PPC: How to measure success

image of measurement and graph tools

Your Google Ads account is set-up, your campaigns have been created and your PPC ads are live. So now what? It won’t be long until you start to see your numbers grow. At this point, you need to know what the numbers mean so you can get the best from your PPC ads and investment.

We’ve put together a list of six key metrics that are the most important when judging the success of your PPC campaigns. Whether you’re getting to grips with running your PPC activity or you’re wading through a report full of numbers from your advertising agency – this is the guide for you.

1. Click-through-rate (CTR)

Click-through-rate or CTR allows you to understand how engaging your ads are. Calculated by dividing the number of times your ad was clicked by the number of impressions your ad received (counted each time your ad is shown on a search result page) and given as a percentage. 

The more engaging the ad or call-to-action, the higher the CTR. This metric should be used when altering and testing new ad copy. Helping you to understand how relevant a keyword is to those searching for your product or service. This metric is also a key influence on quality score, a score given between 1 and 10 by Google to show how relevant they believe your ads are.

2. Cost-per-click (CPC)

Cost-per-click is exactly what it says, how much it costs you each time your ad is clicked. There are two types of CPC, average CPC and max CPC. That’s a lot of abbreviations, we know.

Average CPC is the average amount that you’ve been charged for a click on your ad. Calculated by dividing your total campaign cost by the number of clicks that were generated. Next up is Max CPC, every keyword or ad group (depending on your bidding granularity) requires a Max CPC. This is the highest amount that you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. You will only ever pay £0.01 more than the highest bid in the auction. So, if you have set a Max CPC of £2.00 but your highest paying competitor only has a Max CPC of £1.90, you can expect to pay £1.91.

Of course, appearing in top positions is not as simple as having the highest bid. Google wants to ensure the ads that appear on the search results page are of the best quality. They judge a campaign on many other factors than the bid including CTR, quality score and account optimisation score.

3. Impression Share (IS)

Impression share is the percentage of impressions that your ad received compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could have received. Given as a percentage, this is a key way of understanding how much of the auction you are occupying compared to your competitors. Impression share is a good way to understand whether your ads might reach more people if you increase your bid or overall budget.

As a rule, an impression share of 80% or more is considered strong. Using Google’s auction insights you can understand if you have lost impression share due to budget or rank. This allows you to decide if you need to increase your budget or optimise your ads and keywords.

4. Optimisation Score

Optimisation score is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. The score runs from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account can perform at its full potential. This metric is becoming increasingly important in 2020 and a contributing factor in how agencies gain partner status from 2021.

Along with the score, you’ll see a list of recommendations that can help you optimise each campaign. Many of these recommendations focus on the adoption of Google tools such as Smart Bidding, Smart Shopping and Dynamic Search Ads. Many marketers feel this is removing the ability to use third-party tools and forcing users to adopt Google’s products. Regardless of your opinion, this is an important metric to consider to create strong performing campaigns.

5. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is an important metric for any type of paid activity, from transactional to lead generation. Conv. rate calculates the number of conversions or actions generated by each click. As expected, the higher the conversion rate the stronger the performance of the PPC campaign. When optimising keywords, conversion rate should be viewed. It is also an important metric when forecasting future performance.

Reviewing keyword performance and the customer journey is important when optimising to improve this metric. There are also many on-site factors that influence conversion rate and so it’s important that you focus on user experience once a user reaches the site.

6. Return-On-Investment (ROI)

Return-On-Investment is undoubtedly the most important metric within any marketing activity (not just PPC). Knowing the ROI of your marketing activity is essential in understanding how profitable your investment is and where tweaks and changes need to be made. Whether you use PPC to increase sales, generate leads, or drive other valuable customer activity, ROI can help you to judge success. We’ve seen businesses calculate ROI in many different ways, but the most common way is:

(Revenue – Cost of goods sold) / Cost of goods sold

Anything over 100% is profitable, anything below 100% requires some attention. Every digital marketer should know the efficiency of the activity they are running.

Summary

When viewing any set of data it is important to make sure the date range is robust. If you are hoping to see a 1000% ROI after one day of PPC activity, it’s very unlikely. Decide on clear review points following the launch of your campaigns and always ensure the goal of the activity is clear. If you aim to grow brand awareness, then conversion rate is not the metric to use to judge success, impressions and reach would be more suited.

