In previous articles we have spoken about the wonders of search engine optimisation (why not check out our SEO guide?), but the other important element of search engine marketing is paid advertising. Whenever you search for something on Google or Bing, you may notice that the first results are marked up as an ad, and that’s because companies have paid to rank for your search term.
Any company with a website can run paid ads, and they can be a great way to grow your business. You can start seeing an increase in website traffic immediately after they begin running, meaning they are a helpful solution for medical device companies to grow their website quickly.
What are paid ads?
Although the majority of internet traffic comes from organic search, paid advertising provides a quick fix strategy for increasing website traffic. It can be used in unison with your other digital marketing activities to cover all bases and ensure you are reaching your target audience on as many platforms as possible.
As well as that, paid ads are completely measurable, so you’re able to quickly determine which of your advertising campaigns are performing well and which aren’t.
How to set up paid ads
When it comes to setting up ads, it might be difficult to know where to begin, but it is actually quite simple.
Search ads are run by platforms such as Google Ads and Bing Ads. Website owners (or people with access to websites) can set up advertising campaigns through these platforms.
The process isn’t too difficult. Simply list out the keywords you want to target, design the ad and set your budget along with other variables, and then let search engines take care of the rest. Google Ads has a keyword planner tool to help you choose your keywords. We have written an article on compiling keyword lists if you would like to learn more.
Display ads are also run through platforms that take care of the hard work for you, but there are many more to choose from. Each social media site has its own ad platform, such as Facebook Business, so you will need to set them up individually. For display ads appearing on different websites, there are so many networks to choose from. These include Google AdSense and Yahoo Adtech.
Choosing which platforms to use for your advertising campaigns mostly depends on your target audience (and your budget), you should ensure that your ads are being shown where your potential customers are. For instance, if you are looking to target healthcare professionals, advertising on Facebook might not be as successful as advertising on LinkedIn, which is specifically for business networking and has a high volume of healthcare workers.
How much do paid ads cost?
Understanding budgeting on paid ads can be tricky, but ultimately, what you will end up paying for depends on your goal for running the campaign in the first place. If your goal is to increase website visits, then you’ll pay-per-click (known as PPC), but if you’re looking to raise brand awareness, you’ll end up paying based on the number of impressions you receive (cost-per-mille/ cost-per-thousand). An impression counts as when at least 50% of your ad appears on a user’s screen.
The ad provider, e.g. Facebook or Google Ads, determines how much you will pay-per-click or per impression based on factors such as competition and the quality of your ad (how popular it has been, the landing page experience, and relevance to the user). This is known as cost-per-click (CPC) and is one of the most important metrics to monitor when running advertising campaigns. CPC can change all the time, and you can even work on optimising your ad to bring your CPC down, increasing your ROI.
The price of a click or impression is dictated by the ad provider based on a number of factors such as the competition for your chosen keyword/demographic criteria. When setting up your campaigns, you’ll be asked to set a maximum budget – this might be daily, weekly, monthly, or for the whole duration of your campaign. Once your post has received enough impressions or been clicked enough time to use up your budget, it won’t be shown anymore.
There are other variables that you can decide whilst setting up your ads, for instance, you may decide that you want to set up a maximum budget for cost-per-click. Take your time to consider what is going to be best to help you reach your goals, but generally, you will find that you need to let your campaigns run for a while before you’re informed on how much you should be paying.
How much you decide to spend is completely up to you, but keep in mind that you will only pay for what you receive. For example, if you set a budget of £100 for a month, but you only receive £70 worth of clicks, you will only pay £70.
How to successfully run ad campaigns
Just like with all digital marketing activities, there are some theories as well as tried and tested methods of maximising your campaigns and making them work harder for you.
Set up optimum budget
One of the most important things to get right with paid ads is setting your maximum budget.
Whilst you may be tempted to set a high budget to get lots of clicks quickly or set a very low budget to avoid wasting money, this is probably not the best way to get started. We recommend choosing a number below your maximum budget, but one that is high enough to be able to get actionable data from – you cannot base your conclusions on data from a tiny budget. The key is to find a balance.
The reason that you shouldn’t spend your maximum right away is because you have no idea how that ad will work for you, how much CPC tends to be in your industry and whether paid traffic will actually convert well for you. You may find that paid ads aren’t bringing in converting traffic for you, and you’ll be glad that you didn’t spend your maximum straight away.
After a few weeks, you can spot trends and make conclusions about your ad, CPC and traffic, and adjust your budget accordingly. If your budget is too low to begin with though, that won’t be enough data to base your conclusions on.
Examining cost-per-acquisition will help you to decide whether your budget is working for you. For example, if your monthly budget is used up because you’ve received 100 clicks but only 2 of those clicks converted, is the price worth it? You will need to decide how much a customer or lead is worth for your company.
Choose the right keywords/demogrphics
When deciding which keywords you would like to bid on for search ads, you may be tempted to go after the high-volume keywords that have the most traffic, but as is also the case with choosing keywords for SEO, bigger isn’t always better.
Whilst your main aim is probably to increase your exposure and website traffic, you will be constrained by a budget. Higher volume keywords are more popular, which means there is more competition, and they end up being more expensive. If you were to bid on all high-volume keywords, you might be exposed to more traffic, but you will actually earn fewer clicks and impressions because your budget will be used up quicker.
One way around this might be to bid on low volume keyword in order to get as many clicks or impressions as possible, but that also isn’t a great strategy. Lower volume keywords may result in fewer keywords anyway, because there just isn’t as much traffic, and the keyword may not be as relevant to your business – which means that the traffic you do get is less likely to convert.
As mentioned previously, the best way to choose which keywords to bid on is to compile a list of keywords that are relevant to your business and to choose a mixture of high and low volume.
Display ads follow a similar principle. Just like search ads, you need to find a balance when setting the demographics, you want to target and ensure that they are not too broad or too narrow. If your settings are too broad e.g. targeting a massive geographical radius, you will be facing a lot more competition, if they are too narrow, you risk not receiving as much traffic. Just like with search ads your demographic settings must be relevant to your target audience.
Measure and adjust campaigns
The best way to maximise your advertising campaigns is to regularly monitor them. Ad platforms provide so many metrics, so you need to be able to cut through the noise and decide what is important to measure to help achieve your goals. Here are a few of the most critical metrics.
Cost-per-click (CPC): This is how much you end up paying for clicks, it is not indicative of how much you actually pay-per-click, it is how many clicks you received divided by how much of your budget has been used. Each click may have a different cost depending on the amount of competition for the keyword it ranked for. Improving the quality of your ad and bidding on low volume keywords will help to bring down your CPC.
Click-through rate (CTR): This refers to how many people clicked on your paid ad. If your click-through rate is not as high as you would like, you may need to adjust your keyword selection or edit your ad copy/visual.
Conversion rate (CVR): Conversion is when a user performs a desired action (which is set by you). This could be as small as clicking through to another page on your site, or as big as buying a product or filling in a contact form. If your CVR is low, the issue is with your landing page, rather than the ad itself.
Get a head start with paid ads
As you can see, paid ads can open up a world of opportunity for your medical device company. They can help you get a head start on achieving your business goals and the results can be immediately awarding. When used as part of full digital marketing strategy, they can help you pave the way to success.
Why not check out our knowledge hub, to investigate other digital marketing activities that can help you get ahead?
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