Building a Foundation for PPC Webinar

Date: February 25, 2021? ? ?Time: 2 PM ET | 11 AM PT? ? ?Duration: 50 mins

Webinar Description:?

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising offers an effective and near immediate way of increasing a brand’s online visibility—but with so many feature-rich platforms to choose from and their varying capabilities within, the acts of choosing between, leveraging, and optimizing PPC initiatives can be a bit overwhelming. By building a strong foundation for PPC, focusing on its most basic elements, one can simplify the process of evaluating its channels, implementing new campaigns, and gaining the many benefits that come with a healthy and well-maintained account; whereas, not making use of these fundamentals can increase the chances of falling into some PPC’s most common pitfalls.

Join team members, Fred, Nina, and Sheffield for this 50 minute webinar, where you will learn the basics of PPC and how to apply your new knowledge in a way that can better position your brand and encourage online success.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The basics of PPC and how it works
  • How PPC can fit into your overall digital marketing strategy
  • PPC best practices, and how to measure success
  • Insight into tools and resources that can help enhance PPC performance and learnings

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Sheffield Pulley:
Okay, we’re going to go ahead and get started here. I want to thank you all for joining us. My name is Sheffield Pulley. I am the director of Growth here at Hive Digital. We’re excited to crank up the new year for us, at least on the webinar front. We didn’t put on a webinar in January. So, this is actually our first of 2021. We’re excited to get these started. We have a couple others planned and we’re looking forward to presenting in the next few months as well.

Sheffield Pulley:
Today, I’m especially excited because we have Fred and Nina, from our Paid department here to talk with us about some of the paid advertising basics, looking forward to learning from them.

Sheffield Pulley:
But a couple pieces before we get started, one is we’re going to hold questions until the end. So, if you would just leave any questions you may have in the Q&A section. We’ll present those to Nina and Fred at the end also. We are recording this. This recording and the resources that Nina and Fred will be sharing will be sent to you via email after the webinar.

Sheffield Pulley:
And with that, I’m going to present Fred and Nina. You will come to find over this next hour, so, you will not find two sharper individuals as it relates to paid advertising. What you may not know and what I do know is that these two are the best humans you could meet. They’re incredible human beings. I consider them close friends. And I’m looking forward to learning from them today as I do pretty much each and every time I get a chance to glean some of their wisdom. So, thank you all for doing this. Looking forward to learning with you.

Nina Martinez:
The feeling is definitely mutual. Today, we’re going to be talking about building a foundation for PPC.

Nina Martinez:
What we’re hoping is that by the end of the webinar, our goal is to help you better understand what this form of advertising is, how it works and the value of incorporating it into your digital marketing mix. We’ll also be sharing with you some tips and tools that can help you more easily evaluate the opportunities that are available within these channels, and gain a more accurate understanding of the ways that they can contribute to or influence your marketing goals and your decisions.

Fred Dees:
All right, so some fun notes for today. I think some of these were covered already. But just to reiterate, this will be recorded. And you’ll be receiving both the slides and the presentation. After this, they will be sent them over in an email.

Fred Dees:
We do want to point out that this information, it definitely has worked for many verticals, but there are some verticals where it may not be as effective. So, keep in mind that this isn’t like a cure all across the board. And if you have any questions, we will get to those at the end. You can just drop them in the Q&A feature here. And we’ll make sure and answer those at the end.

Nina Martinez:
So, I think we’re going to tell you a little bit about our backgrounds and how they apply to paid advertising in general. Again, my name is Nina. And to tell you a little bit about myself, I attended North Carolina Central University, double majoring in biology and visual arts.

Nina Martinez:
And my concentration in digital arts with digital communications, which was a tactical decision, allowing me to explore my passion in art without my parents feeling like it was a complete waste of my scholarship. I point that out to say that I didn’t necessarily intend on going into marketing, but ended up falling into it.

Nina Martinez:
And the way that that happened is I was working for a former employer who was an optometrist and help them analyze his customer base. And we use that data to improve his patient acquisition efforts and product sales, which he was selling like frames, lenses and things like that. And in doing that, I think it kind of evoked a passion that led me to get involved with doing that on a slightly different scale in the digital space.

Nina Martinez:
The professional areas of focus that I spent a lot of time in over that period mirrored that balance of art and science that I think I was seeking in college. And I think layering that type of experience with a lifetime of geeking out on studies that explore human behavior and diving into why people make the decisions they do, all of that made it really easy to then love what I do now in helping clients in my current role as a paid advertiser.

Fred Dees:
And my name is Fred. I went to Clemson. I actually wanted to be a sports agent. So, on took sports marketing. Digital marketing wasn’t really even a class or a major or anything then. Started getting into it later after college promoting bands that I was playing in and mainly using Facebook.

Fred Dees:
From there, once the band dream kind of … Well, it hasn’t died completely, but let’s just say it’s definitely simmered. And so, yeah, that’s where I’d found a real job and started working at the base level in SEO with links about nine years ago. Jumped around to PPC about two, three years ago, or two, three years after that, and then kind of bounced around between agencies and also different industries.

Fred Dees:
So, I’ve worked in eCommerce, healthcare, B2B, lead gen, and also every paid platform, pretty much every single paid platform out there.

Fred Dees:
Like I said, I’m still into music, still a huge musician, playing in bands. I even teach some lessons at the Boys and Girls Club. So, I’m still very actively in music and am looking forward to concerts as soon as we can get back to those.

Nina Martinez:
Awesome. So, let’s get into it then. If you own or represent a brand that’s seeking a few things, like more ways to get in front of people, but not just anyone, we’re talking about like a truly qualified audience here, and you want both measurable success and access to the type of information that can help you not only build but continually improve your overall advertising efforts, then we’re going to be talking about a form of paid advertising today that can help you do just that.

