Financial Advisors: The Basics of Pay Per Click Online Advertising

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the many ways of promoting your financial service or business. You only pay when a user/potential customer actually clicks on an ad to visit your website. You pick keywords or phrases such as “shopping” or “Green used car” and when the results come up your ad will be displayed. Google AdWords, and Microsoft Bing Ads are some of the largest PPC network operators. PPC is often used to refer to keyword advertising on search engines and social media website such as Facebook & Twitter. With PPC, search engines & social media platforms can give you instant traffic and allow you to test out new business models and ads in real time.

Getting Started with PPC Online Advertising

To get started, you will need to create a (campaign) simple text ad (or banner ad) that will catch your specific  customer or ideal client’s attention. Customer research (demographics) is crucial. The key to online advertising is to think creatively. You need to find specific keywords that are related to your service and/or business. You must word your ad in a way that it manages to attract only that reader who might be interested in your product and/or services. You are actually paying on a per click basis and hence you must only get those visitors who will buy and utilize your product or services. The best way to go about configuring the perfect wording is tweaking the ads that you have created. If your first ad is not working out, try re-wording or adding or deleting a sentence.

Once you start getting results, track your progress in Microsoft Excel or use the PPC tracking results manager that can easily export to CSV file. Most PPC Ad managers have visual front-ends and easy to track success rates. Use one column for keywords, and another for keyword clicks. Back to Excel…Create columns that will represent category phrases. Once you figure out your phrases, think about what local or geography you will sell your product or services. Once you input the data, take out any phrases that are too generic. Start using the keywords that are left in your PPC campaign and then grab the click through rates and conversion data and add the new columns and paste next to that particular keyword. This way you can get a organized visual of what keyword is working and what keyword is not working. Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner for validating the keywords you’ve found by showing you search volume data and trends, cost per click, and competitive data.

  • Understand what makes you special and why people will want to choose your service or product.
  • Keep an eye on your competitors’ keywords, messaging, and deals/offers.
  • Cater ads to different buyer wants and needs.
  • Test price, information that reassures buyers (e.g., “official site,” “24/7 support”), and time sensitivity (e.g., “Offer ends soon”).

You can also choose where you would like to advertise (demographics) such as:

  • Geographical location
  • Age and gender
  • Income levels
  • Popular sites
  • Blogs
  • Your favorite websites
  • Day of the week
  • Time of day (morning, afternoon, or night)

Don’t have a website but still want to advertise online? No problem. Most PPC networks will allow you to create a “mini” website that your ad will point to. You can add graphics, images, color schemes, and videos to your mini website. Anyone without a website no has no excuse to advertise online. For “brick and mortar” stores, make sure your PPC campaign list the city you are advertising. When your ad is seen, you want to make sure the person surfing notices that your ad is specifically for the area you are advertising for which will increase the quality of your click throughs. Avoid sending the reader of your ad to the home page on the first click. If there’s nothing local about the landing page, the user may abandon the page and move on. Send the reader directly to the product page you are advertising.

What I like about buying keywords on a PPC search engine, Facebook, Twitter is that it provides a trackable medium. Before you start any marketing campaign, you will need to decide what the goal of your marketing medium. If you are just “branding”, then you should know up front to expect to lose money to gain mind share or reinforce your brand.

The advantages to advertising online enables site owners to receive new traffic, new client leads and more measurable ROI. Another advantage include small businesses to be able operate nationally & globally. If your plan is to target the U.S. or the world with your ads, you better have a big budget. Broad PPC campaigns can get very costly in a short amount of time. Instead, begin by targeting the local market you’re familiar with. Your geo-targeted “buyer-persona” ads will cost less, and they will be better aimed at your specific audience. Make sure you localize your keywords. Not only do you have a greater chance to appear in the top SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), but you have an opportunity to do so much faster than if you were targeting global customers.