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Learn how to implement a proven pay-per-click advertising campaign that will drive more sales.

A pay per click advertising campaign can bring web traffic in fast.

Have you been trying to move to the top of Google’s first page without any luck? Maybe you don’t have the time, resources, or talent needed to invest in an in-depth SEO strategy, which can take months of planning to execute well.

If you need results quickly, pay per click advertising (referred to as PPC from here on out) offers an alternative method that helps you attract consistent traffic from people who are searching for your product, service, or content.

In this intro to PPC, we have provided a rundown on everything pay per click advertising includes:

  • What is pay per click advertising?
  • How does the pay per click advertising work?
  • What are the benefits of pay per click advertising?
  • Who should use PPC?
  • How can I get started with pay per click advertising?

Continue reading to get a full overview of this marketing tactic that will help you grow awareness and increase lead generation with just the click of a button.

marketing plan template

Choosing An Agency Vs. In-House PPC

Before we start discussing a PPC agency pricing model, we should consider an underlying question: do you even need a PPC agency?

Some businesses would instead bring on an in-house PPC manager rather than an agency, which does offer a few advantages.

For example, an employee will learn about the complexities of your business faster than a third-party marketing agency. Also, you’ll never have to worry about getting lost in the shuffle. Your in-house manager is only worried about your advertising campaigns and isn’t juggling activities at the same time.

So with these benefits, why would you want to hire a PPC agency?

Well, the fact is that most in-house PPC managers don’t work on PPC exclusively.

Usually, someone with a title like Digital Marketing Director is responsible for multiple online initiatives like PPC, SEO, email marketing, social media outreach, and various other things.

What is Pay Per Click Advertising?

pay-per-click advertising

PPC advertising is known by many names: paid search marketing, sponsored advertising, cost per click advertising, remarketing, or search engine marketing.

Generally, PPC advertising is a digital marketing tactic in which you advertise within a search engine’s sponsored results by bidding for the keywords connected to your product.

As its name suggests, you pay each time your ad is clicked. Google Adwords is the most popular ad network when it comes to PPC, but there are also other alternatives you can consider that may offer cheaper, and sometimes more effective, options.

For a rundown on how Google Adwords works, check out this helpful infographic from Wordstream.

How does Pay Per Click Advertising Work?

Let’s start with the basics. When you type a search query into Google, the search engines provide two sets of results: organic results and sponsored results.

As seen in the picture below, the first few results on the left are sponsored results (indicated by the small green square around the word Ad, and the Sponsored label. All other page results are organic results or results that have not been paid for.

intro to PPC

Most likely, the organic results made their way to the first page by executing an SEO strategy. On the other hand, the sponsored results made it to the first page by bidding the highest amount on the search terms, which in this case is ballpoint pens.

When a searcher clicks on one of the sponsored posts, the advertiser is charged for that click, hence pay per click advertising.

The price of a click varies depending on the keyword – the popularity of the keyword, the specificity of the keyword (long-tail vs. short-tail), and how many other advertisers are bidding on the same keyword as you.

You can use Google’s Traffic Estimator to receive traffic estimates for possible keywords. It will provide metrics like average cost per click, average position, click-through rates, clicks per day, impressions per day, and the total cost that will help you to determine if a keyword is a right fit for your campaign.

What are the Benefits of Pay Per Click Advertising?

There are a ton of benefits to using PPC ads. We’ve included a list of what we believe to be some of the top reasons for implementing a PPC campaign below.

1. Position on a Page is critical

As we mentioned earlier, PPC ads will allow you to gain a valuable spot at the top of Google’s first page of results without having to dedicate the time and resources needed to implement a full-out SEO strategy.

With sponsored advertising, your PPC ad will sit above the fold where it’s more likely to attract a lot of eyeballs, unlike the organic results near the bottom of the page (or on the second page for that matter).

2. Reach the Right Audience

The specificity of keywords in PPC ads allows you to reach the right audience by choosing keywords that your target audience is searching for.