Nina Martinez:
And properly leveraged, you can join 74% of brands out there that say that they understand the value of PPC and use it to benefit their business. And many of these saying that they can’t imagine running their business without it. So, certainly some valuable information to be shared.

Fred Dees:
Paid advertising versus PPC. So, paid advertising is more of a general term. And PPC is narrowing it down into the way that you are essentially charged.

Fred Dees:
So, there are a couple other ones, not just PPC. We’ll touch on two other ones, CPM. So, cost per 1000 impressions. That’s essentially saying every 1000 times that your ad shows, which is an impression, you’ll be charged for that. So, an action or a click does not necessarily need to be taken in order for you to be charged. We just need to show your ad 1000 times.

Fred Dees:
CPA, cost per action. So, that is very similar to PPC. But it’s not specific to just the click. CPA mainly is dealing with conversion. So, you would be taking the total cost of conversions, dividing that by the total number of conversions.

Fred Dees:
And then PPC, the reason we’re all here, the reason we’re hanging out, pay per click, and it is as simple as that. You pay per click. Every single time your ad is clicked, you pay. It’s as simple as that. The words are right there. So, PPC. Yeah, that’s what we’ll talk about today.

Nina Martinez:
Sorry, I had to skip ahead a little bit here. Yeah. So, he mentioned we’re essentially paying for every click. And when we’re thinking about what PPC has to offer us as advertisers or you as the brand, we mentioned a little bit of these a moment ago in terms of the benefits. We’re talking about a form of advertising that helps you find and connect with that qualified audience we referenced a couple slides back, oops, sorry, bear with me.

Nina Martinez:
All right. Yes. So, again, that qualified audience we mentioned a couple slides back. And the means by which we can do that is across a variety of ad networks, giving you ample opportunity to get in front of those users that you’re seeking.

Nina Martinez:
We’re also talking about a platform that tends to be pretty robust in their offering when it comes to available ad format, and the clever ways by which you can target and attract both new users and returning users to your website. All of these things are what makes PPC platforms so sought after in terms of bringing it into your digital mix.

Fred Dees:
All right. There are a few different ad platforms. And I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with them. Right off the bat, Google Ads used to be Google AdWords. They dropped the “words” because they wanted to save money on letters, I think. But Google Ads is they are they are gigantic, 92% of the search engine market is Google, 96% of the mobile market is Google. So, everybody else is pretty much just reaching for scraps. Bing actually comes in I think about 2.7. And that is now Microsoft Ads, that would be the second largest search engine.

Fred Dees:
YouTube, because it’s not technically a search engine, when you’re breaking out the search engine market share, it’s not included in those two. But because of the amount of daily users, YouTube is considered the second largest search engine because of that. So, Google’s pretty much a guy who got everything when it comes to Google and YouTube there. I mean, every everybody goes to YouTube on a daily basis, pretty much. So, it continues to grow every single day.

Fred Dees:
Then these next four are the social media, social media platforms that we’re used to. Now, they all have paid platforms that you can utilize. So, Facebook is going to be the biggest. I think they have about a 70, yeah 70% social market share. And then Instagram, which is part of Facebook, also pretty big. And you can actually work with Instagram through the Facebook paid platform. So, that’s a real big help. Same thing with YouTube and Google. So, very simple there. And then obviously, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Fred Dees:
And one of the things that’s going to help to kind of drive the decision as to which one should I do is always going to be the goal, but also the target user that you’re trying to bring to your site, or trying to reach with your messaging. So, LinkedIn will be a good example if you were looking for B2B leads.

Nina Martinez:
Here just going to share a sample of what some of these ad placements might look like. And this is an image provided courtesy of Google, because they do it all. In this particular set of images, you’ll see what we call display ads or formerly called banner ads. These are like the image or video-based ads that you’ll see on different blogs or news sites, things of that nature. We’re also talking video ads that could be in those spaces or on that search engine offering within YouTube.

Nina Martinez:
We have text-based ads, which we call search ads. And this is when a user is performing a search on Google or being and that types of ads that come up towards the top in the bottom of the page. And it can even include ad placements in mobile apps, in places like that. Good.

Fred Dees:
Yeah, sorry. I mean, we had to have one of those moments in this presentation to make it seem really real. Yes.

Fred Dees:
So, how does it work? We know that we pay per click, but do we get our ads up there? How do we reach these users? Well, it’s an auction. It really is kind of that simple. If you think about any kind of auction that you may do online on eBay, for example, but instead of a product, we’re actually trying to get ad placements, or at least in front of these users that we want to bring to our site.

Fred Dees:
So, every single time a search is made across the globe bazillion times a second, there’s an auction, an auction for that ad placement in the search engine result page, for example.

Fred Dees:
So, you set a bid, say I know that I’ll pay $3 for my branded term, for example. Whenever your brand is being searched, it’s going to now if you’re the top bidder is going to put you up there at the top as far as ad placement. So, really as simple as that. We’re bidding on placement.

Fred Dees:
You also are going to be bidding on the inventory on websites. So, if you can think of like banner ads, you see those on a lot of different websites, we can target websites based off of the content on the website, but also what category that website might fall in based off of users’ interest and passions online. And then obviously, the content feeds. So, just think about Facebook and all the many ads that you see on any occasion that you’re on there really right now.

Fred Dees:
And then factors that are going to influence that visibility. So, policies, all platforms are going to have policies. I mean, just, for example inappropriate language, just you’re not going to be able to do that, you won’t be eligible. Relevance is something that’s really important. And Google’s goal is to provide you with the best experience when you’re online.

