Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website and increasing sales. However, it’s important to take a methodical approach to your campaigns to maximize your return on investment.
PPC ads show up on search engine results pages when potential customers enter keywords you have chosen. You pay only when someone clicks on your ad.
By monitoring the performance of your ads, you can fine-tune your keywords, ads and website to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.
“There’s a lot of room to experiment with online advertising,” says BDC Advisor, Web Conversion and Personalization Adrian Turner. “It requires more hands-on management and monitoring than traditional advertising, but it allows you to achieve more targeted results.”
Turner offers the following steps for creating successful PPC campaigns.
1. Set up your website analytics
The goal of online advertising is to drive people to your website, either to raise awareness of your business or convert traffic into leads or sales. To know if it’s working, you need to use software like Google Analytics to collect data about who is visiting your site. If you don’t already have analytics in place, your tech manager or web agency can set it up for you.
Analytics can tell you if your specific goals, such as increasing page views or number of sales, are being reached. You can also learn where visitors are coming from, which pages they’re visiting, how long they’re staying, and if they are repeat visitors.
Turner says it’s important to maintain control over access to this data.
“Your web partner can do the set-up, but make sure you own the login credentials. If you change web agencies at some point down the road, you don’t want to be locked out of your analytics or lose your historical data.”
2. Create an online advertising account and choose your keywords
Turner recommends starting with search ads on Google, where about 90% of online searches are conducted in Canada. To create your ad, set up a Google AdWords account. Once you learn how to use AdWords, and have a functioning ad campaign, you can easily set up an account with Bing, the second-place search engine.
Search ads are based on keywords: Words or phrases people use when looking for products, services or other information on the web.
To figure out which words are most relevant to your business, see which ones your competitors are using. Try searching words and phrases you think a customer would use and see what ads and search results they generate. Google’s Keyword Planner is also a useful tool for learning which keywords are likely to drive traffic to your website.