PPC, KPI, SEO, CTR – If you are just setting out in your online advertising journey for your business, these are just a few of the acronyms you’ll come across. Whether you put in the work yourself or hire a digital marketing agency, it’s important to understand what these are in order to choose an effective strategy. There are two notable categories within search marketing: SEM, which uses paid strategies to appear in search, and SEO, which uses organic strategies to appear in search. In this article, we’ll briefly focus on PPC, which is a vital component of SEM, and establish a basic understanding of how PPC advertising works.
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) or search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of digital marketing where the advertiser only pays when their ad is clicked. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC, which makes sense considering Google alone processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. This particular type of marketing allows businesses to place their ads on search engines, blogs, mobile apps, and video streaming sites. Other popular pay-per-click marketing providers include Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and promoted Pinterest pins. These ad results show up in sponsored results and include an “Ad” designation that shows they are paid listings.
As with any digital marketing strategy, extensive work goes into a successful PPC campaign. From research and utilizing the right keywords, organizing those keywords into campaigns, and finally setting up landing pages that are optimized for conversions. By creating relevant, wisely targeted pay-per-click campaigns, advertisers are rewarded by being charged less for ad clicks. Conversely, search engines penalize advertisers who bid on keywords with low Quality Scores by rarely showing their ads, even if they have high bids.
PPC marketing can be broken down further into the following:
- Search advertising: Ads that appear as search results on search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Display advertising: Ads that appear as graphics, videos, or paid posts are typically found on social media feeds and other third-party websites
If you haven’t already done so, you will need to determine who your audience is. This will help you choose what type of searches you want to show your ad on. Once you have established who your target audience is and where your ads should display, you will need to set a budget for your PPC advertising campaign.
Assessing Your Budget
You will need to assess your goals and determine whether SEM vs. SEO is the right tactic for building your brand. While similar, there are marked differences to each which we’ll cover another day. You may find a combination of both to be necessary for your business goals. Once you have created a plan, you’ll need to decide on your budget. PPC campaigns seem to be one of the best solutions for quickly getting relevant traffic that will convert to leads and sales. At the same time, PPC advertising does have an entry barrier. For most businesses advertising online, the success of your ad campaign is related to the size of your advertising budget. As a small business, you may not have the budget or luxury of being able to test and analyze your results to see what works.
Your budget for PPC is a complex investment that can be disbursed simply by running ads. Alternatively, you can utilize a more targeted method to increase effectiveness, such as running ads with a proper sales funnel to capture leads. The more intricate route could be better organized by an agency partner with the experience to get things right the first time around (such as HRMG).
There are four key questions you need to answer when determining your initial budget:
- How do ads fit into my current marketing strategy?
- What (and where) are my competitors spending?
- How much are the CPCs (costs per click) for the keywords I’m bidding on?
- Which KPI (key performance indicator) matters most to me?
Once answered, you’ll be ready to get into campaign types, optimization, and expansion.
Creating Content for Lead Generation
A PPC campaign generally requires three types of information in order to begin the process.
1. Keyword/audience Criteria
Who is your target audience? This can include people searching for a certain keyword or people who fit under a certain audience.
2. Ad Copy
Depending on the campaign type, the ad copy could be text, an image, a video, or a mixture of an image and text.
This is your maximum budget and the maximum amount that you are willing to pay for a click needs to be identified. The higher the budget, the more clicks the advertiser will be able to buy.
Utilizing Targeted Google AdWords
Google Ads is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. With this tactic, brands conduct keyword research and create campaigns that target the best keywords for their industry, services, or product. 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. More specifically, who gets to appear on the page is based on an advertiser’s Ad Rank, a metric calculated by multiplying CPCs and Quality Score. This system allows the winning advertisers to reach potential customers at a cost that fits their budget.
Google Ads and pay-per-click campaigns, in general, can work for all types of businesses – big or small. Whether you just started your business or have been in business for decades, PPC may just be the boost you need to get an edge on the competition. The key to creating and making a PPC strategy work for you is to understand the ins and outs of paid search. With years of experience managing successful PPC campaigns, HRMG can do the hard work for you. Contact HRMG and let us create a winning PPC strategy for your business today.