Fred Dees:
So, they’re not going to show you ads that aren’t relevant to you. So, if you’re a shoe salesman, you’ll rank high if you’re targeting shoes search queries. But if you’re a farmer out in Wisconsin who is selling milk, you’re not going to be able to rank as high because you just don’t have the relevance there.

Fred Dees:
And then the probably the most important one are the one that’s, I guess, easiest to understand is this, the money. How much are you willing to bid for that traffic that you want to send to your site.

Nina Martinez:
So, next up, we’ll explain how PPC, how adding that to your digital mix can benefit your overall strategy. And ultimately, at the end of the day, every brand wants to find the perfect solution for acquiring qualified consumers and getting those consumers to perform a specific action. And that action can be anything from a purchase on your website, a download or submitting their contact information, acquiring that lead.

Nina Martinez:
Whatever the case, the perfect solution is likely always going to involve a formula that is comprised of a few different elements. So, you need the proper equipment. You need the appropriate processes. And you need to have a good understanding.

Nina Martinez:
And PPC platforms, robust as they are, offer all of these elements in a variety of ways that can benefit your brand. We’ve mentioned if you have these benefits already with the visibility, being able to get in front of a qualified user and being able to measure performance.

Nina Martinez:
And we’re definitely going to dive into these a bit more in upcoming slides. But there’s some additional benefits that I think are worth highlighting early on too when it comes to research or various types of testing, and the ability to gain insight into some competitor data. We’ll be sharing some more information about that too in these upcoming slides.

Fred Dees:
So, the first benefit, immediate visibility, this is probably the easiest one to explain because it is as simple as thinking about flipping a switch. When you work with SEO, it’s more of a long play. But with paid search, we can literally go flip that switch.

Fred Dees:
I mean, clients always want like the immediate results. SEO, sometimes it’s going to take some time. But with paid search, we can go ahead and flip that switch and get ads running now. We can get in front of the users, whether it be on SERPs, or whether it be on the websites their own, we can match them with the kind of messaging that is going to be relevant to what they’re looking for, depending on maybe where down the funnel are, or how close to purchase they are. And we can obviously serve across a much wider set of targets, and do it faster.

Fred Dees:
There’s a lot of different cases. But obviously, while SEO is working, we can target some of those terms that we know are going to be valuable to SEO, kind of go ahead and throw our hat in the ring and start becoming relevant for those terms.

Fred Dees:
Seasonal is one. We have some long care clients who certain terms are way more valuable at certain times a year. With paid search, we can turn ads on and off relative to that season. And then, negative. So, negative PR is one of the things that can really, really hurt you online, whether it be a person or a company, really anything. If you have negative news going on, it’s going to be very tough to get ahead of that.

Fred Dees:
One of the ways is with PPC. We can go ahead … We know that for example here with the BP oil spill, they knew that when that happened, people were going to be searching BP oil spill or some variation of that. Well, if that’s going to be the case, why don’t we get ahead of it? And why don’t we message our ad copy, our extensions? Why don’t we send a message that, “Hey, we’re safe company. We’re becoming a safer company,” and at least try to address those issues right here on the search results page.

Nina Martinez:
[inaudible 00:19:00] Another benefit that we’ve mentioned here is the intention based targeting. And what makes a lot of these PPC platforms great is their ability to hyper target or otherwise reach in specially qualified audience based on a lot of different ways as you just can express intent.

Nina Martinez:
Let’s say a user is performing a Google search. And with them actively performing that search, we’d like to think of that user as the “here and now audience.” Those are the ones that are actively seeking your product or service in that moment. And that in and of itself represents a certain degree of intent.

Nina Martinez:
Well, Google’s platform allows you to connect with the users in that moment, and even take it a step further in sharing with you details like what exactly that user typed into the search box, which is data that isn’t typically available on other platforms or in other channels of marketing. It’s pretty much exclusive to the platforms that offer PPC. And that type of data can help you better understand the user’s motivations and their expectations.

Nina Martinez:
And with that information, these platforms make it really easy to then modify or tailor your targeting, your ads or the content of the pages to improve overall performance. These platforms also help you target users based on their search histories, interest, and even the behaviors they exhibit.

Nina Martinez:
A great example of that would be something like Facebook, where you can target someone based on their purchase behavior, as in are they someone who’s inclined to make a purchase from a Facebook ad, or have they made purchases from ads in the past. And you can narrow your audience to those types of users making better use of campaign dollars, when it comes to the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Nina Martinez:
Another thing that these platforms have in common is a way of offering you the opportunity target users who performed a specific action on your website and are engaged with a particular page or set of pages. So, a great example of this would be, let’s say someone is looking at your products, maybe even they exhibit a great deal of interest in a specific collection of products, what have you.

Nina Martinez:
And let’s say in looking at those products and these pages, you see that they’ve spent a lot of time on there, but then they leave the website without purchasing. Well, these PPC platforms give you an opportunity where you can target them with ads that remind them of how fab your products are. You can share with them incentives to return to the site and I don’t know, maybe buy products before they’re all gone. And any other type of messaging that can encourage them to revisit your site and convert, making it a really effective channel to get in front of people at all different types of times in ways that are important to them.

Fred Dees:
All right, so an example of this targeting is it’s actually going to be me, I think. So, based off of my both searches and kind of behavior sites that I’ve been to, some screenshots of just one of my recent searches was looking for some golf shoes and best golf shoes, boom.

Fred Dees:
So, what shows up here are the Google shopping ads. So, I’m going to get both an image, a price and reviews, as you can see down there. And then I think the next one is search ads. So, yeah, so these are the search ads that actually came from that query of best golf shoes.

