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Paid Media

Back to Basics: PPC

In pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, businesses and individuals simply pay search engines based on the number of clicks their ad receives. Every time your link from your ad is clicked, you are charged the amount bidded. There is an auction for advertisement to determine this bid. The higher you bid, the more likely you are to be placed at the top of the search results page. However, bidding is just one part of the formula. Quality score, which involves expected clickthrough rate, ad relevancy and landing page experience, plays additional factors in the placement of sponsored results.

It can be used to promote a special offer or service quickly within a short period of time. You want each click to be a real potential customer who has a good chance of making a purchase or conversion on your website.

The Pros

There are a number of advantages to the PPC method. PPC allows you to set a comfortable budget for yourself and ensure that your page is seen by your target audience. Most significantly though, PPC allows you to find potential customers fast. If you spend enough money right away, your ad can be at the top of the search results page and quickly reach your target audience. Additionally, PPC allows you to quickly adjust any aspect of your campaign at any time. This will help you adjust to market conditions as they change.

The Cons

While PPC acts fast in showing your ad to web searchers, every click does not result in a conversion. For example, just because someone clicks on your ad, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will gain a buyer on your website and you could potentially lose a small amount of money on that click. In some cases, PPC can become very expensive. Certain keywords have very large bids on them due to high competition, so you could possibly find yourself in a bidding war where no one wins.

Some PPC Quick Tips:

  • Optimize your ad. The ad copy is the first thing searchers will see to catch their eye. Among a sea of competitors, you want something that will pop out but still matches what they’ll find on the landing page.
  • Optimize your landing page to ensure that that the greatest number of conversions are made from each visitor. You pay for each visitor so make sure the first landing page they see meets their expectations in what they wanted to find.
  • Run tests between different landing pages and ad copies. Utilize a/b testing between multiple versions of the same landing pages and ad copies. Track and analyze the data to determine the best-performing versions of your campaign.
  • Find niche keywords. With PPC advertising, many broad keywords have large bids and competition. To be more effective with your money, you want to target focused keywords specific to your campaign. These narrower keywords will cost less and increase the probability of attracting visitors who are more likely to become conversions.

photo credit: arsp_017 via photopin (license)

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