At Green Ginger, we live and breathe numbers. We know this isn’t for everyone and so we tailor our reports depending on the level of detail you want. If you need PPC support for your business or would like to understand if you are getting the most out of your activity – get in touch!

We’d be happy to do a free audit of your accounts and support your business to reach its full potential.

UX: A beginners guide

Image of a woman building a site that is moving

We’ve all been there – browsing the internet only to end up on the most frustrating of websites. Nothing seems to be in its logical place. You end up leaving the site irritated and annoyed, vowing to never return to that particular website ever again. That’s UX (or user experience) – in a nutshell, how easy it is to navigate a website. You need to think about how meaningful and relevant the content on the page is. Ensuring your website focuses on the experience each visitor has. This is because over the years Google has placed a higher priority on this as an organic ranking factor

So let’s take a look at the key areas and what you can do to start giving your website users the best possible experience. 

What is UX?

UX stands for User Experience and is all about the experience a user has with a product, or in the digital world, a website or app. We experience this every day, from the newly designed coffee cup at your favourite coffee shop to the laptop we use for work. Hopefully, enough care and attention have been put in place to ensure these work as we expect. Allowing us to achieve what we set out to effortlessly.

UX encompasses not only how usable your website is but also how much it excites the end user. For example, being aesthetically pleasing means you experience the site differently and should have a better experience vs. an entirely black and white site with no images.

You want users to have a great experience on your site and also convert from a visitor into a consumer. With poor UX you immediately make that conversion more challenging. Poor UX can be as simple as potential customers not being able to navigate through different areas of the site through breadcrumb links. The basket icon not including a small number to show the user how many items are included. 

What influences a good user experience?

At Green Ginger, we believe in a customer-first approach to marketing, and UX is no different. You need to have a deep understanding of your customers. Knowing what is important to them, what they place value on and what their wants and needs are when visiting your website. Meeting those needs and wants is core to UX. Peter Morville shows this theory in an easy to understand User Experience Honeycomb

The User Experience Honeycomb is comprised of 7 hexagons which help you to define priorities. It shows the requirement for a neat and unique balance of what your users need, the context they visit your site in and the content served. We explain the hexagons of the honeycomb below:

  1. Useful: Does the site focus on unique content and is it able to satisfy a need or requirement?
  2. Usable: How easy the site is to use?
  3. Desirable: How does the design (including brand identity, logo, images) evoke an emotion in the user?
  4. Findable: How easy it is to navigate and locate content?
  5. Accessible: How easy is the content accessed by those with disabilities?
  6. Credible: Do users trust in what you’re telling them?
  7. Valuable: How much value does the site add to its sponsors?

Why is User Experience important for SEO?

As you’re probably aware, Google is continuously changing. It uses algorithms focused on ensuring users are provided with the most relevant and best results, every time they search. (You can read more about SEO algorithms here). In 2015 Google introduced RankBrain which is a part of Google’s core algorithm which utilises machine learning. It uses this to serve ever more relevant results. It uses more than a basic algorithm, to focus on user intent (search queries) and behaviour metrics. Trying to figure out what a user means when they search and therefore what to serve them in the search engine results pages. Types of behaviour metrics RankBrain look at are:

  • Organic Click-Through-Rate – the number of searchers who click on a website result, as a percentage of the total number of searches the website appeared for 
  • Dwell Time – the amount of time a visitor spends on a page
  • Bounce Rate – the percentage of visitors who leave a site before taking any action
  • Pogo-Sticking – clicking back and forth between Google and websites to find the right information

There is, of course, a fine balance between UX and SEO. You need to make sure that both strategies are aligned rather than working in isolation or favouring one area over another. 

One key way to ensure these are aligned is by focusing on designs which fit core SEO principles. Create sites with clear navigation paths for UX, whilst optimising menu names, product names and descriptions in line with search behaviour. Optimise H1 and H2 titles and focus both eCommerce and blog content on information which excites and is useful for the user, whilst resonating with search engines too.

