Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, is a form of advertising where you pay each time your ad is clicked. PPC ads can be composed of text or images. Once turned on, your PPC ads will be displayed online until your set budget is reached. Potential customers link directly to a webpage of your choice when your ad is clicked. PPC advertising came onto the scene in 2002 when Google introduced AdWords (later renamed Google Ads). As a result of its success, the pay-per-click advertising model exploded. Never before could advertisers achieve such a large reach to a targeted audience so quickly with instant trackable results. In addition, PPC advertising is performance based. This means advertisers are charged only when a desired action (or click) occurs. PPC advertising can now be found everywhere online and remains one of the most cost-effective ways to increase website traffic and generate quality leads.
Why PPC Ads Work Wonders
According to 99Firms, PPC advertising returns $2 for every $1 spent on Google Ads. Because of their effectiveness, PPC ads are an amazing tool for any business looking to reach their target audience for these reasons:
1) Expansive Reach Instantly
In 2021, over 4.66 billion people were online and 8 out of 10 used their mobile phone to access the internet. PPC allows you to dive into this sea of potential and place your ads directly in the eyes and hands of your customers. Whether it’s Google search, social media, or mobile apps, PPC ads can help you achieve your lead or website traffic goals.
2) Increased Brand Awareness
Ad views, also known as “impressions,” are not charged with a pay-per-click model. This means your PPC ads can be seen by thousands of eyes before your click budget runs out. However, clicks are not just something that eats your budget. Clicks give you another level of value through understanding buyer intent, as well as remarketing capabilities. Remarketing, or retargeting users, increases business name searches by over 1,000%. Additionally, online visitors who are served retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert on the business’ website
3) Performance–Based and Scalable
With PPC ads, your advertising budget is charged ONLY IF your ad gets a resulting click. In addition, you can pull reporting on how each ad performs, adjust settings, tweak ad content, or change budget to improve conversions. You can start with a small budget then gradually spend more money on the best performing ads. As a result, you can quickly scale up PPC campaigns with predicable growth and success.
4) Precise Targeting
You can limit PPC ads to be shown to specific regions and demographics. By selecting specific attributes, your ads can be tailored to your “ideal” customers. These attributes could be age, gender, interest, device, and even location. Few advertising methods are as precise and cost effective as PPC ads because your budget is only spent on your target audience. As a result, ad clicks are valuable and create higher quality leads compared to blind banner campaigns.
5) Rise Above Competitors
It’s a known fact that solid PPC ads can enhance your overall reach and complement your website SEO strategies. This happens because Google places paid ads first when users conduct searches, potentially positioning you above your competitors. Additionally, if your site ranks well on its own then users could see you in results twice. The first time could be your PPC ad, then then again in organic results. This “double exposure” automatically builds trust with your audience. You can also gain insight on how to improve your own ads from searching your keywords in Google and borrowing from ads that beat yours. Changing a few words could make all the difference in catching the eyes of your audience.
Important Pay-Per-Click Campaign Concepts
Most pay-per-click campaigns follow the same setup process. Before a pay-per-click campaign can be run, the text or visual part of the ad needs to be created, keywords chosen, a targeted audience defined, and a budget set. Then the ad can be run and results measured. Each of these steps are vital to maximize your impact on potential customers. Though there may be no exact formula for designing your ad, here are some helpful tips when setting up your PPC ads.
1) Choose Relevant Keywords
In PPC advertising, keywords are words or short phrases that trigger ads to be displayed when someone searches those words directly in the search engine. For example, say you are selling Nike Revolution 5 running shoes. Some good keywords could be “running shoes,” “Nike Revolution 5,” or even “Nike running shoes.” Using words like “basketball shoes,” “boots,” or, “cool kicks” may get you clicks, but poor results. You want to choose words or phrases that are relevant. Regardless of keywords initially chosen, you may need to drop or add keywords based on performance. In fact, even the professionals regularly make these kinds of adjustments to enhance their PPC ads. Sometimes the keywords that perform the best are the most unexpected ones!
2) Define Target Audience
Simply put, your target audience is the group of people most likely to buy the product or service you are selling. In most PPC ad platforms, targeting can be done based on the age, location, gender, and even interests of online users. Using the running shoe example again, your audience could change drastically depending on whether you are advertising the men’s or women’s version of the shoe. Additionally, you may only sell to specific areas, which might limit your audience by location. Take the time to think through who is going to buy what you are selling. The more defined your audience is, the better your results will be.
3) Set Budget Appropriately
Once your PPC ads have their keywords chosen and targeting in place, the budget needs to be set. Keywords vary in cost-per-click (CPC) depending on various factors including competition. CPC can also change over time. Regardless of the cost of keywords, having a larger budget will help show your ads to more people and more often. Maximizing exposure will provide additional information to optimize your ads. For example, the longer you let your ads run consecutively (at least initially), the more you’ll know which days and times work the best. In addition, you should check ad results regularly to ensure they perform as expected. Using reports will give you the insight you need to optimize your settings and ad spend.