Fred Dees:
So, they were just right below the shopping ads. And this gives you kind of the typical, I guess this is kind of like the intro ad, like the expanded text ad. This is the most basic one that you’re going to do first. So, we have headlines descriptions and we even have some extensions there as well. But that’s the ad copy, the text ad version of the ad for Google AdWords.

Fred Dees:
And then the last one is that this is actually a … Well, I know one is definitely remarketing ad. The other one probably is but if not, it’s definitely a display ad targeting me based off of the type of website I’m on.

Fred Dees:
So, huge Clemson fan. I go to this website more times than I’d like to admit. And you can see I also go two other websites, ESPN, so they’re trying to get me to sign up for ESPN Plus, and also at the bottom, Barstool Sports, the online store. I had looked probably about a week before I took this screenshot was just looking to see if they had a new shirts out or something like that. And about a couple days later, I continuously get these ads.

Fred Dees:
So, that’s what a remarketing ad will look like. And I didn’t look at those specific products, I don’t think. But sometimes you will see a specific product follow you. That’s remarketing. That is them continuously trying to be in front of you and saying, “Hey, remember us. We’re still here.”

Fred Dees:
So, those are great examples. You can at least be able to visualize what these ads are going to look like when they’re intention-based targeting.

Nina Martinez:
Awesome. So, another benefit offered by platforms that offer PPC is having access to the things that can help you measure your performance. And I think we can all agree that it’s really hard to improve your marketing performance or ultimately reach your brand’s goals if you don’t have a thorough understanding of how your efforts are helping or hurting you.

Nina Martinez:
So, unlike some other marketing and promotion channels, most PPC platforms provide a ton of data that can give you insight that helps you assess the value of your campaigns, their contributions to or their influence on, other initiatives that you might be performing. All with this idea of helping you better meet your goals, and again, improve that performance.

Nina Martinez:
So, when we’re thinking about that, it’s important to also recognize that the value doesn’t even just stop there. Many of these platforms have tools or integrations, or reports that are exclusive to them that have offerings that can help you better understand where you stack up relative to competitors, help you better understand your audience’s preferences and their motivations, and a wealth of other information that just can’t be found easily in other channels, making this really unique and again, helpful in that way.

Nina Martinez:
When we’re talking about what it looks like to be able to see this measure of performance, I wanted to share this example with you. So, this is coming from the Google Ads platform. And in this example, this is one of our clients that we’re working with. They’re a B2B client, and they came to us wanting to basically improve the effectiveness of their PPC efforts.

Nina Martinez:
Some of the important KPIs that were outlined were conversion volume and cost per conversion. And essentially, they wanted what most brands do. They wanted more conversions and they wanted a lower cost to acquire each of them.

Nina Martinez:
And we have that type of data available within these platforms when we’re looking at conversion volume, cost per conversion, and things of that nature, along with a lot of other metrics.

Nina Martinez:
This project really makes me a bit giddy because here’s the deal, working alongside another team member of ours who, get this, he’s a former Google employee. So, he gives us all the scoop on a lot of other things and how these platforms work. And it’s just a real advantage to us as an agency and a real advantage to a lot of our clients.

Nina Martinez:
But in working with him, our Hive Digital paid ads team helped this client significantly increase their conversions while slashing down that average cost per conversion. And you can see that. Here, I’m just going to kind of hover over when our engagement started and we started making these changes. And the red line here represents that huge kind of lift in conversion activity that we see. And then you can see how simultaneously at that point again, continuously slashing down that cost per conversion.

Nina Martinez:
The data within these types of platforms basically then provide proof that a well-designed and properly implemented PPC strategy can benefit your brand. And the platform also offers again, many other metrics and reports that at least we as a team use regularly to better inform the decisions we make on our clients’ behalf. And then informing our approach to further optimization efforts. And you can do the same in leveraging these types of channels.

Fred Dees:
Yeah, I think we probably should have had a slide for make sure you kidnap, I mean, hire a former Googler, because that has been a real big help having had [inaudible 00:28:19] inside information should [inaudible 00:28:22].

Fred Dees:
So, another place where you can go and get competitor information, because it is so difficult to get accurate competitor information online, Google just really doesn’t like to offer much of that, which is, it’s just that’s the rules of the game. So, we need to take what we can get and leverage it to the best of our ability.

Fred Dees:
Auction Insights is a great place to find that competitive data. Impression share, I would probably say is the most important one of these because that just showing, it’s telling you what the percentage of impressions that your ad is receiving compared to the total number of impressions your ads could get.

Fred Dees:
So, if you are up there at the top, we know that we’re showing our ads as much if not more than our competition. And that’s really the name of the game when it comes to PPC. We want to make sure. I mean, obviously, we want the ads to be effective. We want to be targeting the right users and the right terms. But we want to be competitive. And so, using these metrics to make sure that we’re at the top of our competition is vital to any campaign you’re going to run.

Nina Martinez:
Fab. And like you said, impression share being super important, I mean, I know that this is something that’s important for a lot of my own clients, here too, in the sense that they want to know how much of the market they’re penetrating. And they want to be able to use that information to project how much budget they would need to get in front of everybody who’s seeking. And that’s just not data you can find with any other platform.

Nina Martinez:
Other types of reports that are helpful from these channels or can help you measure to the influence that PPC has on others, there’s this awesome kind of report that’s available in Google Analytics. And essentially, what it tells you is the influence of any particular type of initiative on all of the initiatives on, I guess, all of their sister initiatives.

