Have you ever known someone for years without knowing their name? You forgot it moments after being introduced, only to run into them time and time again. You see them at the grocery store, at the park, at a friend’s party ... and the more times you see them, the more awkward it would be to ask. The name tag in your mind stays empty, and you stay in the dark.
PPC is a lot like that friend. It’s a term you may be familiar with. You may nod along politely when it’s brought up during Zoom calls, but when it comes to the real nuts and bolts of what it is and how it works, you have a lot of questions. Is it too late to ask? Definitely not! Here are a few of the most common questions we in SEM Marketing hear:
1. What Is PPC Marketing?
PPC stands for “pay-per-click.” Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a specific form of digital marketing in which the advertiser is only charged when a web surfer clicks on their digital ad.
The concept is pretty simple, but any PPC specialist will tell you there’s a lot more to this process than meets the eye. After all, nonprofit organizations are competing against each other, and sometimes even against for-profit brands, for that coveted spot at the top of search results.
It takes an experienced PPC manager to know how to best optimize ad copy, landing pages, audience targeting, and keyword bids for ideal performance.
2. What Is a PPC Quality Score and Why Does It Matter?
While we’re on the topic of optimization, let’s talk about quality scores. Google wants to show searchers relevant (and useful) search results. This is just as true for paid search as it is for organic results. To better match queries to ads, Google developed Quality Scores for ads and keywords.
To build your Quality Score, Google takes a look at several elements in your campaigns, including:
- The average click-through-rate (CTR) of your ads.
- How well your keywords are suited for your ad groups.
- The relevance of ad copy and website copy.
- How well your PPC ads have performed in the past.
Higher Quality Scores definitely have their perks: lower bid prices and higher positions in search results. Conversely, a low Quality Score could stop your ads from showing at all.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your Quality Score over the lifetime of your campaign. Even small improvements in your QS could make a BIG impact over time.
3. Why Am I Not Seeing My PPC Ads?
Let’s say you have a PPC campaign that’s currently running. Your SEM Marketing team has confirmed that the ads are live and impressing, but when you Google a related term, your ad doesn’t pop up. What gives? There are a few reasons this could be happening:
- You aren’t searching within the targeted area. Certain campaigns may be targeted to a specific geographic location. For example, if campaign parameters for “Hawaiian Giant Dog Rescue” (not a real organization, but it should be) are set to serve ads only to Hawaiian residents, you won’t see an ad if you’re searching in Pittsburgh.
- Your ads aren’t targeting the specific keyword. Has the keyword or phrase you just searched been added to the current campaign? If your ads aren’t showing up, this could be an easy fix.
- Keyword search volume is too low. Google won’t show ads for keywords unless they have a high enough monthly search volume. If your search term is very specific and you aren’t being served any ads in your results, low search volume could be the culprit.
- Your landing page is lacking. Think about the search intent of your specific query. When a user searches for that term or phrase, what are they looking for? Will they find it on your landing page? If the answer is no, Google may be showing ads with landing pages that are a better match.
- The daily budget has been reached. PPC campaign bidding is controlled by daily budgeting. Once the daily budget for an ad set or campaign is reached, ads will be paused and won’t show for the rest of the day. If this happens often, raising the budget could be a good idea.
- Other account issues. A single PPC campaign is comprised of a LOT of moving parts. If one of them isn’t working properly, the whole machine can grind to a halt. It can take some time and deep digging to discover some issues, but ongoing monitoring and maintenance helps ensure problems are identified and fixed quickly.
Diving Deeper Into PPC Marketing
These are some of the most common questions fielded by our SEM Marketing team, but they certainly aren’t the only ones! We’ll continue to dive deeper into the world of PPC Marketing, Google Grants, and SEM in general, so make sure to subscribe to the Heroic Fundraising Blog to receive monthly updates delivered right to your inbox.
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