What is PPC? – The Beginner’s Guide to Pay-Per-Click Marketing
So, you’ve heard the term “PPC” being used and you are curious about what it means and how you can start to use it to grow your business. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
This blog will not only help you understand the basics of pay-per-click marketing but also guide you through the benefits and potential pitfalls of using this method of digital marketing. First, let’s define what PPC is, and lay the foundation for our understanding. Let’s begin!
What does PPC mean?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Really, it’s a way of buying website visits, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically.
Search engine advertising is the most popular form of PPC. It gives advertisers the ability to bid for ad placements on search engine results pages when users search for products and services related to their business offering. For example, advertisers bidding on the keyword “best accounting software uk” makes it possible for their business to show up in the very top spot on Google.
Every time one of these ads is clicked, it sends the user to your website and you pay the search engine a small amount of money. When PPC marketing is well optimised, this fee is insignificant because the visit is worth much more than what you pay for it. For example, if the advertiser pays £3 for a click, but the result is a £300 sale, then there has been a very large return on investment.
Structuring a PPC campaign is not easy. For example, you have to carry out extensive keyword research and create PPC landing pages that are optimised for converting users.
All of this effort goes a long way in the eyes of search engines, though, as advertisers who create highly relevant, intelligently targeted pay-per-click campaigns are rewarded with reduced charges every time their ad is clicked because they have such a high click-through rate, meaning more advertising money in the pockets of PPC platforms. Really, it’s a win-win.
So, if you want to start using PPC, it’s very important that you learn how to do it the right way.
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is the most popular PPC advertising platform in the world. The platform enables advertisers to create ads in a variety of formats that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google-owned properties.
Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click basis, in which users bid on keywords and pay each time a user clicks on one of their advertisements. Every time a user queries a search term, Google must select which advertisers will have their ad shown to the user. These advertisers are selected based on a combination of factors, including the relevance of their keywords and ad text, and the money they’re willing to pay for a click.
More technically, advertisers who are chosen to appear on the search results are determined by their “ad rank”, a metric that Google calculates by multiplying the cost-per-click bid (the highest amount that the advertiser is willing to spend on a click) by their ad’s quality score.
Quality score is a value based on the expected click-through rate as calculated by the algorithm, as well as ad relevance and your landing page experience. Your quality score provides the best indication of whether your ads are above average, average, or below average.
How to set your campaigns up for success
Leveraging Google Ads can be very profitable for businesses for many reasons. However, the main reason and probably the most obvious one is that Google, the most popular search engine in the world, provides the opportunity to have your advertisements placed on a search engine that has around 5.4 billion searches per day. Key factors that will help you set your campaigns up for success are:
- Your ad creative – Engineering ad text so that it engages with your audience and promotes the user to take action is vital to the performance of your advertisements.
- Keyword relevance – Make sure you keep your campaigns and ad groups within highly specific collections of keywords so that user search queries that trigger your ad are extremely relevant. This promotes a strong user experience from the outset.
- Landing page quality – Create landing pages that are tailored to PPC traffic so that users can engage and take action easily once they navigate onto your website. Remember, PPC traffic is paid for, so you should make sure to try and win customers to provide a return on your investment.
PPC Keyword Research
PPC keyword research is one of the most important and time-consuming tasks every advertiser must do in order to successfully advertise their business using pay-per-click marketing. PPC campaigns are built on the foundation of keyword research, with advertisers continuously refining their keyword lists to stay relevant and up-to-date with their audiences.
Many advertisers only conduct PPC keyword research once when they create their initial campaigns, which means they are likely missing out on hundreds or even thousands of valuable, low-cost, relevant keywords that could be driving high-quality traffic to their website.
PPC Keyword lists should be:
- Highly relevant – Unlike free organic traffic, PPC traffic is paid for. Advertisers should make sure that the keywords they are bidding for are relevant to their business so as not to waste money. Successfully doing so will allow your PPC campaigns to have a higher click-through rate and increased profits.
- In-depth – Keyword research should not just include the most popular or frequently used search terms relevant to your business’ industry, but also include long-tail keywords that have more commercial intent but are less common. Long-tail keywords are often less competitive, and therefore more affordable for businesses to target. However, as they’re also more precisely targeted, you’re likely to get a higher click-through rate on your ads by using them.
- Extensive – Your PPC campaigns should adapt over time and never be left to gather dust. In order to advance your campaign strategy, you must always check in on your PPC keyword lists and make sure they have been updated and stay in line with your current and future goals.
How to Manage Your PPC Campaigns
After creating your PPC campaigns, you’ll need to understand how to manage them on an ongoing basis to ensure they perform well. In order to manage your PPC campaigns, you should be conducting the following tasks weekly, or bi-weekly;
- Adding new search keywords – Keep expanding the reach of your campaigns by increasing the number of keywords that are relevant to your business.
- Adding negative keywords – This mitigates the risk of your ad appearing for a search query not related to your business, reducing wasted ad spend.
- Ad group segmentation – Segmenting your ad groups around collections of carefully curated keywords with highly relevant ads will increase your ads’ quality score, which will help decrease your cost-per-click and increase your click-through rate.
- Review search keywords – You should review your PPC keywords on a regular basis to identify where you’re spending too much on clicks and to expose under-performing keywords.
- Refine your landing pages – Building a landing page that converts is very important to make sure that the high-quality traffic you do drive to your website through your ads is nurtured and converted into paying customers. Make sure the content and calls-to-action on your landing pages align with your campaign targeting so everything stays relevant.
How a digital marketing agency can help you reach your PPC goals
To be successful with PPC, you need more than just the right tools. You also need a team of strategy-driven experts to run your campaigns. But is it easier to build a team in-house or outsource to a digital marketing agency?
Outsourcing all of your PPC efforts to an agency that specialises in digital marketing means they’ll handle everything for you, from creating PPC strategies and ideas to designing campaigns, implementing them and analysing the results.
This is a great option if you’re new to PPC and don’t have the internal resources needed to run effective campaigns. Usually, this is a much quicker way of getting better results, as your agency provides all of the required expertise to run effective campaigns so that you don’t need to learn how to use any of the tools or industry best practices if you don’t have the time to do so.
Here at Bundle Digital, we are experts in delivering highly targeted and effective PPC campaigns to our clients. If you’re interested in finding out more about our past experiences and how we can help you increase your goal conversions, get in touch with us.