Archive

Posts Tagged ‘paid search’

Marketing 101: What is PPC in marketing?

April 30th, 2020
Share

Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know.

This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

PPC stands for pay-per-click. The abbreviation is usually used in front of the words “marketing” or “advertising” to describe digital ads for which the company pays a fee to the website where the ads are displayed (or the advertising network that is running the ads across many websites) every time a potential customer clicks on the ads.

If you’re a new marketer, you might have heard the words pay-per-click slurred together pretty quickly by experienced marketers, and not quite understood what they are saying. My favorite anecdote, sometimes I would get a transcript from a recorded interview back, and the transcriptionist (not familiar with the marketing industry) would transcribe “pay-per-click” as “paper click.”

Here’s an example of the look and feel of some PPC ads:

This example is from PPC Marketing: 3 steps to improve performance.

Words like “condition” and “part” are called out in brackets because those words would change to address different medical conditions faced by the ideal customer using different keywords (more on keywords in the PPC vs. SEO section of this blog post).

The URL is simply listed as “company.com” because we’re protecting the identity of the MECLABS Conversion Marketing Services Research Partner that engaged in this PPC experimentation (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

Performance advertising versus impressions-based advertising

Traditionally, advertising was sold based on how many people would see the ad — also known as impressions, exposure or reach. The cost is calculated as cost per thousand and abbreviated as CPM (“m” stands for “mille,” Latin for “one thousand.”)

The rise of advertising on the internet has brought with it a shift to performance-based advertising. While marketers can still buy adds based on their reach, many choose to buy based on an action like a click.

An example in the case study Small Business Social Media Advertising: Local shop conducts value proposition testing with Facebook ads shows a few of the different ways marketers can buy ads online. Consultant Metodi Iliev ran three tests with Facebook ads. For each test, he chose the Facebook ad delivery aimed at a different metric — optimized for post engagement, optimized for impressions, and finally, optimized for link clicks.

Read more…

Six Places to Focus to Make your Website a Revenue Generator

May 24th, 2016
Share

We have more digital marketing channels than ever before, but it’s become even harder to connect with customers. In my role as chief evangelist for MECLABS Institute, MarketingSherpa’s parent company, I get to talk to marketers and thought leaders daily.

One thing’s become clear, that there is a growing divide between those who are fully engaged with digital marketing and those who are still figuring out the fundamentals. When I read the report by Kristin Zhivago, President of Cloud Potential, on “revenue road blocks,” I wanted to see what she’s discovered to help marketers quickly close this digital marketing gap and do better.

If marketers directly address getting six key focuses right, you can move forward and close the gap between digital and customers.

Brian: What inspired you to do your research on revenue road blocks?

kristin-zhivago-president-cloud-potential

Kristin: Actually, it was our day-to-day experience working with company managers that drove us to these conclusions, combined with our research on the best practices of digital market leaders in more than 28 industries. The gap between the companies that are successfully using the newer methods and those who are not is growing wider by the quarter.

What is really concerning is we are seeing otherwise solid, successful companies slipping behind their more digitally adept competitors, and they can’t figure out why. They’re doing what they’ve always done, and it’s not working anymore.

Of course, that’s the problem. Buyers have radically changed the way they buy, especially in the last couple of years, and these sellers haven’t changed the way they’re selling. Mobile and the cloud have changed everything; today’s buyers are not the obedient, pass-through-your-funnel buyers that we used to be able to depend on. They are looking for any excuse to say no, because they are sure that there’s another solution only a click away. There is absolutely no risk for them to reject you. In fact, rejection is the safest option for them.

Read more…

Paid Search: 3 things you should know while running a PPC campaign

December 19th, 2014
Share

“You cannot sit down and wait for shoppers to get to your site,” said Victor Yacaman, Ecommerce Director, Leonisa. Leonisa is the No. 1 provider of underwear in Latin America, with 52% of sales generated from paid search.

With the ability to track and measure visitors, it’s no wonder PPC has continued to be widely used by retail marketers, “[which] means you can spend more dollars on the things that are working and less dollars on the things that aren’t working” said Timothy Seward, Founder and CEO, ROI Revolution.

Timothy referenced a recent study by Shop.org via Forrester, saying that, on average, “46% of [marketers’] online retail marketing budgets is spent on paid search.”

PPC ads offer a way of quickly determining ROI. “What you can measure, you can improve,” offered Seward, making the platform an easy way to optimize messaging and placement.

The analytics behind the campaign isn’t the only tool that PPC provides. In a world of big data, ad targeting can be remarkably precise.

“You can get every niche into very specific forms,” Yacaman stated, which is an interesting concept for underwear, if I do say so myself. The Leonisa team has a specific campaign for each type of product — whether it’s hosiery, shapewear or whitey tighties.

With such a variety of products and such a wide consumer base, Leonisa needed a targeted way to find its customers.

“Paid search was a solution for us because, through paid search, you can do bidding really heavily on those words where you have a really high conversion rate,” explained Yacaman.

