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Over the years, I’ve been asked many questions about PPC & Search Marketing.  Below you can find some of the most common questions asked by my clients and prospects.  If you don’t find an answer to what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

1.  Do You Really Have the Time?

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably busy with hundreds of other tasks daily. Do you really have the time to manage your own PPC account and give it the attention that it deserves?

Many marketers approach PPC with the attitude that it’s less complicated, or somehow easier than SEO. The reality is that PPC costs you money every time you use it.

With PPC rates skyrocketing, most companies don’t even see returns right away and have to count on repeat customers or referrals. So every little factor that can improve your ROI would be beneficial to your bottom line.

2. Wrong Ad Copy Could Result in Low Conversion

One of the greatest strengths a PPC expert has is the ability to perform competitive research. PPC experts understand how to find good copy, they study your competition, and they form ads based on what they know works. That kind of copy isn’t something the amateur can do overnight, especially when every word means something.

The right copy can elevate your campaign’s click-through rate and net you more conversions. Do you really want to take a chance on writing the wrong copy?

Bad copy that does not convey the right message, and is only trying to get you more traffic, may result in low conversion, meaning you just wasted lots of money.

3. Tracking Requires Technical Expertise

The foundation of any good PPC program is its ability to track not only sales, but where those sales are coming from. Good analysis can show you which placements and keywords are likely to bring you the most conversions.

In addition, tagging your campaigns allows you to see which ones are most effective. Tracking code installation requires at least some basic HTML knowledge, so if you have no such knowledge then you better leave this to the experts or you may have to pay your webmaster to install it for you. If you would like to track your leads/sales from phone calls, that would require additional set up and expertise.

4. Do You Understand All the PPC Terminology?

You may know what PPC stands for, but do you know what all these mean: CPM, CPC, CPA? Give up?

What about the difference between Impressions, Views, and Hits? Do you know what retargeting is?

Understanding these terms is extremely important in the day-to-day management of your campaigns. Until you’re familiar with all these (and several more terms not even mentioned here), then you aren’t ready to manage your own paid search campaigns.

5. Campaign Settings Can Be Confusing

There are several potential settings you must adjust in order to get optimum exposure for your campaigns. For example, geographic settings can help you target a specific part of the country.

Should you target locally, statewide, nationally, or worldwide? Should you set up different ad groups for each? Should you opt-in to partner/affiliate networks and if so should you bid the same as the search network? If you choose the partner networks, should you filter out some specific sites?

Without a clear understanding of these settings, and how they may benefit you, you might be paying too much for the same traffic that a similar marketer pays pennies on the dollar for. Without expert advice or some experience, you would never know.

6. Do You Know What a Good Landing Page Looks Like?

Relevance isn’t just an SEO term, it’s important in PPC marketing, too. The less relevant your landing page, the more money you’re spending on conversions. PPC experts understand not only the principles of landing page design, but also how to test those principles.

A/B testing is a tactic PPC experts use to compare different landing pages and improve conversions. That testing can mean the difference between a 1 percent and 5 percent conversion rate. A good analyst will also have familiarity and access to third-party A/B testing software.

7. Prior Experience With Similar Clients

Often times a PPC expert may have worked with other clients in your industry and have competitive knowledge he can apply to your account, which would save you thousands of dollars. In paid search it’s beneficial to hire a person or a company that has worked with one or more of your competitors before.

Most paid search companies probably won’t take on direct competitors as clients at the same time – if they do, then that’s probably not a good idea – but if they have worked with your competitors or similar companies previously, then that would be a plus.

8. Is There Click Fraud Going On?

If you’re a beginner, then you probably wouldn’t know how to monitor for click fraud. You should expect that there is always going to be click fraud. There may even be some auto-generated clicks to your ads that have nothing to do with click fraud, but may be a bot trying to spider your site for whatever reason.

You need to be able to watch your stats and log files for suspicious activity and when you feel there is click fraud going on, you can report to the search engine and request a refund. Although search engines try to block click fraud, from time to time they will do audits and may give you refunds months later, but this is not to your benefit.

You need to take control of this aspect. If you aren’t an analytical person or don’t have some technical expertise in this area, then it’s best to leave it to the experts.

9. Keeping Up With the Latest Changes

All good online marketers stay up to date with the latest trends by reading online news, journals, and/or forums. They may also attend industry trade shows several times annually or attend networking events, and will also have a few friends and peers they could reach out to for expert advice or comparing notes on the latest trends.

If you don’t think you can do all these things, then it is best to hire an expert.

As much as you want it to, essentially. You can set your own AdWords budget, depending on your overall marketing budget. You can spend as little as a few hundred dollars a month; the minimum to get started with AdWords Express is a rather absurdly low $50.