Some real practical things you can start planning to do today if you’re not already, are:

  • A/B testing landing pages, using Google Analytics to understand which version drives the most engaged user
  • Use an on onsite behavioural analytics tool such as HotJar to understand how users are navigating through your site, where they’ve been and which areas get the most attention

Summary

There is no denying that UX continues to be a focus from Google. Why wouldn’t you want to provide your customers with the most seamless experience you can? As always, there are lots that can be done to improve your website experience. Our recommendation would be to start using the advice above and build on this with a test-and-learn roadmap. You should test one thing at a time, that way you will know what tweaks and improvements are driving performance and also what impact that has had on your SEO visibility.

If you would like any help auditing the customer journey of your website or prioritising your UX roadmap, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Green Ginger today!

Facebook Ads: A beginners guide

Facebook ads logo and links off to images, people, video

In 2004 a group of students at Harvard University created a social media platform. Aiming to connect students in an online community. Skip forward 16 years, Facebook is now one of the most influential social networks in the world. The five students who founded Facebook are now billionaires.

At the last count, Facebook had 1.69 billion active users worldwide with 45 million of those users are based in the United Kingdom. A user begins sharing data with Facebook from the moment they log in to the platform. This means that Facebook has a wealth of customer data. This data can help you target potential customers based on their behaviours and interactions with the platform. In this article, we’re going to explore Facebook Ads in detail. Answering the questions that are important to you. We’re going to show you what Facebook Ads are, how they work and how they can help your business. 

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads are a form of Paid Social marketing. In a nutshell, you pay to reach an audience on the Facebook platform. Organic Facebook posts are only shown to your own Facebook fans whereas paid ads allow you to target people who have maybe not interacted with your brand before but have similar interests and/or demographics

Paid Facebook ads are charged based on the bidding model that you choose. Facebook Ads can be set up using a cost-per-click (CPC) model, in which every time the ad is clicked you are charged. Or if you’re wanting to go for scale then there is a cost-per-thousand-impression (CPM) option. In which you’re charged for every thousand impressions your ad receives. Before choosing your bidding model, it’s important to consider the goal of your campaign. Are you aiming to increase revenue or grow your brand awareness? This will also help you select the audiences you want to target and how you determine success for your campaign. 

What does a Facebook Ad look like?

There are many different ad formats on Facebook. We’ve listed them below: 

  • Static Image Ads. Useful to showcase branding or a specific product.
  • Video. Add movement to ads to make them more eye-catching. Facebook recommends a length of 10-15 seconds.
  • Slideshows. A combination of images or videos, text and sound. You can include 3-10 images or 1 video in a slideshow ad.
  • Carousels. Showcase up to 10 images or videos in a single ad, each with a link.
  • Instant Experiences. A full-screen experience that opens after someone taps your ad on a mobile device. 
  • Collection. Featuring many products and opening as an Instant Experience when someone interacts with it. 
  • Lead Ads – designed to help generate customer lists and competition entries. The user stays on the platform and information is auto-filled.

Whenever you create assets for a Facebook Ad it’s important to test them using Facebook’s Ad Overlay Tool. Only 20% of the image can contain text, and they are subject to a review process. If you’re unsure of the guidelines for ads, Facebook provides clear guidelines

Facebook Ads can be identified as they have ‘Sponsored’ below the name of the brand at the top of the ad. They also have a prominent call-to-action. Facebook has a predefined set of CTA buttons which link to your website: 

  • Sign Up
  • Learn More
  • Download
  • Contact Us
  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Watch More
  • Apply Now

How do I target Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads offer many options to target different audiences. We’ve outlined these below:

1. Location-based targeting

Facebook allows you to target people based on their specific locations. Country, region, city, postal code or specific address radius. This means that you can ensure your ads are only shown to the area where your business operates or services.

You can also add another layer to this to be more specific:

  • Everyone in a specific location – the default targeting option, targeting the last updated location of a Facebook user
  • People who live in this location – set by the location on a user’s Facebook profile and confirmed by their IP address
  • Users recently in this location – tracked by mobile device usage in the geographic area you intend to target
  • People travelling to this location – users who had this geographic area as a recent location and within 100 miles of their home location

2. Demographic targeting

Targeting according to gender, age (starting at 18 years old) and language. You are also able to target political views, life events, job titles, ethnicity, and so on. This means if you know who your target audience is, you can acquire a wider audience using this information.

3. Interest-based targeting

Interests are a great way to prospect for new customers and grow awareness of your product or service. Interests allow you to target people interested in a subject related to your product. You can target based on your competitors, relatable topics, magazines, blogs and influencers. You’re able to select more than one interest, and Facebook then gives you an estimate on the potential reach this audience will generate. Typically, the higher the reach the cheaper the CPC and so it’s worthwhile making sure you have a broad reach. 

