A way to analyse all the data we obtain, we use machine learning and automation more often now in digital marketing. Data science does this by turning theories into evidence. Big data is one data science term you might come across. It is large and complex data sets used to identify trends and patterns that can help businesses make better and more personalised decisions for their customers. In PPC, that kind of technology can work wonders for optimising budget spend, improving CTR, and overall performance.

Before technology was as good as it is now, some decisions were made by best guesses and past trends. That didn’t always work good and people and businesses lost a lot of money. Today, data science can help find trends to save people millions and give businesses the chance to improve customer relationships and services.

How can data science help PPC?

Whether you use Google Ads or other PPC alternatives, automation is at the forefront. Other benefits of data science in PPC include:

  • Identifying outliers in impressions and clicks over time to confirm whether significant changes are due to seasonality or something else.
  • Creating better split tests.
  • Creating and optimising remarketing lists.
  • Tailoring PPC campaigns aligned to particular audiences and when they’re online.
  • Identifying unusual traffic.
  • Understanding buyer’s preferences.
  • Deeper analysis of ad copy.

Find data sources and cluster them. The quality of your data sources can affect your insights so use the best tools you can. Software like SEMrush, Google Data Studio, and Tableau can help collate and analyse data quicker and easier.

PPC needs to work together with all marketing channels. PPC professionals strength lies in combining their efforts with everyone within a marketing team. That means collaborating with sales and using CRM data, developers who help create landing pages and websites, SEO, and customer support. Data insights can provide goals and best practices for everyone to follow to ensure a smooth customer journey from impression to goal conversion.

Visualize PPC performance.  With data visualisation you can turn all that into insightful information. Performance reports are important to showing where PPC is succeeding or needs improvement and the ability to visualise that data is important too. Data visualisation can find trends, normalise larger datasets, compare data over time or help further testing. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple bar chart or line graph to show you where things are going right or wrong.

Data in isolation has no meaning and being able to test it in controlled conditions can lead to important insights. That’s the beauty of data science – it provides knowledge you can use to make better judgements. In PPC, those judgements can impact metrics like ROAS (return on ad spend), Quality Score, impression share, and cost per conversion.

The “new normal” that was brought to us during the April COVID-19 peak forced everyone to quickly go to battle mode against the unexpected challenges and adjust our lives accordingly. As May is coming to end, the situation is getting better and businesses are starting to get back to their feet.

Advertisement business also felt the pandemic impact and marketers across all industries were also pushed to their limits to invent new ways to push their ads in this unusual time when a whole new way of how we search and when we search the internet became standard. Many are still adjusting to these rapid changes in our industry, but the data does look promising. As of early May, PPC campaigns appear to be recovering from the shock of COVID-19.

While many advertisers still are not receiving the same results that they had in March, most are beginning to show some improvement. Specifically, starting the late of April, paid search conversions rebounded to about 89% of their pre-COVID levels. Advertisers on Bing saw less of a drop initially but saw similar recovery in late April.

Our internet usage has skyrocketed, as we work, learn, and stay connected at home more. According to the researches, people are consuming 70% more content online. Advertisers are finding a quickly growing audience with Google Display ads and YouTube, even if most of that time is spent off the SERP.

COVID-19 has limited traditional retail and made ecommerce essential for most people. But small businesses online advertising have done particularly good during April, as their largest competitors like Walmart and Amazon have struggled to manage the high number of orders and have pulled most of their ads from Google. Facebook shared its Q1 2020 performance and reported healthy growth made by increased ad sales despite the pandemic. Facebook noted that as a result of COVID-19, the costs of Facebook ads took a decline in the last three weeks of March and have remained low since.

At the same time, people started to use social media a lot more to stay in contact with their families and friends. People began to use WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, helping Facebook grow its active user base to a new record of 2.6 billion monthly active users.

While it may be a long road back to normal, there’s been new hope for advertisers that are finding more customers online than they were in the early days of this crisis.

Both strategies, SEO and PPC cost money to get traffic to your site. The difference is that for SEO you pay people to get your website free organic traffic. But problem is that happens over time. It may take a year for results to show. For PPC, you pay the service provider, you pay for ads and you get immediate results. This might give a certain feeling that PPC is the way to go. But SEO experts think otherwise and that the best way forward is to use the two together.

