Pay Per Click Advertising Tips for 2018

By John Eberhard

Pay per click advertising is an umbrella term that applies to any advertising where you pay money every time someone clicks on one of your ads. Some of the programs where you can run pay per click advertising are:

  1. Google AdWords
  2. Bing Ad Center
  3. Facebook advertising
  4. Yelp paid ad program

I will give some tips and data on each one.

  1. On Google AdWords, since click prices are determined by bids, the click prices are largely determined by the number of advertisers bidding on any given keyword. Because of the number of advertisers running ads on AdWords is pretty high, the bid prices for various keywords can run pretty high. For this reason, I recommend AdWords only for fairly high ticket items, such as home improvement and healthcare companies. I do not recommend it for low ticket items like books or CDs. But for high ticket items, AdWords can be extremely effective in generating a steady stream of quality leads.
  2. Both AdWords and Bing Ads have what they call ad extensions. There are 11 different types on AdWords and 9 on Bing. Basically these are a way to add more content to your ad and make it larger, i.e. it takes up more space on the page. So it is more likely people will see your ad and click on it. One type is a “call extension,” which shows your phone number underneath your ad. And on a mobile, that phone number is clickable. This can be extremely effective in generating a live phone call, which most companies consider the best quality lead. My tip is to add as many ad extensions as is appropriate for your business.
  3. Remarketing is a way to place ads in front of people who have visited your web site. AdWords has a remarketing program and a number of other companies do as well. Basically, special code is placed on your site, so that every time a visitor comes, a cookie gets placed on his computer. Then you can create a bunch of banner ads, different sizes, and those banner ads will appear to that visitor to your site, on various other sites that he visits. It’s a great way to put your message in front of people again who have visited your site, and get them to come back. And the cost of the clicks is generally lower than regular AdWords clicks.
  4. For the last couple years AdWords has run video ads. You can set up one of your videos to appear before the video someone goes to on YouTube. You have probably seen these, where you can click to skip the ad after a certain number of seconds. If someone watches the whole thing you get charged. Your video can appear in a number of other places, including when people search on YouTube. The cost for this is very small, between 12 and 18 cents per view. But you have to have a video that is appropriate and has a call to action at the end.
  5. Google AdWords is sufficiently complicated and expensive at this point that I do not advise people to try it on their own. I think it is well worth the money to get a consultant to work with you on it, set it up and manage it.
  6. Bing Ad Center was formed several years ago combining Bing’s and Yahoo’s PPC programs. It is a valid advertising platform. Unfortunately, it seemed like when the two programs merged, the response level fell down to just what Bing’s program had been before. Yahoo’s traffic just seemed to disappear. For a number of years Bing Ads got terrible response, but over the last year I have seen campaigns for some of my clients run better on Bing than on AdWords.  
  7. I always recommend that for pay per click campaigns on AdWords, Bing and Facebook, that you have people click through to a customized landing page, rather than your home page. And don’t put any navigation buttons on that landing page. This is based on 14 years of experience in pay per click, that if you keep them on one landing page, with a phone number to call and a form to fill out, you will get better response than if you let them wander all over your site.
  8. I now use a tracking phone number on all my landing pages for all my clients. This is a number, where it tracks all calls that come in to it, bounce the call over to the client’s main number, and record the call. I then use that tracking number only for my pay per click campaign, so I know all the calls to it came from AdWords or Facebook or whatever. If I am running multiple campaigns I will set up a tracking phone number for AdWords, one for Bing, one for Facebook, etc.
  9. Facebook’s pay per click program has changed a lot in the last several years. They used to just give you these tiny little ads over in the right column. Now you can run ads that appear right in the main news feed, with a large picture, headline and some text. Facebook also has an impressive array of targeting methods, where you can target people by geographical area, age, gender, by professions, by interests, etc. You can even upload an email list that you have and they will find a good number of those people on Facebook and you can target your ads to them.
  10. There are many “desired actions” that you can have people do in Facebook advertising, such as get people to like your Facebook fan page, download an app, etc., but I think the most valuable thing is to send them to a landing page on your website which will have your offer and a response form.
  11. Pay per click advertising expert Perry Marshall (who has written several excellent books on AdWords and Facebook) stresses in his book that Facebook advertising is NOT for everyone. He has put up a site where you do a brief survey that will tell you whether Facebook is a good fit for your business. http://isfbforme.com/ Unfortunately this site is sometimes down these days.
  12. This article on Entrepreneur.com states: “Is yours a local business with a physical location where consumers regularly come to purchase your goods and services? If so, then Facebook is for you. Dentists, doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, physical trainers, gyms, specialty shops, cupcake stores, specialty groceries, beer and wine shops, restaurants, mechanics, theaters and music venues are highly likely to benefit from locally targeted Facebook campaigns.”
  13. Yelp has a paid advertising program. The way it works is, on Yelp you search for a type of business in a specific city. Then you’ll see all these listings come up. If you do one of their paid ads programs, your ad will be one of the ones that appears at the top, a certain number of times per month. Paid programs start at $300 per month. This is most workable for local types of businesses, like restaurants, contractors, health care practices, etc. I have a number of clients who do extremely well with Yelp’s paid programs.
  14. The goal of any pay per click campaign should be to develop a steady stream of leads coming into the business.
  15. It is also vital, when doing a pay per click campaign, to have your act together in terms of sales, handling the leads, and converting them to closed sales. If you don’t have this part of the operation nailed, you will waste a lot of money and eventually give up on your pay per click campaign.

Good luck with your pay per click advertising.