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Digital Marketing Basics: What is PPC?

Digital Marketing Basics: What is PPC?

pay per click

What is Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)?

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a mode of digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time an ad is clicked. This is a way to buy visits to your site rather than earning those clicks organically through SEO marketing. PPC ads are displayed in search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing and triggered by specific keyword phrases relevant to the target audience.

There are many benefits to utilizing PPC as a marketing channel. One major benefit is the ability to jump straight to a first page position on search engines, rather than ranking organically is what PPC aims to do. Another great benefit is being able to drive instant leads or sales from users who may not be aware of your brand. In this blog, we’re going to review the basic of PPC and some of the benefits of utilizing this type of digital marketing.

Now let’s get started on establishing a basic understanding of how PPC marketing works!

Campaign Types for PPC

Search Campaign – This is the most popular digital ad campaign type.  It is a keyword-based advertising method that runs across Google and Bing’s search network platform.  When people search for terms that are relevant to your keywords, an ad appears on the search engine results page (SERP). This campaign is useful for advertisers who want to showcase their ads to customers right when they are searching for related products or services.

Display Campaign – Display ads are showcased throughout Google’s Display Network or Bing’s Content Network. This campaign allows your ads to show on a website or app that is related to your business and/or your target customer’s interest. It is useful for advertisers who want to generate awareness of their business or brand with specific interests across the web.

For example, a user may be visiting a blog article about the top three gyms in Houston. The user may be in the market to buy a gym membership, and if you’re a gym looking to increase memberships, targeting these types of websites with your ads can make a huge impact on sales.

Video Campaign – With video modes of advertising you can run video ads on YouTube and sites across the Google Display Network. An example of a video ad format is TrueView in-stream ads, where in stream ads play before, during, or after other videos. You pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video or interacts with your video. You should use this format if you have video content to promote.

Shopping Campaign – For retailers who want to promote their online inventory to boost traffic and leads to their website, shopping campaigns are the perfect online advertising method. The shopping campaign allows your ads to be seen on Google Shopping and alongside with search results.

Universal App Campaign – The Universal App Campaign allows you to promote your app across Search, Display, and Video campaigns.

Benefits of PPC

PPC is known to rapidly boost traffic to your website, unlike SEO which could take months. Paid advertisements appear on the first page on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, and are proven to be a reliable driver of qualified traffic and business.

  • PPC provides a high return on investment.
  • PPC helps determine problems with your site and advertisements. Noticeable low conversion rates might signal that there is a need for website optimization, such as landing page testing.
  • It is a measurable form of advertisement that can be tracked through Google Ads/Bing Ads and Google Analytics. Unlike traditional marketing methods (such as billboards), PPC can prove its ROI through many metrics.
  • You have complete control over budget flexibility. You can set a monthly budget for ads, max bid limits, max CPC’S and change that amount when you need too.
  • You only pay when users click on your ads.
  • PPC targets the right people at the right time.

For example, if you run a sandwich shop in downtown Houston, you can set your ads to appear before or during lunch time when people are getting hungry and need to find a place to eat. You can also set a mile radius limit from your location in downtown Houston to target people who are near that location.

How awesome is that?

PPC + SEO = A Marketing Match

PPC works well with other marketing channels such as SEO.  When integrating both you increase awareness by having organic results and paid ads on SERP. Some of the best benefits are:

  • Paid and organic listings can both determine high performing keywords that both channels can use on SERP.
  • Determining which organic and PPC keywords have increased conversions can help improve campaign strategies.
  • The image below conveys how both organic results and paid ads for this digital marketing agency are listed on SERP and Google’s local 3-pack, having a higher chance to be clicked over competitors. Both PPC and SEO work to dominate and give a good impression to consumers that your brand has a well-known presence.

Key PPC Terms

CTR – Click-Through Rate – is a measure of PPC performance determined by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. For example, of you had 4 clicks and 100 impressions, your CTR is 4%. Each ad and keywords have their own CTRS. A high CTR indicates that your ads are relevant, and keywords are successful. The more relevant keywords the more likely the ad is clicked when searching for that keyword.

Conversion – A conversion is an action that is completed after a user clicks on your ads. A conversion could be a phone call, download, form submission and purchase. By tracking conversions you’ll know which ads, keywords and campaigns are boosting your business.

