Let’s Work Together

Image Alt

The art of search engine advertising: driving traffic with PPC ads


The art of search engine advertising: driving traffic with PPC ads

Search engine advertising (SEA) is a form of Internet advertising. Sometimes, it is also referred to as search advertising, Internet search advertising, or online search advertising. It can be said to be a part of search engine marketing and thus an integral part of online marketing. Search engine advertising is a range of paid-for ads that are mostly displayed on the results pages of search engines like Google.

Imsights on a laptop

Instead of improving SEO techniques and waiting for them to pay off by appearing on the first page of an online search, businesses can speed up their SEO efforts by purchasing ads that appear on the first page of search results, regardless of their ranking.

Unlike traditional advertisements that are purchased outright, companies pay per click with SEA. The ad is displayed, and a fee is paid every time a user clicks on the ad. The fee is paid regardless of whether the user makes a purchase or signs up for an email newsletter after clicking on the link.

Let’s dive into the world of search engine advertising and learn how to drive targeted traffic to your website using the following steps:

1. Creating compelling ad headlines

An ad headline is a group of a few words or sentences that promote a product or service. Ad headlines can be in print or digital form and typically emphasize a product’s primary purpose or benefit to a consumer. Advertisers usually create ad headlines that are catchy and noticeable and combine them with images in order to convince people to buy their product. Sometimes, companies reuse one ad headline as a recognizable tagline for their brand. You can find ad headlines in the following types of advertisements:

  • Billboards
  • Websites
  • Magazines
  • Television commercials
  • Social media ads
  • Newspapers
  • Bus ads
  • Choose your words wisely
    In any digital ad format, you’ve only got a limited amount of characters to use to make an impact and convince your customer to click. Every word counts. Write what you want to say, then start cutting: cut out any fluff or unnecessary words, look for shorter ways of saying the same thing, or a different word that captures a bit more emotion. Keep going until you have a clear, concise headline that perfectly expresses your message don’t be afraid to be ruthless.
    It may take some time, but finding the right combination of words can mean the difference between a passable click-through rate and a great one. Once you have a few contenders, A/B testing can help you to narrow down which one is the most effective for your market.
  • What’s in it for your customer?
    Too many businesses are still focusing on products and features, and not enough on benefits and value to their customer. A product and feature-centric headline can come across as sales-y – more interested in making money than doing anything for your customers. On the other hand, a benefits and value-oriented headline makes it clear that you understand what your customer wants and needs, and you’re there to help them live better.
    Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – what would make them want to click on your ad? What would they get out of it – how would it make their life better? You need to know your target audience well, so you can ensure your ads will be relevant to their interests.
  • Use emotions for a stronger response
    Emotions are a powerful trigger in the decision-making process, and can be especially effective when you need a fast reaction, i.e. to stop someone from scrolling past your ad. What emotion are you trying to activate with your headline? Fun playfulness? Inspiration and motivation? Shock? Envy? Intrigue?
    Whatever emotion you choose, make sure it’s relevant to your company and consistent across your campaign for a seamless user experience when they click through from the ad to your content or offer.
  • Authenticity and honesty go a long way
    To win favour and trust from your customers, avoid over the top claims or clickbait-y headlines these will only damage your reputation and disappoint your customers after they click. Be authentic and be honest, using data and evidence to prove whatever claims you make in your ad. Internet users are becoming more and more skeptical, and more distrusting of advertising in general – to win over their trust, especially with native advertising, you have to work harder to prove that you are genuine.
  • Don’t forget a call to action
    Every good ad needs a good call to action, directing your customer as to what you want them to do next after seeing your ad. Do you want them to follow your social media page? Sign up for a free product or trial? Find out more about your services? Subscribe to your newsletter? Make it easy to follow with a simple, concise call to action at the end of your headline.
    Writing successful ad headlines is a combination of art, science, and practice. Once you know the guidelines, you can begin to experiment and test your copy in the real world to improve your results piece by piece. If you’re still having trouble, or feel it’s time to let the experts take care of your ads, get in touch with our team we’ve had years of experience crafting compelling ads for a variety of clients across New Zealand and internationally.

2. Utilizing ad extensions

Ad extensions are extra bits of information that you can show alongside your ads. They can contain links to specific subpages on your webpage, a call button, product pricing information, and more.

Statistics being logged

The main benefit of using ad extensions is that it provides additional information to make your ads more relevant to customers.