Good things about PPC

  • You can pick your keywords and build the ad around it
  • PPC generates immediate traffic and gets you instant exposure, possibly on the first page of search results.
  • You can target people who are searching for similar products.
  • You can choose the time, geographic location and position on the page.
  • You can target geographic locations and track data.

Bad things about PPC

  • You pay for every click. People may simply click through without any intention of buying.
  • PPC results show up in search results and it faces stiff competition
  • There is no guarantee that even finely crafted ads can lead to conversions.
  • Your ad, and therefore your company, is visible so long as you have an ongoing PPC campaign. Suspend it, and you go off the radar.
  • PPC does nothing to enhance your reputation

Good things about SEO

  • Search engines rank your website based on your search engine optimization strategies. Some visitors may prefer such listings to PPC and are more likely to click through, especially when they wish to obtain more information.
  • Even if you suspend SEO operations for a while, your presence is there on search engines.
  • Keep pushing it and SEO will result in the increasing volume of organic, convertible traffic. Plus, you establish a robust online presence and reputation and keep improving with the passage of time.

Bad things about SEO

  • It requires a good  website to serve as the base of SEO operations.
  • It is not easy to get to the first page and the first five at the top of it. It is much harder to keep that position.
  • It takes time ranging from 6 months to a year for your site to show up on the first page of search results and if you are not doing it alone, you are paying SEO people to keep working on your website regardless.

Mixing SEO and PPC

SEO is excellent and so is PPC. The smart thing that expert marketers do is to mix the two together. PPC gives you analytics on keyword performance and keywords used in searches. So use that data for improving your SEO keyword content. Or vice versa, SEO experts are likely to conduct research and then decide keywords for the SEO campaign. Use those keywords in your PPC campaigns because these keywords have been clicked and converted. Lets say you start a PPC campaign. Visitors search using keywords and your ad shows up and they click through. You get data on their behavior on your website and that helps you to modify websites to lead to longer, better engagement.

Analytics show results of pages that generate most revenue. You can focus on these pages as well as others that need improvement. Keyword research tools can maybe help you make an educated guess about which keywords to use in your SEO, but PPC reports are data driven. You can create SEO plan using keywords that have actually delivered traffic. Which is actually showing us that it might be best to use PPC first to get raw data and quick results and then use that data to build your website for a long run results of SEO building.

With PPC campaigns there are a lot of different tyspes of landing pages you can choose from and lets take a look at some of the ways how to optimize a Click Through landing page for PPC.

Lead capture page is another type of landing page that is frequently used in PPC. Ususally that type of landing page has some type of form in it, text box or some other way to get information from the user. The main purpose of this page is to gain information from the user and use that information for other purposes like email marketing, or to send a user to other specific landing page. By doing that there is a much bigger chance of conversion.

Have a Call to Action for the Lead Capture

Depending on what information you want to obtain from the user, a lead capture page can look a little confusing. The best thing you can do when this is the case, is nudge the user into doing what you want them to do.

Limit the Number of Lines to Fill In

As we mentioned above, the more data you request from the user the landing page becomes little confusing since you are making user fill out on the lead capture page and with too many forms showing they are less likely to fill out all the information. This is simply because of the amount of effort it would take the user to do versus what do they get in return. So you can approach that little differently.

  • Offer an incentive for the user if you want lots of information in return. This can range from a financial incentive, such as a discount, to free giveaways, competitions, prizes or access to extra information.
  • Simply solution is to reduce the amount of information you are requesting from the user.

Reason why the Web User Should Fill in the Form

If you have confirmed the incentive, before the user fills out the form, tell them why it is something they should do because in a lot of cases just having and incentive is not enough and landing pages that have an incentive for users to fill out the information, but don’t make clear just what it is and users just skip it and decide to not bother. Use images that portray the benefits of if the user fills in information and once you have gained it, you will then have a ton of information to process and analyse, to learn a lot more about your audience as well.

This type of advertising has a huge impact on the success of an online business. PPC ads makes your brand awareness better, but they also boost sales too. Even Google confirms that search ads can raise brand awareness by 80%. If you run succesful PPC campaigns but not getting enough out of this advertising platform, check out these 9 ways to maybe improve your game.

1. Have a well-defined goal

  • Getting traffic to your website
  • Improving sales
  • Getting subscribers or downloads

First things first, you need to determine what you want to achieve from your paid search ads.

