What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing? If you’re new to the world of PPC, you might want to explore the rationale behind investing in this critical tool that can drive both awareness, engagement, and conversions for your business. So, let’s have a look at some of these basic questions!
What is Pay-Per-Click Marketing?
Pay-per-click marketing is a method of purchasing targeted advertising space on various platforms on the Internet. For many years, it was almost the exclusive realm of search engine marketing (SEM) – e.g. Google – and is often used interchangeably with SEM although today it can refer to ad campaigns from search, social, video and more. It works the following way: Each time an Internet user clicks on their specific ad, the advertiser pays the owner of a web space, a certain amount of money.
The average business today spends about 46 percent of its digital advertising budget on pay-per-click in the search area alone, not even including PPC spending in social or YouTube.
That’s a big percentage!
Here’s why: In general, there are two big benefits to PPC advertising: First, businesses only pay for “performance” – in essence, a click to their own website. Second, they also receive benefits even if a potential customer doesn’t click. That’s because businesses can also make users aware of their product or service just by showing up on the users’ screens. Because payment is based on clicks, those impressions or touch points are essentially free for the business.
The Nitty-Gritty of How PPC Works
Let’s take the most common case of search-engine marketing: Google Ads (formerly AdWords), for example, works as an auction. Advertisers set a budget and bid on keywords that they believe customers or potential customers are searching for. (Best practice suggests that advertisers should do a lot of keyword research before making bids on particular keywords.) Based on the bid and something Google calls the Quality Score (landing page relevance, ad quality and other factors), Google determines the rank of that ad. The higher the quality score, the less a company has to bid to rank for that term. If you’re new to this, we recommend starting with a company that provides PPC management services such as Bon Digital, or another marketing agency that you trust.
Where Is PPC Offered?
In addition to Google Ads or Bing ads in search (or display), other social networking sites also use a pay-per-click format (some also use auctions to determine relevance and placement depending on the ad type) including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Many advertisers divide their budget among these platforms to get the maximum benefit possible.
Be Careful When Starting With PPC.
In theory, PPC is easy to rationalize. Because it’s based on “performance,” businesses only for the clicks or leads to your website.
Sounds simple, right?
But it’s also easy to waste money and quickly if the advertiser or even the agency doesn’t know what they’re doing. We’ve seen that happen a lot. That’s because what really matters in PPC is the audience that the advertiser gets in front of. If it’s the wrong audience, businesses can waste a lot of money on clicks that are mistakes or come from an irrelevant audience. That’s why we recommend four areas to consider before starting a PPC campaign:
First, businesses should set a strategy: What is the goal of the PC campaign? Is it brand awareness? Engagement? Traffic? Conversion?
Second, advertisers should consider the landing page experience, which is just as important as the type of ad one chooses. Sending traffic to a landing page that doesn’t provide a good user experience or doesn’t further the goals of the campaign will also make it harder to be successful.
Third, businesses need to monitor the performance of the keywords (apply negatives) they’re bidding on because if they don’t, they can easily waste money on terms that aren’t relevant.
Fourth, advertisers should outline a A/B testing strategy. The great part about digital is that it allows for real-time testing to determine the most profitable language and ads. It’s important to take advantage of this to continue to optimize spend.
At Bon Digital, we provide full-service PPC management, including strategies and tactical implementation of campaigns. We’d love to hear more from you.