What is PPC

Pay per click

PPC or pay per click is a marketing method available through some major search engines, social media platforms, and online auction sites. Whereas organic marketing relies solely on optimisation to achieve results, PPC marketing includes bidding as part of the strategy.

Here we will focus on Google Ads, how it works, and the benefits of running a paid campaign.

How does PPC work?

As the name indicates, pay per click advertising works by displaying your ads in the search results for your target keywords and you make a payment each time someone clicks on them.

You agree a daily budget and an amount that you’re prepared to pay for each click, Google then use their algorithm to display your ads in relevant searches. You can also set up auto bidding so that Google can use your budget in the most effective way, this can be combined with a target cost per acquisition and maximise clicks or conversions to improve conversions.

Although you are bidding to appear, paying the most doesn’t always mean you will be at the top. Google takes into account factors such as landing-page experience and keyword relevancy to determine whether your ad is the best one to serve to their users. This mean you could be bidding less than your competitor and appearing higher if all the elements of your PPC campaign combine to provide the best result.

Types of PPC campaign

Google Ads offers a variety of different paid advertising options to help you market your products or services in the most relevant way. These include:

Search Ads: These appear in the main Google search results alongside the organic results. Search ads are identified by the small ‘Ad’ at the beginning and include a range of extensions that aren’t available for organic results. Extensions include the telephone number, location, detailed site links, Google user ratings, product prices, and USP snippets.

Shopping Ads: Some shopping ads appear on the main search result page whilst others appear on the shopping tab and images tab. Shopping ads take information from a feed on your website, so results can show up to date listings and information and attract visitors to your website quickly.

Display Ads: These ads appear on a variety of websites and take the form of banners, images, and videos. Display ads can be targeted to appear on websites where users are likely to have an interest in your products of services, for example, if you sell baby clothes your ads could be shown on a parenting forum.

Video Ads: These ads appear on YouTube and other sites that are part of the Google video partners program. Video ads can be skippable and non-skippable up to 15 seconds, allowing you to improve brand awareness as well as conversions.

Google ads can be set to target exact keywords or phrases for full control over your advertising, phrase matches for a slightly more flexible approach, or broad match to include variations, related searches, and misspellings.

Managing PPC campaigns

As everything is detailed on your dashboard, it’s easy to review your campaigns and make adjustments to improve performance.

You can view the terms people have typed in to bring up your ads and set them as negative keywords if they aren’t relevant to the products and services you offer. You can also begin to identify areas of interest you may be missing and create new ads to target them.

If you identify that your ads are popular with a specific demographic, you can create a bid adjustment to tell Google you’re prepared to pay an additional amount to attract these users.

Google also has a handy recommendations tab for each campaign with useful suggestions for ways you can improve your ad performance, this includes keywords to add and remove, campaign issues, and new ad formats that may be beneficial.

What are the benefits of PPC?

You can start appearing at the top of the search results almost immediately. As soon as your campaign has been approved by Google, it will go live and you can begin attracting traffic.

Results are easy to measure as everything from impressions and clicks to conversions and costs is detailed on your campaign dashboard.

Changes can be applied instantly including budget updates, keyword changes, and targeting. 

You can use a variety of targeting options to attract the right visitors including location and demographics such as age, gender, income, and interests. You can also choose to display your ads on certain days and at specific times.

PPC or Organic SEO?

Many see PPC and organic SEO as two competing marketing strategies but a combination of the two is recommended for the best results.

Although many businesses use paid ads to attract traffic quickly when launching a new website or starting a new SEO campaign, in the later stages the two can be used to cover a wider range of search terms and drive business growth.

For example, search ads can be used to target more competitive keyword terms or target a national market while you focus your organic optimisation on a local audience. Shopping ads can be used to target specific product pages while focusing your organic SEO on category-specific keywords.

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If you’re interested in setting up a Google Ads campaign for your business, our team of qualified Google advertising professionals can assist with the initial set up and ongoing management. Contact us today for a free, no obligation quote by completing our contact form or calling 0333 320 8099.