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What is Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising?

PPC is an auction-based system where various advertisers place bids to target and reach users online. When someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website, that is when you (the advertiser) pay. This is called Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC). You can send a user to any page on your site, and the page they visit is known as the landing page.

PPC is the act of buying traffic from search engines. Companies use PPC to buy traffic through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Search engines show ads or sponsored results, which are search ads often positioned at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Search engines divert relevant queries to your business website, providing potential customers with over six billion search queries recorded every day.

While most advertisements are shown on the “Search” network, ads can be shown across display networks, similar to banner ads. Display advertising allows for a visual representation to help reach your desired conversion and includes third-party sites affiliated with search engines to show relevant ads. You can choose the ad forperson using MacBook Pro and holding cappuccinomat to be text, image, or video based on the following:

Auction Based System

As previously stated, paid search is an auction-based system, which decides the ad position by charging only for traffic to your website. You only want relevant users to see your ads, which is done through targeting capabilities:

  • Display ads based on geographical location
  • Display ads according to time and date
  • Select different ads formats from various devices
  • Additionally, with advanced targeting options, you can change your ad entirely based upon where the user is in a long buying cycle.

Aligning Business Goals with PPC

Paid search can be utilized in different ways based on business types:

Facebook ads on a macbook on a wooden desk with camera and cup

  • Ecommerce is focused on Pricing & Shipping
  • Lead generation domain ads focus on leads through each click & call-to-action in the ads
  • Local business ads focus on targeting local audience & getting users to click the ad and not navigate away from the page

Pay Per Click Cycle

  1. Keyword selection
    • Your ad will appear only if someone searches for your keyword. It is crucial that you choose the right set of keywords for your ad in your account.
    • You can show variations or match types of the keyword with the goal of matching those keywords to a search query.
  2. Writing ads
    • Create ads for your select group of keywords. An ad is your advertisement that shows after someone conducts a search matching one of your keywords.
    • You can group your keywords and ads together. These are called ad groups.
    • Ads should always be relevant to the search query. As the searcher is looking for answers, the ad that matches their intent will be the ad they click.
  3. Setting bids based on your goals
    • Website actions
    • Visitors to your site
    • Position of your ads
  4. Ad is displayed
  5. User clicks and redirects to your site
  6. You pay the search engine
  7. Measure results
    • A conversion is an action on your website that you want to track, such as completed forms, e-commerce checkout, phone calls, or video news. Utilize your conversion data to make data-driven decisions, like:
      • Changing bids
      • Updating budgets
      • Testing ads
      • Adding/removing keywords

PPC Goals

Paid search can be used in different ways:

  • Direct Response: To acquire customers from every click
  • Branding: To create awareness and increase popularity

Online Retailers

Local Businesses Larger Businesses

News Sites

Direct advertising

Display network for awareness

Direct response

Online ads to target the local audience and get users. Online ads only to increase their brand awareness.

Search and display 

Paid search to allow users to find their site on mobile devices and to raise awareness.

Before launching PPC campaigns, businesses must understand their operations and different product lines. Know your audience and know whether they differ based on product lines. Determine your product or services offered to the users, as they will also be your primary keywords. Determine the actions you want users to perform through your ad. Finally, measure and evaluate your results to identify what is a good return on investment (ROI).

(In B2B advertising, there are often very long sales cycles. Your goals might be to get the user into your CRM by offering white paper downloads, contact forms, and quote requests with search and then reinforce your contact and buying efforts through display marketing.)

Advantages of PPC

There is an enormous amount of awareness and interest in just about any topic online. The primary advantage of PPC is the vast inventory to post ads and targeting different users in the buying funnel:

  • Increasing awareness through the display network
  • Reaching users in the consideration phase
  • Using direct response to reach users in the buying phase
  • Techniques like “remarketing” help increase the lifetime visitor value for your business (brand awareness)

Remember the Three R’s of PPC

1. Reach

  • Advertise on search engines with 6 billion queries daily
  • Advertise on display networks with 1 trillion impressions a month
  • Display ads across multiple devices in different formats

2. Relevance

  • Choose keywords that describe your business
  • Your ads will are shown only when users perform a search using a relevant keyword

3. Return on Investment (ROI)

  • Pay only when users reach your website
  • Analytics help determine the worth of a visitor and bid profitably
  • Auction based system

Where to Advertise?Google Adwords spelled out in scrabble letters on white desk

Given that Google is the overwhelmingly predominant search engine, Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is by far the most utilized and competitive PPC arena. However, other websites like Facebook are gaining traction with online advertising. Google Ads holds around 38% of the digital advertising market, followed by Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It is essential to understand that internet users “spend one-third of their time online across social media platforms.” Businesses must understand where their consumers are gathering their information, which helps guide how much of your advertising budget to allocate to a given platform.

With the overwhelming amount of traffic it receives every day, all businesses that implement a PPC marketing approach should have a presence in Google Ads. It provides the best, structured introduction to online advertising and provides analytics to open up new avenues based on consumer demographics. Please check back for SPF Marketing’s upcoming post for an introduction to Google Ads, and how to structure your campaigns/accounts for measurable success.

For more information on your PPC efforts contact SPF Marketing today at (313) 641-0134 or e-mail stefan@spfmarketing.com for a free quote. For other digital marketing needs, check out other services like:

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