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The basics of paid search

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a relatively new marketing tool that can streamline the way you advertise online. Since search engine advertising has become one of the best ways to reach the most potential customers, it has become incredibly difficult to stand out from the crowd. PPC gives you a way to get in touch with a much larger audience without having to try to guess what the next trends or fads will be.

Let’s take a closer look at PPC, what it is, and how you can use it to improve your online visibility and increase sales.

What Are Google Ads (PPC)?

By bidding on ad placement for a particular keyword with a particular search engine, you can get your ad placed higher in the search results when a potential customer uses that keyword. For example, if you are considering taking a vacation in the US and enter the search, “vacation in the US,” you get the following results.

The top two results for the search are Google Ads. Every time someone clicks on one of these ads, the company that paid to have the ad appear so high in the result is charged the established fee. The person doing the clicking doesn’t have to make a purchase for the company to be charged – all they have to do is click on it for you to be billed for that click.

Let’s say that the rate per click is $2. If you have five people who click on the link within 5 minutes, you will be charged $10. Now let’s say that one person immediately leaves your site, but the other 4 people spend more than $200 each while on your site. That is a significant profit for just $10.

While there are several search engines, Google is easily the most popular search engine, and that means it is also the most effective and popular way to advertise using PPC. The Google Ads platform was designed specifically for businesses to better reach their intended audiences when people use the most popular search engine or other Google products. The business model is built on the PPC model, so it is optimized for the use of keywords.

When the set of keywords are used, Google hunts through its own PPC database to select which ads will be displayed and in what order. You can consider these the “winners” for that particular keyword. The selection process isn’t as random as it sounds. Google actually chooses the companies to display based on several key factors:

  • How high the business’s ad ranks on the platform
  • How relevant the search is to the business
  • The quality of the keyword and ad campaigns of the business
  • How much the business has bid to use that keyword

The Ad Rank is calculated based on two factors:

  • The CPC Bid is the maximum amount an advertiser will spend, or their highest bid.
  • The Quality Score is a combination of the click-through rate, relevance, and the quality of the advertisers’ landing page.

This ensures that you don’t pay more for the ad’s placement than you are willing to spend. It also means that your ranking doesn’t require that you pay more. If you develop a landing page that ranks higher than someone who is willing to pay more, and if you build it so that it is more relevant for the keywords you choose, you will do better, even if you pay less than the other company. 

What are the benefits of PPC?

There are more benefits to using PPC than disadvantages, but let’s look at what those benefits are so you can make the best decision of whether it is the right path for you and your business.

  • It is a much more cost-effective way of reaching a larger audience than any traditional form of advertising. You only pay when people actually click on your ad.
  • Branding your business through PPC is a lot easier to do, giving you a more reliable method of launching products, services, and campaigns.
  • PPC is one of the most targeted methods of advertising, with destination links only displaying when a user searches for a keyword or phrase.
  • You have full control over the cost since you establish how much you will pay for your chosen keywords monthly.
  • PPC gives you a much larger potential audience.
  • You control all the parts of the campaign, including your keyword choices, the title you will use, your ad copy, and the page where visitors will land once they click on your link.
  • PPC gives you a way to conduct real-time tests and comparisons to see what changes can improve the click-through rate to your site. Google Ads generates a wide range of reports to see what you can do to tweak your ad for better results.
  • You can more easily calculate the return on your investment with the different keywords you choose. As keywords and phrases lose their popularity, you can drop them and find new ones that are more popular or relevant.
  • PPC is considerably easier to manage than fighting for a top spot through SEO. Traffic from PPC links is also more predictable than traditional SEO because you are more likely to rank higher in the search results.

These are some of the biggest advantages. After using PPC for a month or two, you’ll start to notice the smaller advantages as well, like PPC launches faster (usually within a few days) than changes in SEO results (usually a few weeks).

Keep in mind there isn’t a specific Google Ads Nashville platform, or anywhere specific to a particular location. The best way to improve how effective your PPC is, will be to include your specific location to reach your intended audience.

What are the disadvantages of PPC?

Since it is always best to be transparent, you should also know the disadvantages of PPC. Before getting into those disadvantages though, if you properly manage your campaigns, you can easily avoid most of these drawbacks.

  • PPC can get pretty competitive, and that can drive up the cost. As more companies join in the bidding war for a particular keyword or phrase, it will drive up the bids, potentially eclipsing the bids of smaller companies.
  • For incredibly popular keywords, it isn’t a cost-effective way for smaller companies or specialty services to try to reach potential audiences. Incredibly popular phrases like “car insurance” or “tech services” remain highly popular, so a lot of companies are likely to pay higher rates. This makes them nearly unusable for companies with much smaller budgets.
  • You need to have more knowledge of PPC configurations and bidding options to be effective. These practices will change over time, so you or your marketing team will need people who will keep up with best practices so you can stay competitive.
  • Managing a PPC account can be fairly time consuming, with at least daily checks being required to ensure you remain competitive. Some businesses have established hourly checks, so PPC isn’t exactly an automated process. It’s one of the things that needs to be managed as a part of a campaign to be effective.
  • Not all people looking on a keyword or phrase are interested in a product that is being advertised. If a word or key phrase is used more often for research or other factors, your ad could be completely ignored. While you aren’t going to pay for the higher ranking, your ad won’t do much good if people who aren’t looking to shop are the primary people who see the ranking.

You can get around some of these problems through a more targeted approach (in addition to managing the campaign). For example, if you reduce your target audience to keywords that are specific to PPC Nashville, you can use the more popular keywords with better potential results. If you take a very targeted approach to a paid search for Nashville, you will get a much better return on your investment for those more popular keywords because people tend to start searching locally.