When asked how marketers can improve their own PPC campaigns, the pair offered these three pieces of advice:

 

1. Identify your target customer and behavior patterns

By having “niche” ads for each product and each target audience, you’re helping the consumer find a solution that will serve them best. Having specialized campaigns contextualizes your ad in the mind of the customer and invites them to continue the conversation with you further in the buying funnel.

 

2. Determine the devices your customers use to access your site

“57% of customers in the U.S. are transacting with your website based on multiple devices,” said Seward. Customers don’t just browse on the family desktop in the living room anymore. They’re searching on their phone, reading reviews on their work computer and purchasing on their iPad later that night. Consumers have a volatile shopping experience, and your PPC ads need to accommodate their journey.

Read more…

Lead Generation: Trends in 2012 marketing budgets

August 24th, 2012
Share

According to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link), 71% of survey respondents indicated that generating high-quality leads was a top challenge.

So, in today’s blog post, let’s look at lead generation budget trends (hint: money is moving to online tactics) and provide some resources to help you make wise use of that budget.

To help you get the most effective use of your budget, here are several case studies and how-to articles for some of the tactics mentioned in the above chart.

  Read more…

7 Signs That You’re Overvaluing Search Engine Optimization

April 3rd, 2012
Share

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become such a giant buzzword, that even my non-marketing friends and family members discuss it. It seems that every person I interview for one of our job openings is an “SEO expert.” And I now see Danny Seo all over TV.

Jokes aside, let’s take a look at some research …

 

Click to enlarge

 

According to Jen Doyle’s research for the MarketingSherpa 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, 29% of B2B marketers consider search engine optimization to be very effective — more than email marketing, content marketing, and most noticeably, paid search.

But could that be a problem? It is human nature to overemphasize something that we think works well. (The minute someone tells me I’m funny – watch out! I’ll come up with every joke I can think of, and they’ll just keep getting worse.) And also, if we overvalue our investment in any one tactic, of course it will be more effective than the ones we’ve shunned.

With so much focus on SEO from every marketing blog on the Google-powered Web, I thought it might be worth your while to question if you’re overvaluing SEO.

So put the Google Keyword Tool down for just a minute, and for a contrarian viewpoint, see if any of these seven reasons that you’re a little too obsessed with search engine optimization / SEO / organic search / natural search / search marketing resonate with you:

Read more…

Slow Converting PPC Clicks

April 23rd, 2010
Share

I spoke with several paid search experts over the last two weeks for an article about timing PPC ads to optimize performance, and an interesting side-topic came up.

Seeing which PPC clicks are helping your bottom line is not always crystal clear. For example, a consumer may click an ad on Saturday and purchase the advertised item on Tuesday. These slow-converting, or latent clicks help drive sales. But by how much?

One way you can help figure this out is by looking to see whether an ad’s search phrase contains branded terms. Branded searches are likely driven by another marketing channel — because the consumer knew your brand name. Conversions on generic, non-branded search terms signal that your PPC ad had a much stronger influence on the sale.

You can track these slow-converting clicks using cookies — but even that can be challenging. Consumers often search the Web at work on one computer, and surf at home on another. Unless you’re able to connect those two machines, you’ll likely be missing some clicks that later become sales.

The lesson here is you should track the behavior of consumers who click your ads as well as you can. Doing so will give you a better idea of which clicks are driving delayed sales, and that information can help you better allocate your spending.

Have you found a good way to uncover slow-converting clicks? Has it helped you much? Let us know in the comments…

Twitter’s Social Search Ads

April 14th, 2010
Share

Marketers wanting to be heard over the over the rabble in social media may soon have a new tool to capture more attention. On Tuesday, Twitter announced the launch of its first ever advertising program, Promoted Tweets.

The micro-blogging network will show promoted tweets at the top of some Twitter.com search results pages, essentially making the tweets a form of paid search advertising. The tweets look and act as normal tweets, but are clearly labeled as promoted by an advertiser.

This “first phase” of the ad platform is only open to a handful of advertisers, such as Best Buy and Starbucks, and is helping Twitter “get a better understanding of the resonance of Promoted Tweets, user experience and advertiser value,” according to the announcement’s blog post (linked above).

I personally assume a self-service, keyword-targeting ad platform will eventually be offered to a broad range of advertisers–but time will tell. For now, Twitter says they hope to later expand Promoted Tweets beyond their search tool, bring them to other partners’ spaces and into Twitter users’ tweet timelines.

This is yet another case of social media and search engine marketing finding common ground, this time in the area of paid search. Yesterday, we published part one of our two-part social media and SEO special report, which outlined five key trends in social and SEO marketing integration. Stay tuned for part two next week which will feature specific tactics.

Hopefully this announcement will be the first of many which help Twitter grow as a powerful marketing channel. My head is already spinning with different ways sponsored tweets can be tested to increase clickthrough rates and response.

What does this announcement mean to you? What else do you think is on the way?