Pay Per Click, or PPC, advertising is an auction style way of marketing your business on search engines and other relevant partner websites. With PPC, you create an ad and bid on different key phrases you want your ad to be seen when searching for. Your ads then appear above and below organic search results. While higher bids have a better chance of being in the number one position, that isn’t always the case.
When your ad appears and someone searching online clicks on it, they are taken to the page you’ve selected on your website and you are charged up to your maximum bid for that key phrase. For example, if you bid $1.00 per click for the key phrase Pay Per Click and 100 people click the ad, then that search engine would charge you up to $100.
The Importance of Pay Per Click Marketing
Especially for new businesses just getting started or those looking to rebrand themselves, pay per click marketing can generate a lot of traffic very quickly. The more you are willing to spend per click on keywords or key phrases that are frequently used, the higher you will rank and the more traffic that will be directed to your website.
Pay per click can also be easily and quickly changed. Search engines can take weeks or months to scan your website, register keyword changes and adjust your organic search rankings. Most pay per click campaigns can be modified in hours with results available immediately upon approval of the ad. This provides a very powerful way to adjust to changing customer interests.
The Challenge of Pay Per Click
Pay per click marketing can become very expensive very quickly if your ads aren’t properly targeted. It’s easy to get caught up in a bidding war over a particular keyword and end up spending far more than you generate in revenue.
Most search engines also display your ad throughout their search partners and content networks. While you may want your ad to be displayed on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, you may not want it showing up and costing you money on other websites. Although the traffic resulting from those content networks may look great on reports, it may not bring in the revenue you are looking for and will end up costing you more money.
Effectiveness of Pay Per Click
While pay per click likely won’t be your sole means of advertising due to its costs, it plays a very important part in your overall advertising mix:
- New products or services. Pay per click is a very effective way to generate awareness and traffic around new products or services. Short-term campaigns focusing attention on a specified amount of time are a very effective use of pay per click.
- Direct response businesses. Selling products and services on your website that are generally purchased within minutes of a potential customer arriving are a great use case of pay per click. With a direct response business model, you know each click generated is a potential customer.
- Niche terms. Pay per click can be a bargain if your business operates with very specific, niche keywords. While you may not want to pay to rank #1 for ‘lawn and garden’, PPC marketing may generate very qualified customers if you sell a plant that can’t be purchased anywhere
The key to succeeding in pay per click marketing is focusing on increased conversions instead of increased traffic. While a conversion doesn’t have to be a sale, it should be something of value to your business. This could include contacting your sales department or entering their email address to receive a free whitepaper.
Setting an Appropriate Budget
There is no right amount to spend on a pay per click ad campaign. It largely depends on the amount of traffic you want to generate and the popularity of the keywords you are bidding on. However, in order for pay per click management, a good rule of thumb for any good campaign is the amount you spend per click should always be less than the total profit earned per click. Depending on the product or service you are selling, this may be a difficult metric to track. For those types of businesses, it may be easier to track an increase in the desired visitor actions on your website after beginning a pay per click campaign.
Writing a Good Ad
The content in your pay per click ad is important because most search engines only allow a couple short, descriptive phrases about your service. You will need to be descriptive but brief. Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct and your copy is appropriate for your target audience. Many search engines won’t allow ads with superlatives such as the greatest, repeated keywords or excessive capitalization.
Web Content Development has 20 years experience in content creation and web marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your pay per click marketing campaign.