What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click and it’s pretty simple to understand. Search engines like Google and Bing allow advertisers to bid for various placements within organic search results. These placements you are bidding on can certainly be on the first page, even the very first paid search result, above and below organic listings. Every single time your ad is clicked a fee is paid to the search engine and you are in complete control of the total daily budget, the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click, and have the ability to start, stop, and completely remove anything in your PPC campaign in real-time. Having the highest bid doesn’t guarantee a top spot in search results, though. You will have the opportunity to rank first for a particular keyword or search terms, but there’s more to it than just being willing to pay the most. The overall quality of your ad, ad copy, as well as the landing page or website people are being directed to matters also. This is what we call the Quality Score. Basically, having a high-quality score means you are likely to pay less per click for certain keywords or search terms and your ads and website/landing pages are considered to be highly relevant to the search terms that triggered them to show in search results. The bottom line with PPC is this. PPC is a great way to get visitors to your website when you need or want to boost your website traffic in general, advertise a specific service, product, or piece of information and drive those people searching for key terms you target directly to where you want them to go online. With that said, PPC is not without risk.

What are the Risks with PPC?

There’s a common misconception that PPC advertising is easy. Well, it can be but you absolutely must understand it requires a firm understanding of at least the basics of setting up campaigns, how to do proper keyword research (it can be intensive), how to create effective ad groups, how to target effectively, and many other things that require a serious time commitment on the front-end to prepare yourself. If you were to dive headfirst into launching your very own PPC campaign, regardless of the PPC platform, without a solid foundation of knowledge then you risk:
  • Poor setup
  • Poor ongoing management
  • Generate hollow visits/clicks
  • Wasting precious time and advertising budget
The same risks apply when relying on a third-party to manage your PPC efforts that aren’t as well-versed in PPC advertising as they claim, or they fail at ongoing management and let it run itself without any continued monitoring and adjustments.

Where to Go From Here?

PPC advertising is a valuable and important piece of the digital marketing puzzle for companies of all sizes. It is a basic marketing tool and businesses simply cannot afford to ignore it any longer. While a number of factors help determine just how successful your PPC advertising efforts will be, you can achieve a lot by focusing on:
  • Creating relevant keyword lists, relevant and quality ad copy, and manageable ad groups
  • Optimizing landing pages to include highly relevant and useful content, strong and easily understood calls-to-action, and making sure everything is tailored to specific search terms
  • Improving quality scores between keywords, ads, and landing pages (this means incredibly relevant and helpful content tailored specifically to the targeted search terms)
  • Understanding the goals of your PPC campaign, which includes who your target audience is, the specific outcomes you are seeking, and what KPIs matter for the specific campaign(s)
How PPC fits into your digital marketing strategy largely depends on what your marketing goals are. When first starting a PPC campaign your goal may be to simply drive as much traffic to your website, or a specific landing page, as your budget allows for. As you become more familiar with PPC, and the PPC platform you use (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.) you may want to reevaluate those goals and target conversions (anything you would consider a lead or positive action that has value) instead of clicks (our recommendation). For more information on how to create effective PPC campaigns, conduct meaningful keyword research, and develop a sound digital marketing strategy contact us today. You can also follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.