Starting a PPC campaign is a fantastic way to reach your customers online and acquire new leads
Instead of wasting advertising spend using traditional methods, pay per click (PPC) advertising allows you to reach customers that are already interested in your products and services.
Types of PPC Advertising
The most popular PPC advertising platform is Google AdWords, but two other platforms used by advertisers include Bing Ads and Facebook Advertising.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll mainly be talking about Google AdWords because of the benefits that this platform offers for small businesses.
Each platform has different objectives and works differently depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. To further explain, Google AdWords allows you to create several PPC campaigns in order to help your business accomplish its marketing goals.
Each campaign option is briefly highlighted below.
How PPC Works:
The most widely discussed campaign options in AdWords are the Search Network campaign, Display Network campaign, and Shopping Ads campaign. While Google also offers both a video advertising and universal app campaign, you’re more likely to use the other three if you’re just starting out.
In the search network, advertisers create ad groups, which is a group of one or more ads that targets a shared set of keywords.
When customers search for specific queries that trigger a keyword from your account, your ad shows up either on top of the search results or alongside them. In a gist, this is how the Google Search Network works.
Example: You can see how just doing a simple search for “real estate agents in Albany ny” returns these results.
The Google Display Network (GDN) is a little more complicated. GDN is a collection of websites throughout the internet that advertisers can use to target potential customers with text, video, and image ads.
To reach your target audience, you can choose between remarketing ads, interest-based audiences, demographic targeting, managed placements (you select which websites your ads appear), or based on keywords.
But, like Adam Kreitman from Words That Click said, “advertising on the GDN is not for the lazy or faint of heart.”
The Google Display Network is very complex and it’s crucial that you’re monitoring how you’re ads are performing on the different sites to weed out any poor performing site. If you can’t commit the time, consider finding an agency that offers PPC management services.
Example: Wordstream, a PPC software provider and resource center, targets marketers through remarketing ads like this one found on About.com
If you're currently running an AdWords campaign but you're struggling, Wordstream’s “How to Get a (Near) Perfect Quality Score” is a great resource guide. It walks you through the steps and best practices that you can use to improve your Google AdWords campaign.
For retailers and e-commerce companies, shopping campaigns and product listing ads help turn online browsing into online buying. After creating a Google Merchant Center account, you can use shopping ads to target people searching for your products.
Example: When I googled “buy men’s dress shoes online,” several product listing ads from online retailers appeared. Each brand has a title of their product, the price and a link to their website.
8 Reasons for Starting a PPC Campaign:
There are numerous benefits of PPC advertising, so we tried to accumulate a combined list of all the reasons small businesses should start a PPC campaign…if you’re not already.
1) Visibility at the Top of Search Results
It’s next to impossible to rank at the top of Google’s organic results for every keyword that you’re trying to target, and if you’re a startup or small business in a competitive industry you’ll find it even harder to rank for your most popular keywords.
So although it can be nice to show up on the first page, it’s even better if you’re showing up twice. You’re chance of receiving clicks from potential customers are significantly higher when you’re in the top three of organic and paid search results.
Take a second to compare where you rank for certain keywords in Google. Are your competitors ahead of you? Or are you ranking in a similar position? If your competitors are ranked in similar positions in organic search for a specific keyword, you’ll have twice the visibility as them when running paid ads.
If competitors are outranking you for most keywords, then running a paid search campaign can help to level the playing field.
2) Organic Search Fluctuates
Organic search can be undependable. Changes are constantly being made to Google’s algorithm, and it can be hard to stay on top of it. Plus, minor changes in search queries can effect if you’re ranked 1st or not ranked at all.
To illustrate this, I searched “ppc real estate.” The first result in Google was a company out of Utah that showed up at the top of the search results.
Then I slightly tweaked the search to make it “ppc for real estate.”
In this situation, not only did the company from Utah that previously showed up on top not show on the first page of Google, but I didn’t find it on any of the first three pages.
Compared to SEO, PPC is much more reliable from a visibility standpoint. Once you have the right budget and your keywords have attained high quality scores, your ad rank remains relatively consistent.
That doesn’t mean that your work is done though. Pay per click campaigns require you test and make changes to ads, ad extensions, and other areas of your account so that you’re receiving the best results. But compared to search ranking, your PPC ranking won’t fluctuate as much.
3) PPC Works Well With SEO
Like many areas of marketing, having a more integrated approach adds value. The same can be said when using PPC and SEO together.
- Your PPC data can inform your SEO data and vice versa
When SEO is done correctly, your website will receive a consistent amount of traffic. But contradictory to popular belief, the changes don’t happen overnight. It can take months to gather enough useful data to inform to start integrating it into your PPC campaigns. However, once you have enough information on search queries, you can use that data to form long-tail keywords in AdWords.
The same can be done with Google AdWords, except AdWords gives you access to searches much quicker.
- Brand Awareness
Econsultancy gathered a panel of SEO experts to get their views on how PPC can effect SEO. To summarize, they mentioned how PPC helps to make customers more aware of your brand.
By making customers more aware, it leads to more searches of your brand, and eventually brand + keyword searches.
- Repeat Visitors
PPC initially attract visitors to a site, and shows visitors what you have to offer. Once customers are familiar with your site and services, they’re more likely to revisit.
4) Only Pay When a Potential Customer Visits Your Site
PPC is straightforward. You target people searching for relevant services or products and they click to your site. The concept appeals to businesses because it’s an advertising solution that’s transparent. You can actually see what you’re paying for.
Unlike traditional advertising methods like radio ads or billboards, online advertising provides insight into the actions that users are taking on your website.
5) PPC Can Earn a Significant ROI
If you work in an industry with a high enough return, PPC can reap dividends for your company. Having a higher budget won’t matter as much because a few conversions can pay off a month’s worth of advertising spend.
Industries like banking, restoration, real estate, and others all generate a high return on investment. To see a list of the industries that spent the most advertising revenue, visit “Breaking Down Google’s Advertising Revenue.”
6) Intuitive Functionality
Just like Google’s search algorithm, changes are constantly being made to Google AdWords to improve the program’s capabilities. When comparing AdWords to other forms of advertising, AdWords is on a totally different level.
Within AdWords, Google allows you to target users in a defined radius or select locations. There are also other settings, such as ad scheduling, which allows you to target users during specific hours of the day.
Another unique functionality of AdWords is the ad extensions that advertisers can create. AdWords allows users to create extensions for website links, call extensions, and extensions for the services you offer.
7) Easily Manage Your Spend
You can set how much you want to spend and pause your account whenever you need to. But, this doesn’t mean that you should expect to see results with a limited budget. A good outlook to have when setting a budget is to use a test budget and then use a budget that will generate the greatest ROI. reference to use if you’re trying to set your first PPC budget is explained in
8) Mobile Targeting
Mobile audiences will continue to play a larger role in the buying process, and as that happens Google will make necessary adjustments. One of the greatest benefits of running a PPC campaign is the amount of space that is allocated to paid ads on mobile devices.
You can expect these type of changes to continue as Google announced last year that mobile searches has finally surpassed desktop searches.
QuestionsIf you have any questions or input on how PPC is benefitting your company, feel free to leave me a comment below.
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