If you’ve ever used Google or any other search engine, chances are you know what pay-per-click (PPC) ads are. They appear on search engine results pages (SERPs), promoting a brand and its offerings. Of course, these ads appear on social media as well. Although we encounter them daily, most of us don’t know much about them. That’s why we decided to write this short guide to PPC and tell you the basics of this advertising method.
In 2018, Clutch surveyed 351 small businesses and found that 45% of them used paid ads. Despite this fact, PPC seems to still elude some marketers. But if almost half of small businesses rely on it, we can’t ignore this channel anymore. As a marketer, you should understand PPC to a T or at least have a basic understanding of it.
This guide will help you grasp the basics of pay-per-click marketing and its benefits for your brand. Let’s start learning!
Pay-per-click is a form of online advertising model in which advertisers are charged every time people click on their ads. The amount they pay depends on how much they bid for the ad space and numerous other factors, including keywords and platforms.
Industry experts choose PPC ads to achieve all types of campaign goals, such as:
Furthermore, the world of PPC advertising is all about relevance. Every day, internet users search for businesses, products, services, and information. In fact, Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second. Advertisers have the opportunity to show their ads at the exact moment those queries are occurring. For instance, someone might search for “best NYC hotels.” If they do, an advertiser can send an ad that relates to “best NYC hotels.” As you can see from the below example, pay-per-click ads appear before the organic search results. They take center stage stage on Google and other popular search engines.
Moreover, PPC ads can produce quality leads for you. After all, their goal is to get the viewer to visit your website or app. While there, the viewer can complete the desired action, e.g. purchase a product or subscribe to your newsletter.
In this guide to PPC, you’ll learn many more things, including the benefits of this advertising model!
So, there’s one question that arises here: Why would you pay for ads to reach your target audience when you can do that organically with the help of engaging content and strategically-placed keywords?
Well, the answer is quite simple. Namely, keywords have become competitive in today’s market. If you don’t have the domain authority, your content will rarely appear in the top rankings of a search engine. In fact, so many brands are using these ads that users need to scroll down to find organic results.
Bear in mind that that doesn’t mean you should ditch SEO and only focus on paid searches. These two concepts need to work together if you want to become successful. In other words, your paid advertising should complement your SEO strategy and not replace it.
What’s more, paid advertising will ensure you appear before other companies in a competitive market. Not only that, but it will also help you get seen by potential customers who may not know you exist. In addition to this, PPC can increase brand awareness for your company by 80%, according to some sources. It can also boost traffic to your website and improve conversions.
For digital marketers, PPC is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies because it allows them to decide how much they’ll pay for their ads. With traditional marketing methods like billboards and TV ads, you’ll pay a set budget. However, you’re not sure how many people will actually see the ad. With PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. So, you incur costs for the action rather than for the ad space.
Our guide to PPC wouldn’t be complete without a mini glossary that mentions the most important PPC terms. Let’s check them out!
What’s an advertising model without a bit of acronyms and good, ol’ jargon? If you’re going to pay for ads to promote your product or service, there’s some terms in our guide to PPC you need to know. So, prepare to expand your knowledge and dive into the advertising space! Here are the terms we’ll explain:
If you’re not new to the marketing scene, then you’ve probably heard about some of these terms. They’re vital if you want to move around the advertising space with more ease. So, don’t let anyone confuse you by mentioning terms like “maximum bid” or “ad rank.” Learn what they are in our guide to PPC!
Ad copy refers to the text that appears on an ad. In PPC’s case, it usually indicates the headline, description, and the URL. If done right, ad copy can engage viewers.
This value determines your ad position in the SERPs. Advertisers calculate it using the bid amount and quality score (we’ll get to them later in this guide to PPC).
Conversion rate is the percentage of customers that click on the call-to-action and complete the desired action. It helps you determine the performance of your ad campaign.
Cost-per-click (CPC) is a marketing metric that measures the amount of money you’ll pay for every click on your ad.
Cost per mille (CPM) refers to the cost an advertiser incurs for one thousand impressions on their ad.
Cost-per-view (CPV) is the average price for a view on an online video advertisement.
Every ad campaign you launch will target a set of relevant keywords in order to reach customers. The keywords inform search engines for which queries your ad should be displayed. Once you determine which keywords perform best, you can start a campaign.
A landing page is one of the most important elements in the advertising world, so it’s vital that we include it in our guide to PPC. Your customers or prospects will end up on this page once they click on the PPC ad. A landing page can be your homepage or a separate dedicated webpage.
A maximum bid is the maximum amount of money you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad.
Quality score is a ranking system that measures the quality of your ads and landing pages, and the relevancy of your keywords. The higher quality score you get, the higher your ad ranks, and the less better ad positions cost.
Thanks to our guide to PPC, you now understand the basics of this advertising model. But, you’re probably wondering: Wait, where should i advertise? We’re here to answer that question as well!
You can spend your ad money on numerous platforms, but we’ll single out two of the well-known online spaces. The most popular advertising platforms are easy to use and frequently visited by your target audience. Here are the two top PPC platforms to consider following our guide to PPC:
How many times have you said “Let me Google it?” Probably more than you can even count! Therefore, Google Ads is the obvious king of paid advertising. The tech company processes the largest number of queries every day. This means you have a lot of opportunities to target keywords that will get your ads seen. One downside is that keywords are highly competitive on Google Ads, meaning that you need to set aside a larger budget for your ads.
Another popular and effective solution for paid ads is Facebook Ads. Advertisers love this platform because of its specific targeting options. Namely, Facebook lets you target users based on demographics, behaviors, location, and interests. Additionally, Facebook has native ads which don’t disrupt the user experience and are more appealing to customers. Of course, you can advertise on Instagram as well through Facebook Ads.
This short guide to PPC marketing is a great start for any beginner. It touches on the basics you need to know to get into the world of paid advertisements. PPC ads might be confusing at first, but practice makes perfect. You’ll master different acronyms, jargon, and strategies in no time. So, sit back and start thinking about your ad campaign!