Not Sure Whether PPC Is Right For Your Business? Here’s Just A Few Of The Benefits…
If you’re putting together a digital marketing strategy for your business, the chances are you’ve come across the terms; ‘PPC’, ‘Pay Per Click’ and ‘Google Ads’, but what exactly do they mean and how does PPC fit into the bigger picture of your business? Our latest blog covers all things PPC, with an outline of (some of) the key benefits it has to your business.
When used alongside other tools such as Social Media and SEO, PPC can really drive conversions and could be the difference between success and failure. Before we get to the benefits of PPC, let’s take a look at some of the basics…
What Is PPC?
PPC stands for ‘Pay Per Click’ and usually refers to direct response advertising on search engines such as Google (known as Google Ads, or AdWords) or Bing. It can, in some cases be a term that’s used when referring to other ads, such as Display Advertising (We’ll cover that later) and Social Media Advertising.
How Does PPC Work?
PPC advertising, surprisingly enough, operates on a Pay Per Click basis, meaning that you’ll only pay for ads when a user clicks on it. To keep things simple, let’s take Google Ads as an example;
You could advertise for the term ‘Driving Instructors In Sheffield’, which, if a user searched for that term, would trigger your ad to display (the number of people who see your ad, regardless of whether they click or not is known as Impressions). Usually, your PPC ad will display within the top three results in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s), right above those that rank organically, both in Google’s MAP pack and the regular listings.
So far, your ads haven’t spent any money! If your ad is compelling enough to the user, it will start to attract clicks, which is where your budget is used. Essentially, you’ll only be paying for bona-fide website traffic, that, if targeted correctly, is relevant to your products or services.
There are some other types of PPC ad which don’t work exactly the same, but that’s the general gist.
What Are The Different Types Of PPC?
The term PPC (or Pay Per Click, as we’ve covered) can refer to all types of advertising; if it includes an element of paying for clicks, rather than outright reach. These days, pretty much all search engines and most social media platforms offer PPC advertising, with costs per click varying depending upon industry type (and the competition for clicks), the level of targeting and the value each click provides to your business.
PPC ads can vary in type, from completely creative through to purely text based, again, depending upon the platform and requirement to your business. Here’s a brief explanation of each type of PPC advertising:
Search Advertising: These are text based ads that replicate organic listings on search engines such as Google and Bing. During set up, you’ll enter the headings, description and call to action, as well as choosing the search terms your ads will trigger for. You’re charged when a user clicks your listing via SERP’s
Display Advertising: These are creative ads, which involve providing artwork such as banners and buttons, that are displayed on Google’s network of advertisers. You may have seen these types of ads at the header, footer and sides of blogs and forums. During set up, you’ll be asked to enter the type of audience you’d like your ads to be displayed to, using demographics. You’ll be charged when a user clicks on your display advertising banners or buttons.
Locale & MAP Pack Advertising: A relatively new advertising category on Google which can effectively displace the need for local SEO, MAP Pack ads are displayed when a user makes a location based search. Your ads will display on Google’s map, along with other local businesses that offer the same services (some displaying organically). You’ll be charged when a user clicks your listing within the map.
Google Shopping Ads: These are product listings which display in a feed right at the top of SERP’s when a user makes a product specific search. During set up, you’ll be asked to specify the products you have available on your website. You’ll be charged when a user clicks on your product.
Remarketing Advertising: Remarketing targets users that have already visited your website (or specific pages) through Google’s display network or social media. These ads require a little more set up, with some basic website knowledge needed, but they can help close those 50/50 sales. During set up (depending upon the remarketing platform) you’ll be asked to provide artwork and ad copy to cover all bases. You’ll be charged when a user clicks on your remarketing ad, banner or button.
Paid Social Media: Paid social is an all encompassing term that refers to a number of direct response PPC ad types on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. During set up you’ll need to provide ad copy (the text your advertising campaign includes) along with artwork and the preferred audience (using the platform’s demographic options). As always, you’re usually charged when a user clicks on your ad, either visiting your website, messaging or performing an on-platform action.
What Are The Benefits Of PPC?
It Delivers Quick Returns
As an agency, if we work with new clients that have little to no online presence, we usually recommend PPC as part of a wider digital marketing strategy; mainly because it delivers immediate impact. As PPC ads are either ‘on’ or ‘off’ there’s no waiting period, which you would get with SEO, for example; which takes time to take effect, as search engines index your website and determine keyword rankings.
With Google’s search advertising in particular, once your ads are set up you can generate immediate website traffic. If your website offering is up to scratch, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t see immediate conversions too!
It’s Highly Targeted
What’s more targeted than triggering your ads for the exact keyword, product or service your business provides? We particularly love Google Advertising as it offers instant traffic from users that are searching for you. Don’t take our word for it though; Google Ads set up includes it’s own keyword generator, which creates a list of keywords for your business, based on your website.
If you only service a certain geo-location don’t worry! Most PPC advertising also includes targeting options based on location, time of day and much more. With these extra targeting features you can really pin-point your advertising to the right people, searching the right keywords.
Google Ads and PPC aren’t as susceptible to algorithm changes as other digital marketing channels and, if they are; the advertisers will tell you! With this in mind, you can be sure your pay per click ads will generate traffic and conversions, no matter how your SEO or organic social media performs.
It Can Beat The Competition
Ranking organically definitely has major benefits, that said, PPC can be your fast track to beating the competition by leapfrogging your competitors organic listings! As Google Ads usually display in positions 1-3 on SERP’s, above local listings and other ‘regular’ organic listings, you’re effectively placing your website in prime position from the get go.
With the introduction of Locale Advertising too, Google Ads are effectively taking up two thirds of the first page on SERP’s, leaving your competitors with the bottom third if they’re not running their own ads.
It’s Cost Effective
The very nature of PPC means you’ll only be spending money on solid website traffic. If you keep a firm control on your advertising you’ll see a positive return on investment (ROI). Beware though, more competitive keywords, whilst still offering a good return, can demand a higher budget, with CPC’s being very high.
This isn’t always an issue, but you will definitely need a firm resolve, trusting that your ads will convert whilst your budget creeps up.
As we’ve already covered, there are plenty of different ways to use PPC, with ad types to suit all platforms, demographics and business needs. We love how PPC can be used to target customers at every step of their journey, from initial brand discovery right through to conversion.
It’s Highly Measurable
As with most things digital, PPC advertising offers completely trackable data, from initial user acquisition, right through to conversion. If your PPC campaigns are set up properly, you should be able to track conversions right down to the search term people used. Ongoing, you can even refine your ads to place greater emphasis on those PPC ads that convert and less on those that don’t.
Using Google Ads as an example, you can track and measure a number of different metrics, such as:
- Impressions: the number of users who saw your ads
- Clicks: the number of users who clicked your ads
- CTR: the ratio of users who saw your ads, to those who clicked your ads
- Conversions: the number of users who converted, whether that’s a purchase, form fill or email
- Conversion Rate: the number of users who clicked your ads, to those who converted
Most clients love PPC for this very reason, they can quickly understand where their advertising budget is being spent and what sort of return it’s generating.
The Wrap Up
PPC will always play a key role in any digital marketing strategy, helping to bridge the gap that organic traffic creates. It’s ‘on/off’ nature helps generate instant traffic that can boost revenue, particularly with new businesses. Is it the silver bullet when it comes to online sales? Well, no; it does still require precise management and ongoing refinement, meaning it’s definitely not a ‘set up and forget’ channel.
That said, with proper management your PPC advertising can provide a very healthy ROI, supporting SEO and Social Media, boosting your business bottom line.
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