How To Promote Your New Website Using Search & Social Media PPC
Your website’s up. You’re confident it’s awesome. But so far every time you check your analytics it’s just…crickets.
You’re learning the hard lesson that everyone with a website faces early on: it’s hard to get your site in front of people on the overcrowded web.
You know that people would like what they see on your website if only they could find it. So how do you get them to take that first step of visiting a website they don’t know about yet?
Why You Should Promote Your Website with PPC
Pay-per-click marketing (PPC) is one of the most effective methods of getting your website in front of people. PPC is a good choice for a lot of businesses for a few compelling reasons:
- It has a huge reach. Both Google Adwords and social media PPC can get you in front of large audiences. The Google search engine has billions of users each day and social media platforms have millions of users. A big goal of marketing is to be where your audience is. PPC advertising gets you there.
- It provides useful targeting options. All your main PPC campaign options allow you to specify who will see your ads based on factors like context (e.g. when they’re looking for what you sell), demographic data, and consumer interests and behavior. That gives you the power to get your ads in front of the right people at the right time.
- PPC platforms provide thorough analytics. A common challenge marketers have historically faced is finding a way to prove the results of their marketing efforts. With PPC campagins, you have helpful analytics that show how well your ads and campaigns are performing, to the point of being able to determine ROI.
- It offers a strong ROI. Speaking of ROI, businesses on average make $8 back for every $1 they spend on Google PPC. In other words, PPC ads are effective and likely to make you money.
The Types of PPC Marketing
When people talk about PPC marketing, they’re talking about two potential channels: search and social PPC.
PPC is often used as shorthand to describe search advertising, particularly on Google, but in some cases also on Bing or Yahoo.
This includes all the ads that show up on the search results pages for the search engines.
The other main type of PPC advertising is that available on social media networks. All the main social media platforms offer advertising options, but only a few offer PPC options. You can find PPC advertising options on:
(Note: YouTube also offers PPC advertising, but it does so as part of the Google Ads platform).
8 Best Practices for Promoting Your Website With PPC
PPC marketing has the potential to yield great results, but it’s not guaranteed. As with any other type of marketing, you have to do it well. Here are some of the most important best practices to bring to your PPC advertising.
1. Do keyword research.
This is especially important for search engine marketing, but it also comes into play for social media PPC. Part of what makes PPC advertising so valuable is that you can make sure your ads show up at the moment people are looking for what you sell. But you can’t assume you know what terms people will use to look for your products or services.
Keyword research will both reveal the specific language that your target audience uses to find the kinds of items you sell and topics you cover on your website, and will reveal how competitive different words and phrases are. Because PPC marketing uses a bidding process, the popularity of keywords is directly related to how much you’ll spend.
A good PPC campaign strategy requires not only finding the most relevant keywords for your ads, but also figuring out which keywords deliver the best value for the cost so you can improve your ROI over time.
2. Research your audience.
Most businesses don’t need to appeal to everyone. You need to reach the specific people most likely to care about your content and buy your products. PPC advertising provides the option of targeting your ads so they show up for specific audiences based on factors like:
- Consumer behavior
- Job title
- Salary range
The targeting options available on each platform are different, but you pretty much always have some option for limiting who will see your ads based on relevance.
To effectively use these targeting options, you need to understand who you want to reach. Take time to do market research into who’s buying your products, how they shop, what other things they like, and where they hang out online. Bringing that information into your PPC advertising will help you reach the right people to get better results.
3. Use PPC to support your other marketing efforts.
A good online marketing strategy involves using a mix of tactics in a way where they all support each other so you get more out of each. PPC shouldn’t be treated as a replacement for content marketing, SEO, or social media marketing. Instead, you can use it to bolster those other efforts.
Search engine ads can promote your content as well as your products. Social media ads can help you get more reach and traction for the messages you share on your social media accounts and help you gain new followers. And when you use PPC to bring more traffic to your website, it can help with SEO ranking factors like the amount of time people spend on your page or how often people link back to it (you need visitors before you can achieve either of those things).
Before you launch PPC campaigns, take some time to figure out how they can strengthen the rest of your marketing strategy. Talk to other marketing specialists at your company (if relevant) and combine your efforts for better results all around.
4. Write strong ads.
Your ads need to do a good job of selling people on the decision to click. When writing or designing the ad, think carefully about what’s in it for your target audience. What problems will your product or content help them solve? In some cases, you may want to sweeten the deal by using your ad to offer a special discount.
Always include a strong CTA (call to action) in the ad to get them to take that step of clicking. Try out a few different CTAs to get a feel for which ones get your audience to click.
5. Build strong landing pages.
All of your PPC ads will point people back to your website, but you need to decide with each ad where specifically the person that clicks will end up on your website. For your ads to achieve the results you most want, the page your ads point to should always be:
1. Relevant to the ad. If your ad is promising a great discount on your most popular product and the page it lands on doesn’t have a matching discount, or worse, doesn’t even show the product in the ad, your visitors are going to be confused and leave unsatisfied.
You should always make sure the website page people land on directly matches what’s being promised in the ad.
2. Designed to drive the action you want. All your ads will be designed to get people to click, but you’ll also want an end goal in mind beyond that. What do you want the visitor to do when they get to the website? In some cases that may be to stick around and spend some time on your website, in others it could be to make a purchase or sign up for your email list.
Figure out what you want the end result to be for every ad and make sure the web page it points to is optimized for that goal.
Sometimes, the right page for an ad will be one you already have on your website, such as a product page or a piece of content you’re using PPC to promote. In other cases, you’ll want to create a new landing page based on what your research suggests people will respond best to in your PPC campaign.
Pro tip: Your home page will rarely be a good choice for a PPC ad. You’ll generally want to go with something more specific.
6. Test your ads.
PPC ads don’t give you much space to work with, so figuring out just the right combination of words and/or images is difficult. The only way for you to really know which of your ads are not only driving the most traffic your way but, more importantly, providing the best ROI, is to test out different ads.
Try out different wording, designs, and CTAs and see how different combinations of them work together. You’ll gain knowledge of what your target audience responds best to by comparing the results of different ads you try.
7. Use remarketing.
You know how sometimes when you’re reading an article on your favorite website you notice an ad for a product you were just looking at yesterday? That’s remarketing. And you can use it to your advantage with PPC.
Your most valuable leads are the people that already have some kind of relationship with you – whether they’re loyal customers who have ordered from you three times before, or someone who just visited your website once. You know those people are already interested.
PPC marketing allows you to target ads to people who have already visited your website. You can even get as specific as showing them an ad based on the pages or items they viewed while there. It’s a powerful way to recapture the attention of someone who’s already shown interest and turn leads into customers.
8. Monitor and improve your campaigns.
When you start using PPC advertising, you’ll have to make some guesses about what will work. But the longer you do it, the better you’ll be able to grasp what your target audience responds to and how to create and target ads just so to get the best possible results.
But that only works if you take the time to actively review the analytics the PPC platforms provide in order to monitor what’s working and why. Commit time each day or week to checking in on your campaigns and analyzing the results.
Based on your analysis, make changes to your ads and campaigns that will get you better results (or provide you more useful data to help you make better changes tomorrow).
The powerful analytics the platforms provide are one of the most valuable parts of doing PPC marketing. You can always count on gaining insights to help your money go further.
Determine Your PPC Strategy
All the work you put into your website will only pay off if you can get people to visit. If you’re worried about that first crucial step of ensuring people can find you, PPC marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways to promote your new website to interested audiences.
Discover the best PPC strategy for your website. Contact HostGator’s PPC experts for help brainstorming today.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.