Startup tips

Pay Per Click 101: All the PPC Essentials for Online Businesses

You’ve launched a website for your business; now you need to start building traffic. Chances are, you already initiated an email marketing campaign to your contact list. There was an initial bump, but now things have cooled off. Your site has limited ranking in the search engines, so how do you get more views, leads, and customers?

Pay per click, or PPC, is one very effect way to get your site visible in the search engines. You’ve probably seen PPC ads at the top of search result pages in Google. It’s the first page positioning SEO experts strive for, but it comes with less effort.

However, the trade-off is that pay per click ads come at a cost. If you’re new to pay per click advertising and PPC management, this article will provide an overview to get you started.

What is PPC?

Let’s begin with the basics. Pay per click is a form of digital advertising in which website owners or their PPC managers bid on keywords that they want their site to show up for in the search engine result pages (SERPs). It’s essentially the expedited way to get to the top of search pages.

Compared to social media and SEO, you have much more control over PPC marketing. You get to pick the keywords, write a targeted message and direct the link to a specific page that continues the buying cycle.

PPC Advertising Channels

Once you decide to use PPC as a marketing tool the next decision is where to place ads. There are three primary PPC channels:

Google – The lion’s share of PPC advertising is done through Google Adwords.

Bing – Bing provides a cost effective PPC option that can be very lucrative if your market base regularly uses Bing for search purposes.

Amazon – Amazon is the new kid on the PPC block. The official term for their PPC service is Sponsored Products. Your products will show up when a user searches for a specific term. Each time the product ad is clicked you pay a fee.

In Google and Bing your PPC ad will show up at the top of the page, bottom of the page or to the right of search results.

Cost Per Click and Creating a Budget

Unlike clicks on links within the search results, each click on a PPC ad comes with an associated cost. Cost per click, or CPC, is a crucial measurement in PPC advertising. It’s exactly like it sounds. CPC is how much you pay each time someone clicks your ad.

Because each click costs your business money, it’s important to make those clicks count. Ads that are highly targeted in their messaging and keywords will provide better ROI since the people clicking are more likely to be motivated buyers.

You can help keep costs in check by setting a budget. This will cap your PPC spend. Creating a reasonable budget requires knowing how many leads it will take to get a conversion. How much is that conversion worth? How big is the profit margin? Answering these questions will give you a better idea of how much to pay for each click.

Next you’ll need to decide how you will spend the PPC budget. It can be spread out over a number of keywords, used little by little each day or funneled to one single segment.

Deciding Whether to Use Professional PPC Services

Just because you show up at the top of the page and people click on your ad that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get a ton of conversions. Many people mistakenly think once they pick keywords and create the ads, their portion of the work is done. In reality, it’s just beginning.

A fair amount of time will need to go into PPC marketing.

PPC campaigns have to be closely monitored and managed in order to optimize ads and get a return on your investment. It’s not uncommon for businesses to enlist the help of professional marketers when they decide to launch PPC advertising campaigns. Digital marketers can:

  • ·  Walk you through the PPC process
  • ·  Help you set up an Adwords account
  • ·  Research and select keywords
  • ·  Create ad messaging
  • ·  Track performance metrics
  • ·  Provide general PPC management

Management of your PPC campaigns should always include tracking the results, monitoring bid prices and making adjustments when necessary. Google Analytics is the go-to resource for tracking the performance of PPC ads. Setting up tracking parameters and parsing through the data can be cumbersome, but it’s essential.

You’ll also need to make sure your website is completely set up and landing pages are in place before you begin running a PPC campaign. This could mean creating new pages specifically for your PPC traffic.

PPC ads can be very effective at promoting a site, building brand awareness and increasing your customer base. But like other forms of marketing, you have to set things up correctly and continuously monitor PPC campaigns in order to make it work for your business.