Nina Martinez:
So, in this instance here, we can see that what’s designated here as paid search, which is primarily composed of PPC efforts. They’re contributing to the bulk of conversions, all the different paths a user can take to ultimately make that purchase or perform that downloader, that desired action. In this case here, paid search is a part of all of these different processes, or these different paths rather, that users can take.

Nina Martinez:
And so, it’s really easy to see why when properly used, there’s so many brands that 74% figure we outlined earlier, that say that PPC is a huge driver for their business, and they rely on it for their overall success.

Nina Martinez:
Let’s see. So, we’ve talked about the typical benefits of PPC. But we also mentioned at the beginning of this webinar that what works for some clients isn’t always applicable to others. So, it’s important that every brand evaluate these channels for themselves, performing that assessment, either in house or through a trusted partner.

Nina Martinez:
And when you’re looking at these channels, what’s great about the platforms that offer PPC is you can get insight into a lot of different things, even before we spend any money. These channels can within them offer you insight into traffic, how much opportunities are available to serve in front of the right users with the size of that targeted audience. They help you project costs and anticipate rates of engagement that you may see from specific platforms or from specific ad formats. They also offer details that can influence your decisions in leveraging specific channel strategies or tactics in a lot of different ways.

Nina Martinez:
I’m going to include like an image here that’s coming from Google, and one of the tools that they have that help you do this. And in this particular tool, they share with you if you put in a list of all your keywords or all the ways in which you want to target your audience, it will tell you, okay, well, what does the search volume look like over a given period of time? What are the highest points, the lowest points? And all that traffic, how much of it is on mobile?

Nina Martinez:
Because it’s so important, with mobile representing a good volume of the total searches, that if you’re going to spend money on that traffic, you make sure you have like a mobile friendly page.

Nina Martinez:
So, it gives you that data and insight that can help inform decisions on how you might approach any type of updates you make to the website, or the features that you make available on your pages.

Nina Martinez:
You can see that breakdown across a variety of devices. You can look at data that tells you, okay, well, where’s all this traffic coming from and dive down to a lot of different levels. We’re talking states, we’re talking cities, we’re talking different regions, or DMAs. There’s a lot of different ways you can cut the data. And this is just a handful of some of those datasets that they provide.

Nina Martinez:
But they also provide some channels rather, also provide different types of metrics as well. This is coming from LinkedIn. And it’s what their platform offers as a way for you to kind of assess whether or not the channel makes sense for you.

Nina Martinez:
Once you put in all of your targeting criteria for your audience, they’ll tell you what the size is of set audience. And if you put in a good idea about how much you’re willing to spend for your ads, they’ll say, “Okay, well, based on that spend that you’re projecting, it looks like your budget is going to be between,” or you need to put how much you’re looking to spend on a per day or a monthly basis. And they’ll say, “Okay, well, this is what you’ll likely spend.” Because it may vary the actual cost that you’re incurring per click.

Nina Martinez:
So, they give you what that range looks like. They tell you about how many impressions you’ll be serving. And using some of those factors that Fred mentioned earlier with respect to bid or relevance or the type of experience that you’re looking to offer their users, they will estimate the rate at which you’ll acquire clicks.

Nina Martinez:
In many cases, this figure is just kind of a good idea as to the quality and the ability to acquire users from this channel. In most of cases, for example, for our clients, we see that we’re able to help get a much higher click through rate attributed to some of these channels.

Nina Martinez:
And even in the cases when we don’t get as high a click through rate, there’s a lot of learning to be had there. So, inherent value in whatever data is to be collected, that informs future decisions on how you might craft your messaging and/or your creative.

Nina Martinez:
But they also tell you the rate or what the volume of clicks are, and there’s even some channels that might help you assess the rate at which those clicks might turn into conversions. So, lots of different data that is available within these actual platforms themselves.

Fred Dees:
Third party platforms and tools, probably the biggest benefits of these is it gives us more competitive information, kind of getting a better idea of the full landscape, where we kind of rank.

Fred Dees:
We obviously get so much information on our own efforts in the platforms. But it is nice to use some of these tools to be able to go out and learn more about what your competition is doing, but also how you’re stacking up with the competition.

Fred Dees:
SEMrush is the one that I use the most personally, but I know there’s other tools that our team uses, SpyFu being one of them. Yeah, so there’s a couple of good tools out there. But again, this is really us trying to get more information on the competition and where we stack up with everybody, because it is so hard to get that through Google.

Nina Martinez:
Awesome. So, what other things are important to know when considering PPC? There are some best practices that I think are really important to keep in mind if you want those initiatives to be effective.

Nina Martinez:
And I’ve included this first one here because you’ve got to start with proper setup and analytics and tracking. Nothing throws money out the window faster, not understanding the return you’re getting from the money you invest in advertising.

Nina Martinez:
So, it’s important to make sure you have reliable web analytics in place. For most people, that might be something like Google Analytics. Because it’s a really awesome, robust tool. It’s free. And so, it works well for a lot of people. But you also want to make sure that any other third party tracking solutions are also in place.

Nina Martinez:
The type of solutions that might help you make sure that you’re not missing any parts of your sales funnel or missing out on insights that can be gained in your acquisition efforts. And so, examples of that might be call tracking tools. So, where people might be engaging with your ad in a digital way, but then using their mobile phone to make a phone call.

Nina Martinez:
There are tools out there that will help you kind of connect those experiences together so that you can better understand the total value of your page search efforts, be it online or offline conversions. And there’s a lot of other tools, too, that perform in a very similar way.

Fred Dees:
I think it should be mandatory to have that gift in like every single webinar we do. Spending the money [inaudible 00:38:14]. This should be a rule.