There are a few things to keep in mind when determining how much to spend on AdWords:

  • There may be a tipping point that you have to cross in order to turn a profit. Sometimes you have to spend more to get more.
  • If you want to hire someone to manage your pay per click campaigns, you’ll have to spend enough to justify that cost. It doesn’t make sense to hire a PPC manager at $50K a year if you’re only spending a thousand dollars a month on PPC, obviously.
  • There’s no reason to arbitrarily cap spend on profitable campaigns. If you create some test campaigns and find that you’re getting ROI from PPC, you might as well spend more to make more.

Google AdWords is basically an auction system, where advertisers bid on keywords in order to place their ad in the search results when people search on terms related to those keywords. However, it’s an auction where the highest bidder doesn’t always win – Google awards higher ad placements to advertisers with high-quality, relevant, well-organized ads and campaigns, not just those that spend the most money.

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Almost every type of business should be using some form of internet advertising, because that’s where the people are! Some of the business types that can benefit especially from PPC include:

  • Business with high customer lifetime values like dentists and doctors, online degree programs, and cable and internet providers.
  • Businesses with high margins like lawyers, repairmen, and sellers of big-ticket items like appliances and cars.
  • Businesses that offer a service like roofing, siding, handyman, home inspections etc
  • Businesses that sell hard-to-find products, which people often order rather than looking for in brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Businesses with a wide, diverse array of products like Amazon, eBay, Target, and department stores.
  • Seasonal businesses like florists and gift baskets.

But, again, the internet is for everybody, and whatever your business, there’s probably a form of internet advertising that you should be taking advantage of. (from wordstream)

There are many good reasons to use PPC. We recently provided 10 of them:

  1. It’s scalable
  2. It’s measureable
  3. It’s flexible
  4. It’s faster than SEO
  5. It’s (usually) easier than SEO
  6. It’s taking over the SERPs (search engine result pages)
  7. It’s engaging
  8. It converts
  9. It’s complementary to other marketing channels
  10. Your competitors are doing it(from wordstream)

You can’t answer this question without a little speculation, because we’re talking about human motivation/psychology. Leaving aside the small percentage of clicks that can be attributed to click fraud and accidental clicking, here are some of the reasons that Google users might click on an AdWords ad:

  • They don’t know it’s an ad. See above. Some users can’t tell the difference between paid and organic results, and they wouldn’t be doing a web search in the first place if they didn’t intend to click on something.
  • The ad is the most relevant result for their query. If the searcher is looking for a specific product or service, with clear intent to buy, an ad could well be the best “answer” to their “question.” Product listing ads, which include a picture of the product in question, can be especially appealing, because they show you exactly what you’re looking for. Google’s Quality Score system works to make AdWords beneficial for everyone – if Google serves up only the best, most relevant ads, they are more likely to be clicked, which is a win-win-win situation for advertisers, searchers, and Google alike.
  • The ad catches their attention indirectly. Sometimes an ad is served that is only indirectly related to the searcher’s query. Or they may not be searching at all – they may see an ad on the content network (while they are checking their email or reading a news article, for example). Nonetheless, the ad might be relevant to their interests.

Any of these reasons could work for your benefit, but the safest path to success as a PPC advertiser is to try to make your ad the most relevant result for the search query. Then they’ll have no reason not to click. (from wordstream)

PPC, or pay-per-click marketing, is a form of web advertising that allows companies to place advertisements in search results or elsewhere on the web, paying only when somebody clicks on an ad, rather than paying for impressions.

There are two main types of PPC:

  • Search engine advertising: Advertisers bid on keywords in order to have their ads appear in the search engine results when somebody performs a search that is relevant to their business. It’s a brilliant system because the search query provides a strong indication of what the searcher is looking for, so advertisers can focus their marketing dollars on the audience that is mostly likely to buy from them, rather than broadcasting a message to a very general, unspecified audience (as in traditional TV, radio, or magazine advertising).
  • Advertising on partner networks: You can also place ads (both text ads and display ads, or banner ads) on a large network of partner sites. These tend to be less targeted than ads tied to particular keywords, but they are also cheaper (i.e., have a lower cost per click). (Remarketing campaigns, however, are highly targeted, because they show display ads to a specific audience that has already visited your website.)

PPC marketing is a “pay to play” way to get exposure in search engine results. Organic search engine optimization (SEO), on the other hand, consists of efforts to “earn” a free spot on the SERP. Both SEO and PPC have advantages and disadvantages, and most businesses will find that a mix of both marketing channels (along with other methods of lead generation) works best. (from wordstream)

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