Ad Position – An ad position refers to the average position that an ad displays on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). On a SERP there are four ad placements at the top and three ad placements at the bottom of the page. Ad position is determined by how much you are willing to pay per click and how relevant your ad is to the searcher’s query.

For example, if your ad has an average position of 1.2, your ads generally are showing up between the 1st and 2nd position on the SERP.

Quality Score – Your numerical quality score measures how relevant your ad and landing page is to the keywords you are targeting. Quality score is calculated the factors: ad relevance to the targeted keyword, ad relevance to the landing page, and the expected CTR for your ad. The higher your quality score is the higher your ads are ranked for a lesser cost.

Ad Extensions – Ad extensions are add-ons or additional pieces of information that make your advertisement more clickable. An ad extension could be a phone number, links to relevant page on your website, Seller Ratings and additional text callouts. It is highly recommended to utilize ad extensions to better meet goals, improve visibility of ads and expand your business. Ad extensions are free to add to your ads and a great opportunity to improve visibility.

ROI – ROI of paid search refers to “return on investment.” It is essentially the comparison of profit and costs for your PPC campaigns.

Keyword Bidding – Keyword bidding refers to the highest amount you pay for each click on your ad.

Landing Page – The landing page is the webpage a user will land on when clicking your ad.

Bounce Rate – A bounce rate is the percentage of time visitors of your website leave without going to any other pages or completing an action your site.

5 Important PPC Facts

Is PPC Expensive?

It is a myth that PPC will cost you an arm and a leg. PPC campaigns do not necessarily require a big budget, like most people think. It is true that you will gain better profits with larger investments. However, it is important for beginners to start with a small budget and will most of the time see a positive return on any budget.

Negative Keywords? What are They?

Negatives in the PPC world essentially mean “excluded” keywords. By utilizing negatives in your campaign, you are avoiding unqualified traffic that will increase costs. It is very important to have a negative keyword list to make sure search queries that don’t apply to your product or service type will not trigger your ads.

Should I Bother Optimizing Advertisements for Mobile Devices?

YES! YES! YES!

Marketing to mobile devices should be a priority in one’s PPC strategy. Google loves mobile devices and the number of searches using these devices for search queries is rapidly growing. By having a mobile PPC strategy, your campaign will reach many more leads than if there is no mobile strategy.

Marketing to mobile devices has become a very popular method. 50% of paid ad clicks come from mobile devices. You should not miss the opportunity in this market.

B2C (business-to-consumer) advertisers see high CTRs and conversion rates with mobile-first campaign strategy.

For example, services like dry cleaners, nail salons, hair salons are found to be more popular on mobile devices since people are searching for these services near them.

However, a B2B (business-to business) company may find CTRs and conversation rates better on desktops. These factors all depend on the type of product or service provided.

Do Keywords Matter for PPC?

Absolutely!

Keywords drive PPC campaigns. Whether Google returns organic results or paid advertisements, it is because of the relevant keywords searched for. If you want your ads to show up, you must bid on the right keywords. It is important to list relevant keywords for your ads and organize those keywords into small groups of closely related keywords.  Use keyword research tools like (Keyword Keg, SEMrush and Google Trends) and analytics data to find the best performing keywords for you spend.

Remarketing? What is It and Why is It Important for PPC?

Remarketing is a form of advertising that allows sites and apps to show targeted ads to people who have already visited your site. Remarketing can help your business stay top of mind for potential customers and build trust with consumers who have shown interests in your product or service.

PPC is a very powerful marketing channel for any business with an online presence. It is a clever tactic to invest in paid search if you want to see positive results right away. Investing in paid search can be your first step to success. PPC strengthens an online presence for your brand, while giving you data driven results that you can measure and track.

It is important to improve PPC campaigns and gain the competitive advantage in this cut-throat market. Reaching your target audience through multiple online channels effectively dominates your competition.

 

If you are searching for a digital partner who can help you target your ideal audience and optimize paid media strategies, contact Forthea today.


Dorsa Aerabi
Dorsa is an intern at Forthea and a student at the C.T. Bauer College of Business. When Dorsa is not in the office working with PPC and SEO or at UH studying marketing, you can find her working out at Orangetheory Fitness, spending time with her family and friends or enjoying the Houston lifestyle!

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