart or Purchase button that allows customers to complete the transaction online. Your PPC service should be able to track online purchases that originated from your search engine ad and thus, provide an accurate measurement of your return on investment. For all of the above actions to take place, it is important to have an effective landing page or the page on your Website that customers visit immediately after clicking your sponsored listing. This page must be consistent with the message that you are trying to convey in your online ad. Effective landing pages guide visitors toward taking an action with clever content, attractive graphics and strategically placed links and buttons for the user to click.

© 2009 Network Solutions, LLC

Network Solutions, 13861 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon VA 20171

networksolutions.com


Driving Sales by Pay Per Click

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Start Seeing Results Today Research shows that PPC is both the consumers and advertisers choice for connecting the right products and solutions with shopper demand. Even amidst the recession, online retailers are reporting higher conversion rates from their PPC ads:

The time to start is now. With the help of a skillful and knowledgeable PPC provider, you can start sending traffic to your Website, impress your brand on the minds of those researching for future purchases, generate leads that have a high likelihood of becoming paying customers, and realize effective conversion rates on your advertising.

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Š 2009 Network Solutions, LLC

Network Solutions, 13861 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon VA 20171

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GuideToDrivingSalesWithPayPerClick[1]