Fred Dees:
So, some best practices, when we’re talking about structure, kind of the structure of the account, three things to keep in mind, goals, flexibility and relevance. Always know what your goal is. Always know what that conversion is going to be, what do we want to get out of this. Being flexible once the data comes in. So, having this set up to where you can kind of pull the right levers, turn things on, turn things off, adjusting bids, really optimizing the account.

Fred Dees:
And then relevance, we want to make sure that if we are running, let’s say, an international account, we want to make sure that we have the locations grouped together in whichever relevant way we need to find out whether it be strategic or just geographic location, something like that. But make sure you have that relevance that’s going to make things easier on YouTube, especially when you get down to do reporting. So, kind of having everything streamlined and making sense will be a big help.

Fred Dees:
So, there’s this alignment between targeting ad copy and landing page. If you can really think about just like a straight line across, one end being where the user is typing in that search query, best golf shoes. And then the next part kind of our targeting, we want to make sure that we have the right keyword variation, the match type variation in there so that we are showing up competitively on that search query. Then we want to have the ad copy or the creative, whatever it may be, that is at least attractive enough to get that click.

Fred Dees:
And then we want to make sure that when they click that ad that they go to a landing page that is relevant and has the information that the user was looking for, and ultimately, the conversion point that we want to drive into. So, just think of a straight line like that. We want to make sure that we have relevance and competitiveness from the search query all the way to the landing page.

Nina Martinez:
Yeah. And what makes it relevant so important is the last thing we want is to attract users to your website and then have them wondering why they got on that page, how is that relevant to their search? Why are they even there? And so, maintaining that relevance is going to be critical when we’re thinking about what we can do to improve either conversion volume where the rate at which people convert.

Nina Martinez:
Another best practice that I think is important to keep in mind if you’re looking to leverage PPC is how important it is to always be testing. We’re talking testing ad copy, creatives, various audience segments and the whole nine.

Nina Martinez:
In doing so, you’ll be able to more quickly gain the rewards that PPC has to offer because you’ll be able to more efficiently and cost effectively learn what matters to your audience and what doesn’t matter when it comes to the conversion decisions.

Nina Martinez:
And just in case you didn’t catch that, I’ll say it again. You’ll learn what matters and what doesn’t matter to your audience, which means there’s really no such thing as a failed test or a wasted test, assuming that it’s structured appropriately. Your tests are always going to provide you back answers to questions that can then influence strategy or any type of tactical decision that you end up making down the road.

Nina Martinez:
And if you layer in a feasibility element to your test, you’re always going to then have actionable data, data that not only benefits your PPC efforts, but also can be leveraged by other marketing and promotion initiatives, too.

Fred Dees:
So, roadblocks, kind of common pitfalls. There’s a lot of ease to PPC to setting it up and to gaining that knowledge and learning about how to use it to really benefit you and benefit what you’re trying to do advertising. So, there is some ease there.

Fred Dees:
But just because it’s easy in certain ways, it’s also easy to fall into certain spots, specifically like overspending, for example, or wasted spend, targeting the wrong searches, targeting on users, and essentially, just wasting that money.

Fred Dees:
And I think the last bullet point here, lack of patience is probably the easiest one and the most common one because what I feel like everybody’s probably kind of lacks and patience at times, especially when things get frustrating or might take too long. So, really kind of being patient, letting the data come in, running your tests, things like that, is very important.

Fred Dees:
So, make sure you have your understanding and make sure you have all the resources that you need, specifically looking at something like budget, but it would again, lack of patience too can really, really hurt you.

Fred Dees:
But yeah, again, as easy as it is to learn and to get set up and to start working in it, it can be easy to fall in some of these pitfalls. So, always just kind of, I guess, keep your head up when it comes to that management side.

Nina Martinez:
Okay. So, let’s say you better understand what PPC is now, and along with some of its basics, and you want to further explore it. Or maybe you’re already using PPC but you think you might be missing a key ingredient in your formula for success. Either way, it’s going to be important to make sure your investment or your continued investment in PPC makes sense for your brand’s needs, and that you have a solid plan in place to help you drive better business decisions.

Nina Martinez:
And so, with that being said, the internet is full of awesome comprehensive guides and tutorials. I know that we provide some of them. I know that there’s a wealth of knowledge out there, lots of helpful blogs. But there’s also a lot of misinformation out there too.

Nina Martinez:
So, I say that because it’s just kind of important to recognize that and like Fred said, it’s easy for things to go wrong, if you aren’t paying attention to some of the details, if you don’t have all of the information in front of you, you don’t have the expertise or access to the expertise.

Nina Martinez:
So, if you’re interested in getting help navigating some of these decisions or in managing what can easily be perceived as like an overwhelming, albeit, awesomely robust platform that many of these offer, we have a team of experts that are ready to help. Here’s all the smiling faces for a lot of the members of our team. And really, our team covers a lot of different areas.

Nina Martinez:
And I think what is particularly interesting to know is that while we offer services that focus on web analytics, SEO, paid ads and social media, each member of our team is actually cross trained in multiple disciplines. And that gives our clients a pretty strong advantage when it comes to employing a variety of channels in ways that help lift the performance of sister initiatives as well. So, it’s all about how integrated you can be and what you can do to help advance the maturity of your advertising program. And that’s how we’re here to help.

Fred Dees:
Just a couple resources here and again, we send these slides out, so you will have these links. Again, just a good study that Google put out, we’ve got some third party tools to check you. These Google tools, you do need an account in Google AdWords or Google Ads, to access these. So, that is kind of an asterisk to remember.

Fred Dees:
And again, then here are some of the platforms. And these resources down at the bottom, a lot of them are blogs or pieces that we have written here at Hive. So, definitely check them out. And I know that last video down there with a Google video is awesome. So, definitely worth checking out.

