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PPC Q&A with Megan Ginecki of SEER Interactive

Megan Ginecki

New to PPC? Wondering how, or if, Google's changing regulations will affect Paid Search?

This five-question Q&A takes a quick look at PPC, how it benefits your business, and the one change to Google that might affect your campaign.

Q: What are the benefits of Paid Search?

A: Paid Search is a great advertising medium to explore for numerous reasons:

  • There are few industries/products/services that wouldn't benefit from Paid Search, excluding those Google/Bing have banned.
  • You'll get results almost instantly. Unlike other advertising mediums, you don't have to guess or wait months to see if your campaigns were successful.
  • Paid Search is cost-effective. You are only paying for clicks on your ad. You also control your budgets and bids and targeting options.
  • By selecting keywords or placements that are relevant to your business, Paid Search gives you the opportunity to get highly targeted website traffic and, ideally, qualified leads. There are also numerous other targeting options (geographical areas, time of day, day of week) that allow you to better reach your target audience.
  • You get a second chance with Remarketing. With Paid Search Remarketing, you get another opportunity to re-engage a target audience that you weren't able to convert the first time.

Q: Can you explain the differences between PPC and organic SEO?

A: PPC and SEO are two different entities that work well together, as highlighted by findings from Google's Paid & Organic Report. Primary differences are mentioned below:

Display: The most obvious differences between PPC and SEO, is where they are displayed. PPC ads are primarily displayed on the top and sides (occasionally, they can also show on the bottom). SEO listings are below and to the right. Here's an example.

Showing For Non-Branded Queries: While both PPC and SEO can show for non-branded queries, it's much easier to show them via Paid Search. With SEO, it could take a lot of links, content, and time to rank on page 1.

Cost: As its name indicates, PPC/Pay Per Click is based on a cost per click model. Whereas, SEO is "free."While SEO is "free," there is definitely a lot of criteria that must be met in order to rank well.

Speed of Results: With PPC you'll know fairly quickly if something is or isn't working. With SEO, it can take months to see if your efforts were successful.

SEO vs. PPC 

Q: How can PPC specialists serve users and create engaging ad copy?

A: Even though 70 character limits are intimidating, writing engaging ad copy is easy when you follow best practices, such as:

  • Having a Strong Call To Action. Strong calls to action lets advertisers tell searchers what to do, after they click your ad.
  • Using keywords within your ad text. When you use keywords within ad text, Google bolds them which can help your ad stand out on the busy search engine results page.
  • Promoting unique selling points: When you have to work with such limited characters, its key to include what makes your business/product unique, otherwise you'll just blend in with your competitors.
  • Mention prices, promotions and exclusives. This can help your ad stand out, and help aid in your searcher's decision making process.
  • Utilizing other ad extensions. Using other ad extensions, such as site links, can allow you to increase your real estate on the search engine's page, and help you stand out.

Q: How can you make sure your ads are triggered?

A: Because ads are triggered based on keywords, the easiest way to ensure your ad is triggered is to bid on relevant keywords. However, being triggered isn't enough; you'll also want to make sure you've set appropriate bids and budgets. Your budget and bids will ensure you'll show in a position high enough to get your desired traffic.

Q: How do Google’s new changes affect PPC?

A: Google's frequent updates don't usually affect Paid Search. However, Google's Carousel update has the potential to, given that clicking any item in the carousel changes a user's search to the carousel's description. If an advertiser isn't bidding on a keyword that would trigger the carousel query, they can potentially be left out of the SERPs.

While carousel only affects certain industries, Google does throw Paid Search advertisers unwanted updates too, like Enhanced Campaigns. This forces advertisers to target computers and tablets as one, and no longer separate out mobile campaigns, to just name a few of the unwanted changes. This can result in higher CPAs for advertisers who were previously able to set separate budgets for desktop and mobile campaigns.

For more beginner PPC questions, you can read my blog post, "Let's Talk GOMCHA (Google Online Marketing Challenge): My Reflections as Mentee."

Anything else to comment on about PPC? Any ideas about how PPC might be affected in the near-future? Leave them in the comments!


Megan Ginecki is an SEM Consultant and PPC Specialist at SEER Interactive.

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