Pay Per Click (PPC) is a popular advertising technique on the Internet. Found on websites, advertising networks, and especially on search engines, PPC advertising involves sponsored links that are typically in the form of text ads. These are usually placed close to search results, where an advertiser pays a particular amount to visitors who click on these links or banners and land on the advertiser’s web page.
In essence, PPC advertising is all about bidding for the top or leading position on search engine results and listings. Advertisers do this by buying or bidding on keyword phrases that are relevant to their products or services – the higher the bid, the higher the spot on the search results (with some secret sauce of course), the more the people will find the ad (and click on it) to go to their websites (this is why some people call it “keyword auctioning”). Advertisers pay the bidding price every time a visitor clicks through the website.
PPC advertising is also known under the following names/variations:
- Pay per placement
- Pay per performance
- Pay per ranking
- Pay per position
- Cost per click (CPC)
PPC advertising is usually done with the following standard procedures:
- Setting up an account and/or deposit funds.
- Creating a keyword list.
- Choosing (and setting up) an account with a PPC search engine.
- Bidding on the ad placement, including the search result words or phrases.
- Writing out an ad copy.
- Setting up the ‘landing pages’ for your ads.
- Placing the advertisement in the search engine.
There are many benefits to Pay Per Click advertising, making it an effective way of promoting a business ‘online’. Some of them are listed below:
Get launched immediately. PPC advertisements are implemented very quickly – they can go ‘online’ within an hour after winning the bid and paying for it.
Obtain specific, pre-qualified, and quality traffic. PPC provides you with a quality or a well-targeted traffic. Visitors are narrowed down into ‘qualified’ people who are actually looking for specific products and/or services that you offer – those who are more likely to become a ‘lead’ (a convert) and complete a transaction (either by buying your product or subscribing to the service that you are offering.
Widen your reach. PPC advertising provides additional traffic to your site, aside from the natural or “organic” search engines.
Track your investment. PPC advertising makes use of a tracking system that will determine exactly who comes to the website and what they do once they arrive – the length of their stay on the site and the number of pages (including the actual pages) that they view. These are valuable tools in determining statistics such as return on investment (ROI), acquisition cost-per-visitor, and conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who are converted into customers or leads).
Below are some important things to consider when planning on a pay per click campaign:
Know your product. Take an inventory of the product and/or services that you have to offer (before anything else).
Stay within the budget. Determine your daily or monthly budget; and stay with it. This means keeping your budget in mind, avoiding bidding wars if possible.
Bid just right. Know how to bid right – a bid that is too high can exhaust all of your money, while a bid that is too low can make you lose that spot.
Watch the bottom line. Measure your profit margin against your spending or expenses. Know when to stop and terminate your PPC program – if you spend more on advertising but have little or no sales at all.
Find the right keywords. Decide which keyword phrases to opt and bid for. Do some keyword research, either by actually looking at existing search terms or with the use of online keyword suggestion tools, to know which terms are mostly used when searching for items that are related to your business. Focus on specific keywords, not on general ones.
Write effective ads. A good PPC ad is that which can persuade and move a searcher. There are several approaches to this:
- Discount offers
- Celebrity/famous endorsers
- Money-back guarantees
- Free trials or sample offers
- Reverse psychology
- Major benefits (“Lose weight”)
- Direct instructions (“Click here”)
Maintain a professional-looking site. Your web content should be regularly updated and checked for spelling and grammatical errors. There should be no broken links or images. The website should be simple – designed in such a way that it will be easy for visitors to navigate and load. Include contact details to create a good impression among potential customers.
Done properly, PPC advertising can be an effective marketing tool that will maximize the return on your investment.