PPC

5 Essentials You Should Be Aware Before You Start Your First PPC Campaign

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PPC stands for a pay-per-click method marketers commonly use in online marketing. But PPC is more than a smart advertising strategy, it’s also a highly rewording internet trend.

One of the popular PPC forms are ads located among the first search engine pages. Although paid ads cost advertisers a small fee each time a user actually clicks on their ad, it also brings new visitors who are up to 50% more likely to commit to a purchase.

The best part is that marketers are free to bid for ad placements on a search engine auction. In fact, they bid on keywords that are related to their businesses. To put it simply, marketers select the keyword which is relevant for their products in order to see their ad in the first top spots on search engines with high traffic such as Google.

The Purpose of PPC in Marketing 

Did you know that search ads can increase brand awareness by 80%? Or that display advertising can increase website traffic by 300%? That’s right, but beyond traffic and worldwide recognition, advertisers use the PPC approach to achieve various marketing objectives, including:

  • Website traffic consistency. While low traffic is bad for business, a sudden spike in activity can lead to a website meltdown. However, paid search ads bring balance and control the amount of traffic because the traffic depends on the amount of funds marketers are ready to set aside.
  • Lead conversion. Generating leads is the number one challenge for 63% of companies. But PPC sports business growth by attracting prospects and taking them on a journey from aware leads to purchasing customers. After all, visitors coming from a paid search ad bring more sales than organic visitors.
  • Tracking and measuring marketing goals. PPC marketing supports tracking and measuring the success of the advertising campaign. By combining tools like Google AdWords and Google Analytics, marketers can get a complete performance overview including clicks, lead conversions, and the overall impact of the campaign.
  • SEO and content marketing strategy. Due to an array of marketing insights and performance data collected by Google’s tools, advertisers have the upper hand when it comes to SEO optimization and content development. Plus, by using other sets of tools such as KeywordSpy, SpyFu, and others, marketers can see what competitors have up their sleeves and pinpoint favorable markets for their gain.
  • Targeting and scheduling. Another perk of PPC is the ability to target a specific location (or locations) for their paid ad campaigns. Likewise, they have the benefit of scheduling the launch at any time and day they consider preferable.

Pay-Per-Click Origins

Remember the begging of internet? Those were slow, but exciting times with so many rules waiting to be discovered. Coincidently, in 1998, the internet-based startup GoTo.com presented the pay-per-click concept which was a new marketing approach to advertising.

This idea of paying when a real customer clicks on ads is considered to be the foundation of PPC. Since Go.To.com was a search engine, advertisers could also bid on keywords for appearing first in search results. And the only goal was Internet advertising you can measure.

However, the system was flawed as marketers with more pennies to spare could bid on keywords that have no relations with their business. Imagine searching for dog food and all you get are Nike sports ads. You wouldn’t be using that search engine anymore.

This is where Google stepped in to correct the flaws. They designed their own improved PPC system we now know as Google AdWords. And what were the innovations? Well, they included a Quality Score algorithm, a system that only provides relevant search outcomes.

Since the year 2000 when it was first launched, AdWords quickly became a powerful platform that brought Google a lot of money. In 2015 alone, PPC accounted for $75 billion of Google’s revenue. But they are not the only PPC providers as Yahoo! Gemini, AdRool, and Bing Ads also play an important role in PPC marketing.

PPC Advertising Types & Platforms 

As previously mentioned, PPC advertising has several forms and ad platforms. The two main pay-per-click platforms are:

  • Google AdWords – The reason why AdWords are a massively popular and preferred marketers’ choice is because ads run not only on Google, but also on Search Partner sites and Display Network platforms. Which means that AdWords marketing is suitable for businesses of all sizes.
  • Microsoft Bing Ads – Like its AdWords rival, Bing Ads also feature PPC marketing but only on Bing and Yahoo channels. Then again, Bing claims that they had about 142 million unique searches in 2017.

Once we have that covered, it’s time to talk about different PPC types.

