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.

Searching for the Coronavirus: What can Google data tell us about the pandemic spreading across the world

Since the start of the year, one topic has dominated headlines across the world. Covid-19 or Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic in March. It has brought the world to a standstill with over 148,000 cases and 5,500 deaths (as of 14th March).

But what can a global issue tell us about search behaviour in different countries? How do people within these countries react to such news? Do people across the globe demonstrate different search intent?

We’ve taken a look using Google data to see the key insights.

The UK saw increased searches from the first reported case. Italian searches only increased following the first death.

The first death from the virus in Italy was reported on the 21st February 2020. Despite the first case being reported in the country 3 weeks earlier on the 30th January, people were seemingly unconcerned by the virus at this point.

Before the first death was recorded, searches on Google in Italy were minimal. Following the announcement of the first death searches for ‘Coronavirus’ surged over 1,800% in a single day – by far the biggest response shown online across any country at any point throughout the pandemic.

UK vs. Italy Coronavirus search demand

Interestingly, search behaviour in the UK doesn’t appear to react to this news in Europe. Rather, searches increased gradually from the 22nd February. In fact when the first death was announced in the UK on the 5th March, this appeared to have no impact on online searches – a complete contrast to behaviour in Italy.

People in the US are focused on symptoms and self-diagnosis, in the UK searches show more of an educational intent

In the UK, top Google searches over the last 90 days are focused around the virus itself. In fact, only 12% of the ‘Top 25 Search Terms’ show intent around the symptoms of the virus.

UK coronavirus searches

When comparing this to the US, the search intent differs significantly. In the US 76% – or 19 of the Top 24 Search Terms are related to specifically understanding the symptoms.

US coronavirus searches

There are many possible reasons for this difference in search intent. One potential hypothesis could be that those in the UK have been better informed of the potential symptoms through the media compared to those in the US.

UK cases are growing significantly faster than search volumes

When the first case in the UK was announced on the 31st January 2020, the rise in search volumes were minimal. Search demand actually continued at relatively low levels until the 24th February despite there being 9 confirmed cases in the UK by this point.

Coronavirus cases and search demand

Not until a number of cases were reported on the Diamond Princess cruise ship did searches show a step-change in volume – this was also reflected (on a smaller scale) in the US. It could be argued that people only really started to take notice and understand the potential pandemic of the virus from the 24th February following the media coverage around the Diamond Princess and the quarantine of 30 Britons in Merseyside.

The increases in the number of cases was inevitable, but it’s important people continue to stay updated with the latest news and advice either through digital or offline media channels.

Summary

Regardless of how people are searching online, one thing is clear. The world is taking notice and is united in the fight against the virus. The fact search volumes are consistently increasing across the board can only be positive, it indicates people are looking for more information and the more educated people are on the subject the better.

The latest information from the UK government can be found here.

Get in touch today to see how we can use Google trend data to help your business growth.

Sources: Google Trends, Arcgis.com both accessed 14th March 2020

TikTok: The new social media app where Gen Z flock

TikTok launched in international markets in September 2017. But it was not until 2019 that it saw its huge growth. From the beginning of 2020 interest from brands and digital marketers alike has peaked and continued to grow. 

So what is it? Who is using it and how do you advertise on it? The paid social experts at Green Ginger have taken stock and are here to tell you all you need to know about TikTok. 

So what is TikTok? 

Taking 200 days to develop in China, TikTok is a video-sharing social media platform. Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance it has recently surpassed one billion worldwide installs. Its popularity has been surprising, particularly when you compare to apps such as Vine and Musical.ly.

You’re probably thinking who? Vine and Musical.ly are the apps who started the trend of creating short videos to be shared, but they both crashed and burned. TikTok is a merger of Music.ly and has a unique proposition in that it allows anyone to become a content creator. Whilst Vine was used for high quality, unique content. TikTok can be used by anyone, supported by its easy to use editing and camera filters. This means users are both consumers and creators, which has been important for the growth of the app vs. its predecessors. 

Who is using TikTok?

At Green Ginger Digital, we believe in an audience-first approach to marketing. Targeting specific consumer groups to ensure efficient media buying. When hearing about the app our first question was ‘who is the audience within TikTok?’.

Data from Statista shows the users on TikTok are 18-24-year-olds, with the group accounting for 26% of the total audience. Whilst Instagram tends to drive more female users, the TikTok gender split is relatively equal. The audience is highly engaged, driven by its personalised content which is algorithmically curated, as soon as the app is opened. 

How can I target the TikTok audience?

TikTok lends itself to brands and businesses targeting generation Z. Passionate, creative and innovative, this generation is highly influenced by social media. Creating partnerships with key influencers and showcasing engaging content is key. Plus a natural way of building a relationship with your audience through TikTok.