    Key components of PPC

    While it is best to get help from an expert, you should at least have a basic understanding of what makes up a successful PPC campaign. There are five key components.

    LANDING PAGE

    Your landing page is absolutely one of the most important components, and it can give you an edge over your competition. Even if a person clicks on your ad by accident or wasn’t intended to buy anything, your landing page can nudge them into making a purchase while they are already on your site.

    BIDDING COMPETITIVENESS

    Like every other type of ad, you must make an offer for your campaign. If you do everything else right, but fall short on the offer, your campaign can be less effective or completely fail. Your offer must be a good deal and reflect the value of what potential customers will get.

    KEYWORDS

    Like SEO, Keywords are the backbone of the PPC campaign, so you need to determine which keywords are the most relevant to your business. This can be very time consuming because keyword research requires targeted analysis before you settle on which keywords are the best for your bidding dollar. Track any terms that you have found to be negative keywords. These are keywords or phrases that are non-converting, so that you can avoid them in the future.

    KEYWORD MANAGEMENT

    A successful campaign requires regular keyword management. Just like your campaign will evolve over time (usually a bit faster than you would probably like), the effectiveness of your keywords is going to change. You’ll need to constantly monitor which keywords are effective to have the best return on your investment.

    AD COPY

    Ad copy is the final component, pulling together all of the other components of your PPC campaign. It needs to include use of your keywords and will need to be updated regularly as you tweak and change your keywords. You will also need to ensure that it is relevant to those keywords, so you should change your ad copy as often as you adjust your keywords and landing page.

    Why not to do Google Ads yourself

    As mentioned in the drawbacks, PPC isn’t something that novices are likely to be able to do well. Taking a DIY approach without the specialized knowledge will much more likely result in a lot of wasted time. Unlike traditional forms of marketing, PPC is complicated and rooted in a lot of technical knowledge (probably about as much technical knowledge as marketing knowledge).

    If you cannot dedicate time to PPC every day, it is best not to try to do it yourself. To remain high in the rankings, you have to ensure that your landing page is better than that of your competition, that you are monitoring your keywords and phrases, and that you are making regular tweaks and changes based on the many reports that you can generate on the platform.

    Even understanding SEO isn’t enough to be able to properly manage a PPC account. If you use the wrong metrics for analyzing how effective your keywords are, you significantly reduce how much you can optimize your PPC campaigns. Google Ads is as user friendly as the platform could make it, but it requires people who are digital marketing experts to establish even a moderately effective campaign. One or two small mistakes can jeopardize your whole campaign.

    Taking a local targeted approach, such as focusing your Google Ads to Nashville, if you fail to track the trends in the area, you could fail to have your ads display for your target audience.

    With training and a lot of experience, it is possible to manage your own PPC, but when you are first getting started, it makes a lot more sense to seek professional help. That way your PPC campaign can be effective from the beginning.

    Key aspects of PPC Marketing?

    Knowing the components of the PPC is a good starting point, but there’s still more. Now let’s look at the key components of what makes up a successful PPC Marketing campaign. Fortunately, there are only three components that build off of what you’ve already learned.
      • The headlines that you establish need to really intrigue your target audience. There are two headlines, which we can see in the example used at the beginning with the phrase “PPC Company Nashville.”The first headline is the one that identifies the link as an Ad and the actual address where the link goes. The second headline is the one in blue, and that is what is going to grab a person’s attention first. This is where you want your most attention-grabbing text.
      • The description is the third line of the ad, highlighting anything you think makes your products or services unique. It can also highlight sales or positive reviews. This can take up several lines, depending on what you want potential customers to know before they visit your site.
      • Additional links make up the rest of the ad, and you have a couple of options in how you want to present these links. In the example above, most companies have a single row with titles for the pages that a person can visit. In the first example, the company actually broke the other links into their own subsection, giving the user a lot more information so the user has a better understanding of what is on each page.

    What you get with our Google Ads subscription

    EXPECTED CONVERSIONS PER YOUR BUDGET

    Analysing the website AdWords budget calculator on the basis of your monthly budget for AdWords.  We share the expected monthly conversions with your assigned budget along with the cost-per-click (CPC). We take this estimated data through Google AdWords tool and share the results to set the expectation.

    AD COPY AND NEGATIVE KEYWORDS LIST

    Once the campaign is finalized, we share a drafted version of the Ad copies with you, along with the list of negative keywords.  We seek your approval before setting up payment in the next step.

     

    PAYMENT SETUP

    After we receive approval of your ad copy,  we share a link for you to update the credit card for the billing purpose.

     

    GOOGLE ADWORS CAMPAIGN

    Once the payment details have been established, we share details about your Google AdWords campaign.   We ask you to review and approve your first campaign.  

    CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT

    This is the part where we offer most value. Depending on the allocation of your marketing budget to PPC, our experts will manage your Google Ads campaign on a daily or weekly basis.  They will continually track and make adjustments to the keword bids to keep your paid search investment optimized.  A major determinant of the effectiveness of your campaign is balancing your conversions with the CPC (cost-per-click).  

    MONTHLY ADWORDS REPORT

    At the conclusion of each month, we share a Google AdWords’ progress report with you.  The report contains details about your conversions and how effective your budget  was in creating those conversions.  We handle the highly technical details while you focus on creating more business.

     

    IN SUMARY

    • Transparency at every stage of a structured yet flexible process
    • Confidence through Google Ads’ expertise
    • Results driven