4. Behaviour-based targeting

Behaviour targeting allows you to target users based on their purchase history. Also events they have engaged with and any personal anniversaries. Facebook gathers this data based on the information a user shares with the platform. Third-party data sources also share information with the platform to make the audiences more accurate. This means that you can be confident that the users will have a higher degree of interest in your products or services than if you were to just use interest-based targeting.

5. Custom audiences

One of the most important steps to take before setting up Facebook Ads is to install a Facebook pixel on your website. The pixel allows Facebook to understand how users behave once they reach your website. The pixel understands the products viewed, what was added to the basket and if a sign-up occurred (among other things). Once the Pixel is installed you can create custom audiences with the information that’s gathered. Understanding how users interact with your site allows you to remarket. These are high-value audiences as the users who will see your ad have already shown an interest and have been to your site. 

6. Lookalike audiences

Lookalike Audiences let you reach people that Facebook believes are similar to your customers. If their behaviour mirrors the interests and behaviours of your current audiences they will fit the criteria. To create a Lookalike audience you first of all need to build your custom audiences. Select “Lookalike Audience” from the audience creation menu. Then select a target country and a percentage (1%-10%) of the targeted country’s Facebook users.

How much do Facebook Ads cost?

This is a question we are asked a lot. When testing any new form of advertising, businesses are keen to understand how much it will cost and the risks involved.

Costs are high if Facebook Ads are not managed correctly. It takes a long time to learn the tactics to ensure that CPCs do not increase and budgets are not wasted on the wrong audiences. Facebook Ads can be cheaper than Google Ads, however, this differs depending on the product, industry and service you offer. If you are unsure of how to manage Facebook Ads, we advise speaking to an expert. It can take a long time to learn the tactics to ensure that campaigns work efficiently. Optimising your CPCs daily is essential to ensure the efficiency of your campaigns is not compromised. 

Cost can also vary depending on the objective of your campaign. Typically a prospecting campaign with a large reach is cheaper than a highly-targeted lead ad campaign. However, a good marketer should no the techniques to keep costs to a minimum regardless of the campaigns aim.

Summary

Facebook Ads are becoming the go-to platform for many businesses. If you’re looking to grow brand awareness and or revenue through highly targeted audiences, then this is the platform for you. A recent study from Hootsuite showed that the average person in the UK spends 110 minutes a day on social media. That is 110 opportunities for you to engage that person and grow your business. 

The way we like to explain Facebook Ads at Green Ginger is: 

“Facebook offers a wealth of new users to target every single day. But, if you don’t carefully consider the audiences you want to target and what success looks like, you risk wasting your budget. If you’re not 100% confident, the best thing to do is get some advice from an expert – that’s where we can help.” 

Nick Cranwell, Head of Digital

At Green Ginger, we’ve worked with some of the UK’s biggest retailers to launch their Paid Social activity. From lead generation with Durex, to retargeting customers with specific products for Habitat. We have the experience to help your business, whatever size or goal you may have.

Get in touch today to see how we can help!

SEO: A beginners guide

Computer screen with magnifying glass looking at words seo

If you’ve had exposure to online marketing you’ve probably wondered; What is SEO? How does SEO work? Is SEO the same as Organic Search? Some digital marketing agencies may convince you it’s a dark and complex art form. Leaving you unsure about the benefits or where your budget is being spent. 

At Green Ginger, we do digital differently. We want our clients to learn and understand how digital marketing can help their business. We don’t believe in smoke and mirrors. In this article, we’ve answered some of the most common SEO questions. Focusing on what is important to you, giving you an understanding of what SEO is and how it can help your business. 

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about increasing the visibility of your website. Appearing higher in the search results pages and growing your traffic. Search engines, such as Google match search queries to websites they deem relevant through a series of algorithms. The sites they believe are most aligned to the search query appear higher in the search results. 

Algorithms review the searcher’s query and score the website on how relevant it is. Google looks at factors such as website quality, site usability and the user’s location. Google wants to provide the best experience to every searcher, and that’s why it critiques sites closely before showing the best ones in order of relevance to the searcher. 