Types of ad extensions

  • Sitelink extensions
  • Callout extensions
  • Structured snippet extensions
  • Call extensions
  • Location extensions
  • Image extensions
  • Lead form extensions
  • Promotion extensions
  • App extensions

Let’s take a closer look at each:

  • Sitelink extensions
    Sitelink extensions which can be created manually or automatically let you add links to specific pages on your website. This gives potential customers more information about your offerings and encourages them to visit the pages most relevant to them.
    For instance, if you run a footwear company, you might include Sitelink extensions for women’s sneakers, women’s boots, men’s sneakers, men’s boots, and kid’s shoes. You could also have a link to a landing page for special sales and promotions. This way, searchers can navigate directly to the products or pages they’re most interested in, reducing friction and improving their browsing experience.
  • Callout extensions
    Callout extensions which can be manual or automated are 25-character snippets of text that extend your ad descriptions. This is a great place to give potential customers more information about your business’s unique selling points. ​​You might want to mention that your goods are “sustainably made” or that you offer “free shipping.”
  • Structured snippet extensions
    Structured snippets manual or automated let you highlight a list of features or services within your ad. These are similar to callout extensions in that they’re text limited to 25 characters that appear after your ad description. The difference is that structured snippets require you to pick a predefined header from a selection that Google offers, and create a list. For example, an artist might choose the “service catalog” header and list offerings such as “prints, originals, and custom portraits.”
  • Call extensions
    A call extension allows you to add a phone number to your ad, making it easier for customers to reach you. This is a manual extension (although automated location extensions may include a phone number).
  • Location extensions
    Location extensions let you add your business address manually or automatically to your ad. They can help customers find you if you operate a physical storefront. If you make a product sold through major retailers like if Nordstrom sells your apparel you can also use affiliate location extensions to help customers find your stockists.
  • Image extensions
    Image extensions manual or automated are small square images that qualified advertisers can include in their search ads. (Eligibility depends on ​​account history, ad quality, and adherence to the platform’s advertising policies.) These can be photos of your products or storefront, but they cannot be logos.
  • Lead form extensions
    Lead form extensions manual only allow advertisers to include forms and surveys directly in their advertisements in order to collect customer information.
  • Promotion extensions
    Marked by a price tag icon, promotion extensions let you include information about limited-time sales and promotions in your search ad. You must create these extensions manually.
  • App extensions
    As the name implies, app extensions let searchers on mobile devices download an app directly from your ad. You can only create these extensions manually.

Vous aimez ce que vous lisez ?
Assurez-vous de ne jamais passer à côté de nos dernières publications.
Abonnez-vous à notre newsletter Gecko et soyez les premiers informés de nos nouveaux articles.

3. Conducting competitor analysis

A competitor analysis is a way of evaluating how well your business and its products or services are performing compared to other companies selling similar products or services in your market. It can also be said to be the process of examining similar brands in your industry to gain insight into their offerings, branding, sales, and marketing approaches. Knowing your competitors in business analysis is important if you’re a business owner, marketer, start-up founder, or product developer.


“A competitor analysis focuses on identifying market participants positioned to encroach on your opportunity and isolates each participant’s operational strengths, substantive weaknesses, product offerings, market dominance, and missed opportunities,” said David Taffet, CEO of Petal.

  • Find out who your competitors are.
    Start by reviewing your own business values, goals, branding, products, and services. That way, you can easily identify existing brands that target customers might choose over yours.
    Next, turn to Google. Type in your product name or category. What brands and companies come up when you search « hydrating lipstick », for example? What comes up when you search social media channels for relevant hashtags or keywords?
    Using the information you gathered, make a list of up to 10 brands whose offerings most resemble yours and present your target customers with comparable alternatives. Identify potential direct competitors (those who sell a similar product to a similar audience) and indirect competitors (those who sell a different product to a similar audience).
  • Analyze your competitors and their business structures
    By examining how competitors structure their businesses, you can gauge how equipped they are to grow, gain market share, and earn customer loyalty in your target market. Review each competitor’s website and social media profile to gather the following information:

    • How large is the company, in terms of the number of leaders and employees?
    • How many years has the company been in operation?
    • What job openings do these companies list on Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn? What are their areas of expansion?
  • Evaluate your competitors and their value propositions
    A value proposition is a short statement that summarizes the benefits of a product and why a customer would choose it over competing products. A value proposition often looks something like the following: We help [target customer] do [outcome, benefit, experience] by doing / offering [product or service].In this section, you will understand competitors’ value propositions in order to ensure your product or service stands out in the marketplace. Review major competitors’ site copy, particularly on the « About » or What We Do » pages, as well as analyzing any blogs and stories on their website. Answer these questions for each competitor:

    • What problems and pain points do competitors’ products solve?
    • What desires do the products fulfill?
    • What benefits or outcomes does the product deliver for customers?
    • What data do they cite to support their claims about products’ benefits?
    • What pricing structure do competitors use?
  • Evaluate your competitors’ marketing efforts
    Evaluate how competitors position themselves in the marketplace. This will allow you to create a marketing strategy that gets your brand in front of your target audience. For each competitor, answer these questions:

    • What social media influencers does this company partner with to leverage their authority, authentic content and personal connections to target customers?
    • What affiliate marketing or brand ambassador programs does this company offer to leverage the recommendations of satisfied customers?
    • What kind of digital or traditional paid advertising presence does this company have?
    • On what marketing channels do competitors publish organic content, including websites, landing pages, social media platforms, and email?
    • What type of content do you see, including articles, videos, ebooks, reports, commercials, and digital ads?
  • Audit your competitors’ brand identities
    Get to know your competitors by auditing their brand identities and getting a sense of why customers might feel connected (and loyal) to that brand. For each competitor, answers these questions:

    • If this company were a person, how would you describe its personality?
    • What words, phrases, tone, and style does this company use in its messaging?
    • What values do competitors communicate through their messaging?
    • How would you describe the visual elements of this company’s branding? And how do those elements correspond to the brand’s values, voice, and personality?
    • What emotions do the brand elements evoke in customers?
  • Follow each competitor’s customer journey
    Study the customer journeys that your competitors have set up to nurture and convert customers. Your goal is to gauge how seamless, integrated, and logical it is to go from the first touch-point to making a purchase and beyond.
    Start by following your competitors on social media, subscribing to them via email, and purchasing products and services to experience each customer journey for yourself. As you experience the customer journey for each competitor, gather information on the following:

    • What are the different touch-points along this company’s customer journey?
    • What elements make it easy to keep moving along the customer journey?
    • What calls to action and instructions are there to make it clear how to proceed?
    • What kinds of content educate and entertain you at each touch-point?
    • What elements create friction or make it difficult to advance to the next step?
    • What do you experience after subscribing or making a purchase? Do you find customer support, upsells, and access to a community?
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis of your competition
    A SWOT analysis is a classic exercise for identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that exist within the competitive landscape. Conduct a SWOT analysis of your competitors to consolidate everything you’ve learned into a succinct story.

    • What strengths do you see in competitors’ branding, marketing, customer journeys, and products?
    • What weaknesses do you see in competitors’ branding, marketing, customer journeys, and products?
    • What opportunities do you see for your business to capitalize on?
    • What is your competition doing that might pose a threat to your business?

4. Monitoring quality scores and click-through rates

Click-through rate is the ratio of the number of people who clicked on an ad to the number of people who viewed the ad. Click-through rates give advertisers and publishers a measure of how successful a website or an email campaign is.

Computer mouse

Average CTR is expressed as a percentage and can be discovered using the following formula:

(Total Clicks) / (Total Impressions) = CTR

For example, if an ad that has attracted 10 clicks from 100 impressions, then that ad has a CTR of 10%.

What is considered a good click-through rate depends on the industry, ad campaigns, and keywords. However, regardless of the business and campaign strategy, publishers should be looking to attract high CTRs if they want to drive more revenue.

The reason for this is simple. The more users click whether it’s an online ad, an email marketing campaign, or a simple search engine result the more likely the user is to take the desired action of the campaign. In layman’s terms? A high CTR generally equals a high conversion rate.

  • Monitoring your quality scores
    For your quality scores, you can monitor your quality score and its components (expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience) in your Google Ads account. You can view your quality score at the keyword, ad group, or campaign level, and see how it changes over time.Click through rates statistics
  • How do I know if CTR is high or low?
    In practice, the higher your CTR, the better for your business. Generally, a click rate of 3% or more is considered satisfactory. To assess whether this metric is high or low, you must consider your business segment and the performance of competitors, in addition to your experience with ads.
    The main comparison should be with the CTR of your competitors for a particular keyword. After all, a lower click-through rate than a competitor means that Google sees your page as less relevant than other companies. Therefore, a CTR of 3% which can be considered good in certain situations is useless if, in practice, your direct competitor has a click-through rate of around 5%. Thus, determining a satisfactory value depends directly on your campaign’s performance in relation to competitors’ ads.
    In addition, when examining this metric closely, don’t forget to separate campaign models, since the performance of an ad through search may differ whether the goal is more views or more clicks.
  • Using Google analytics for tracking conversion rates and click-through rates
    Google Analytics is an incredibly versatile tool that allows you to understand who your audiences are, how they behave on your website (also create heatmaps in Google Analytics), where they find out about your business (that is, traffic sources), and how they interact with your website content.
    More specifically, Google Analytics allows you to set up Goals, which gives you the ability to track whenever a defined action is taken on your website (that is, the conversion rate), like form submissions or product purchases.
    Look at this short video from Google on how to use Goals within Google Analytics to track your conversion rates.

In conclusion, when it comes to pay per click advertising, you want to understand the right factors that drive customers. You want to focus on the quality of your ad advertising to drive traffic to your site. If you do this right, you can find a strong influx of traffic through your PPC ad campaign.

Elevate your business with targeted PPC ads