Pay per click (PPC) advertising is the process of advertisers being charged for each click on their ad. Advertisers are not charged when it is displayed. PPC on search engines works in a similar way.
Search engines generate listings for each keyword phrase entered. The natural search listings appear on the left-hand side. The ads show up under “sponsored links” in the shaded area at the top or on the right-hand side (and on occasion both). Google uses an auction process to determine which ad will show up in each advertising spot. Based on criteria such as bids, relevance, page rank, and more, Google determines a winning bidder for the number one spot, then a second, a third, and so on. Depending on the competition for the keyword, the price ranges from 0.01 to $1 and up.
Pay per click advertising can be VERY effective. But if done incorrectly, it can be very expensive.
Why would you want to add PPC advertising to your marketing campaign?
- It is fast. A campaign can be up and running in less than 30 minutes. Natural search engine listings can take weeks, months or not at all depending on the competition level.
- Measurable. You can see how much you are spending, what potential customers are doing and how many sales you have made from your investment. Unlike other forms of advertising, such as magazine ads or Yellow page ads, where there is no feedback.
- Uncover money terms. Do you know what search terms to optimize your website for? Test it quickly and easily in PPC advertising before starting your search engine optimization efforts.
Despite these benefits, not everyone uses PPC advertising. Managing even a small PPC campaign can be complex and require specialist knowledge and experience. Novices can encounter problems in several areas.
- Google Adword’s auction style. Google uses both written and unwritten rules to try to provide searchers with the most relevant results. If misunderstood or improperly implemented, Google charges you more or your ad won’t even display. Some criteria Google considers are:
- Keyword grouping
- Quality score
- Ad relevancy
- Click through rate management
- Bid pricing
- And more.
- Keyword research. You may be missing opportunities. Expert tools allow us to find all your relevant keywords.
- Ad testing. Every keyword should be split-testing two different ads to keep improving your results. With proper testing and optimization, you could double your current traffic.
- Conversion tracking. A main advantage of online advertising is tracking the results of every dollar you spend. Provided you are selling through your website, you need to setup tracking.
- Campaign setup. Certain settings and formats work best for search campaigns while a completely different configuration works best for content network campaigns.
- Tools. Several tools can make creating and managing your campaign easier. The problem is they can be too expensive to buy for managing only one campaign.
- Only sending visitors to your home page. Potential customers are generally searching for something to help them solve their particular problem. By sending them to a generic home page, some may never find your solution. Make it easy by sending traffic to relevant pages or specially designed landing pages.
If you don’t have the time or experienced staff, out-sourcing your PPC campaign may be the best fit for your needs.