Getting to page 1 is tough, getting to position 1 is even tougher. As you can imagine, people are unlikely to scroll through pages and pages of results. This means that it is critical to ensure your site appears high up the search rankings. You need a combined strategy of both on-page and off-page SEO. This involves a lot of hard work and some patience. 

How does SEO work?

The objective of SEO is to show to the search engine that your site is the most relevant. Your content is engaging and matches the user’s query better than your competitors, and the visitor is going to have a great experience. The most relevant sites are rewarded with the coveted number 1 position or even position 0 on Google and Bing. 

With a market share of 92%, most marketing experts would recommend optimising your site to perform best on Google. Google reviews 200 factors when ranking your site, giving you plenty of areas to focus on to improve your site’s performance. 

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t share what those ranking factors are. They want website and search engine optimisers to focus on the quality of their sites for the end-user. We rely on industry data and our test and learn approach to understand what works and to estimate how Google determines relevancy. 

What are the most important SEO ranking factors?

Google frequently update their algorithms. But there are a few key ranking factors which continue to be important as we move through 2020. We’ve grouped these below into 3 key themes: 

Technical SEO 

Focusing on improving the technical aspects of your website, ensuring solid foundations are set on which to grow rankings. Key considerations for technical SEO in 2020:

  • A secure site with URLs which Google can easily crawl and understand
  • A fast loading site across all devices, especially mobile (ideally less than 2 – 3 seconds) 
  • A mobile-friendly site which is user friendly across all devices
  • Strong technical SEO, optimising your code to assist crawling and indexing
  • Positive user signals such as high click-through-rates, low bounce rates and strong site engagement and duration

Content

Focusing on the keywords and articles on your site. Ultimately telling Google what your site is all about and the products or services you offer. Key considerations for content in 2020: 

  • Optimise content which is useful for the end-user, but also tells Google important information about your site. For example, Page Titles and Meta descriptions, keyword-friendly URLs, relevant and optimised product descriptions
  • Editorial content which adds value to customer journeys. Either by providing education, information or simply entertainment for the user. Rather than focusing on the hard sell

Off-page 

Relates to all actions happening off your site but still impacting your rankings. Key considerations such as:

  • A strong domain authority
  • A positive link web across inbound and outbound links. Which ultimately provide ‘votes’ of relevancy for your site and indicates quality to Google
  • A good social presence with relevant social shares
  • An optimised Google My Business presence

Google also places huge value on great customer experience. Sleek website design and great functionality, will only put you in good stead for ranking well in this area. If having read the above list you are unsure how well your site is performing. We’d recommend you undertake an SEO audit, this will provide you with key areas to focus on.

Why does SEO matter?

Across the globe, there are 3.5 million searches on Google every single day. It is the first port of call for searchers looking for information, products and services. To get a slice of those customers, you have to invest your time into developing your site and refining your SEO performance. 

SEO keeps search engines fair. It allows every site an opportunity to rank highly and deliver a positive experience for the user. BackLinko recently analysed 5 million Google searches. They aimed to understand how CTR (click-through-rate) changed depending on a businesses position on Google. Their findings were fascinating:

  • On average moving up a position within Google changed CTR by 30%
  • Ranking number 1 resulted in a page being 10x more likely to be clicked on vs. being in position 10. 

Advanced Web Rankings also have a great tool available that allows you to review historical CTR’s by category and country. A really useful tool when forecasting any organic or paid activity.

That’s why SEO matters. If you don’t focus on your SEO performance, you are reducing your chances of driving ‘free’ traffic to your site. 

How long does it take for SEO to work?

A simple question but unfortunately not a simple answer. How long it takes can depend on the following: 

  • Age of your site
  • How quickly you can implement changes
  • Level of competition (remember everyone else is trying to get to position 1 at the same time you!)
  • Website design
  • Geographic location
  • Target market and audience

Generally speaking, you can expect to see your SEO performance start to improve in around 4 – 6 months. That certainly does not mean you will see all of your target keywords in position 1 and this is impacted by the competition. 

Competitive search terms (such as for fashion retailers) will take longer than for specialist products and services. SEO is as a long term investment. Quick fixes and results can be achieved using other digital marketing channels such as PPC. SEO is a channel which will grow and mature over time as long as you continually invest time and effort. 

At Green Ginger, we offer a synergised approach to search marketing. Ensuring both paid and organic channels are working in harmony and budget is used in the most efficient ways. 