Until you set a clear and measurable goal, you can’t optimize your PPC campaign to match what you are aiming for. Your goal is the first step of your optimization process. If you don’t have a proper map to follow, you won’t get anywhere.

2. Use the high-performance keyword

In any PPC campaign, it is extremly important to choose the right keywords. Even though there is lots of tools, including the Google one for creating keyword lists, to be sure your campaign is good you need to choose the keywords that have high CTR. Before including specific keywords in your ad copy, check the for their performance and pick only those with excellent one. If your audience resides in a different countries, it is good thing to use a VPN service and find which keywords are ranking in their location.

3. Optimize the quality of keyword score

  • The relevancy of your keywords to your ad copy
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Landing page experience

One of the basic reasons many PPC campaigns don’t get the results that they wanted is that they have too many keywords. An average PPC campaign makes all of its sales from only around 12% of its keywords. So, avoid keyword overloading and instead improve the keyword quality score.

Focus on creating headlines that are relevant and can hit the right points of your target audience. Keywords with high CTR will help you generate traffic, which can improve your conversion rates. You can use Dynamic text replacement (DTR) feature to match your ad’s keyword with the content of your landing page.

4. Create a list of negative keywords

Negative keywords can save your campaign budget as it prevents your ads from being triggered by wrong searches. These keywords help you avoid traffic you don’t want hitting your ads.

5. Write engaging ad copy

Put all your efforts into making engaging ads as ad copy plays a big role in making your campaign a success.

  • Your ad copy should clearly state about your USP and why people should choose you over your competitors
  • Try to be as relevant as possible.
  • Create attention-grabbing headlines
  • Add a compelling call-to-action
  • Consider using power words such as Instant, Hurry, Exclusive, Free, Today Only, etc.

6. Utilize remarketing

A high bounce rate is a common thing in PPC marketing but remarketing is an great way to capture those missed opportunities. It enables you to show targeted ads to users who have already viewed your products or services.

7. Use ad extensions

There are two types of ad extensions, Manual Ad extension and Automatic Ad extension. Add extensions are an good way to reveal extra information about your product or service.

A manual ad extension is a customizable extension that has many more extension types such as site link, call out, location, review, etc. Automatic ad extension works automatically but has few types such as customer rating, the previous visit, dynamic site link, etc.

8. Optimize your campaigns for mobile users

Today, when almost half of the global population uses a smartphone, you can’t neglect mobile users when creating your PPC campaign. Be sure that your landing pages are mobile-friendly and give attention to short-tail keywords as mobile users do not prefer to type in long search queries.

9. Keep track of your PPC campaign

You need to monitor your PPC campaign regularly if you wish to have a success with it. If you’re using Google Ads, Google analytics should be a good tool for you or you can invest in an automation solution that can offer closed-loop reporting. No matter what kind is your business, PPC advertising can help you gain better visibility on search engines and boost conversion.

 

If you use PPC to monetize your website, it pretty difficult to do it in current time with Covid-19 issues that is surrounding all businesses. And as many business are closing, cutting costs and struggle to survive, the marketing aspect will probably be among the first things business will cut down. Less PPC campaigns means less competition, resulting in a low revenue per thousand (RPM) generated from adverts on a website.

In the pool of reasons how an RPM could be affected, currently the biggest factor affecting ad rates is the coronavirus. But if there was not a Covid-19 problem there are still some factors that can influence the RPM.

Web user location

Actual location of your web traffic is among the biggest factors to affect the RPM you achieve. This is because there are lots of factors which help advertisers decide how likely web users are to convert for a PPC campaign and one of these is the location.

Big chunk of PPC campaigns come from the United States, followed by the likes of other english speaking countries. This usually means the highest RPMs will be achieved with these places.

The value of advertisers to target customers from the places like India and other similar countries, where generally people earn less per capita than US, UK or EU, is less because of this. This means, they are less likely to target such countries, reducing the RPM publishers achieve for such websites. Difference between the RPM number can be almost 60% less in India than US.

Ad locations

For PPC, Ad location is everything. This is why you see the likes of Google and Ad partners use machine learning to determine what placeholders work best. Placing ads in the wrong locations can reduce the RPM by great amount, so it’s best to let Google or alternatives use their AI to determine this for you.

