PPC Basics – Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match
PPC advertising is displayed in the right column of most Google Searches. Advertisers specify which keywords they want to appear for, what geographical area they are to appear in, and how much they are willing to spend each time someone clicks on the advertisement. There is only a $5 charge to start an account, there is no minimum budget, and you are not charged when the ad appears, only when it is clicked.
To sign up for an ad-words account go to http://adwords.google.com/
When selecting keywords the default setting for keywords is “Broad match”. This is usually your best option for local PPC advertising. The other two options are “phrase match” and “exact match.”
- Broad Match – Lets say you are advertising for the keyword “Online Marketing” under broad match. This would qualify your ad for any search involving those two keywords. So if someone Googled “looking for marketing for my online business” this would qualify even though the exact term “Online Marketing” is split up.
- Phrase Match – Under phrase match the keywords “Online Marketing” must appear together in that order. So if someone Googled “looking for marketing for my online business” the ad would not qualify. If someone Googled “looking for online marketing for my business” then the add would qualify.
- Exact Match – For exact match the ad will only appear for the exact terms you specify. So the only search where “online marketing” would appear for is “online marketing”.
The reason we recommend broad match for local advertising is because it will often take up to 1000 appearances (also know as impressions) for an ad to be clicked on. Most Google Searches are greater than 3 words so using phrase or exact match will drastically reduce the number of times your ad qualifies. If you are only advertising within 10 miles of your business, you will have a tough time appearing enough to get clicks.
You are able to set up an ad-words account without entering your billing information so feel free to try setting up an account on your own. While setting up your first campaign take note of the options and features in these sections.
- Locations and Languages – click the link “Select one or more other locations” and go to the Custom tab. Enter your business zip code and selected a mile radius where you want your ads to appear.
- Networks and Devices – change the radio button for networks from “All available sites” to “let me choose”, then un-check the box for the “display network”. The display network means your ad will appear on websites where your keywords appear. By un-checking this option you will only be advertising on Google Searches. If you want to advertise on the display network, set up a new campaign and only select the display network. That way you can compare and contrast the performance of the display network vs. Google Search.
- Bidding and Budget – If your goal is to spend $100 per month then specify a daily budget of $5. You will not spend your full budget each day so it can be hard to predict how much your monthly spending will be. After setting your budget check back in a month, then again in 3 months to increase or decrease your daily budget.
It is very tough to write an ad that will distinguish you from the competition. Google prevents EXCESSIVE CAPITALIZATION or ===symbols==== or s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h i s. Its always surprising to us which ads perform better than others. No matter how great you think your ad is we recommend writing at least 2 or 3. Check back every few months to see which are performing the best and replace the poorly performing ads with new ones. Some good things to talk about in the ads include:
- Specials and Discounts – Talk about special pricing or unique offerings from your business
- Call to action – “Call us today”, “Sign Up Now.” These terms sound very generic, but they wouldn’t be used so often if they were not effective.
- Keywords – Use the keywords you are advertising for in your ads. These keywords will appear in bold in your ad if they match keywords in the search.
Destination URL is the page on your website where the user will be sent if they click on your ad. This is usually the home page but if you are advertising for a specific product or service, you will want to send the user directly to the page on your website about that product or service.
Google will suggest hundreds of keywords for your business. The more keywords you have the better chance you will spend your daily budget. We recommend keeping it simple. Choose only 5 or 10 of your most popular keywords. If your keywords fall into different categories, for example buying a home vs selling a home, create separate ads for each category.
Negative keywords are important for broad match keywords. Negative keywords will disqualify your ad for any search queries containing the negative keyword. Popular negative keywords for almost any business are “free” and “cheap.” So if we are advertising for “online marketing” your ad would not appear under the search term “cheap online marketing”. The best way to find negative keywords is to look at your keywords in Google analytics several months after the ad-words campaign has started. By browsing through all of the searches that have clicked through to your site you can pick out undesirable keywords and add them to your negative list.