How do I measure SEO? 

So you’ve decided to invest both time and budget into improving your SEO, and understand it will take a few months to see the fruits of your labour. How do you ensure your efforts are working?

Like all digital marketing, this comes down to tracking correctly. Our first recommendation is to make sure you have Google Analytics set up correctly. This is a free tool you can use to understand the value of all your channels, not just SEO. 

It segments the data by channel so you can review and understand performance. Use Google Analytics to drill down into landing pages, exit pages and engagement metrics to understand how users are engaging with your site. Once you have Google Analytics set up, we would recommend developing a set of core keywords you wish to rank for. Tracking these over time using a tool such as SEMrush or Moz will enable you to see how these are impacted by the SEO strategy you’re implementing. 

It’s important to use a mix of keywords with a low and high search volume. These will vary in how competitive they are and ensure you are ranking for an array of keyword variations. Visibility and keyword rankings are important. But you should also use Google Analytics data to understand how SEO has assisted conversions. This means how your SEO is contributing to the customer journey. This can be particularly useful when you have a strong bank of editorial content on site, which is driving browsing journeys, which later come back and convert. 

Summary 

Use SEO as a long term investment for your business. Focus on both on-page and off-page tactics and delivering an excellent experience for your customers and you won’t go far wrong. Our Head of Digital at Green Ginger has these parting words of advice for you: 

“Focus on the end user – make sure when entering your site their experience is as seamless and quick as possible. Think about what they would like to see when they are there. Optimised, easy to read, digestible content and a sleek design and customer experience. That is what will drive your SEO forward”.

Nick Cranwell, Head of Digital

Good SEO takes time, but that’s where Green Ginger can help. We’re experts in delivering SEO and have experience doing so for some of the UK’s biggest retailers. This means we can provide you with the right strategy. Identifying quick wins and longer-term initiatives to provide you with an SEO strategy to drive forward your performance.

If you want to know more about how we can kickstart your marketing, or if you would like a free SEO site checkup – get in touch with us today.

Pay Per Click (PPC): A beginners guide

Chances are if you have any form of online business, you’ll have heard the term banded around. PPC is known in the marketing industry by many names and abbreviations. From PPC to Pay-Per-Click, Paid Search to Google Ads (or Google AdWords pre-2018).

In this article, we’re going to explore PPC marketing in detail. Answering the questions that are important to you. We’re going to show you what PPC is, how PPC marketing works and how you can use it to help your business.

What is PPC?

PPC is a form of digital marketing that allows an advertiser to pay a fee every time their ad is clicked. Once the ad is clicked the user is taken to the advertiser’s website, to view the products or services that they offer.

The term PPC can apply to paid advertising on social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. It also applies to advertising on search engines such as Google and Bing. In this article, we’re going to focus on the most popular form of PPC advertising – on Google.
Every day there is an average of 3.5 billion searches on Google. With more than 60% of adults in the UK searching actively on the search engine. This means that whatever your service or product there is an audience on Google for you. Whether you are looking to drive leads, acquire new customers or grow your sales, there are tactics to suit all goals.

Why are keywords important for PPC?

Keywords are an essential component of PPC advertising. To get your ads to appear when people search for your product or service, the keywords you choose need to match the words or phrases that people search for. 

Keywords and phrases should be specific and relevant to what you are offering. When someone types your keywords into a search engine, they should be looking for a business exactly like yours. As a result, those people that click on your ad will be ready to buy from you.

The cost for each keyword will be different depending on the industry and the product you are offering. Wordstream recently released a list of the top 25 most expensive industries for PPC bidding. 

CPCs for casino-related terms can be as high as £59. That is £59 every time someone clicks your ad. If not managed correctly you can quickly blast through your entire budget, with little to show for it but a large bill from Google.

What does a PPC ad look like on Google?

When searching ‘digital marketing agency’ on Google we can see four businesses who are competing to appear at the top of the search results page. All PPC ads on Google and Bing have a small ‘ad’ label to the left of the website address to ensure they are identifiable.

Madebyextreme.com has the highest ‘Ad Rank‘ in the example shown above. Due to this, they are appearing at the top of the search results page (also known as the SERPs). 

