Pay per click advertising campaigns can provide fast, measurable digital marketing results when set up correctly & managed properly. Because of this, PPC has always been at the top of list of marketing services I provide to clients. Being able to target people who search online for certain terms, within a certain location at a certain time with a specific message should be a marketers dream, but for many PPC becomes a nightmare. I’ve spent years learning how to setup campaigns for success and manage them for optimization by studying why users search the way they do and how PPC platforms can best exploit those searching habits.

I’m not going to spend much time writing about keywords, match types, bids or ad copies. These are campaign essentials, required for impressions to start being served and ads to be clicked on by users. Almost all PPC advertising services offer some variation of these campaign settings necessary to launch an ad program on their platform. While there are a variety of these paid digital campaign platforms, most advertisers know if you’re going to have success, that you need to use the most popular ones.

Of course, there is Google Adwords. Adwords has continued to lead the way in PPC advertising since it launched in 2000 with just 350 advertisers on board, but they aren’t the only player in the game. Bing Ads, and even Yahoo’s Gemini can both provide valuable traffic too when they’re properly folded into a companies digital marketing strategy. That said, if you can run Google Adwords campaigns, learning how to translate those efforts to Bing and Yahoo can follow suit relatively easily. So, for now…

Let’s Focus on Google

Because your customers focus on Google. Everyone’s customers focus on Google. Over 70% of all searches in the United States are done using Google, and even more globally. This is because they continue to lead the PPC world by giving advertisers the widest variety of targeting options – search, display, remarketing, video, shopping, etc. Adwords has continued to roll out new options for advertisers based on user behavior trends online, many of which go far past basic keywords and ad copy.

The truth is that the same keywords and ad copy that convert via Google Adwords will produce more traffic that won’t take any action on your site. There are a number of different potential reasons for this, but Google provides advertisers with all the campaigns settings needed to limit campaigns where they aren’t performing well – and boost where they are. From age and gender demographic targeting to customized ad scheduling combined with location and device bid adjustments, Adwords PPC campaigns should be the cornerstone of any digital marketing plan.

But Don’t Lose Site of the Goal (Completions)

When linked with Google Analytics and Search Console, Adwords campaigns can help lead your digital marketing efforts, and it’s important to not give up on your efforts. I’ve watched many advertisers throw the baby out with the bathwater by turning off Adwords campaigns because they haven’t recorded a goal completion in the last week. Your customers search and research the same way you do. Not every user will convert on the first click, so it’s important to nurture leads throughout their buying process.

Use your PPC campaigns to compliment SEO efforts or build brand awareness online. With Analytics and Adwords data you should be able to tell if you are targeting the audience you were after, and if they aren’t converting – figure out why. It’s not always because your keywords were wrong or that your ad copy didn’t produce a quality visitor. Branded search results, social media, website functionality and other factors can influence the success of the your PPC campaigns, so it’s important to not put all the blame on Adwords if you’re campaigns aren’t producing a positive ROI yet. I’ll share some of my best PPC marketing tips in the articles below with you if you share some of your campaign questions and comments in return.