Pay Per Click (PPC) is now widely regarded by digital marketers as the quickest, most consistent way to drive relevant traffic to a website.
As a business owner it is wholly understandable that you would want to keep a tight rein on how every single penny of your marketing budget is spent and the type of return generated as a direct result.
If you’re a relative newcomer to the digital marketing world and you want to increase your business’ exposure online, PPC can give you almost immediate exposure from the word go.
Econsultancy best describes Paid Search advertising as:
“Paid search marketing means you advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying either each time your ad is clicked or, less commonly, when your ad is displayed.”
For instance, when an internet user searches for ‘fancy dress costumes’, the first four links you see at the top of the search engine listing page will be paid-for adverts. Previously, it used to be the first three but since the start of the year Google opted to extend this to four for its own search engine.
The advert at the top of the ‘fancy dress costumes’ search engine results page will be the company or brand that has paid more than its competitors to appear at the top of the page. The other companies listed in the paid search results would have paid slightly less for the same search terms.
The real art of PPC is to decide the search terms most relevant to your company and to decide an average cost-per-click (CPC) that your budget allows.
The cornerstone of any successful PPC campaign, keyword research is necessary to ensure your paid ads are driving traffic to your website through valuable, long-tail, cost-efficient and highly relevant search terms.
Relevancy is one of the first things we look at when undertaking keyword research and building out new PPC campaigns. This is because the last thing you need is for your budget to be wasted on paying for traffic that has little or nothing to do with your business.
Our keyword research is always as thorough and exhaustive as possible. This is because niche long-tail keywords can often provide a much better return on investment as these terms have considerably less competition; making it easier and cheaper for you to appear prominently on Google and Bing. However, we don’t forget the most frequently used searched terms too as it’s also important to retain a level of exposure for generic keywords.
Negative keywords are almost as important as finding those valuable long-tail niche search terms. By developing a comprehensive list of negative keywords we stop your paid ads appearing for searches that are not relevant to your business and are subsequently unlikely to convert.
Introducing Google AdWords and Bing
There are two main platforms you can use for paid search marketing: Google AdWords and Bing.
AdWords is Google’s very own paid advertising platform, offering traditional paid advertising as well as site-targeted banner, text and rich media ads. By using Google’s paid service it’s possible to display your adverts on one or both of its advertising networks: the Google Search Network (Google Search, Google Shopping and Google Maps) and the Google Display Network (any websites that partner with Google and offer display advertising on-site, as well as other Google-owned sites including Blogger, Gmail and YouTube).
Using Google AdWords you can set the minimum and maximum amounts you are willing to pay for each click through to your website from an ad.
The closest rival to Google AdWords, the Yahoo Bing Network has almost 500 million unique searchers on its network each year, 94 million of which don’t use Google. CPCs tend to be lower on Bing than AdWords with advertisers having to pay a greater premium to leverage AdWords’ greater traffic and click-through rates.
Nevertheless, the Yahoo Bing Network has less competition with Econsultancy estimating there is more than a third (36 per cent) fewer advertisers on Bing to bid against. This makes it an ideal testing ground for niche paid advertising campaigns where it is possible to gauge demand using a modest budget.
So why should I use PPC?
Put simply, if you have the budget to hand, PPC is the fastest way to get to the top of Google and Bing’s search engine results pages. It’s possible to set up a PPC campaign within an hour or two and, providing your advertising account is funded, your campaign can go live in the respective networks with the click of a button.
PPC is also the most manageable form of search engine marketing there is. It’s the easiest way to measure a genuine return on investment, tracking the performance of every ad, every keyword and ensuring every penny works as hard as it can for your business – an essential part of your overall marketing strategy in 2016.