To appear above the other businesses Madebyextreme.com will likely be paying a higher bid than the other businesses. But, the bid is not the only factor that leads to a strong ‘Ad Rank’, with other factors including:

  1. Ad quality (including expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience)
  2. Competitiveness of each auction
  3. Context of the person’s search. For example, the person’s location, device, time of the search, the nature of the search terms, the other ads and search results that show on the page, and other user signals and attributes
  4. Expected impact of extensions and ad formats

What makes a good PPC ad?

A PPC ad has a strict character limit and so you need to be able to get your point across in a succinct and engaging way. We’ve put together a list of five things to consider when writing your ads:

  1. Ensure your ad references the keyword that was triggered. This shows Google that your ad is relevant to the customer’s search
  2. What is your unique selling point against your competitors? Think about delivery, price-point, quality, discounts.
  3. What call-to-action will resonate with your customers? Think about conveying urgency in your ads, incentivising with promotions.
  4. Use ad extensions such as site links, call out extensions and location extensions to take up more room on the SERPs
  5. Don’t use one ad, you should always test different messages to see what resonates the best with your customers

How much does PPC advertising cost?

This is a question that we hear frequently. After all, those new to PPC advertising are keen to understand how much they should expect to pay to advertise on Google. 

Costs can be high if PPC campaigns are not managed correctly. It can take a long time to learn the tactics to ensure that campaigns work efficiently and don’t overspend. Optimising your CPCs on a daily basis is essential to ensure the efficiency of your campaigns is not compromised.

A bonus to advertising on Google is that you are able to use their Keyword Planner Tool to understand how many people are searching for your services. This information then allows you to judge the level of competition and also get a view of how much you can expect to pay for each click.

This data will help you create a forecast. Allowing you to understand the budget that will be needed to appear in strong positions and the amount of traffic that will be achievable. 

Summary

There are many benefits to using PPC for your business. If you want to get results quickly, then this is definitely the channel for you. Building your organic SEO performance is another option, but this is a long-term strategy and can take months to gain traction. 

Managing PPC ads yourself can be challenging. Without the right knowledge, ads have the potential to spend a lot of money without gaining any results. Google offers great online courses in their Google Skillshop, which can help you get to grips with the set-up if you’re feeling brave. 

The way we like to explain PPC at Green Ginger is: 

“PPC is easy to set-up yourself. But if you are looking to do it right, make sure you’re not wasting budget and maximise performance, get an expert to help. Especially if you have ambitions to scale and grow – it will be a worthwhile investment”

Nick Cranwell, Head of Digital

If it all sounds a bit daunting, then that’s where Green Ginger can help. We are experts in managing PPC campaigns and have done so for some of the UK’s biggest retailers. That means we have the skills to be able to manage campaigns at scale and can also apply these tactics to smaller more agile businesses. 

If you want to know more about how we can kickstart your marketing, get in touch with us today.

Site Migration: A step by step guide

A site migration can range from updating the structure of your site to launching on a new platform. From a complete redesign to an upgrade to enhance the security of your site. Essentially, it’s any large scale changes which may impact search engine visibility. A well-managed site migration can take a business to the next level, improving functionality and scalability. On the flip side, if not managed correctly a site migration can impact performance for a prolonged period.

Whilst most sites are likely to see a small, short-term drop in traffic. A poorly executed migration can have a negative long-term impact on a site’s performance. There have been many examples of well-known brands who have migrated their sites with poor implementation. The result is a 30%-50% drop in traffic which has lasted for many months.

At Green Ginger, we have experience of planning and delivering successful site migrations. Ensuring there is minimal impact to your performance. Read our short guide to understand the steps you should be taking to ensure a smooth transition.

Laptop and computer showing graphs and data

Pre-Launch

When considering a site migration, we would recommend planning at least 6-months ahead. This will give you enough time to analyse your site and landscape. Complete the required on-site actions and agree to a robust plan of action. Launching a migration without the recommended analysis will increase the risk of performance drops when the new site goes live.

