Digital marketing is helping level the playing field between small businesses and international brands. Today, a local pizzeria can reach out to its target customers via the same platforms as a global restaurant chain. Why should you be exploring digital marketing? More than half of the 7.5 billion global population are Internet users. This number is expected to continuously rise with the increasing mobile phone usage.
One important digital marketing platform is online ads. According to Eurostat, about 77 percent of EU businesses have a website and 25 percent of them used online ads in 2016. Most of the businesses that use this marketing tool are offline. With consumers relying more on the Internet for their buying decisions, it’s imperative for businesses to expand their online ads campaigns.
Here’s an overview on online ads and how this tool can help you boost your profit.
1. The basics of search ads
Let us focus on ads on Google, the world’s most powerful search engine. It offers businesses a number of advertising options through Google AdWords. Keywords are important in reaching your target customers via an AdWords campaign. “By matching your keywords with the ads you create, you make it possible for your ad to show when someone searches for similar terms, or visits a website with related content,” according to Google.
How can you measure the effectiveness of your campaign? Google’s conversion tracking allows a business to monitor specific customer activity such as sign-ups, inquiries, and purchases. You can create a conversion action valuable to your business such as installs of your apps or submission of online contact forms.
2. Search ads and PPC
What’s the best way to start a Google AdWords campaign? Consider search ads. Search ads is a search engine marketing (SEM) preferred by most start-up businesses because of its ease and cost-efficiency. When a user searches for a local salon, textual ads appear next to the search results. These are called search ads. Google matches the words people type in with the keywords in ads. This is a pay per click (PPC) system wherein a business will only be billed when people visit the linked website or call the business.
Because keywords are integral in search ads, many businesses seek the help of digital marketing experts who can identify profit-driving keywords. What words or phrases can result in quality traffic and high conversion?
3. Explore dynamic search ads
Identifying the right keywords and creating ads for each offering seem like an easy task. For a start-up consultancy that offers a few services, this job can be effectively done by an IT specialist. However, this may not be the case if you’re running a store that sells hundreds of products. Imagine creating online ads with a unique set of keywords for a wide selection of shirts, dresses, and shoes. Google has a solution for you: Dynamic Search Ads (DSA).
How does DSA work? “When your ad shows, your headline and landing page are automatically generated based on the particular search terms that the user entered,” Google explains. Instead of preparing numerous ads with unique keywords, Google will “scan” your website to determine relevant user searches and generate an ad. Since you don’t need to map keywords anymore or come up with ad texts, you can save time and money. DSA will automatically crawl into your website to make sure any change in your offerings such as prices and discounts are reflected in your online ads. However, DSA is not recommended for websites that change rapidly such as those offering daily deals. Moreover, you can set negative searches to prevent your ads from showing unavailable products. Google provides guides for PPC experts and businesses in setting up DSA.
4. Prepping for a DSA campaign
You need to set up the groundwork for a DSA campaign. First, you need to improve your website. Is the important information visible to site visitors? Do you have an appealing design that’s eye-catching yet not overdone? With the help of a digital marketing expert or agency, you can redesign your website that’s aligned to your campaigns. Your pages must have understandable texts, and engaging photos and videos. Your website should be mobile-friendly.
When optimizing your website for smartphones or tablets, be reminded that flash content is currently not supported by most high-end phones and gadgets. Your landing page should not contain such content, otherwise, Google will limit your ads on these devices.
5. Boost your profit via DSA
Google gives you greater control over your SEM programs by setting specific categories or pages to show on your ads. You can also prevent deals for out-of-stock products from generating relevant ads. Optimize your DSA campaign by knowing search words and phrases essential to your business. Google’s search terms report provides a list of words that people have typed into the search box before seeing and clicking a certain ad. It shows every search query that led to your ad. The clicks column in your DSA account shows the top terms people searched for when they clicked your ad. Search terms are different from keywords, though they can be used to refine the latter.
6. CPA targeting
Some categories of your services and products bring more profit than others. DSA allows businesses to identify priority categories and create separate types of ads for such categories. “That way, you can set bids and create ad text that’s tailored to each category,” Google advises. To better maximize your profitability, you can use target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) by setting an amount you’re willing to pay for each conversion.
How does CPA targeting work? Google analyses historical information about your ad campaigns and identifies an optimal cost-per-click (CPC) every time your ads appear. This will help keep your cost conversion equal to your target CPA. If you’re aiming for a $5 CPA, Google’s AdWords will automatically set your CPC bids to get as many conversions with an average of $5.
7. The positives of adding negative keywords
One downside of online ads is the huge amount of irrelevant traffic. Google’s AdWords addresses this through its negative keywords feature. “Negative keywords let you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers,” according to Google. If you’re a reseller of electronic gadgets including netbooks, you don’t need searches for “notebooks” or “books”. You can add these as negative keywords in AdWords.
You can set negative broad matches which prevent your ads from showing if users search for all your negative keyword terms. Meanwhile, the negative phrase match disables your ad if the search contains your exact keywords in the same order although it may still show when additional words are inserted. If you don’t want your ad to show when exact keywords in a certain order, without extra words, are entered, you can set the negative exact match.
Consumers are bombarded with information every day. No one has the time to skim through pages of web results to find a hotel, a restaurant or a pair of running shoes. People would choose products and services that are easily accessible to them. It’s up to the businesses to use all the necessary tools to ensure that they’re visible at the exact time a potential customer is looking for their products or services. Dynamic Search Ads is one of the tools that can help companies reach out to real customers who will bring in real dollars.
This is a Guest Post contribution by Aby League.