Sheffield Pulley:
Outstanding. Thank you both. That was fantastic. Indeed, learned a bunch. And I’m sure everyone else did as well.

Sheffield Pulley:
We do have some questions, a little short on time. So, maybe we’ll rapid fire these as much as we can. Either one of you can jump in. But the first question is, does a better quality score help decrease ad spend?

Nina Martinez:
Absolutely. Fred talked about how important relevance is and making sure that you have alignment between the keyword that someone is taking, the ad that you’re showing them, the landing page, all of those things Google uses to measure how relevant you are to that user search query, again, they want to provide that you do with it. But they also use it to kind of assess a lot of things about you as a brand. And they rank you based of that perception of what you’re serving.

Nina Martinez:
And when they rank you, they look at all of these different pieces that I mentioned and they give you what we call a quality score. And the higher the quality score you have, the lower you may have to spend to maintain any given ad position relative to competitors.

Nina Martinez:
So, it’s not always the highest bid that wins. It’s a combination of who has a competitive bid, but also has all the right pieces to the puzzle. Such that Google is always going to look good when users are performing those types of searches.

Fred Dees:
Yeah, and it can decrease the CPC. Also, what it will definitely do is decrease wasted spend. If you’re using more relevant, the top option, you’re not going to be wasting as much money.

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. When CPC is too high, what do I do? I can’t spend $1,000 a month for clicks that don’t convert for me because my CPC is higher than the basic economics that my business [inaudible 00:48:10].

Nina Martinez:
Got you. Yeah, we get this question a lot, especially when it comes to high value terms and in several industries or specific verticals. And there’s a lot of different ways you can approach it. There are certainly always ways by which you can help improve that degree of relevance we mentioned or your quality score. In doing that, you may find that you can shave off some of that cost because Google will, in essence, reward you for being more relevant by not charging you as much.

Nina Martinez:
Also making use of the data that’s available within these tools. For all of the auctions that you want, in collecting those clicks in that impression data, we can go back and look at reports that are specific to these channels that can help us draw out patterns in that user behavior. In drawing out those patterns, we can find, okay, well, are there certain times of the day that are more effective than others or less competitive than others? Are there certain ways in which that keyword is used, where we can target those instead, and they’ll be cheaper but have like higher performance attributed to them?

Nina Martinez:
There’s a whole number of ways to get about it. And I would love to talk with whoever has that question about those opportunities, if they’re so inclined to want to do so. Because there’s a lot of different ways it can be approached in helping them reduce the cost there or find supplemental channels that can make up the difference in making that average cost kind of at an aggregate level tolerable.

Fred Dees:
Yeah, it can be like a zone webinar. That’s a great question.

Sheffield Pulley:
Yes, great answer, too. Okay. This person can’t use Google for more reasons. So, how can they do PPC advertising without using Google?

Fred Dees:
Probably Bing. I guess. I mean, we are limited with the amount of platforms, though there are a lot that, they are robust. If Google is not on the table, I would look Bing, definitely excellent. I’d also look into social media [inaudible 00:50:24].

Nina Martinez:
Yeah, I think that would be my recommendation as well. Bing has a reputation for not having nearly volume as Google but oftentimes has a high conversion rate attributed to them. That makes it an effective platform to consider.

Nina Martinez:
But to Fred’s point, social media is a great way to get in front of users. And I think a lot of us have this misperception or that the social can only be used for fun [inaudible 00:50:54] for things like that, in terms of retail. Reality is that B2B spaces and any other spaces you can think of, always [inaudible 00:51:02] users that are going to find what you have to offer applicable. Because at the end of the day, all of your users are real people, and real people, we like to do things outside of work.

Nina Martinez:
And so, being able to use a channel that can kind of, for lack of a better way, for I guess, for lack of a better phrase, interrupt that experience, just to remind them that, hey, there’s something important to them when they get back to work, I think can be an effective way of getting in front of those users if Google’s not on the table.

Sheffield Pulley:
Great. A few more here, if I sold marijuana legally online and can’t advertise on PPC, what can I do? How can I get around with [inaudible 00:51:46]?

Nina Martinez:
Yeah, Google, it takes a while for some of these platforms to catch up with what’s legal and what’s not. And there’s going to be a whole host of moral or ethical things that they’re going to have to work out, not only for themselves internally as a brand and their position on things like marijuana, or even like the CBD space.

Nina Martinez:
So, there’s things I’ve got to work out on that end. And then even if it’s something that they’re totally cool with, it’s something that they’ve got to work out from a brand perception, because ultimately, they have to answer to how users globally will view them for allowing certain spaces to come through.

Nina Martinez:
And so, when we’re talking about something as controversial as marijuana is, it’s just one of those things where it’s probably going to take a little bit of time before you can serve ads, if at all on that channel.

Nina Martinez:
Now, there are other ways that you can get in front of those users. And sometimes they can be done on, I’m trying to think of the best way to do it. So, there’s ways that you can leverage social media channels to probably work for you in a better way anyway just because of the type of targeting that’s available there, that is you need to those channels and not necessarily able to be carved out in the same way in Google.

Nina Martinez:
But that’s another instance in which I’d say, hey, if you want to help them performing an assessment and finding out exactly what opportunities exist on what channels, that is something that we can help with. We prefer those types of paid opportunity assessments all the time. And we’d very much like to help if there’s somebody who doesn’t claim to need it.

Fred Dees:
Yeah. And SEO would also be … I mean, I know it’s more of a long play, but because it will probably take Google paid wise to kind of come around, building that or building up those organic results right now would be a good play.

Nina Martinez:
For sure.

