What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?
Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) advertising is an Internet marketing model and form of advertising in which advertisers pay a small fee each time one of their ads is clicked online. It’s a way of buying visits to your website, as opposed to trying to “earn” the site visits organically.
One of the most popular forms of PPC is Search Engine advertising. It enables advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches with a keyword that’s related to what their business offers. As an example, if a company bids on keywords such as “PPC software,” an ad for the company offering that product could show up at the top spot of Google’s results page.
Whenever your ad is clicked, sending a visitor to your website, you pay the search engine a small fee. When PPC is working most effectively, the fee is trivial because the visit to your site is worth more than you pay for it. For example, if you pay $3 for a click, but the click results in a $300 sale, they you’ve made a substantial profit.
Among the many things that go into building a successful PPC campaign is the research and selection of the right keywords, organizing those keywords into well-organized campaigns and ad groups, and setting up PPC landing pages optimized for conversions. Search engines reward advertisers by charging them less if they can create relevant, intelligently targeted pay-per-click campaigns. Google will charge you less per clicked ad if you are satisfying users with useful landing pages, which can lead to higher profits for your business. So if you want to use PPC, learning how to do it right can make all the difference to your success.
Google AdWords: What is it?
Without question, Google AdWords is singularly the most popular PPC ad system in the world. Businesses can create ads using the AdWords platform that will appear on Google’s search engine, plus other Google properties.
The model that AdWords operates on is a pay-per-click model, where users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their ads. Whenever a search is begun, Google deep dives into the pool of advertisers using AdWords and selects a set of winners that will appear in the highly valuable ad space of Google’s search results page. “Winners” are selected using a combination of factors, including the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, in addition to the bid size for keywords.
What determines who gets to appear on the highly prized Google search results page is the advertiser’s Ad Rank, which is a metric calculated by two factors that are multiplied: the CPC Bid (which is the highest amount of spend an advertiser is willing to commit to) and the Quality Score (a value that brings your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality). Reaching potential customers is the chief benefit of this system because it a system that will fit their budget. It’s a process that’s similar to an auction.
PPC marketing that’s directed through AdWords has a great value due to Google’s status as the most recognized and popular search engine. With the tremendous amount of traffic that Google receives, it delivers the greatest number of impressions and clicks to your ads. Keywords and match types determine how frequently your PPC ads appear, but there are additional factors that determine how much of a success the PPC campaign you’re running will be. Here are some areas where you can focus on to achieve greater success:
- Keyword Relevance – developing PPC keyword lists that are relevant to your ad which include tight keyword groups and appropriate ad copy.
- Landing Page Quality – designing the most optimal landing pages that contain persuasive, relevant content with clear call-to-action verbs that are closely matched with specific search inquiries.
- Quality Score – the quality and relevancy of your keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns is called a Quality Score. It’s Google’s system for measuring the effectiveness of your PPC ad campaigns. Advertisers that have higher Quality Scores are getting more ad clicks at lower costs.
Keyword Research for PPC campaigns
Although it can be time-consuming, keyword research is very important to the effectiveness of any PPC campaign. Keywords are the foundation of your complete PPC campaign, and to stay on top of the pack, as an AdWords advertiser, you need to be continuously growing and refining your PPC keyword list. Hundreds of thousands of highly relevant keywords might be missed if you only perform keyword research once, such as at the beginning of your campaign. The relevancy of highly effective keywords is what drives traffic to your site, which is why it’s important to conduct PPC Keyword research on a regular basis.
When it comes to keywords, there are some suggestions on what an effective keyword list should be:
- Relevant – targeted keywords that lead to higher PPC click-through rates, more effective costs per click, and greater profits should be closely related to what you sell, so you don’t end up paying for web traffic that has no connection to your business. You want to bid on the right keywords for your campaign.
- Exhaustive – effective keyword research should cover a wide range of keywords for your campaign. They should include both popular and frequently searched terms as well as long tail keywords. These long tail of search keywords are more specific and less common than the most popular and frequently searched keywords, but they make up the majority of search-driven traffic. And because they are less competitive keywords, they’re also less expensive.
- Expansive – because pay-per-click advertising is iterative, you should constantly refine and expand your campaigns so that you create an environment where you have a constantly growing and adapting keyword list.
PPC campaign management
Managing your PPC campaigns is necessary to ensure that they continue to be effective. Account success is measured by regular account activity. That’s why continual analysis is so important. Here are some adjustments you can make to keep your campaigns optimized:
- Add PPC Keywords: add keywords that bring relevancy to your business that can help expand its reach.
- Add Negative Keywords: negative keywords can improve your campaign’s relevancy. Non-converting terms can reduce wasted spend.
- Split Ad Groups: by splitting up your ad groups into smaller, more relevant ad groups, you can improve the click-through rate (CTR) and Quality Score. This should help you to create more targeted ad copy and landing pages.
- Review Costly PPC Keywords: underperforming and expensive keywords only drain your spend budget. Shut them off if you find it necessary.
- Refine Landing Pages: the content and (CTAs) calls-to-action from landing pages should align with individual search queries to increase rates of conversion. Don’t limit your conversion rates by sending all your traffic to the same page.
There are many ways that PPC advertising can work for you to improve and help market your business. Whether you know a little or a lot, there’s always more to learn that can help you optimize your ad campaigns. Just start with the basics and there’s no telling how successful you’ll be!