Website Load Speed

The speed of a website loading plays a big part in the RPM a publisher achieves. The longer it take for the website to load, the lower the RPM you achieve. This links to the user experience, where a faster loading website also has a lower bounce rate and a longer time spent on the website.

Many brands are only investing in one type of marketing at a time, PPC or SEO marketing strategies as they consider them to be separate but in reality, those two strategies can work really good together to bring full potential in the SERPs. So not to integrate into one another for a site marketing would be a big mistake.

SEO strategy is used for increasing a site’s organic traffic through search visibility and site authority. On the other hand pay-per-click (PPC) advertising seeks to generate traffic through created and targeted ads in search engines or social websites.

While they are essentially different, they both aim for similar goals. Also, SEO and PPC strategies often are dependent on eachother, feeding the other with important information for helping to improve the performance of the other one. To better understand the symbiotic relationship between these two marketing methods, let us see how they are different and how they are alike to outline how SEO and PPC feed each other’s outcomes.

SEO and PPC: The differences

SEO is process that aims to increase the quality and quantity of traffic that a site receives from search engines. There are a variety of SEO techniques for improving rankings, including content creation, technical optimization, link building and others. On the other hand, PPC advertising is a model of digital marketing where advertisers pay an amount each time an individual clicks one of their ads.

While these two tactics both go under the category of search engine marketing (SEM), there are some key differences between these two concepts.

Paid adverts appear at the top of search engine listings, above the organic rankings which are influenced by search engine optimization.

Also advertisers who generate traffic from their ads must pay for those site visits. Organic listings that obtain clicks as a result of earning visibility by utilizing SEO practices are free.

But the results generated from PPC campaigns, be it conversions, traffic, awareness or all of the above is immediate. Problem is that once the promotion ends, a site’s metrics will probably revert to pre-campaign levels. On the other hand, SEO strategies often take a while to gain momentum and businesses may not see a return on their investment for many months and even up to a year. However, once a company’s search optimization strategy begins producing results, those changes tend to be long term.

SEO and PPC: The similarities

While PPC and SEO are different in many ways, they also share some similarities. Both tactics aim to drive traffic to a website and also are often aimed at generate conversions. While one does this through paid means and the other through a process of climbing the SERPs organically, the end goal remains the same.

SEO and PPC are both keyword driven strategies. While advertisers will conduct keyword research to identify prosperous phrases to bid on and irrelevant ones to exclude through negative keyword lists, SEOs will also analyze relevant terms to understand how to optimize titles, content, technical elements and other critical on-site aspects.

So PPC and SEO can help eachother if used together to maximaze SERP coverage, while advertisers are waiting for SEO strategies to kick in, they can use PPC to get results right away and use it until SEO takes over or at least balances out the SEO gain to PPC gain.

When COVID-19 became pandemic in the past few weeks our lives have change.  Many small businesses have been reducing or suspending operations and are already feeling the pressure on their bottom line.

As people’s behaviors change, their search behaviors change too. We’ve already seen how COVID-19 has impacted Google Ads Results for different industries but there is plenty of room for small businesses to adjust to the challenges and we will check several trends that have emerged over recent days and weeks.

Mobile search traffic cut by nearly 25% in March

As less people is moving around and using their phones for internet surfing, there has been a noticeable decline in mobile searches as well with paid search campaigns showing a large decline in mobile search traffic.

Traffic on mobile is generally cheaper for PPC advertisers, so this shift has meaningful implications for PPC strategy in the coming weeks.

How to adapt to this new situation – Adjust your PPC campaigns for less mobile traffic

  • Revisit your device bid adjustments
  • Consider smart bidding

As more people who are searching internet shift back to desktops while spending time inside, expect to see big shifts to their performance across devices. You may have set a mobile bid adjustment earlier using relevant data at the time, but given the fast shifts in the search at this moment, it may be good checking your current device bid adjustments.  Google’s smart bidding strategies may help advertisers by working with changing data and adjusting their CPC bids in real time to match their goals. When choosing a smart bidding strategy, be sure to consider your goals and campaign budget.

As Google search traffic falls, cross-network opportunities grow

Since COVID-19 spread around the world our internet use is up nearly 50% even though the Google search time drop down. The good news is that you can still reach your prospective customers online but they are now looking in different places more.

 

As of start of March, Google search and Shopping may have taken sizable drops, but there’s still plenty of opportunity out there. Bing Search and Google search partners have remained still safe and steady places to find your customers and mostly have cheaper CPCs than Google search.

