Digital or online marketing is rapidly growing multi-billion dollar per year industry. In the era of fast internet, smartphones and other technological advancements, it is an absolute necessity to maintain a high online presence. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising could be your key to great visibility and results.
Read on to find out all you need to know…
There are many types of internet advertising. Among the many forms digital marketing can take are: Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, viral marketing and content marketing.
Companies big and small are all opting to switch to digital marketing from the traditional marketing methods (TV ads, billboards, magazine and newspaper ads); mainly due to the much lower costs, technological advancements and ease of reaching the targeted consumer.
Businesses are now using the internet to reach out to their customers simply because of the fact that a company can choose where, when and to whom the ad is displayed. This makes it much easier to effectively communicate with the intended customer.
Pay Per Click Ads
Previously, the most prevalent and dominant method of online marketing was the concept of banner advertising. While it still exists, it has lost much of its market share to its younger sibling; pay per click.
What made pay per click dominate its predecessor was the simple fact that with banner ads, the advertiser was not able to choose where the banner was displayed. An ad for the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) would likely go ignored in a hunting enthusiasts club.
The beauty of pay per click is that a company doesn’t pay for people to see its ad, you don’t pay for high ranking in search engine pages; you pay for actual results. So, no loss from your budget someone actually clicks on the sponsored content and visits your website.
How Pay Per Click Started
It all started in 1998 by a company called Goto.com (acquired later by Overture to be later purchased by Yahoo). Pay Per click has dramatically evolved since its conception 20 years ago; it is now used by Search engine giants like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Ever wondered how search engines make money? Astonishingly, pay per click makes up 99% of Google’s revenue; making it almost the sole provider of Google’s income. The process of selling vacant spots on websites has been referred to as one of the most innovative digital marketing methods.
Pay Per Click is also considered to be one of the fastest growing online marketing facets, accounting as a the major source of profit of most search engines. If not for the existence of PPC advertisement, search engines like Google and Yahoo would either run out of business and close or rely on charging the average user a monthly subscription to use their services.
Types Of Pay Per Click Advertising
There are two types of Pay Per Click advertising: the first type of is the contextual PPC ads mechanism. These ads are displayed where the content a person is viewing is related to the ad displayed. The other type is the sponsoring mechanism, which works by displaying the PPC ads at the top of the very first page on a search engine based on the predefined keywords a person enters in the search bar.
Obviously, the latter is more popular due to the fact that a business can control who views the ad by choosing specific keywords, this guarantees that whoever clicks the ad is interested and may actually convert to a sale or a subscription. Imagine pay per click ads as renting real estate in a premium location where you only pay when a customer enters.
The same goes for the pay per click ads; you rent the first hit on the first page in a search engine, but you only pay when someone clicks on your link. With pay per click advertising, it is a win-win-win situation. The search engine makes profit from marketers renting ad space, marketers get a more efficient method to display their products/services and the customer finds what he/she is looking for easier.
How Pay Per click Works
Pay Per Click is a rather simple mechanism to use, it’s easy to set up, use and benefit from. It starts by the company wishing to advertise choosing the keywords it wishes to be affiliated with the ad. This step is crucial as the wrong keyword would lead the wrong customers to your ad; costing the business money with no prospective sales.
Every keyword has a price depending on its popularity. Most notable search engines use an auction system where the highest bid gets the spot. Pay per click ads can vary greatly in price, from $.10 up to $100 per click; as mentioned before, it all depends on how popular the chosen keyword is. Among the top used pay per click websites to advertise on is Google Adwords.
How to Run a Successful Pay Per Click Campaign
The ease and efficiency of PPC ads means that any company, big or small can participate in it. In order to run a successful Ad campaign there are a few steps that should be followed in order to ensure maximum return on investment.
- Choose the right keywords
Choosing the right keyword is essential for a successful pay per click ad campaign. A company’s ad will only appear if the right keyword or combination of keywords is typed in the search engine by the end user.
- Go for a quality landing page design
The design of the page the consumer sees after clicking the ad is the first thing he/she notices. This highlights the importance of the design; it should be welcoming, easy to navigate and informative.
The information inside the website should be expansive; it should include all the info a customer would want. This will prevent the customer from going on to other pages for more info and possibly get distracted, forgetting about the page he/she first visited.
- Mind your conversion rate
Not all clicks actually convert to sales. It is crucial to track all sales that were initiated through PPC ads. Most reputable search engines provide some sort of tool to track and keep record of a company’s statistics like “Google Analytics”.
How to Choose Your Pay Per Click Keywords
The guide to choose the right keyword to associate with your ad can be broken down into two simple steps. They keyword a business chooses should be:
Most businesses opt for the general search term when deciding what keywords should be associated with their pay per click ad. For example, an electronics store could choose their keywords to be electronics, computers, laptops or mobile phones.
