What is PPC? PPC stands for pay-per-click. Put simply, PPC marketing is when advertisers only pay when people click on the ads that appear next to search results.
According to research, in 2022, Google accounts for 86% of all public search engine traffic. It's no wonder, then, that many companies are investing in PPC marketing to help them appear at the top of Google search results, increasing their online visibility to potential new customers.
While Google Ads is currently Google's primary platform for PPC marketing (and what most people think of when they hear "PPC"), other platforms like Bing Ads give smaller advertisers the chance to get in on the action.
In this article, we're going to cover everything you need to know about PPC marketing. Everything from how it works and why it's so effective to some of its limitations and where you can get started.
What Is PPC Marketing?
PPC marketing is a form of digital marketing that allows businesses to place ads on search engines, social media networks, and other websites. Advertisers only pay when the ad is clicked.
In contrast, with traditional forms of marketing, such as print advertisements or TV commercials, companies pay for the ad placement. Not every person who sees the ad will actually take the desired action, such as purchasing a product or using a service.
With PPC marketing, every click on the ad is tracked, and advertisers only pay when someone clicks on it. PPC advertising can seem intimidating for business owners who may not understand how it works. However, it's simple to get started and easy to navigate, provided you have a basic understanding of how search engines work and what makes people click on your ad over another company's.
Once you understand how PPC marketing works, along with why it's so effective and what its limitations are, you'll be able to make better decisions about how to use PPC for your business.
How Does PPC Marketing Work?
PPC marketing is the simplest form of internet advertising available. There are two steps to getting started. Choose which platform you want to use and then create ads that will appear in search engine results or on your desired social media network.
Once an ad has been created, all you need to do is sit back and wait for people to click on and engage with the ad. Once someone has clicked, Google or other platforms will direct them to your website, where you can convert them into a customer.
How Effective Is PPC Marketing?
Since pay-per-click marketing involves only paying when potential customers take action (by clicking on an ad), it's more cost-effective than other forms of marketing. According to research, PPC campaigns lead to $2 in revenue for every $1 spent. The thing is, PPC campaigns are also extremely targeted, making them ideal for reaching a very specific demographic.
Consumers are more likely to click on an ad if they're already searching for a particular product or service. This means that only people actively looking for products similar to yours will see your ads. Alongside this, PPC campaigns can be monitored and measured.
Statistics are readily available, as is information about the demographics of each audience. This allows for fine-tuning over time to help increase conversions. When done well, PPC can also be much more effective in terms of generating leads and converting them into paying customers.
Where Do You Get Started With PPC Marketing?
There are a number of platforms where you can set up PPC campaigns. The most popular include Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.
Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are more expensive than others but provide larger audiences, while some are much less expensive but attract a smaller audience. The most important thing is to do your research to understand the ins and outs of each platform.
Once you know which platform you want to use, the next step is choosing where to place your ads. There are two types of ad placement: Search and Display. Search Ads appear on search engine results pages when people look for specific products and services.
For example, if someone searches for "organic dog shampoo," you could choose to have your ad show up in the results with a link to your website. Display Ads are placed on websites across the web that allow for PPC
For example, if you sold dog shampoo and wanted to attract people, you could choose to have an ad show up on a website that targets pet owners.
What Are the Limitations of PPC Advertising?
Although pay-per-click marketing is an effective way to generate leads, there are several key limitations that you should be aware of.
First, your PPC strategy will only work if your ad is relevant to a particular keyword. For instance, if someone searches for 'home insurance,' an ad from a company offering home insurance will appear first in the results. The same cannot be said of an ad offering health insurance.
As a result, it's important to choose keywords relevant to your business and industry. It's also essential that the title of your ad accurately reflects what your company offers. Otherwise, people will click on it out of curiosity, only to be disappointed when they realize you do not match their needs.
Next, PPC campaigns can end up costing a lot of money, especially if you start targeting competitive keywords. As such, it's important to build a list of keywords and create separate campaigns for each before spending too much money. Otherwise, you could end up paying more than your budget allows with no leads or new business to show for it.
On top of this, while PPC ads may be targeted and specific, there is some concern about the quality of website traffic generated this way. Although you will only pay for clicks, a lot of people might click your ad and then leave without making a purchase. As a result, it's important to ensure your landing page is relevant to the ad.
Why You Need an Appropriate Competitive Budget for PPC Marketing
A significant benefit of PPC advertising is that you pay per click. This means that your budget per campaign will depend on the average cost per click (CPC) for each keyword you choose to target. As such, it's vital to ensure your CPCs are high enough to produce worthwhile leads.
If your keywords are too competitive, they may cost more per click and eat up your entire budget. Conversely, if your ads are not showing because you chose too broad of a keyword list, it's pointless to engage in the campaign at all. Furthermore, PPC marketing allows you to control your own bids.
This can be an effective way to ensure you don't end up spending too much on any one keyword. Most PPC platforms will give you the option to choose your maximum cost per click (CPC) and then automatically adjust bids as necessary. However, this is only useful if your business has a high enough volume of leads to justify the expense of bidding higher.
The price that you'll end up paying per click depends on a variety of factors. These factors include your industry and the competitiveness of each keyword. That said, most PPC platforms offer free trials so you can test out their functionality before committing.
Why High-Quality Landing Pages Are an Absolute Must for PPC Marketing
With PPC advertising, your landing page has the potential to make or break your campaign. This is because your ads must be relevant to one another to avoid wasting money on conversions unlikely to rake in leads.
It's imperative to always have an ad-to-landing page match, as it'll help ensure each person who clicks on your ad is ultimately converted.
Poor-quality landing pages—ones with broken links, missing images, or a lack of relevant information—can lower your quality score. This will cause you to pay more for clicks as it lowers the ranking of ads on PPC platforms. In turn, this means that visitors will see your ads less often, and you'll receive fewer leads.
To ensure your landing page is relevant to the ad; include your core keywords in your headline and throughout the body of the copy. Doing so will help Google to match the ads with the most relevant results.
If possible, it can be useful to have multiple landing pages for different keywords so that you're able to test out creative ideas or a variety of offers.
Why Your Landing Pages Need Lead Capture and Conversion Tracking
You might think that landing pages are solely used for sending leads to your business. While that's the primary task, they can also be helpful in the evaluation of PPC campaigns. You see, landing pages should always have a clear call to action (CTA) included with lead capture and conversion tracking.
Doing so will allow you to measure success rates across different keywords, ads, and industries. Moreover, it's helpful to set up different URL parameters for tracking so that you know which keywords and ads are responsible for each lead. If you want to see how your ads are performing, it's a good idea to measure conversions at the source.
This means that landing pages should have conversion tracking set up. This way, all lead capture forms actually send conversion data directly to Google Analytics for accurate tracking so you can see exactly which ads, keywords, and landing pages are generating the best results.
What Is PPC? The Ultimate Guide
So what is PPC? PPC marketing is a great way to efficiently gain leads for your business. However, you must work with the right PPC platform so that you can properly track results and ultimately find new customers.
This means having high-quality landing pages with calls-to-action, and relevant keywords to get the best performance possible. If you need professional help that will improve your digital marketing results, please get in touch with us.