Learn the Basics of PPC Marketing: What is PPC?
PPC definition: What is Pay Per Click?
Pay Per Click, or PPC, is a form of online advertising in which the advertiser pays a fee each time their ad is clicked.
It’s an effective way of driving traffic to your site, usually directing visitors to a relevant landing page, where they will be encouraged to complete a valuable action (conversion), such as a purchase, form completion or call.
Common PPC platforms are Google Ads and Bing Ads, using Google and Bing search engines, respectively. Social media advertising also uses a similar concept.
What is Google Ads?
Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is the most commonly used PPC platform. Using Google’s search engine, Google Ads allows advertisers to create ad campaigns that will appear within the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and other Google properties, such as Google Display Network (GDN).
Not forgetting Bing Ads
Bing Ads are ads placed on Bing’s search engine platform and work in a similar way to Google Ads. Though not as popular as Google Ads, Bing Ads are useful when targeting users of Internet Explorer / Microsoft Edge browsers, which default to Bing’s search engine. A good example of this is the NHS and education sectors.
Types of PPC ads
Search engines are popular advertising platforms, and so, perhaps the most common type of ad in PPC marketing is the paid search ad. An ad is shown in the SERP for a keyword that both the user is searching for and the ad is running for. The user then has the option to click on the ad, where they will be taken to a relevant landing page and you, the advertiser, will be charged for this click.
There’s also display advertising, which covers visual messages, usually displayed in the form of banners, across a network of sites (known as GDN). Remarketing – also called retargeting – serves targeted advertisements to people who have already visited the advertiser’s website.
How does PPC digital marketing work?
PPC marketing is an art. It requires a considered approach and the mastering of several techniques that are all interwoven. Once mastered, you will know how and where to best allocate budget for great results!
PPC keyword research
Before setting up your PPC campaign, keyword research is required. Keywords are words and phrases that are likely to be entered into the search engines, which you would like your content to show for. These keywords must be relevant to your campaign. Your PPC marketing campaign should be built around the keywords found during your research.
Your keyword research should include an exhaustive list of keywords, covering popular search terms and more specific long-tail terms. The list should be relevant and you should look to constantly grow and adapt your list based on evolving search terms.
Bidding for keywords: PPC auctions
Imagine you’re at an auction house, paddle in-hand. The item that you’re interested in comes up and you have a maximum bid in mind. There are other bidders in the room with you. The item that you’re bidding for might be very popular, in which case you will be looking at a higher bid. This is a competitive situation. Alternatively, you might be in a more niche situation or location, where the item you’re looking at isn’t in as high demand. For example, the item is specific to your local area and therefore only the local bidders are interested.
PPC marketing works in a similar way, where the auction house is Google Ads or Bing Ads, the item is your keyword and your bid is your maximum cost per click. You may use popular wide keywords, such as ‘pay per click advertising’, which would likely have a high cost per click. Or you may use longer-tail keywords, such as ‘pay per click advertising west midlands’, which may have a lower cost per click due to the addition of a specific location.
Each auction is held in real time. It begins every time someone searches for a target keyword on Google/Bing. Advertisers with ads relevant to the keyword searched will enter an auction. The winning bidders of the auction will have their ads shown in the SERP.
What is a good PPC ad? Understanding ad rank.
It’s not just about having the highest bid. Various other factors are considered to determine Ad Rank. These factors also vary by platform (e.g. Google Ads/Bing Ads), but tend to include bid amount (cost per click) and ad relevance.
Quality Score determines ad relevance. A higher Quality Score gives a lower cost per click, because the ad is relevant through factors such as keyword relevance and landing page quality. Essentially, you need to make sure that the terms you are targeting also appear in your adverts and on the landing page so that your Quality Score is as good as it can be. Quality Scores are marked out of 10, and a good rule of thumb is anything scoring below a 6 needs optimising.
PPC landing pages
PPC isn’t just about that ad itself. It’s just as important to think about where the ad is going to – is the content on the page relevant?
It is best practice to develop and optimise a PPC landing page for your campaign. This page should contain relevant content, including keywords found in your keyword research. Conversion points should also be tracked on this page, for example, brochure requests, form completions, phone calls and orders.
If you’re looking for an Ads/ AdWords consultant, you’ve come to the right place! At AlphaQuad, we are experts in digital advertising and we pride ourselves in providing the best service to each and every one of our clients. We understand the needs of our clients and work on a bespoke advertising strategy to optimise sales conversions. We then implement that strategy and monitor performance on a regular basis.
If you’re curious as to how your current PPC campaigns are performing, why not try a FREE bespoke PPC audit? We designed this service to analyse the effectiveness of your existing paid search campaigns. We will also advise on any improvements that could be made, so that you can get the best out of your campaigns.