4.1 Important concepts and terms
Search engine marketing is also referred to as “SEM” or pay per click marketing (PPC). They all refer to the same thing. Creating a campaign (or set of campaigns) within your Google Ads account so that certain searches will show your ad and that ad leads to you getting customers. You pay for each click.
It’s a method for marketing that is uniquely powerful
In fact, the biggest barrier we find people have when trying to use search marketing is their failure to realize that it simply has nothing to do with any other kind of marketing or selling. It isn’t like SEO. It isn’t like display advertising. Or YouTube marketing. Or email marketing. Or any other kind of marketing program.
What makes it work so well for small/medium business?
So what does this mean to your marketing in terms of getting business profitably? A lot. This ability to relate your “solution” to a Google searcher’s “problem”, while they are looking, is very big. And the system (Google Ads) has some unique features that can really help you get real customers in a very scientific, efficient fashion.
Specifically. What are some of these key features?
- You can get customers to buy from you who have never heard of you.
This is essentially compressing all the steps of marketing and selling into a few seconds of a Google search. This allows you to sell against companies that have more established branding and distribution.
- Campaign changes are implemented virtually immediately.
You can be getting clicks within minutes of starting a campaign. And you can turn it off just as quickly. Amazing level of control is possible.
- The data that you get from running campaigns is extremely valuable.
You have access to information about your marketplace and your campaigns that is very scientific and very good at helping you get business profitably. If you know how to use it.
- With call-only campaigns, you can connect directly.
Potential customers can connect with you by phone (and you don’t even need to have a website).
- Very advanced levels of ad customization are possible.
You are able to show an individual searching on Google an ad that was customized for their search terms, location, and device.
- You can manage every detail.
You can manage your campaigns very scientifically and only pay for the clicks that get you business.
Google search marketing uses precise terminology
There are only a handful of terms that make up the pay per click “lingo”, but they are important terms with very precise meanings. It is quite important that you understand these ten terms.
- If your potential customer is searching on Google, the words they type in are called: search terms.
- If you want your ad to show for those search terms, you need to match them with one of your keywords.
- The page that Google returns for a search is called a search engine results page or SERP, where Google decides which ads to show and in which order.
- When the match is close enough and your bid is high enough, Google decides to show the searcher your ad. This is called an impression.
- If they click on the ad, it’s called a click and they are taken to your site’s landing page (which is just your main website or a page that has been customized).
- You can set the maximum amount you would pay for a click – your maximum cost per click bid (maxCPC bid) for your keywords.
- The actual amount your are charged for a group of clicks divided by the number of clicks is called your cost per click, or CPC.
- The ratio of clicks to impressions is called: click thru rate or CTR.
- If they buy from you (or do the action you were hoping for), it’s called a conversion.
- The ratio of conversions to clicks is called: conversion rate.
Google Ads will do EXACTLY what you program it to do
Notice we used the word “program” because Google Ads is a programming language you use to get Google to do what you want. Many users have a tendency to forget that all those features work in a systematic fashion.
If you want Google to show a particular ad only when the user types in a particular set of terms at a particular time from a particular device, you can make a campaign that does EXACTLY that.
There are rules – millions of them – don’t worry about them
Don’t worry because Google will tell you if you’re breaking any of the rules. And you’ll make the corrections then.
There are so many rules about what you can’t do on Google search marketing that it would be ridiculous to cover them in writing. There really is no preparing new users for this “experience”. You just have to get through it and realize that, with some engineering, you can probably get the searches you want, show the ads you want, and get business.
Well, here’s one specific rule we CAN tell you about:
You can’t advertise for something that is illegal. So don’t.
What do these “rules” look like? They look like ads and keywords that are rejected by Google when you go to load your campaign in to production. You can say: “burger queen”, but probably not “burger king”. You might not be able to say “Aon” in any context. You might not be able to say “cure” just about anywhere. You might not be able to say “organic” (which has about 400 meanings) on ads for your travel website.
If you notice inconsistencies, you may have to tell Google. Sometimes they fix them. Sometimes they don’t. But don’t be surprised when your ad, which is identical to a competitor’s, is disapproved. Don’t be surprised when you have the same ad running in 100 major cities, and it’s disapproved in 5 of them. It’s always worth asking Google to look at your situation. They do fix a lot of these.
Don’t be surprised – just try things and keep on going. You have the QuickStart so that changing your keywords and ads and extensions is fast and easy. Also, with the QuickStart, you can tag the projects that contain ads that were rejected and stay organized.