TopRank Marketing Editor

SES San Jose: Search Advertising 101

Search Advertising 101

When performing a search on Google, there are two different types of results that show up: the organic listings and the paid, or sponsored, listings. Organically ranked sites are those which Google finds most relevant for that search query. The paid listings show up because an advertiser is paying money to be ranked that highly for those phrases. When a searcher clicks on one of those listings, the advertiser is charged the cost per click price for that ranking, so hopefully the searcher will convert into a sale for that advertiser.

But what if you don’t know anything about search advertising or setting up a pay per click campaign? What are the best practices behind PPC? And how do you track conversions? This session at the end of Day 2 of SES San Jose goes over the basics of search advertising and how to implement it for success.

Dana Todd and Matt Van Wagner (together with Rebecca Lieb as the “Three Redheads”) gave exciting presentations on the absolute basics of setting up a pay per click campaign. Complete with bright pink wigs and Michael Phelps impersonations, this session was informative and pretty darn funny. Below are the key tips and tricks given by Dana and Matt to kick start any great PPC campaign.

1. Start Small – When beginning a new PPC campaign, do not be afraid to launch it and then test it out. Measure the results, adjust your campaign and test it out again.

2. Don’t “Set it and Forget it” – All campaigns need to be monitored and adjusted, or you risk losing a lot of money and not getting the conversions you need. Make sure to look at the campaign performance at least a couple times a week. At least.

3. Expand on Successes – Has something worked great for you in the past? Keep improving it and making it better!

4. Buy Your Brand Name – You may not want to “waste money” by purchasing your brand name as a keyword, but if you do this successfully, you have complete control over the messaging seen on SERPs for your brand name and you can segment your ads around different promotions or seasonality.

5. Set Bid Amounts High – At first. If you start out with a bang and lock in a high click through rate, you improve your quality score for your ad. Then, pull back if you need to.

6. Make the Changes Count – Don’t make changes for changes’ sake. Make sure that if you are adjusting your campaign, you are doing so with a clear objective in mind. If you think moving around the day part exposure will work to get more targeted impressions, go for it.

7. Create a PPC Campaign Checklist – Before setting this campaign live, make sure you have thought of and implemented these following items: strategy or goal, budget, advertiser rules, established baselines, tracking software, KPIs and allowing yourself to have a risk budget.

Remember, in PPC, everything is measurable. You will know exactly how well your ads and your keywords and your landing pages are performing because of this. And PPC is complimentary to SEO. When you have both organic search results AND paid search results, you gain even more impressions and searchers are more likely to view your brand as being reputable.

Tomorrow the TopRank team will be attending additional search advertising and PPC sessions, so stay tuned for further information and check out all of TopRank’s coverage of SES San Jose and sessanjose08 Photos.

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