Paid Search Marketing – AdWords & Bing 

Search marketing is one of the most common PPC practices with strong network providers. The process is quite simple and provides organic search results that place the ad at the top of search pages. The marketing campaign requires writing an ad copy, selecting keywords, and choosing the most fitted platform for placing an ad.

Social Media Advertising

Here’s an interesting fact: “Active social media users increased by 21%.” And if you take into account that there are 2.80 billion social media users, social media marketing can do wonders for any business. Not only are online adults aged 18-35 more likely to follow a brand via social platforms, but 71% of consumers will gladly recommend brands that provided a positive social media experience.

Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are perfect for targeting specific demographics. So by placing a PPC ad that is linked to a company’s website, marketers can further improve brand awareness. How? By featuring the ad in the newsfeed of the target audience or in their social hangouts.

Display Advertising 

As the name suggests, display marketing are images, text, or banner ads that show adverts to a particular audience across multiple websites. What separates this advertising approach from the others is that it allows advertisers to pick the target prospects they want to show these adverts to. Although the click rate is slightly lower than with search ads, it’s still a great strategy for building awareness.

(Re)Marketing/Targeting PPC Marketing  

You might be familiar with remarketing, also called retargeting, if you have seen pop up ads. This type of advertising uses user browser cookies to display ads similar to their previous online searches. The objective is to return visitors to the company’s website in hope that they will continue with their purchase.

Retargeting marketing campaigns can take many forms, including social media ads, display advertising, and even emails. And, they serve as a reminder that will engage visitors and keep them connected with the brand.

Special PPC Price Offers    

Have you heard of Google Shopping Campaigns? This ad network, along with other price comparison websites, gathers and displays prices and special marketing offers from various merchant sites. Visitors have the opportunity to go through the product or service deals and buy directly from the selected ecommerce site or directly from the comparison portal. This way, marketers get a chance to improve their ROI, but only if they pay for clicks because, the more they invest, the higher the chances of making profit.

Affiliate PPC Marketing

It’s important to remember that all of these strategies can be used together, for increasing the success of marketing campaigns. So, you can use these approaches to place the ad on:

  • Search engines
  • Targeting sites
  • Social media
  • Price comparison platforms

How much would this cost? With affiliate advertising, the payment is based on performance, or simply put, Cost per Acquisition (CPA – Cost per Action). The process can be outsourced or handled on-premises, but it carries a certain dose of risk and requires a well-designed strategy, time, and ongoing management.

101 PPC Guide: How to Use PPC Marketing in Practice

Although paid search ads are more expensive than other PPC methods, they are also the most rewarding. Meaning they are probably the best source for increasing your conversion rates.

Let’s say you want to start your first search network marketing campaign. What do you need to accomplish your marketing objectives? For starters, you already know that Google and Bing are the go-to engines. But there is more to it.

Each search ad campaign includes keywords, however, they come with subcategories such as ads, ad groups, and extensions. So, in order to build a great campaign, you must use the powers of SEO to optimize your business website for the keywords you want to use to target consumers. Plus, the better the keyword, the lower the cost per click.

Finding the Magic Keyword 

The problem with keywords is that they are constantly changing and evolving. There are thousands of new searches each month on popular search networks for new terms you might have never thought of. Therefore, marketers need to keep a close eye on these fluctuating keywords, in order to target unique keyword variations.

“Blue Coffee Mug” Keyword Variations Example:

  • Blue Coffee Mug
  • Blue Mug Coffee
  • Coffee Blue Mug
  • Blue Mug for Coffee
  • Blue Mug Coffee Sales

That being said, the selected keywords can’t be random. They have to use a match type in Google or Bing engines for retrieving relevant keyword alternatives. There are four main keyword match types with specific uses in PPC marketing.

