What is Pay-Per-Click Google Advertising?
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Whether you’ve heard a little about PPC marketing and are curious to learn more, or you already know that you want to use PPC to market your business but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place! This is the first lesson in PPC University, a set of three guided courses that will teach you everything you need to know about PPC and how to make it work for you.
First, we’ll need to define PPC and establish a basic understanding of how PPC advertising works. Let’s go!
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, 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. It allows advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches on a keyword related to their business offering. So, for example, if we bid on the keyword “PPC software,” our ad might show up in the very top spot on the Google results page.
Every time our ad is clicked, sending a visitor to our website, we have to pay the search engine a small fee. However, when PPC is working correctly, the price is trivial because the visit is worth more than what you pay for it. In other words, if we pay $3 for a click, but the click results in a $300 sale, then we’ve made a hefty profit.
A lot goes into building a winning PPC campaign: researching and selecting the right keywords, organizing those keywords into well-organized campaigns and ad groups, and setting up PPC landing pages optimized for conversions. Search engines reward advertisers who can create relevant, intelligently targeted pay-per-click campaigns by charging them less for ad clicks. If your ads and landing pages are helpful and satisfying to users, Google charges you less per click, leading to higher profits for your business. So if you want to start using PPC, it’s essential to learn how to do it right.
How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?
PPC as a marketing channel covers several different ad platforms, with the most common of these being Google Ads and Bing Ads.
And within each of these platforms are different ad formats, including:
- Search Ads
- Shopping Ads
- Display Ads
- Video Ads
- Gmail Ads
Most commonly, you will find that businesses start their PPC marketing on Google Ads for the simple reason that it gives access to the largest audience of potential clients and customers, as well as many different ways to set up and run campaigns depending on your goals.
But regardless of the platform and ad format, the way that PPC works remain essentially unchanged, and it is a pretty simple process:
- First, sign up for an advertising account with the platform.
- Then, create ads (and select the correct targeting by adding keywords or audiences, etc.).
- Set the maximum cost you are willing to pay for each click.
- Your ad goes into an auction with other advertisers who are bidding on the exact keywords.
- The auction determines the order in which the ads are shown.
- You pay when someone clicks your ad.
It is relatively straightforward to get to grips with. While there are differences between different ad formats (and other bidding strategies that can be used, as an example), the main principles remain.
But let’s take a look at how the auction works, as this is often the most confusing part to those getting started with PPC.
Google Ads is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. The Ads platform enables businesses to create ads on Google’s search engine and other Google properties.
Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Every time a search is initiated, Google digs into the pool of Ads advertisers and chooses a set of winners to appear in the valuable ad space on its search results page. The “winners” are chosen based on a combination of factors, including the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, as well as the size of their keyword bids.
More specifically, who gets to appear on the page is based on an advertiser’s Ad Rank. A metric calculated by multiplying two key factors – CPC Bid (the highest amount an advertiser is willing to spend) and Quality Score (a value that considers your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality). This system allows winning advertisers to reach potential customers at a cost that fits their budget. It’s essentially a kind of auction. The below infographic illustrates how this auction system works.
Conducting PPC marketing through Google Ads is particularly valuable because, as the most popular search engine, Google gets massive amounts of traffic and delivers the most impressions and clicks to your ads. How often your PPC ads appear depends on which keywords and match types you select. While the number of factors determines how successful your PPC advertising campaign will be, you can achieve a lot by focusing on:
- Keyword Relevance – Crafting relevant PPC keyword lists, tight keyword groups, and proper ad text.
- Landing Page Quality – Creating optimized landing pages with persuasive, relevant content and a clear call-to-action tailored to specific search queries.
- Quality Score – Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns. Advertisers with better Quality Scores get more ad clicks at lower costs.
- Creative – Enticing ad copy is vital, and if you’re advertising on the display network, you can use a tool like our free Smart Ads Creator to create designer-quality ads that will demand clicks.
Keyword research for PPC can be incredibly time-consuming, but it is also essential. Your entire PPC campaign is built around keywords, and the most successful Google Ads advertisers continuously grow and refine their PPC keyword list. Therefore, if you only do keyword research once, when you create your first campaign, you probably miss out on hundreds of thousands of valuable, long-tail, low-cost, and highly relevant keywords that could drive traffic to your site.
An effective PPC keyword list should be:
- Relevant – Of course, you don’t want to be paying for Web traffic that has nothing to do with your business. You want to find targeted keywords that will lead to a higher PPC click-through rate, effective cost per click, and increased profits. That means the keywords you bid on should be closely related to the offerings you sell.
- Exhaustive – Your keyword research should include not only the most popular and frequently searched terms in your niche but also the long tail of the search. Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common, but they add up to account for the majority of search-driven traffic. In addition, they are less competitive and therefore less expensive.
- Expansive – PPC is iterative. You want to constantly refine and expand your campaigns and create an environment where your keyword list continually grows and adapts.
If you want to find high-volume, industry-specific keywords to use in your PPC campaigns, be sure to check out our popular keywords.
1. How to Decide if PPC is A Good Fit for Your Business:
To decide if PPC is a good fit for your business, you will need to assess whether you can afford to be involved. Do you have a budget for paid advertising, or do you need to focus on amplifying your organic reach? If you have a paid budget, is it best to spend the entire sum on PPC, or do you have to account for other paid tactics?
PPC is an effective option if you want to reach people actively searching for terms related to your business. If you decide to create a PPC campaign, your budget will be determined by your audience, competition and the types of products/services you wish to drive awareness of.
Google Adwords helps you get your business found by your target audience who search for specific terms related to your brand, products and content. You can find out how to set up your Google Adwords account and set your budget here. But, first, let’s look at the benefits to help you decide if Adwords will help you achieve your digital marketing objectives and enable you to reach your ideal audience.
- Use the free Google Adwords Keyword Planner to help you research the longtail keywords your target audience is searching for – use these terms to create your Adwords campaigns.
- Create compelling ads that deliver the messages and products/services your prospects are searching for.
- Set a daily budget to ensure you don’t exceed your allocated spend.
- Reach your customers on whatever device they are searching on – e.g. desktop, mobile or tablet.
- Measure the impact of your campaigns and find out how many people see your ads, the percentage of prospects who click on your ads and the number of sales you’ve made as a direct result.
- You can test and tweak your ads at any time and pause and re-start your ads as you see fit.
The Google Display Network allows you to place your ad in front of the right person at the right time and on the correct sections of relevant websites. You’ll find everything you need to know about setting up your Google Display Network ads here, but first, let’s look at the benefits to help you decide if it’s the right option for you.
- You can choose between various ad formats, including text ads, image ads, mobile ads and video ads.
- Target your ads to ensure they reach the correct, specified audience of your choice – the topics targeting feature enables you to place your ads on websites related to your chosen topics.
- There is a selection of pre-made ads you can choose and customize, or you can choose to build your ads from scratch.
- The automatic bidding tool automatically sets the budget on your ads for you – the budget is set to ensure your ad achieves the maximum number of clicks for the lowest cost.
- Reach, and frequency reporting allows you to track and measure your ad’s performance and enables you to discover how many people your ad reached and how many people clicked it.
There are many options with Google Ads, If you have any questions or need assistance check out our Marketing and Advertising services.
Articles compiled by hughesagency.ca
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