The amount of information about PPC in marketing can be overwhelming. So, if you want to know how PPC can drive growth for your business, (without re-discovering the formula for the internet) we’ve set out the basics of what you need to know.
Here are some of the questions we’re going to answer (without making things more complicated than they need to be):
- What is PPC in marketing?
- Unpacking a PPC ad
- Defining PPC management, and why is it important
Grab your beverage of choice and let’s get some of these questions answered!
What Is PPC and How Does It Work?
PPC stands for pay-per-click. A PPC ad is displayed on a search engine results page (SERP). As the name suggests, you pay for the ad when someone clicks on it.
This is a clever form of marketing that lines up advertisements with what your target market is already searching for. The goal is to make your ads as targeted and relevant as possible.
So we’re all familiar with Google right? Let’s say, for example, someone wants to buy a pair of running shoes. So, they type in running shoes and Google will provide a whole bunch of suggestions. It will even prompt phrases until they get a more specific result along the lines of, for example, running shoes for women in South Africa.
The first three search engine results they see will have the word “Ad” next to them. This means that those three companies have paid a fee to get their websites on Google’s front page. Since you are already looking for running shoes and are likely to buy a pair soon, this form of search engine marketing is extremely effective.
When PPC management is done right, the amount you pay per click is insignificant compared with the value of the visit.
What’s the Difference Between PPC and Organic Search?
Developing a website that has enough authority and credibility to achieve the top of the organic search results can take a long time. An organic search doesn’t cost you anything to set up and run (besides time and research if you’re going the DIY route) while paid search ads do.
Paying for your spot on the web means you have a better chance of achieving visibility, whereas organic search relies on the effectiveness of your SEO to rank.
Both SEO and PPC content rely on keywords, relevance and those often mysterious internet algorithms.
Why Is PPC Management Important?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is an important means of putting your brand in front of web users. There are a few different ways of achieving this, with PPC being the most effective. Within the scope of PPC, you can choose between Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads – you get the idea – so you need to know the best channel to reach your audience.
To take advantage of PPC in marketing you have to incorporate it into your company’s budget, set goals, and plan effectively. As with any marketing or advertising spend, if your PPC isn’t managed properly you could end up wasting valuable resources and upping your stress levels. Nobody wants that!
If no one clicks on your ads, you don’t pay – but neither do you get the desired traffic to your page. On the other hand, if you create a highly relevant, successful advertisement that attracts many clicks and motivates a large volume of conversions, Google will reward you by charging you less per click.
Win-win, right? Right!
The challenge is formulating the right kind of ad. Clicks are great, it’s what the ads are designed to encourage, but conversions are what you’re ultimately going for. The ad itself, whilst a necessary first step, isn’t the end of the PPC journey.
You have to consider your landing page and the user experience you’re delivering to your target customer, and this is why PPC campaign management is so important. You need to optimise your campaign as a whole, which includes a lot of variables, a great amount of data, and no small amount of experience.
What Does PPC Management Include?
So, you have your keywords together, your ad is extremely relevant, you’ve done all your homework and your PPC campaign is a go! That’s a great start, but getting your PPC ad up and running is only the beginning. You can’t just send your ad out into the internet wilderness and expect it to survive on its own. It takes effort, know-how and TLC to get your campaign to really work for you.
The internet is a dynamic, ever-changing space so your ad will need constant tweaking to maintain its success. This involves regularly measuring the results of your ad campaign by monitoring its performance through the number of conversions it generates. Plus you need to work to keep it fresh and relevant.
Basically, your PPC campaign needs to be managed according to your marketing strategy to keep it aligned with your business goals. Data is important. Through tools such as Google Analytics, you can find out how well your PPC ad is doing in comparison to the conversions you get from other SEM strategies.
PPC management takes time, skills and resources which your company might not handle in-house. To make sure the ad spend is really worthwhile, many companies choose to outsource to a PPC company to expertly optimise their ads.
Just a few years ago there was no such thing as a PPC manager. Now, this essential role is written into the marketing strategies of most companies. The online advertising world is a rapidly changing environment, managing a paid search means you need to keep up and adapt accordingly.
Six Elements of Successful PPC Management
Your campaign needs to be evaluated continually with a focus on impressions, click-through rates and various other metrics.
- Keyword Research
You need to work with relevant data to improve search volume and cost per click. This includes knowing what is not working for you and is simply costing you money.
- Optimising Channels
There are a few platforms to choose from depending on where your quality customers are most active. Choose the right channel for your campaigns for the best results.
- Competitor Comparisons
You need to know what your competitors are up to and how your campaign is measuring up. (No, this isn’t unethical, it’s simply smart business sense.)
- Split Testing
This involves setting a few campaigns to see which one works the best. Small changes in phrasing, headlines, ad schedules and more can make a big difference to your overall results.
What Is the Primary Objective of PPC Management?
Putting it very simply, you want your paid search marketing campaigns to be as successful as they can be. When you take a dynamic, involved approach to your PPC, you can make smart decisions based on the relevant data that drives your strategies.
PPC management will improve your results (more clicks equals more money), and therefore your ROI, off-setting your ad spend.
When Should PPC Management Be Done?
Right from the very beginning. And it should never stop.
Monitoring is a time-consuming and necessary part of the process. You can’t start a campaign in the first place without clear objectives and set goals. PPC management must be ongoing in order to optimise your campaign and work with relevant, current data.
What Are the Benefits of PPC Management?
PPC management is a concentrated effort to get the most out of your SEM. It’s designed to optimise your campaigns and make you stand out from your competition.
A well-run PPC campaign means you get a higher volume of sales by reaching more of your target niche. The result, when done right, are immediate too, unlike an SEO campaign that takes time to develop.
A PPC manager will be able to recognise and promote the progressive growth that you want to see, making the right adjustments along the way.
What is PPC in marketing?
For your business, it’s a click in the right direction. Of course, we’ve barely scratched the surface of PPC’s potential. If you want more out of your online marketing, book a demo with ClickTrain and get all your questions answered from a PPC management agency that works for you, and with you.