Recent reports about Google Ads from research done by eBay on the value of PPC (pay-per-click) may make you question the value of using them at all. A closer read of the information, though, shows that there are a couple of instances where using Google Ads, while not entirely quantifiable, is very useful indeed.
1. To garner NEW business:
As reported in VOX, according to the researchers at eBay, the effectiveness depended on the type of user—new versus returning—since new users bought more often via their click-through (purchasing from the website immediately after clicking on the ad), while returning or frequent users clicked on the ad, but did not buy from that specific transaction. Or, they looked at the ad, but clicked on the organic search result instead.
(In Google Speak “ad’s” show up at the top of the search page above the gray line and have the designation “Ad” in a yellow box to the left of the URL, while “organic” means the non-ad search results below the gray line that show up based on Google’s famous search algorithms.)
Moreover, Internet browsing consumers (new customers) clicked on ads resulting from a search for products or services rather than a search for a company by name.
That brings us to item two.
2. To retain CURRENT business:
The research showed that current customers might click on a paid ad while doing research for a product, but when actually making the purchase, will go directly to the company website.
Quantifying the second item is much more difficult than keeping track of gaining new clients through your ad. If your ad attracts a new customer for the first purchase, it does not mean that your ad will attract them for the second, third or fourth purchase. An article in The Atlantic points out research by Facebook that showed that ads for a certain food were not “clicked” but nonetheless, during the time the ads displayed on Facebook, more of that food item sold to consumers than in the period before the ad. In fact, Sean Bruich (Facebook’s head of measurement platforms and standards) noted that,
“Of the first 60 campaigns we looked at, 70 percent had a 3X or better return-on-investment—that means that 70 percent of advertisers got back three times as many dollars in purchases as they spent on ads.”
They already know who you are, so your ad may just remind them to go directly to your website (or brick-and-mortar store) to make their purchase. They may even pick up the phone and call you, especially if you’re a service provider with which they now have a relationship.
That being the case, it makes sense to gear your ads themselves toward new clients, while gearing your SEO (keywords, categories, etc.) toward both. This delicate balance means that your ads should contain these vital elements:
- A combination of Text, Imagery and Brand Identity.
Too much text won’t be read by the Internet browsing public, while an image-only ad may not get your true message across to potential new customers. A theme that includes and promotes your brand reminds returning visitors to check out your site.
- A Special Offer.
Because new customers don’t know you and the value of what you give them yet, they’re more likely to respond to a special offer, discount, coupon, promotional code or other bargain.
- A Call to Action Button.
A pay-per-click ad with no reason to “click” may work for returning clients (brand awareness), but new clients need that “push” to go to your site. Offer them a reason to click.
- Carefully Considered Keywords. Key words are just that, a “key” to opening the door to more business, to prompting that “click” and to reminding existing customers or clients that they know and trust you.
Tomorrow, we’ll have an in-depth discussion of Call-to-Action verbs and best usage to get across your message. Then, we’ll talk about keywords and SEO (search engine optimization).
For now, just remember that you need to give browsers a reason to click.