While this is not a bad idea, it would be better to use more specific and long tailed keywords such as: Belfast electronics, refurbished laptops, new and used phones. These keywords would not only lead to more sales but are probably less expensive than the general ones that more people bid on.
The keyword should hold relevance to the company’s associated ad. This will make it a much more successful PPC campaign, grant more clicks and convert to more sales on the long run. Unrelated keywords could lead to unwarranted clicks that cost money without actual sales or ads that appear irrelevant to the original search query.
Is Pay Per Click the Wave of the Future?
Advertisers are constantly coming up with new ideas to market their products/services. The wheels of the marketing cart are constantly turning; it is a never ending field of resources to reap. While it is unlikely that pay per click advertising is the be all end all method of marketing, right now it is one of the best and most cost effective ways to get your product out there.
Sadly, like lots of previous successful marketing techniques, PPC is likely to be rendered obsolete with its older sibling the banner ads when someone comes up with a new idea for marketing products and services. For now however, PPC advertising is top dog when it comes to digital marketing due to the fact that every sane internet user uses search engines.
Pay per click advertising also has the unique ability to give the advertiser information about targeted consumers. The company posting the ad can extract data about their customers. The type of information the company receives is extremely beneficial to enhance market research for future purposes. Is pay per click the perfect marketing method? Unfortunately, everything has its good and bad sides.
- Performance oriented
As a performance oriented marketing method, pay per click matches the keywords typed in the search engine and displays the ad accordingly. The advertisers only pay if their ads are clicked on, making it cost efficient and eases the process of communicating with the potential customer.
- Knowledge is power
Writings of Sir Francis Bacon dating back to 1597 included the phrase “knowledge is power”. This quote is still very relevant in the times we live in. Information is a crucial asset; if you know the market, you can control it. Pay per click advertising provides extremely useful information for the business.
Some of the information PPC ads provide include: How many people clicked the ad, how many clicks lead to actual sales, what time of day was the ad clicked the most and locations of individuals who clicked the ad. The information provided is of great use to marketers and advertisers and would significantly aid in future marketing campaigns.
- Localizing PPC ads
Yet another advantage one of the most dominant digital marketing methods provides is the ability to choose where the ads appear. If a business runs its operations somewhere in Europe, ads for the company appearing in South America would cost money if people click it without being converted to actual sales. A company can choose the ads to be displayed in the areas where the expected target market would be.
- Online Presence
As stated before, the online presence of any business is crucial. Pay per click advertising ensures that your website is on the very first page when matching keywords are typed in the search engine. This helps maintain and grow the online visibility of any website.
- Click Fraud
Some website publishers use automated scripts to fraudulently generate clicks on the ads posted to their webpage. These clicks exhaust the advertiser’s marketing budget and the clicks would never lead to an actual sale since it is a bot doing the clicking.
This happens mostly when advertisers choose to display their PPC ads on disreputable websites. These websites might be related to the product or service the company is trying to sell. However, it is advisable to choose distinguished and well known websites with proven track records.
- Not every click is a sale
In a perfect world, one click would be equal to one sale. Unfortunately this is not true; some may click the ad just to window shop, others might click out of curiosity, many would click the ad multiple times just to browse without actually buying anything. This of course costs the advertiser money that does not convert to actual sales.
- Increase in keyword prices
The more popular a keyword is, the higher its price. With the bidding system, a click could cost as much as $100. For example, a country has 4 telecommunication companies. In an auction between the 4 companies, the bid for the keywords “best telecommunication company” would be sought after by all 4 companies, leading to a steep increase in the price of the keyword.
A father giving his son a piggyback ride sounds like a good time for the family. Unfortunately in the digital marketing world, it is something else entirely. Piggybacking is an unethical practice used by some companies to steal customers from their competitors.
This can be achieved when a company uses the competitor’s company name as a keyword. When someone is searching for the competitor’s company, the first hit would be the piggybacker; potentially stealing clients.
Why Pay Per Click Is Dominating the Digital Marketing Scene
Pay per click ads were hailed as a revolutionary and innovative digital marketing tool. The fact that you only pay when someone views your ad helped cut advertising costs for marketers and increase online visibility simultaneously.
With PPC ad campaigns everyone wins; the advertiser on a budget, the consumers who find what they are looking for faster and the search engines that make most of their revenue from pay per click ads.
PPC ads have been shown to be more effective than banner and pay per view ads. When it comes to digital marketing, pay per click is easily among the top most effective three methods to market your product or service online.
If you haven’t explored PPC as an option, there could be real benefits for you company waiting to be found.