Like all social apps, TikTok is not missing an opportunity to offer paid advertising through the app. Which could be an opportunity for those wanting to invest media into an app not owned by Facebook. TikTok’s goal is to “connect the brands of today with the consumers of tomorrow”. Offering a less saturated market than Twitter and Snapchat, there are opportunities to target specific audiences through the app. Advertising options range from:

  • Brand takeovers – where ads appear as soon as a user opens the app
  • In feed ads – native ads placed at the bottom of organic videos or in the TikTok feed
  •  Hashtag challenges – creating a sponsored hashtag which encourages users to share content on TikTok for your brand

Big brands such as Nike and Guess have jumped at the chance to target a younger audience for their products. It must be noted that the ads are relatively rare and as such come at a premium. With minimum investments and an average $10 CPM. Understanding the impact of TikTok and ensuring there is a tangible audience for your brand is key before investing. 

To TikTok or not?

At Green Ginger Digital we are focused on results and driving a return for our digital marketing activity. The success of implementing a campaign is reliant on the audience you target and the metrics and measurement you put in place. 

It is crucial to understand its role in the customer journey and measure this accurately, to understand the investment and associated results of every campaign.

Need help with your social media strategy? Or if you want to chat more about the opportunities within new social media channels, get in touch today!

Green Ginger’s 2020 Digital Marketing Predictions

We’re a month into 2020. The New Year’s resolutions have gone out of the window, and at Green Ginger Digital we’re busy thinking about the year ahead and how digital marketing will evolve.

What will happen with digital marketing budgets? Will Organic Search continue to be turbulent? What social media apps will become popular?

Read on to find out our top 5 predictions for digital marketing this year. 

1. Digital marketing budgets will continue to evolve

In 2019 we saw more clients than ever moving traditional offline budgets to online. Retailers are on a quest for more targeted and measurable campaigns. TV spending declined and marketers invested more in Video On DemandDisplay Programmatic and Paid Social

With the rise of new social channels such as Tiktok, the lines between social and eCommerce have become blurred. Social media will take an upward turn in 2020. Opportunities will be there for those businesses who look at niche social channels and move quickly. Gaining competitive advantage and reducing marketing costs as a result. 

2. Organic search maintains its battlefield status

Core updates affected Google rankings throughout 2019. The BERT update came into play during October 2019, shaking up the rankings. We experienced three core updates in total and many smaller algorithm changes. All leading to ranking volatility on Google, and some big players noting drops in performance.

When we weren’t riding the waves of the algorithm updates, we were optimising content for the coveted position 0. Trying to maintain share across featured snippets within a search engines results page. This has become more difficult as Google continues to take up more real estate with its own features. Google is surfacing pieces of content within the search engine and reducing the need to visit the website.

It shows no signs of slowing and to win at SEO during 2020, a strategy which continues to focus on the end-user is essential. A customer-first strategy for SEO which focuses on; who your audience is, the content they consume and how they navigate around your site is essential. Offering them the best content and user experience will continue to put you in good stead for Google’s algorithm updates with more ranking volatility expected throughout 2020. 

3. Google will continue to favour paid advertising

Adding to the organic search battle is Google’s continuous introduction of different formats within search. Have you ever noticed how often Google changes? 

We will also continue to see Google offering more diversity to search results pages. Meaning more opportunities for Google to drive clicks. A 2019 Merkle study found Google was delivering less organic clicks vs. 2018, down by 8% in total, with the biggest drop seen through mobile devices. 

Maintaining position 1 isn’t enough for YOY growth in natural search. Optimise for all features and think about the spread of keywords, rather than focusing on 5 – 10 core terms only. 

4. In-housing continues to challenge the digital status quo

In-housing happens for several reasons; financial or to gain increased visibility and greater control. Whilst some businesses in-housed their digital activity in 2019 opting to use agencies for technical functionality only. Others have in-housed small areas where they have current expertise that can support delivery to a high standard.

Recruitment for in-housing continues to be a challenge, but using an agency isn’t always the answer. Digital agencies are changing their propositions to ensure they remain relevant. Offering technology software as a service (SAAS) or training to up-skill and empower in-house teams. 

To in-house successfully during 2020, brands and business must assess their skills and analyse any gaps in expertise. Undertaking an honest appraisal of the knowledge within your business will help you to identify which areas can be in-housed. Don’t be afraid to use agency support on an ad-hoc or project basis. Using the right people with the right skills and expertise at the right time. Whether that be outsourced or within your business, is the key to successful in-housing during 2020. 

5. Efficiencies will be gained through improved personalisation

It’s no surprise, with increased competition and higher demand, digital marketing can be expensive. However, it remains essential. With average conversion rates for a transactional or lead-based site sitting around 2% – 3%, depending on the industry. If you’re responsible for driving online performance you need to focus on how to use audience data to make every penny of the budget count. 

Ensuring advertising is personalised, and using unique messaging for each audience is important. It also allows you to reduce wasted media spend. Following this through to your website, with unique content or product recommendations for individual users will help to drive the conversion rate. 

Wherever you are in your digital journey, Green Ginger can help you navigate 2020. Let’s grab a coffee and chat about your free digital health check.

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.

Call Now Button