Pay-Per-Click advertising or PPC is one of the best and most affordable marketing tactics for small businesses. Whether you have a limited budget, limited knowledge of digital marketing or both, PPC offers a world of opportunities your small business can’t afford to miss. Here we dive deep into PPC to explain what it is and why you need it now.
What is PPC Advertising?
Pay-per-click advertising is run on platforms like Google Ads. It is aptly named because you only pay if someone clicks the ad. The ads are customized to meet your marketing goals whether you want to drive traffic to your website, increase sales, or have your target audience take a specific action such as signing up for a newsletter to create leads.
The platforms used offer exceptional targeting allowing you to reach the ideal audience. They also use keywords to determine when your ads appear. Advertisers bid on keywords based on how much they are willing to pay per click, which helps manage your budget. Keep in mind, you are also bidding against your competition which might have a higher budget. This increases their odds of appearing at the top of the paid advertising spots. Clear as mud? Read on.
Keywords and Bidding for PPC Ads
Advertisers bid on keywords based on how much they are willing to spend to rank for that keyword. When that keyword is entered, Google searches the ads based on the highest bids to fill the valuable ad spaces. But there is more to it than that. Google is always focused on its user experience. So, it isn’t enough to have the highest bidder appear at the top of the heap. Instead, they choose the ads based on a number of factors much like they do for organic search results. Therefore, quality and relevance of the ad also come into play when it comes to ranking.
Reaching Top Ranking for Google Ads
The advertisers that appear on the page are determined by Google’s Ad Rank metric. They calculate the Ad Rank by multiplying CPC Bid based on the highest bidders and Quality Score based on your click-through rates, quality and relevance of your landing page. The good news is -- and this is where you start to see the value of PPC -- is that Google charges less for the ads they feel are relevant, well-targeted and improve their users’ experience.
How to Win Top Ranking for Your PPC Campaigns
Although we’re singing the praises of PPC, we’re not going to lie. You need a strategy to see your PPC ad campaigns work. Since you don’t pay unless someone clicks your ads, there’s no risk of wasted dollars on a PPC campaign. However, if no one clicks your ads, they aren’t really doing you much good. You can create a successful PPC campaign by considering the following:
Understand the Ad Rank Metric
Before you do anything, it’s a good idea to understand how the Ad Rank metric works. There are four elements to acing your Ad Rank:
- Ensure Keyword Relevance: Make sure your PPC keyword list is perfectly suited to your business, and the content of your ads and landing pages.
- Create Optimized Landing Pages: Your landing pages need to align with your ad, with relevant information. They must contain a clear call-to-action, tailored to the specific search queries that make sense for your keywords.
- Be Creative: The better your ad creativity, the more chance people will click them and the better your ranking becomes.
- Quality Score: Google applies a Quality Score based on the relevance to your keywords, the attached landing page and your PPC campaigns to determine if you get lower costs. So, all of the above need to be perfected to see your quality score rise.
Keeping these factors in mind will improve your Ad Ranking.
Conduct Thorough Keyword Research
Keyword research takes time but is a must for PPC success. Since keywords are the driving factor to rank your ads, you can’t just use the basic keywords for your industry. Instead, you need to refine your list and continue to improve it to ensure you drive more traffic to your site. Your keyword strategy should consider the following:
- Relevance: We are using this word repeatedly, but it is one of the most important elements of PPC. The reason PPC works well is that it allows you to become very targeted with your audience and the keywords for which you rank. Choosing targeted keywords must be related to what you sell to see the best ROI.
- Long Tail Terms: Don’t forget long tail keywords more specific to your niche. These words are much more relevant and allow you to pay less because they are not as competitive.
- List Expansion: Paying attention to how you perform and looking for ways to build on different iterations of your keywords allows you to expand your reach and enjoy better success.
You can continue to add and remove keywords based on how well they work for you.
Choose the Right Ad Format
PPC ads allow you to choose different ad formats to help meet your marketing goals. While the largest audience is found in search ads, you can also choose the format that works for your business type or audience. For example, shopping ads are ideal for retailers, while video ads are great if your audience uses YouTube often. Display ads can work especially well for retargeting to bring visitors back to your site. You can also use Gmail ads which appear in Gmail inboxes.
Why is PPC Such a Big Opportunity?
Search engines provide an active audience in search of products and services. Where there’s an audience, there’s opportunity. As a result, PPC provides a direct route to the targets you need to reach but tends to be difficult to find through more traditional advertising methods.
What are the Benefits of PPC Ads?
The main appeal of PPC ads is they offer the ideal target, with corresponding formats you customize to meet your goals. Your ads appear when your target is actively seeking information usually with the intent of making a purchase. So, PPC provides a better ROI on your advertising spend because you improve the quality of your leads, and only pay when someone clicks your ad. This is a very efficient way to:
- Start driving traffic to your website quickly with the right keyword and ad campaign strategy
- Measure and track the effectiveness of your ad efforts
- Measure your ROI for your keywords to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your ads
- Manage your advertising spend thriftily
- Run ads when you need them, and stop them when you don’t
- Target your ideal customers and segments
- Use various formats to meet different marketing goals such as display ads to target cart abandoners
PPC advertising offers an affordable way to meet your marketing goals when aligned with an effective keyword strategy and the right format.
Are you wondering how you can develop your own pay-per-click advertising campaign? At StructureM we offer PPC solutions catered directly to your company’s needs. Contact us today and let us help you come up with a plan!