  • Broad Match (keywords that are closely related or exactly match the keywords relevant to your business)
  • Broad Match Modifier (keywords that match with any search query term as long as the words or parts of them match the chosen keywords)
  • Phrase Match (if the keyword phrase matches the user’s query, even if there are other words involved, your ad will be displayed at the top)
  • Exact Match (the keyword is identical to the search query and keywords are in the same order, otherwise, it will not display the ad)

Here is a simple example:

Source: The AdStage Blog

Negative Keywords

Apart from positive keyword searches, marketers can also use negative keywords to restrict unqualified traffic. For example, Google’s audience might look for “free” or “cheap” products in the search quarry that are not applicable for costly services and high-end products. So marketers can use these terms as negative keywords to limit their website traffic to prospective buyers only.

Ad Groups

Ad groups are a group of one or more ads with a target set of keywords marketers use for remarketing. Once an advertiser sets a bid, the ad group’s keyword will trigger an ad to appear. However, marketers can also set prices for individual keywords in the ad group. And all of the ads should follow a theme for the type of products or services you want to promote.

Expanded Ads   

When you find your keywords and select ad groups, you can begin writing your ad. But remember that successful ads follow a keyword theme, have a call to action, and valuable propositions. In addition, you have to follow the AdWords rules of ad structure with accurate specifications such as:

  • Headline 1 and 2 – 30 characters max (including spaces)
  • Description – Up to 80 characters (including spaces)
  • Path 1 and 2 – 15 characters top

Ads must be deceiving and have to be well-written, and have correct punctuation and grammar. In addition, it’s recommended to first test at least two ads from your ad group as well as to:

  • Limit the broad use of match type keywords
  • Apply negative keywords
  • Use broad match modified keywords
  • Test different features and perks of your products for a better ad description
  • Choose landing pages that are relevant to your keywords and ads

If you are going with Google, consider taking advantage of extension types the network has to offer, including:

  • Call extension: Your ad will show the number visitors can call or click to call directly from their mobiles.
  • Review extension: Display your ad with positive customer reviews.
  • Location: This extension adds your business address.
  • Sitelink extension: Additional teaser text on your ad for attracting consumers.
  • Callout extension: These are additional text lines such as “free shipping” that provide additional information to viewers.

Product Listings & Image Ads  

Product listings marketing campaigns are used in PPC ecommerce advertising and they contain product images, prices, and tittles. In other words, you have to open a Google Merchant Centre account to utilize Google product feeds.

Example of product listings:

Source: www.cpcstrategy.com

On the other hand, if you decide to run a display marketing campaign, you need to know how to create a responsive ad by using beautiful imagery. But keep in mind that a responsive ad automatically adjusts the image size depending on the picture standard you selected.

PPC on Digital Devices

Nowadays, mobile users are an endless revenue source for marketers who aim to please the audience. Your ads will be appearing across multiple devices, including smartphones, desktops, and tablets.   

Although laptops and tablets have a similar structure, when it comes to PPC ads, mobiles require modifications for a good user experience. Luckily, you can use a bid modifier that will allow you to show your ads with consistency on all devices.

According to Google’s support, the bid adjustments work by percentages:

“Say you’ve got a campaign that performs well on mobile devices with a max CPC bid of US$1. To show your ad to more customers on mobile devices, you increase your bid by 20% for searches on mobile devices, resulting in a final bid amount of US$1.20. Here’s the math:

Starting bid: $1

Mobile adjustment: $1 + ($1 x 20%) = $1.20

Resulting bid for searches on mobile devices: $1.20”

Mobile PPC optimization is a crucial part of any marketing strategy.  71% of marketers who believe mobile advertising is the core to their businesses couldn’t be more right. After all, mobile devices account for 53% of paid-search clicks, so be sure to incorporate this tactic in your marketing plan.

Final Thoughts

The massive digital expansion shaped and rapidly changed the marketing over the last couple of years. However, the changes are not over because there are more technological innovations to come. Therefore, marketers have to watch out for upcoming trends and use only the best marketing practices for achieving their objectives.

Ever since it first appeared, the pay-per-click approach has brought a lot of benefits to the corporate world. Today, PPC is the most common strategy and practically a standard of digital advertising. Given that this method only continues to improve and gain more popularity, it’s essential for thriving advertisers to use PPC wisely if they want to rep the perks and have consumers, more traffic, better brand awareness, and ultimately, amplified revenue.

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