What is PPC?
When conducting a search in Google, for instance, your search engine results pages (SERPs) will have a variety of listings according to the relevancy of the key term you searched. The websites that are listed directly below your search terms, aligned to the left hand side of the page, are what we call organic search results. In other words, these websites have obtained their placement on Google via SEO techniques. If you look toward the right hand side of the SERP, you will notice more results related to the keywords you have searched. It is these ads, listed above or adjacent to the organic results, that are Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisements. In other words, individuals or companies have paid for an advertisement to their website to appear in that spot, and were not created organically. Overall, PPC techniques provide your business with quick, short-term results, as they aid you in ranking more highly in SERPs right off the bat. Since the ad to your website is one of the first to come up on a SERP, it increases the chances of users clicking on your advertisement, thereby increasing the overall traffic to your website.
What Exactly Is PPC and How Does It Work?
In a nutshell, PPC is a type of online advertising whereby you, the company, pay a certain amount of money to a publisher or third party each time a user clicks on your ad to visit your website. The most common PPC providers include Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. PPC marketing strategies allow you to essentially buy your search engine traffic through the purchasing of relevant keywords or key phrases. Typically, PPC is based on a bidding system, where individuals and/or companies bid on certain keywords or key phrases which are relevant to the market they are trying to target. While you can purchase as many keywords as you see fit, keep in mind that you do have to pay for every click. Therefore, selecting the appropriate keywords by doing a little bit of background research is important so that you can strategically target your desired audience, thereby maximizing your Return on Investment (ROI). In addition, you can track the success of the keywords you have purchased, which enables you to get rid of the keywords that are not making you any money, and keep the ones that are. Because of the bidding system involved in this type of online marketing, PPC can be rather competitive; particularly if your keywords or key phrases are popular. This competitiveness means that the higher you bid for your keywords, the higher your website’s ad will appear on the SERP. Costs per click (CPCs) can be as low as $0.01, but of course vary and are dependent on the competitiveness of the keyword or key phrase you are bidding on. Therefore, if the keyword is very popular or it’s in a competitive market, the CPC will be much higher.
Why Use PPC Strategies?
While PPC can be quite costly to your business, it can also be very effective at obtaining results quickly. You benefit because your ad appears (hopefully) at the top of the SERP, meaning more visitors to your site, and the publisher benefits since each time a user clicks the link to your site, a portion of the ad revenue is paid to them. With PPC, you get an almost-instantaneous traffic boost (albeit paid traffic) and do not have to wait long before you begin to notice results. PPC also gives you more control when compared to other Internet marketing strategies: control over where you are seen geographically on the web, and control over where the user is directed on your company’s website when they click on your ad. Another reason why businesses may initially select PPC strategies over SEO strategies is the risk factor. With PPC, there is little risk involved (aside from the payment for traffic), since your website, for the most part, cannot be banned from search engines as easily as it can when implementing SEO strategies.
Overall, a PPC campaign that is successful provides your business with a good ROI – a high volume of traffic at a relatively low cost to you. While you do have to pay for your traffic, or “clicks”, you have the ability to manage your keywords and key phrases and modify them in order to optimize the number of relevant visitors to your company’s website. Through researching your keywords and directing your target audience to a relevant landing page upon clicking on your link in the SERPs, you can succeed with PPC advertising strategies. Like the majority of online marketing strategies, Pay Per Click advertising can greatly benefit your business if done correctly; but on the same note can also hinder your business if done improperly. Therefore it is imperative to ensure you are correctly implementing PPC strategies, or hiring a qualified and reputable company to manage your PPC campaign(s) for you. As a Toronto full-service digital marketing agency, we have the necessary expertise when it comes to getting your website to become more visible on SERPs. For more information on PPC techniques and implementation, contact us today for free a consultation.