There are times when it's a good idea to integrate a little bit of purchasing power into your reputation management activities, especially if you're a business owner. Running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can often be an excellent addition to your overall reputation management strategy because it helps you "own" the first paid positions when someone Google's your brand.
We often think of building a solid website, setting up a Facebook page, and placing a few posts as the key components of reputation management. While those are definitely important, there are other avenues to improve your reputation across third-party review sites, social media, and other digital platforms.
When implemented properly, a PPC campaign can help you:
- Effectively reach your target audience
- Generate profit much faster
- Counter negative reviews
About this article
The main objective of this article is to highlight the benefits of PPC for businesses so that you as a business owner can decide whether it’s something you can leverage as a part of your marketing strategy. This article will cover:
- What is PPC
- How Paid Search Campaigns Influence a Brand’s Perception
- How to Use Customer’s Data to Supercharge your PPC Campaign
- How Online Reputation Management Services Work with Paid Content
How is PPC related to reputation?
PPC is an advertising whereby businesses pay a fee to search engines every time an online user clicks on their ads. Simply put, it’s a way of buying traffic to a website, rather than trying to organically “earn” those visits.
PPC ads are placed at the top of search results, before the organic ones. PPC can be used as a part of online reputation management to "own" a little extra space at the top of a search results page.
According to a recent survey conducted by TripAdvisor, 97% of respondents indicated that hiring an online reputation management company is paramount to their business. The same survey showed that 98% cared about online reviews and that 92% agreed that social media presence is important.
One of the most widespread PPC advertising systems for businesses is Google Ads. This platform allows businesses to create online ads that are displayed on Google search engine results and other peripheral properties of the company.
It operates under a very simple concept. Businesses are required to bid on keywords and pay for clicks on their advertisements. Once a search is initiated by Google, the platform crawls through the pool of Ads placed by businesses and chooses a group of winners. These winning ads are then displayed in the valuable ad space on the search results page. Some of the parameters used to determine “winners” include the quality of ad campaign, relevance of keywords, and the size of keyword bids.
How paid search campaigns influence a brand’s perception
It is clear that businesses acknowledge that constant vigilance of their online brand is important. However, a lot of research, organization, keywords selection and even PPC landing page optimization goes towards building a winning PPC campaign.
As a business owner, it's important to note that relevant and intelligently targeted PPC campaigns come with many benefits. For instance, if your PPC ads and landing page satisfy users, the search engines will reward you with a less per click pay, leading to improved profit margins.
So before you roll out your PPC campaign, it’s important to learn how it can help influence your brand’s perception.
Open your doors to more customers
When building a brand, the very first step entails creating awareness by letting your target audience know that you exist. And PPC is effective for reaching new customers and building positive brand perceptions. A recent report by LSA shows that 75% of buyers are more likely to visit your website if it appears in search results. If they don’t come across your ads, there is a possibility that they will click on your competitors’ ad leading to lost income.
Basically, you pretty much have to use PPC as a brand today because if you don't, your competitor will bid on your branded search terms and come up above you in search results.
With PPC, potential customers searching for products or services on their mobile phones are able to see your ad, tap on it, and receive directions to your premises.
Improves exposure and credibility
Increasing sales is the only way to make profits and grow a business. However, making even a single sale takes a lot of effort, which is why you should always be looking for a way to maximize your efforts in order to grow your bottom line.
SEO and PPC go hand in hand. By creating optimized PPC ads, you essentially put your brand name in front of more potential customers, meaning more exposure. And since most people feel reassured buying from a familiar brand, you get to benefit from a word of mouth referral which accounts for 50% of all purchasing decisions.
PPC marketing also helps build your credibility. With an online user spending in average 23.6 hours per week online, chances that a potential customer will come across your ad are high. With that said, statistics indicate that 30% of customers don't trust a business without a website and would never consider doing business with them.
PPC helps you control your brand’s narrative
Another great advantage of PPC advertising is that it allows you to set and control your own narrative. You have the freedom to personalize and create ads that are relevant to your audience. With that, you create a positive perception in the eye of your audience, which is important in strengthening your business.
How to use customer’s data to supercharge your PPC campaign
Today, information is considered as the new oil. Businesses are constantly accumulating and storing large pools of data about their customers. Unfortunately, most of this data is stored in disparate silos, doesn’t reach marketing departments or is hardly utilized when seeking PPC management services.
As a business owner, any information gleaned from your customers can immensely help in forming your PPC management strategies.
Below is a quick run-down of how you can use accumulated customer data to improve your campaigns.
If you are running a business, data describing work completed is particularly important in helping your marketing team brainstorm relevant or additional keywords. For example, your customer may leave a note in the customer database about how effective your services are. By reading their feedback, your marketing department may identify potential service categories not currently represented in your catalog.
Lack of insights on how visitors interact with particular marketing campaigns can be detrimental to your business. Therefore, you have to find a way to integrate your various data sources, for granular single customer insight.
On top of integrating this customer data, it is important to stitch it together with anonymized identifiers like multiple visits and numerous sessions. This helps your marketing team to understand who the customers are, their location, what they viewed, as well as their purchasing patterns.
Requesting customer’s opinion also lends potential benefits to your business, most of which could be deployed towards informing your marketing efforts. Finding out why a customer chooses your business over your competitors’ can help inform the PPC keywords you use or improve the ad copy.
For instance, if you are offering offshore development services, they could cite 24/7 customer support as your biggest selling factor. To this effect, you could try and mention “24/7 Customer Support” in your ad headline or in the call-out extension.
Research has shown that 86% of customers always read reviews before making a purchase. Moreover, 84% of them trust online reviews as if they were a personal recommendation while 68% only need to read 10 online reviews to form an opinion.
Just like customer surveys, online reviews give you a real-world writeup as to why particular customers choose (or don't choose) your business. Although Google Ads have rendered review extensions almost irrelevant, you can still utilize them in other ways. For instance, brief customer quotes or pain points keywords can be featured in your ad copy to improve clicks and rankings.
How online reputation management services work with paid content
Search engine optimization can make or break your online reputation. The lasting image of your brand is created by the first impression. Once negative posts about your business rank higher in the search engine results, there is a high possibility that your sales will drop to some extent.
PPC is an art and a science. It's complex. Luckily you can outsource PPC marketing to an online management service provider. These professionals help repair and protect your company’s digital reputation against personal enemies, unhappy employees or business competitors to some degree by helping you "own" the first position of paid search (PPC) above organic search results.
Using some of the best online reputation management tools and assets, these online reputation management professionals are able to hunt and displace past or current negative feedback if available. Furthermore, they prescribe a list of effective promotional techniques in PPC advertisements, online banner promotion, keywords enhancements, link building, content creation, and content management, to salvage your company from ruins and make it successful again.
In the world of online advertising, PPC ads are the modern-day Robin Hoods. This is because they intervene at the last mile of the customer's purchasing decision journey, which is why they are largely attributed to high conversions. However, even a minor negative search result on the search engines can create an “isolation effect” bias on the customer’s side, hence affecting their decision. And since you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression, it is important to carefully manage your digital reputation assets.
Fortunately, there are multiple ORM agencies and tools that can help you, as a business owner, to manage and mold your online reputation, as well as suppress the negative search results. Furthermore, they can assist in building content that reflects your business mission, vision and values to address short-term issues or deploy a long-term digital strategy.