Pay Per Click Advertising

We’ve all seen them before the little advertisement that appears when we enter a social media platform or the first and last line items in a search engine.

Businesses pay an advertising fee for these ads every time a user clicks on them, hence the name. When the user clicks on the advert, they are usually redirected to the advertised site or landing page. Some platforms also charge the advertiser for actions such as video views and engagements.

Pay per click or PPC is both a popular and an effective way to advertise. Search engine adverts target the people that are already looking to purchase the products or services advertised. PPC offers advertisers an opportunity to present their product to people who may otherwise never have seen it.

This marketing tool allows you to set a budget on the platform of your choice and then pay for the people who click on your ad. Budgets for PPC differ vastly with larger corporations willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and others spending just a few thousand. The individual price per click is driven by the compitetion in the market for the product that you sell.


How the Pricing Works

Google, and the other search engines, sell their advertising on public auction. Advertisers bid for specific keywords. It is an automated process that determines which ads will receive prominence in the search engines. It is based, among other things, on the quality of your advert, how relevant it and your landing page are and the click through rate. Relevance is determined by the keywords used. The quality rate, as determined by the search engine, is then multiplied by the amount that you bid for the keywords. This determines your placement. If you have the highest combined score you get the top position.

The cost of the Google keywords depends on their popularity, with some words costing a lot more than others. When you join the Ad Auction, Google will give you a suggested price for the keywords. If you bid much below the suggested price, chances are you won’t see any of your ads on Google search.

When a user types in the keywords the search engine algorithm determines which advertisements appear and where.

Setting up Your PPC Campaign

To set up your PPC campaign

  • Decide on your campaign goals
  • Decide on your target market
  • Choose the platform that you want to use
  • Select your keywords and the demographic
  • Decide on your budget and set your bid
  • Write your ad and link it to the appropriate landing page
  • Measure the outcomes and make changes when necessary. All the PPC platforms offer analytics that help their advertisers to measure the success of their advertising campaigns. In this way they can evaluate the results of their campaign in real time. Then make changes to their offering where necessary.
Setting up Your PPC Campaign

Google Ads

When you decide to start an advertising campaign on Google you place the amount of money that you plan to spend in your account. Every time someone clicks on your ad, your account is depleted by the amount that you have agreed to pay. Once all your funds are used Google will stop running your ads unless you place additional funds into your account.

There are several different types of Google ads

Google Search Ads
Appear at the top or the bottom of the page when a user starts a search using particular keywords. Graphic ads are not available in this format.

Google AdWords and AdSense
Allows you to run advertisements on private websites or in a search. When run on private websites Google charges a portion of the click and the rest goes to the website owner.

Google Display Network
Used to run graphic ads on any of the PPC websites

Getting a Good Quality Score on Google or Bing

Because your ranking is affected by both cost and quality getting a high-quality score on the search engine can save you money or get you a higher rank than your competitor who is paying the same as you.

Different aspects of the score include

  • Your advertisement
  • Your keywords
  • The quality of your landing page. Make sure that you don’t make your visitor work too hard to find what they are looking for. You may lose your customer if you do.
  • How many clicks you receive

Some suggestions to improve your quality score and keep your campaign on track

  • Keep improving the quality of your advertising copy.
  • Ensure that the copy in your advertisement contains the keywords that you want targeted.
  • Your landing page should also contain the keywords. Don’t confuse the visitors. Make sure that your landing pages contain copy that is cohesive with that in your ad. Don’t use your home page as your landing page. Take the traffic to the page that contains the product that you are selling
  • Keep the same ad account. You need to build up a history on the platform.
  • Ensure that your campaign is focused at the correct location, time and platform.

You can test and change your ads whenever you need to, and you can pause or restart them as you choose.

PPC Management

PPC should form just one aspect of a multi-faceted marketing strategy. It can be a shortcut, an expensive one, to find your way to the top of the Search Engine Return Page SERP rankings, putting your brand in the coveted top spot on the first page.

If you plan to run a PPC campaign, it is a good idea to seek professional assistance. There is an art to ensuring that you pitch something that will give you a respectable return on advertising investment. A qualified Internet marketing professional can help you to choose the right keyword combinations. They can also help you to write inciteful advertising copy. They can aid you in the bidding process, and they can make sure that your landing pages are setup to encourage conversions.

Targeting Strategies on PPC

Careful targeting will ensure that your ad gets to the right audience, in the right place and at the right time. Using long tail keywords that target the right audience can save you loads of advertising dollars. Long tail keywords are phrases that are very specific to the product that you are selling. Carefully chosen, they can save you money on wasted clicks and ensure that your product is presented to those who are actually looking for something of that nature.

PPC – the Pros and Cons

PPC marketing is quick and responsive. Organic search engine results can be slow to change, but changes to PPC can churn out results in a matter of hours, which allows the advertisers to quickly respond to changing market conditions.

On the other hand, PPC can cost you more than you had anticipated. It is easy to get into a bidding war over certain keywords, and then to pay more than you intended. It is also expensive compared to SEO where your initial financial layout will continue to earn clicks at an ever-decreasing cost per click. PPC is also not scalable. You pay the same per click regardless of how many clicks you receive. In this way the total advertising costs keep growing.

Organic SEO and PPC Both Have a Place in Your Campaign

Organic SEO is a longer-term, ongoing attempt to grow your brand. PPC should be a focused exercise with clear objectives. When conducting such advertising campaigns marketers should be focused on conversions to ensure that they receive an adequate return on investment.

Before you start the campaign, you should have measurable goals. Conversions counted need not be sales. It could be a request for quotation or queries about product lines. Whatever it is that you plan to accomplish with the campaign, it must be measured.

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Where is PPC most useful

For many companies PPC forms an important part of the overall online marketing effort. It is particularly helpful under the following circumstances

Time based campaigns
If you’re introducing new products or offering discounts and you want to get the word out quickly

Online retail
If you’re an online store than it is essential that you are out there converting traffic to customers

Product Listings
Google and Bing both offer a specific ad type that allows advertisers to list their full product listing.

Niche products
Using long tail keywords that are less expensive can reduce your cost per click and, at the same time, hone in on the users who are looking for the products like yours.

Some platforms such as Google AdWords allow you to create audiences from previous visitors to your site, so that you can tailor your ads to this audience.

B2B advertising
Because you are targeting a smaller market, keyword search volumes will be smaller. The profit margins are usually higher, so PPC gives businesses a perfect means of marketing their product to an inbound audience.

Your PPC Advertisement

Ensure that your ad is well written and adheres to the rules of the platform. Google won’t, for example, allow advertisers to use superlatives such as “the greatest” or “the best”. You may not use an unnecessary amount of capitalisation or keywords.

Good copy will help your customer to understand what value your product can add to the business or lifestyle of your audience. Let your customers know how your product will solve a problem for them. End your ad with a good call to action to add a sense of urgency.

Protect Your PPC from Fruitless Clicks

Clicks that don’t convert, cost money. Careful use of negative key words can help you to discourage this. Examine the metrics to find out the cause of fruitless clicks and add to the negative keywords to reduce them. IP exclusions are also a great tool for those who find that there are a number of fruitless clicks from a particular IP address.

PPC a Part of Your Online Marketing Strategy

In the age of the Smartphone, people spend on average 24 hours per week on the Internet. They form opinions based on what they see. They base their buying decisions on information found on the Internet. They share their social media pages and they buy online.

If your business still does not have an online presence you are missing out. The most successful brands today, use PPC on search engines and social media. They also understand the importance of brand recognition and authority, managing their public relations through Search Engine Optimised content. All of these should form of a considered and multi-faceted advertising campaign.

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