Our top recommendations for a successful pre-launch are:

  1. Make sure the migration is right for you. Take the time to understand why you are considering a migration. Most site migrations result in a temporary traffic drop so it’s important to be clear on the rationale for migration before pressing ahead. A migration may not always be the best solution vs. your objectives. If you are unsure, speak to an expert

  2. Choose the right timeframe. Plan your migration for a period which will have the least disruption to your business. Review seasonal performance and select a time when demand is lower

  3. Crawl your site. Take the time to crawl your site to get a complete list of URLs which will need to migrate. Use this as an opportunity to discard or fix any broken links and remove blog content with poor engagement

  4. Benchmark analytics. Understand average performance including an expected performance by hour and by day. This will allow you to spot any performance anomalies when it comes to launching. It also allows you to forecast the commercial impact of the migration

  5. Complete a robust testing plan. Test your new site and test again. Set-up a staging site (ensure it can’t be indexed) and ensure the new site is working as expected

Launch

Dedicate time and resource to monitoring performance when you launch the migration. This will minimise the impact of any issues and ensure the migration launches as smoothly as possible.

Our recommended approach to the launch phase is:

  1. Pre-checks and launch. Take the time to complete detailed pre-launch checks on your staging site. Review your pre-launch checklist. Don’t launch until satisfied everything is in the best possible place

  2. Hourly performance checks. Following launch, monitor site performance closely. Look at all key metric benchmarks on an hourly basis to identify any issues quickly and efficiently

  3. Redirect checks. Check your redirects and resolve any issues

  4. Relaunch / Update other channels. Ensure other marketing channels reflect the new site. For example, your PPC activity will need to be directed to the correct URLs

  5. Full site audit. Complete a full audit of the site post-launch to ensure everything is as expected

Post-Launch

In the days and weeks following the migration, it is important to keep a close eye on performance. The key question will be ‘Has the migration been successful?’. It will take time to answer this.

We work with a range of different websites. Depending on the size of the site we would measure the impact of the site migration at different points. Check performance weekly to understand the impact and understand performance trends. The migration process is complete once performance trends have returned to expected levels. This need to be consistent for a prolonged period.

It is at this point you can review the migration and assess the success:

  1. Ensure key technical areas are up to date. Resubmit your site map through Search Console and ensure your robots.txt file is up to date

  2. Monitor performance post-launch. After the site migration is complete you should continue to keep a close eye on performance

  3. Resolve any links/page issues flagged post-migration. Focus your efforts on flagging crawl errors and monitoring engagement metrics. You should focus your efforts on top-performing pages

  4. Address any specific keyword drops. Use your target keyword list to ensure top-terms remain in competitive positions. Use other channels such as PPC to compensate for short-term keyword drops

Overview

Most businesses will have to consider implementing a site migration at some point. If done correctly, with the right support, performance disruption will often be minimal. If you are considering a migration you need to consider the wider SEO impact and get expert support if you are unsure. This is where an SEO or UX expert such as Green Ginger Digital can help.

If you would like to understand more about how we can help with a site migration – either on a consultancy or delivery basis – or any other aspects of SEO. Get in touch for a chat!

Clients Testimonials

Our clients are a diverse mix of eCommerce and service-based businesses.
From well-known UK fashion and furniture retailers to small independent companies - we love the variety!

Made
Habitat
Which
Joules
Wren Kitchens
Homebase
Harrisons of Hull
Pitchy
Riverford Orgnanic Farmers
Rapture Surf Camps
Mark Hill

Kate Harrison
Harrisons of Hull Ltd

Green Ginger Digital have been an absolute pleasure to work with from start to finish. They have listened to our business goals and marketing objectives and really delivered in terms of service, content and results. We would highly recommend the team to other businesses looking to build a digital marketing campaign and will continue to work closely with them going forward.

Nathan Green
Pitchy

Pitchy were one of Green Ginger Digitals first clients and we were really impressed with how they took onboard what we wanted to achieve and put together an impressive plan of how they could help us get there. Results were impressive and the team were always professional and approachable.

Andy Orvis
Fountain

Green Ginger Digital came to us with a clear brief and set of requirements. Their communication and ability to make key decisions quickly and effectively made the design and build of their website an easy process. Clearly knowledgable in their field, I'd recommend them for any digital advertising type campaign and certainly hope to work with them in the future.

Nicola Mooney
Adult Planet

We needed serious help with our PPC campaigns as we were wasting a lot of money on ads. The team at Green Ginger restructured everything, advising and adjusting as necessary along the way to really focus the campaign. We were really pleased with the revenue growth we achieved in such a short amount of time, and although early days still, we are seeing promising results! Very happy and would highly recommend the team at Green Ginger Digital.

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