In some cases, creating organic content simply isn’t enough. You could write blog posts on coffee beans all day, but if a cafe has been gaining popularity over a few years, chances are they’ll grab the top search result position.
This is where Pay-per-click, or PPC advertising, comes in.
What is PPC?
PPC advertising is just one of many models for online advertising. In a PPC ad campaign, Google will display your ad at the top or right of a results page, and you only need to pay when people click on the ad.
But what if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on one ad? That’s another beauty of the PPC campaign. At the start of each campaign, Google asks you to set up a budget for each keyword, or group of keywords. Google will only charge you for each additional click, so you’ll never have to worry about overspending.
How Your Business Can Benefit from PPC
Let’s return to our cafe example. With a rough idea of what PPC is, how can a business, like our theoretical cafe, use it to drive traffic, increase awareness, and maximize ROI?
As we mentioned earlier, one of the great advantages to a PPC campaign is that you dictate how much you spend. Want to focus your budget on a few keywords for now? Then you can do that. Or maybe you want to advertise through as many relevant searches as you can find. That’s also an option you can take. Regardless, you only pay for each click, and you’ll never go above the budget you set.
Learn more about how to set up a budget in Google Adwords on Google’s help page. This will teach you the basic steps to get your ad up and running on the search engine. Wordstream has a comprehensive guide to Adwords campaigns.
Since so many people use the services of a search engine, Google offers targeting tools, allowing you to control who you show your ads to. You can adjust for age, gender, location, device, and more. Different ad copies for different audiences can have a major impact on the quality (and conversion rate) of your traffic.
For a great guide on getting started with audience targeting, check out this guide from The SEM Post.
Content writing takes time. The effect of robust blog posts, articles, and press releases can take months to be fully realized. Not so with PPC. Once you setup your campaign, it takes only a few minutes to start seeing your ad, and hours for people to start clicking on them. This can make a world of difference if you want to drive traffic to your website in an instant.
PPC allows your website and brand to appear above your competitors. So even if your visitor never actually converts, you’ll remain top-of-mind as the most popular or most relevant company in that industry. A joint study conducted by Google and Ipsos MediaCT found that search ads raised top-of-mind awareness by an average of 6.6%.
Ever wondered which pages convert your visitors the most? Or which ad copy might better entice your users to the website? With PPC (and heatmap technology), you can conduct experiments to measure how your users are lead to your website, and what modifications you could make to improve your conversion rate.
PPC is not a silver bullet in your digital marketing toolkit. Instead, it is an effective addition to that arsenal. It is most effective when supplemented with other efforts. Don’t rely on just one, but ensure that each of your channels support each other.
PPC is not something you can “set and forget” either. It requires careful tuning month over month, to maximize your reach, and balance your budget. Be sure to continuously research your audience, what content they gravitate towards, and what changes Google makes to the platform.