Marketing

SEM
Pay Per Click

$24 billion spent on PPC advertising worldwide.

Be clicked.

Maximise your return on investment for every click.

What is Pay Per Click?

Pay Per Click is the marketing tactic of paying for advertising based on the number of clicks you get on the marketing message presented to a viewer within a digital channel.  There are three core channels we target for Pay Per Click:

Search
This is where your paid advertisement is shown to users who search for the keywords or keyword groups you select to target when they search.  This can be split into desktop and mobile targeting:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • AOL (US only)
  • Baidoo (China only)

Display Ad Networks

This is where your paid advertisement is shown to users who visit sites that represent or target a specific interest group.  Hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of sites are accessible via these networks and we are able to choose different levels of targeting – including desktop and mobile.This may also cover sub categories of sites such as news publishing, aggregators, third party email and video or music distribution sites. The largest networks aren’t necessarily the best and it’s very important to understand the audience before choosing the right network.  Top networks include:

  • PulsePoint
  • Vibrant Media
  • Specific Media
  • Google Ad Network (including YouTube)
  • AOL Advertising

Social

This is essentially a type of display ad network but because of the size of social networks, is often broken out separately.  It includes Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest which allow for ads particularly within the social newsfeed where they tend to perform better.  Facebook allows for the most detailed segmentation and can also be managed from within Google’s Ad Network.

Overall, advertising by targeting mobile specifically is becoming more prevalent and gaining a broader share of marketing ad spend because of the shift to consuming content via mobile devices.

Why Pay Per Click?

85% of marketers say that search engine marketing (whether paid or organic) is the most effective customer acquisition channel.  Think that no one clicks on those sponsored search links?  Wrong.  Sponsored results account for 64.6% of clicks for  high commercial intent keywords: that is, people looking to buy, for instance “toaster oven reviews”, “stainless steel dishwasher” or “best internet marketing software”.

On top of that, organic results now account for just 14.8% of the above-the-fold pixels.  That means that visibility within any search for organic results is limited further than it has been in the past.  On average, the top organic listing gets 8.9% of the clicks.

Both SEO and PPC play a crucial role in driving traffic to your website and one is not better than the other, they need to be used for different things. PPC is much better for high commercial intent keywords or one off events and launches at short notice, while SEO is better for question and informational keywords which also drive your long term credibility in the digital world.

While CPM (Cost Per Impression) is another model for ad purchase, it has been shown across many studies to be less effective in driving results.  Here’s what makes PPC an excellent performance marketing tactic:

  • You control the budget
    With the ability to cap spend on a daily or weekly basis with the flexibility to change at any time.
  • You pay only when someone clicks
    This way you have visibility of the exact cost per acquisition, particularly if you’re an e-commerce site.
  • You can target the ad
    Even more specifically than organic search or other channels
    down to the device or time of day and other interests in many cases.
  • You get instant results
    Unlike SEO which takes time to build, PPC allows you to get up and running in a fraction of the time.
  • You can use it to test and learn quickly
    For instance, to get a sense of demand or reaction to a landing page which contains information about a new product or offering.  You can then use this to apply learnings to other marketing channels.

How It Works

In our approach, there are three critical phases to pay per click marketing.  The first one is most often forgotten:

Discover

Holistic Strategy

We piggy back the research and strategy we create for Search Engine Optimisation for Pay Per Click and then add in further research to determine the exact channel mix to target for your objectives (search, display and social) as well as the maximum cost per acquisition target which must be tied to your profit per customer acquired.

Build

Set up Ad Platforms and Campaigns

Here we do all the grunt work to set up campaigns within each of the platforms.  This includes setting up separate campaigns for separate product categories and segments and naming them clearly, ensuring no keyword duplication and that our ad groups contain the optimal number of ads.

Build Landing Pages

Depending on your budget and on the flexibility of your CMS there are a number of ways we approach the building of landing pages.  It may be using your CMS or another purpose-build landing page application such as Unbounce or LeadPages, or it may be custom built landing pages then set up for further personalisation with tools like Visual Website Optimiser.  Many agencies don’t have the in house development skill set to manage this part and yet without it, you could be wasting a lot of money.  What good is traffic if you can’t convert it to a sale?

Set up Analytics

This includes things like installing conversion tracking codes on your website so we can review conversion results directly within our ad management tools as well as installing A/B or multi variate landing page and conversion testing tools to ensure we maximise conversion once your customer gets to the page.  Google Analytics is not the only, nor the best tool for this type of activity.

Test

Testing Before Scaling

In the first 4 weeks of any PPC campaign, we use a smaller portion of the planned budget to test any assumptions or hypotheses and then make tweaks to landing pages before scaling ad spend.

Deliver

Ongoing Monitoring, Reporting and Tweaking

Think of us as your stock broker.  We look to generate the maximum returns for your marketing investment.  We are constantly watching the stock market – and if we can see a particular product is generating better returns, we’ll shift your portfolio so that you’re investing more of your budget into that product while it’s hot.

We’re constantly checking and shifting campaign settings and spend a lot of time managing and creating a comprehensive list of negative keywords as well as piggybacking on competitor keywords and campaigns. This requires ongoing, manual adjustments to both the campaign structure, and also to ad copy, content and landing pages.

Why We Stack Up

Managing a PPC campaign isn’t as simple as you might be led to believe.  Many companies tell us they’re receiving support from Google campaign specialists to help optimise their campaign – but should you trust an ad network who benefits from you spending more money, to tell you how much money you should be spending?

 

The benefit of using an agency to manage campaigns is the IP held in the millions of dollars worth of spend managed for multiple clients which provides us with unique insights into what works and what doesn’t.  Here are just a few results below and you can read more in our case studies:

 

Column 1Column 2ROI
Online Retailer (US Fortune 100)22% Increase in Conversion
12% Decrease in Cart Abandonment
11% increase
($122.25m)
Real Estate Office3.75% CTR
24% Increase in Leads
29% increase
($33,900)
Online Home Goods Retailer4.11% CTR
18% Increase in Sales to Target Product Categories
13% increase ($51,350)
Fashion / Lifestyle Blog31% Increase in Readership
14% Increase in Community Participation (Commenting + Social Shares)
41% increase ($41,350)