How to adapt to this new situation – Reach your audience on other networks

  • Now more than ever it’s crucial to advertise across networks
  • Include Google search partners in your campaigns
  • Dive into display and YouTube

Google search partners include many smaller search engines that are powered by Google and they make up about 10% of Google’s search reach, so consider using them in your campaigns to make up some of the lost Google.com search traffic. To use it simply check the “Include Google search partners” box in the networks tab of your campaign settings.

Now it’s easier than ever to find audience while they browse the web, scroll trough their social feeds, and watch videos online. Consider remarketing to your past customers and website visitors to bring them back to your site and keep your brand in their mind because they are often more likely to convert on their return visits.

Lets be clear, perfect search ad does not exist. There is always space for improvement with a your PPC campaign, it is only a matter of time, money and cost. But that said there are certain things which can contribute to a search ad getting the best click through rate, while also promoting your brand.

Call to action in Title and Description

To the point, the call to action is leading web users to exactly what you want them to do to convert. If the users know what they should do, and how they should interact with your ad campaign, they are more likely convert. That said, it is a good idea to put a call to action in your title and your description. But be also keep in mind that if you use call to actions more than that, you put at risk that your search ad is forcing the message too much.

Brand or URL at the End of Title

When a user does not click your ad, it does not mean the end of the world and that you don’t benefit since it is a good idea to put your brand or URL of your company at the end of the title, such as ‘| Company.com’ for example. That will make the brand or URL more recognised with the contextual search phrase the user is searching for. And over a longer period of time you will be improving the brand awareness of your company without paying a cent.

Quantifiable Enticing Data

Put some sort of numbers in the search ad because people like numbers when comparing different things and it helps to encourage users to click onto your ad, since it gives the user a quantifiable way of comparing your search ad against the competition.

Ad Extension

Google allows you to use a range of different ad extensions in your search advert, such as site links, location, telephone numbers, ratings, reviews and more. Ad extensions are a good way to add some content and contextuality to your website, which will all encourage more web users to click it.

True URL Used

there is generally one rule to follow when it comes to choosing what URL to display in the search advert – does it work? You can choose a good looking URL, that is short and full of keywords. But you need to check out if the URL is actually leading to a place that exists and does not give you an 404 error. So always check the URL you use in PPC that it actually works.

Important step of optimization when you are doing PPC and CRO is to make sure that your strategies align with a congruence analysis. Congruence is a great way to achieve the converting efforts for user be natural way forward by reducing the amount of decision making on their part. For example, if a user clicks on your ad looking for some specific product and you take them to a homepage instead of specific page it is more likely you will see a bounce from homepage becouse they don’t want to search again for that specific page or product. The whole journey from click to conversion should be as smooth as possible. Here are a couple of different areas to review to make sure your user experience is as easy as possible.

Visual Congruence

If your landing page is very different from your ad, it will likely make users to distrust and question the brand, and potentially abandon their search also. So the first area to check for congruence is visual one. This is how congruent the imagery is from your ads with the landing page users are taken to. This is an easy thing to check, but also important step in your analysis. Check your social and display ads with their landing pages. You want to make sure imagery, colors and fonts match visually.

Lingual Congruence

To improve the trustworthiness of your brand you need to ensure your message matches across landing pages and ads. So the next thing to check is the language. You need to pay attention to your headlines, sub-headlines and especially call-to-action copy. Like before we don’t want users to think about what their next steps should be because they should not be surprised where they land when they click on the ad. The ad needs to take them where they need to be. This can also help with your brand recognition. If you repeat the message from your ad copy onto your landing page, it will help users remember the message and remember your brand if your message was clear and consistent.

User Intent

Ensure that the intent of the user matches the goal of the landing page will be important to keep them engaged with the content. So you need to look at your landing pages and think about the intent of the user based on the ad they clicked because the intent is a key element to making sure you are providing users with a congruent experience and can connect both visual and lingual based congruence. Check out if users are clicking on a very specific ad that promises a discount and then land to a general shopping page or does your ad copy ask users to “Learn More” and then take them to a page to fill out a form to request a demo – you need to fix that.

Congruence analysis can be easily overlooked and it is important to check out your ads and landing pages. Look at both the imagery and language, and especially remember user intent is key to congruence.