Advertising your business online can be intimidating. There are so many options available that it can be tough to figure out your first move.
If you ever wished you had a step-by-step guide to figuring out your first steps in PPC, look no further. We picked one platform to start with — Google Ads, because it’s user-friendly and provides a high degree of assistance to newcomers.
This week on episode 14 of PPC Town Hall, two of the brightest minds in digital advertising shared lessons from their combined decades of PPC and marketing experience:
As always, you can view this week’s episode as well as previous editions of PPC Town Hall right here.
Complete with actionable insights, here’s our 6-step starter guide for PPC beginners.
1. Get set up on Google My Business
Julie: Google My Business (GMB) is very important, especially for local and service-area businesses; the map is important even if you don’t have a physical location where people come to you. And the way you get on Maps, organically or through ads, is GMB. Additionally, if you want to run location extensions on your ads, you have to connect your verified GMB listing to your Google Ads account.
2. Define your conversion actions
Julie: Sometimes you can drown in data. Or you can have data that seems like it’s telling you things but it really isn’t. If you’re in e-commerce, it’s pretty obvious what your conversion action is: you want people to buy things.
But if you’re not e-commerce, one of the first things you have to do is define what a conversion is to you; it’s the lens through which you view everything else. It helps you set things up at different stages in a way that collects data in the best way possible for you to get conversions and build a remarketing plan.
3. Don’t be intimidated by product feeds
Susan: Shopping is always difficult because it involves feeds, and I think that scares a lot of people because it can feel more like coding than advertising. So if you’re a small business, you can set up easily on a platform like Shopify that will automatically export a feed to Google Merchant Center for you.
It’s also worth going through the process of building a local inventory feed; you have to submit that to Google, and they’ll call to verify your identity and the accuracy of that feed. But that results in a bit more visibility when people search for what you’re selling, and they’ll know they can come pick it up from you.
4. Experiment with Dynamic Search Ads
Julie: If you’re new to PPC and you’re not really sure what terms you want to advertise on, dynamic search ads (DSAs) can reveal information like what Google thinks of your business.
When you run regular search ads, you’re telling Google what keywords you want, what ads to run, and which landing pages they should lead to. With DSAs, you still decide the message behind your ad copy, but Google decides when to show your ad (and what keyword triggers it).
It’s a bit of a window into what they believe you’re relevant to. So running DSAs alongside some of your more obvious keywords can help you identify opportunities to build full campaigns.
5. Use supplemental feeds to prevent brand dilution
Susan: I love supplemental feeds. A lot of time, retailers will do a great job of building a brand — it feels like it has personality, the products have quirky names, and it feels unique to them.
The challenge you run into there is those product titles and descriptions aren’t always SEO-friendly. Google Shopping is looking to see what you feed it and then showing you for searches it believes you’re relevant for.
If you’re missing that text, you can set up logic within Google Merchant Center that says ‘use my regular feed, but for product title, use this’. And you can direct it to a Google Sheet where you have your unique product name with the SEO keywords.
So it’s essentially a translator between your feed and Merchant Center to make sure your ads are as search term-rich as possible.
For more on the pitfalls of PPC, read Susan’s article on why Google Ads might not be working for you.
6. Know what to look for from your campaign results
Susan: Part of the challenge with Smart campaigns on Google is the automatically generated conversions. If business owners and campaign managers don’t know how to see what those are, they might think they have a ton of real conversions, but they might not actually be very high-value. You can always find out more about those automatic conversions, but someone starting out in PPC might not know that you can go out and find that information.
Whether you’ve been struggling to see results or are just taking your business online, PPC can be challenging if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.
But even in a normal business landscape, you can’t keep spending PPC dollars without any meaningful results.
That’s why agencies like Aimclear and Neptune Moon can be exactly what your business needs — a partner who doesn’t just know how to get results, but is fully invested in the success of your online campaigns and overall business.