Wouldn’t it be nice if advertising wasn’t so expensive? If only there was some way to have your ad gain exposure for a nominal fee.
One can only dream, huh?
Well, dream no more. Pay-per-click advertising is an essential digital marketing strategy that needs to be mastered in order to grow a business. If you haven’t been taking advantage of it yet, let me – Mauricio Pina — convince you why you should be.
Strap in. There’s a lot to learn.
What is Pay-Per-Click Marketing?
Pay-per-click marketing (PPC) is an economical method of advertising where businesses create ads for their products or services that are then displayed whenever a user searches for a similar product or service within a search engine.
What truly sets it apart is that advertisers are only charged when a user clicks on the ad – that’s where pay-per-click gets its name. It’s also known as “keyword advertising” due to the nature of keywords and how they function in paid search.
How Does PPC Work?
Keywords play a big role in PPC. However, a lot more goes on behind the scenes than just plugging in a search term and magically having a relevant ad pop up in your search engine results page (SERP).
In order for these ads to display properly, an ad auction must take place first. No, there’s no little auction bidding paddles, podiums, or fast-talking auctioneers with long handlebar mustaches and a monocle.
The ad auction is an entirely automated process that allows advertisers to bid for certain keywords or phrases that would, in a sense, trigger these ads to display. Google and other search engines use this ad auction to determine what ads are valid and relevant within a SERP.
For example, let’s say that you were looking for a local course that teaches people how to code. You type in “online coding courses” and find that the first few results are ads.
Clicking on these ads costs the owners money, whereas not clicking on them doesn’t cost them a dime. That is the brilliance of PPC; in a certain way, you get free advertisement exposure until someone clicks on your ad.
Of course, you can’t have the bitter without the sweet. The thing is, there are only so many placements that are allotted. Bidding evens out the playing field a little bit, allowing those that want to spend more a chance to rank first in sponsored or paid results
PPC isn’t dependent on your agency’s budget alone. Google also takes into account a quality score.
What Factors Into A Quality Score and How Does It Affect Your PPC?
Based on how well you are doing in key select areas, Google and other search engines will increase or decrease your bid amount in order for your company to gain a favorable position. These key areas include:
- Your advertisement
- Your keywords
- Your click metrics
- Your on-site usage metrics
- Your Landing Page copy
These are just a few of the factors that search engines take into account when generating a quality score, so if they are lacking effectiveness, your PPC bid amount will suffer.
But all hope is not lost. You can build up your quality score by:
- Testing your ad copy to determine what makes your best click-through rate.
- Using A+ level keywords and move the under-performing ones into their own campaign.
- Placing keywords in your ads.
- Placing keywords in your landing pages.
- Focusing your ad campaign within specific parameters like the time of day, geography, or search network to name a few.
A great quality score can trim off 20 to 30 percent of costs and is well worth taking the time to perfect. At the same time, a low-quality score can tank your search engine rankings.
Why is PPC So Important to Digital Marketing?
With a simple bid, so long as you have the budget for it, your company may be able to get that coveted top spot that potential customers are more likely to click on.
Sure, that may mean that each click costs you money, but so long as you improve those quality scores and convert leads to sales with a strong call-to-action, your investment should be well worth it.
Not convinced yet? Pay-per-click ads provide a bevy of benefits to businesses and their websites including:
- Getting Started with PPC is Fast – Google AdWords, now Google Ads, is one of the more popular PPC ad platforms that allows you to set up shop in moments. Soon, you’ll be able to attract traffic to your website in droves.
- Pay-Per-Clicks Offer Quick Adaptability – It can take weeks to months for organic search engine marketing or other forms of advertising to catch up with audience behavior. By the time it does, you risk missing out on sales opportunities. With PPC platforms, you can make a quick adjustment to meet current marketing conditions and buyer interests within a couple of hours to days at most.
- PPC Provides Value – If you’re lucky, you may be able to find certain keywords that are in a niche of their own, which means getting a bid in at a reduced cost compared to other keywords or forms of advertising. These “long-tail” keywords are usually super specific and longer words or phrases that not everyone may have thought of or taken the time to look in to. This is truly a “best case scenario” as this has the opportunity to route a lot of traffic to your site at a low cost.