Pay-per-click is a type of marketing where advertisers pay a search engine website such as Google or Bing every time their ad is clicked. Although a simple concept, the process of creating a successful pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign is tricky and can require constant modification to maintain performance.

If looking to progress your marketing proficiency online with a PPC campaign, carefully research all the techniques required to make it efficient as possible. This guide will provide a basic insight into the model of pay-per-click advertising and how it can be used to increase exposure for your business.

Is PPC Worth It?

Investing in pay-per-click ads is proven to be effective, but only with thoroughly planned-out campaigns. Some businesses however may not suit this strategy however because of the service or products they are offering. The fact that companies similar to yours will be striving to appear as high as they can on sites such as Google also adds to the risk involved.

Also consider the fact that a PPC campaign alone, such as Google AdWords, will not be enough to guarantee a successful advertising venture. As search engines strive to increase the efficiency of their results, other factors such as SEO techniques and website performance also need to be considered.

How Does PPC Help?

Here is a list of some of the advantages a pay-per-click campaign can bring for new or existing businesses:

  1. Quick Results – Once a campaign has been started, your ads will start appearing on search websites within 1 or 2 days. This gives an advantage over more standard search engine optimisation techniques that can take weeks to show positive results.
  1. Relevant Traffic – Optimising a campaign using keywords will mean that more appropriate traffic will be directed to your site. This will increase the conversion rate of people who visit the landing page.
  1. Modified Campaigns – Highly competent PPC ads can be designated to run for audiences in specific geographical regions and at certain times of the day.
  1. Testing Ability – Analysing the performance of individual campaigns is a highly useful benefit, meaning that you can quickly distinguish between effective and non-effective ads. Managing costs and tracking conversion ratios is also possible, helping determine you return on investment.

How does it Work?

It becomes obvious that there are ‘stand-out’ results on search engines, which usually appear above or to the side of general or organic results. These are paid-for, PPC ads which businesses believe will attract more interest due to their more favourable position on the search page.

Every time one of these adverts are clicked requires the business to pay the search engine a pre-set amount, irrespective of what users do whilst on the site itself. How much a company needs to pay is known as the cost-per-click value (CPC) and will depend on different factors.

How Rankings are Scored

To appear as high as possible on search results pages, your advertisement will need to have a high Quality Score. This will also allow you to select a lower price for your CPC ads. The criteria for a good Quality Score will depend on the following aspects:

Keyword Use – Selecting appropriate keywords for your campaign will increase the chance of your ad being used by the search engine, and thus being clicked on.

Site Performance – A site with a concise layout and fast load-up time will be more favourable in achieving a high Quality Score. A more established domain name is also beneficial along with a high-class internal and external linking system.

Relevancy – Ensuring your keywords, website content and landing page are all relevant to each other is crucial in determining your score. A good relevancy chain between these factors will ensure a higher Quality Score.

Past Performance – Another aspect of PPC rankings comes with the history of your previous campaigns. In this sense it is advisable to try and keep all individual ads to a high level, modifying or even removing those that are performing badly.

Tracking Your Ads

Being able to manage and change your ads whilst they are running is priceless in PPC advertising. There are plenty of third party companies who offer this service, all claiming to be able to improve your online ads and boost sales.

The most popular pay-per-click marketing comes through Google AdWords, where information can be received on certain aspects of an ad. For a more extensive and detailed to their performance, it is important to understand why a particular ad may be doing well or badly, rather than just what statistics it is producing.

A programme such as Google Analytics provides a better scope for this. Some of the factors to look out for include:

Click-Through-Rate – The click-through-rate or CTR is the number of people who have seen your ad in relation to how many times it is clicked. It is usually displayed as a percentage, where numbers as little as 2% can signify a successful ad and generate profit.

Bounce Rate – This is the number of people who have clicked on your ad, but then not visited any other pages divided by the number of unique visits.

Pages Per Visit/ Visit Duration – Knowing how many people will actually explore your site and how long they actually stay on there for can be very useful in understanding the accessibility and friendliness of your pages.

Mobile Percentage – This stat will tell you how popular your advert has been with users of Smartphones, Android, tablets, etc. If this is an increasing amount, more effort may be required into making your site compatible with mobile use.

In Conclusion

Pay-per- click advertising is a way of marketing that can be very useful to companies looking to attract customers to their web pages. However, it alone will not make a business successful without careful deliberation and ongoing care. It should also be used alongside more organic advertising techniques such as SEO.

Three of the most important aspects of PPC are how you use keywords to attract the right audience, how this is relevant with the content on your site and then how you manage your campaigns when they are up and running. Do as much research as possible from various other sources before embarking on a new campaign.

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