Google aims to provide searchers with the most relevant results to their search, so if they are seeing your ad, it is highly likely that they were specifically looking for your product or service.

Not to mention, you can use geo-targeting to limit who can see your ads based on locations. For example, if you are a car mechanic in Colorado, it would be ill-advised to allow searchers in Maine to see your ads.

They are too far away to use your services, so it would be a waste of budget to allow them to see/click your ads.

Ad group scheduling also enables you to choose specific days and times of the day so that you connect with your target audience during your prime business hours or when they are most active online.

3. Budget Control and PPC campaigns

PPC ads offer you budget control because you set your desired ad spend at the beginning of the advertising process before bidding begins. Unless you go back into the program and change it, this will remain a fixed amount.

If your budget runs low, you simply quit paying for the ads and they will be removed from Google’s results page. Furthermore, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which means you’re only investing in people who are interested in your product or service.  

intro to PPC

4. Speed to drive web traffic

A great advantage of PPC advertising is its immediacy. It takes time to create a strong organic presence, but with PPC, once you have created your ads, it’s only a matter of days (sometimes even just hours) before your content is on the first page of Google’s search results page. If increasing awareness is your goal, PPC ads allow you to get in front of your target audience in a much shorter time span than an SEO campaign.

5. Testing your pay per click advertising

Especially when a campaign is the first beginning, PPC ads are an excellent way to test how well your design, copy, or even your call-to-action buttons resonate with your target audience.

Using A/B testing, you can split test your ads and landing pages to see what elements (color, copy, layout) receive the best results (clicks, conversions, etc). You can then use this information to optimize all future ads to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck with your marketing efforts.

paid social media campaigns
                            Image Source: Ecommerce WIKI

6. Tracking

Proving ROI is a major part of being a marketer today. Luckily, PPC ads allow you to track every aspect of your ad campaign to connect your efforts to your results. You can see how each ad or keyword played a role in the success of your campaign, and all of this can be tied back to each penny spent on the campaign.

If you want to prove your worth, PPC campaigns will provide the reporting you need to demonstrate the value your campaign brings to your company.

Who should use pay per click advertising

More than six billion online searches are made per day, 77 percent of which are conducted using Google.  With that in mind, we believe that companies across most industries can benefit from implementing a PPC campaign.

The key to success is to meticulously plan ahead so that you can minimize your ad spend and maximize your results. It’s important to consider what specific keywords your audience uses, as well as what type of ad will produce the best results for your product or service.

As long as you make well-informed decisions from the start, a PPC campaign should help you increase awareness of and traffic to your site.

However, there are some specific industries that have fared especially well with PPC advertising because of the nature of their industry or products. Below is a list of some of the specific types of companies that have experienced great success with PPC campaigns.

1. Companies with long customer lifetimes.

Because PPC ads require constant investment, it’s the best situation when you are able to retain your customers for a long period of time after acquisition. For example, companies with recurring services, like telecom, financial services, utilities, and healthcare, often retain their customers for a long period of time.

Customers in these sectors are highly valuable because they will provide predictable revenue over a long period of time. Knowing this, the initial ad spends used to attract these customers is worth the long-term payoff.

2. Companies with high-profit margins.

Companies with high-profit margins make a lot of money off one sale, meaning it doesn’t take long to see the return on their investment to acquire new customers. Examples of companies within this sector include lawyers, airlines, automotive companies, and home appliances.

Like companies with high customer lifetime value (the example above), the value of these customers comes from their low acquisition cost; they will likely spend a lot on their initial purchase, making it worth the initial investment in PPC ads.

3. Companies that sell uncommon products.

Have you ever had to shop for an odd product, like a replacement for a soap pump or a replacement clasp for a necklace, and wondered which stores would even carry it?

We bet you went to the internet first to research where to find the product before you embarked on a wild goose chase to all the physical stores in a 20-mile radius with the hopes of finding it.

Companies who sell these odds-and-ends products benefit from using PPC ads because people who intend to purchase them use the internet to identify where they can find them.

PPC ads allow these companies to swoop in during their customer’s moment of need and provide a solution with the click of a button.