Sheffield Pulley:
Excellent. Let’s see, three more questions. How does the site’s content affect paid efforts? Is it worthwhile to create landing pages specifically for paid campaigns? And what are some things to consider for them?

Nina Martinez:
In many instances, it is much easier for brands to spin up a landing page and test some of those elements I mentioned earlier, like what matters to their users and what doesn’t. And they can flip those out on a page really easily without having to manipulate a whole bunch of stuff on the back end for their main site. Whatever learnings are gained from this test, they can then apply it to their website.

Nina Martinez:
And so, it can be very helpful in those instances and what you’re trying to say, “Okay, well, what do I have to put on the page for Google to consider me more highly relevant for my audience relative to my competitors.” The landing pages, that gives us a way of making those changes and testing that copy and creative and a combination of all the other SEO elements that are important.

Nina Martinez:
And getting it that actual score back from Google that will give us an idea as to, okay, yeah, they certainly think we’re relevant, or maybe they don’t. So, we needed to change some things around. So, thinking of it in that way, I think landing pages can be effective. I don’t think that you always need a landing page, or something separate from the website for paid.

Nina Martinez:
If you are offering a product or service and you found the right mix of stuff that matters to your clients and stuff like that, there’s certainly no problem at all, directing traffic to your main pages on your website. Just keeping in mind that whatever you can do to increase that relevancy for that particular search query or that particular type user behavior that you’re targeting, that that particular page is centered on.

Sheffield Pulley:
Great, we have like one more minute, but I think you guys could potentially answer these quickly. So, we’ll do really quick answers on this. What are the main things that cause ads to be rejected by Google and or Bing?

Fred Dees:
So, I just Googled this because I saw the question. If you go to Google and type in Google Ads policy, search that, the number one listing, every single one, the problem is, there’s so many of them. So, being able to [inaudible 00:56:16] but Google Ads policy and the first link will give you everything [inaudible 00:56:23].

Sheffield Pulley:
Perfect, perfect. And then finally, why should I bother bidding on my branding? Wouldn’t I just get that with the organic results?

Nina Martinez:
One of my favorite questions, trying to answer very quickly.

Sheffield Pulley:
Thought that might [inaudible 00:56:39] a little.

Nina Martinez:
Yeah. You don’t know the answer until you test it. And there’s only one report that give you that data in letting you know whether or not it makes sense to continue a paid ad with your brand name or [inaudible 00:56:56] organic, and that report is only available via the PPC platform.

Nina Martinez:
So, for example, Google Ads offers it as a [inaudible 00:57:04] draw it out for you and say, okay, this is the rate at which you can acquire clicks within you have just an ad, the rate at which you acquire click, just organic.

Nina Martinez:
And then when you serve them both alongside each other, how does that affect the rate at which you can get that click and does one cannibalize the other? In most instances, having a paid ad alongside a search organic listing will increase the rate at which users engage with that organic listing. And there’s a lot of theories why. And again, another thing would probably be an entire webinar.

Fred Dees:
Yeah, definitely. And a big part of this too is competition. If you’re not bidding on your own brand name, your competition probably is. And you can get your branded traffic for cheaper than anybody else, because relevance. So, you might as well get the cheap traffic that’s also going to kind of make your messaging more powerful.

Fred Dees:
Now, when you see an organic listing with paid ads, it kind of gives you that extra level of trustworthiness. And like Nina said, that data proves it over and over that they perform much better together, much stronger together.

Nina Martinez:
And I think the very first study in our resources page speaks to that effect is a study that was looking at whether or not having paid and organic side by side boosted performance, and definitely did, hands down.

Sheffield Pulley:
Yeah. We actually have a webinar that Nina and Tripp, one of our SEO members did, what, two months ago, is that right, Nina?

Nina Martinez:
Maybe, yeah, probably.

Sheffield Pulley:
How paid in organic search results can complement one another and work with one another.

Sheffield Pulley:
So, excellent. Well, thank you all very much for joining us. Real quick before we go, we’re going to be sending out a follow-up email with the recording with the list of resources with the page that will lead you to all of our former or our most recent webinars with some information about our next webinar, which is actually a month from today on March 25th.

Sheffield Pulley:
This guy, Sheffield Pulley, is going to be leading the webinar. We’re going to be talking about mental wellness in a digital world. Looking forward to it. I’ve been doing a little prep for it, learning a lot, growing a lot myself. So, looking forward to sharing some of those insights with you all as well.

Sheffield Pulley:
So, thank you for being here. Fred, Nina, thank you so much. This was fantastic. Truly fantastic. [crosstalk 00:59:38] Thank you. Awesome. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of their day.

Nina Martinez:
All right, take care.

Sheffield Pulley:
Bye.

Fred Dees:
Thank you all.

Webinar Hosts

Fred Dees - Hive Digital
Fred Dees
Hive Digital PPC Expert

Fred graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Marketing. He has lived in many different locations, from Charleston, SC to Aspen, CO to Asheville NC and two stints in Raleigh. Fred has worked in sales and advertising in many different industries, and has also logged two years as touring musician.

Nina Martinez - Hive Digital
Nina Martinez
Hive Digital PPC Expert

Specializing in paid media advertising, market segmentation, website analysis, and conversion optimization, Nina leverages her professional background in both traditional and digital marketing to provide honest value to both clients and the communities they serve. She has dedicated her career to responsible marketing since 2008, and is a Senior Paid Advertising Consultant with Hive Digital.

Sheffield Pulley - Hive Digital
Sheffield Pulley
Hive Digital Client Advocate

Sheffield joined Hive Digital in 2017. Sheffield is a proven professional excelling in the promotion of personal and team accomplishments with extensive, results-oriented sales management, marketing and business development experience.

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