4. Local Companies and pay per click advertising

Research shows that searches with local intent are more likely to lead to store visits and sales within a day, with 18 percent of local searches leading to sales compared to seven percent of non-local searches.

To go back to our previous example, if you were to search car repair, you may be looking for quick car repair tips you can do yourself, but if you search car repair Denver Colorado it’s likely you are searching for an auto mechanic in your area to patronize.

This assumption can stretch across multiple searches. If a location is added to the search query, it’s probably the searcher is looking to visit the company in the near future.

Local SEO can be a highly competitive area. It’s wise for local businesses to invest in PPC advertising to ensure their company makes it to the top of the local recommendations and captures the searcher with purchasing intent.  

As you can see in the image below, if you search for car repair in Denver Colorado, the top four results are sponsored ads, which means those auto repair shops had the highest bid on the keyword.

In return, it’s likely that the searcher will choose one of them to help solve their car repair issues.

Pay Per Click Advertising

How can I get started with pay per click advertising?

If you are looking for a simplified answer of how to get started with PPC advertising, it can be summed up into a seemingly easy three-step process:

  1. Choose the keyword you want to advertise for, purchase it, and create an ad to display.
  2. Target audience types in a search query using the keyword you chose. They see your product and click it (hopefully they like it and purchase it).
  3. You are charged for the click. When you want to stop your campaign, simply stop purchasing and your ads will disappear.
Best Pay Per Click Advertising

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy though because a lot goes on before and after each of the steps listed above.

The most successful campaigns are ones that are well-informed and rooted in research, so it’s best to take the time to create a solid strategy before throwing your money at a PPC campaign that isn’t tailored to your audience.

Below is a general outline you should follow before embarking on your PPC journey.

1. Conduct a competitor analysis.

  • Identify competitors who are outranking you in your market.
  • Analyze search terms and search volumes within your sector.

2. Create ads based on thorough research.

  • Conduct keyword research to learn how your target audience is searching for your product or service.
  • Develop ad copy that will resonate with your audience.

3. Use A/B testing to compare how different aspects of your ad perform.

  • Track and manage your campaign.
  • Track and monitor metrics like click-through rate cost per click, and conversion rates to determine the success of your campaign.
  • Continually manage keyword bids based on metric results. This step will help to ensure you are getting the most value from your efforts by optimizing your ads based on your target audience’s preferences.

4. Optimize beyond the ad.

  • PPC campaigns are made of many parts that expand beyond keyword bids and the ad displayed on the search results page.
  • To start, its important to think about where customers will go once they have clicked on your PPC ad. These people have clicked on your ad because they are looking for something specific – a product, service, or piece of content.
  • To get the most value out of their page visit, visitors should be sent to an optimized landing page or a product page so they can easily find what they are looking for instead of getting lost on your website’s homepage.
  • It’s vital to take the time to consider their entire customer journey to provide them with a seamless experience that will keep them coming back for more.

It’s important to remember that your results with PPC advertising rely heavily on how well you plan and optimize your campaign. If your campaign is improperly set up, your efforts could cost a lot of money with little to no return.

If you’re overwhelmed by the steps needed to ensure success or if you’re lacking on the time, talent, strategy, or tech needed to conduct a well-oiled PPC campaign, consult with an expert or check out our tactical guide below to make sure you’re getting the most value from your PPC advertising initiatives.

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What is pay per click ads?

Pay Per Click ad or PPC advertising is a form of paid digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time its ad is clicked.

What is pay per click advertising?

Payperclick, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Mostly, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.

Why is pay per click advertising important?

Advertisers love PPC advertising because it allows them to make the key change in the optimization strategies to improve the Quality Score. This, in turn, increases the ROI for your PPC campaigns. It is one of the most profitable marketing channels when it comes to generating a higher ROI.

What is pay per click management?

Definition: PayPerClick (PPC) management is the process of overseeing and managing a company’s PPC ad spend. Pay per click management strategies and ad buy boost sales while minimizing the overall expenditure.

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