Pay-Per-Click, PPC for short, advertising is undoubtedly one of the most effective strategy businesses use to reach their targeted audience. At its basics, PPC is a form of paid search in which advertisers only pay when a searcher clicks on ads to a specific webpage, landing page to be precise.
If this form of advertising isn’t effective, fortune companies like Amazon which spends millions of dollars in paid search every year would have looked elsewhere. As a matter of fact, the world’s largest paid search network, Google AdWords, generates over $100 million every passing day – that was as at 2012.
This shows more and more businesses are seeing reasons for investing in PPC.
What about other marketing strategies?
Why use PPC in the first place? What about SEO and Content Marketing, both which doesn’t need you to pay a dime, except, of course, you go the outsourcing route. SEO and content marketing have two major downsides:
- They don’t give instant result: SEO, as you may know, takes months or sometimes years to yield results. Try bending things in your favor with SEO, and Google will without ado clamp down on you.
- Untargeted reach: Let’s assume you offer printer repair services in, say Philadelphia, and after months of intensive work, your webpage finally ranks high on SERP (Search Engine Result Page). But the problem is that searchers from other cities or even countries are clicking to your website – definitely not the type of traffic you want.
Benefits of PPC
To douse your skepticism (if you have any), here are reasons why PPC should be part of your marketing strategy no matter how good you may be with SEO:
- PPC drives laser targeted traffic to a site: It’s a lot easier to reach a specific set of audience with PPC than, say, SEO. Google AdWords, for instance, let’s advertisers determine countries, age range and even time their ads will be shown.
- Relatively cheap: One common misconception about PPC is that the keywords with higher bids win the race. This is definitely not true as bids are one of the several factors search engines like Google uses to score keywords. Done rightly, few cents spent on ads can fetch you hundreds of dollars, if not thousands.
- You call the shots: It’s all up to you to determine how much you are willing to spend on daily or monthly basis – not even Google has the right to set your budget.
- Superfast: Provided you have a converting landing page, all it takes is minutes between launching a PPC campaign and making sales – no need for an epic content, no need for optimized title tags.
There are many more benefits PPC has to offer, but this four, I believe, are enough to get you going.
That being said, achieving success with paid search isn’t a walk in the park. It takes more than spending money to get into the game of paid search.
Tools needed for PPC advertising
- Keyword Research tool: Pay-Per-Click marketing, no matter what form it may take, hinges on keywords. The success of any PPC campaign is heavily dependent on the choice of keywords. So, it is important you find keywords most relevant to your business, hence the need for a keyword research tool. Keyword Planner, a free keyword research tool from Google, trumps other keyword tools in terms of cost effectiveness and accuracy.
- Analytic tool: What differentiates good marketers from their mediocre contemporaries is their ability to analyze everything and make necessary adjustments. Free analytic tools like Google Analytics lets you determine if your ad is serving its intended purpose
These two tools are enough to get you started, I believe.
Tips for a successful PPC campaign
- Avoid using broad keywords
If you sold shoes for instance, using what are known as broad keywords like “shoe”, “footwear”, “best shoe” will get you burned. They are just too generic, and so shouldn’t be used. Long tail keywords, sentence-like keywords, are a safer bet – “winter boots for sale”, “shoe seller near me” are good examples.
- Write captivating ad copy
A headline and description are what makes an ad copy. If they are not inviting enough, searchers would turn blind eyes to your ads. To avoid that happening, stick fast to these rules:
- Write headlines that arouse curiosity
- Keep descriptions short and sweet
- Answer the question on their mind. A searcher to slots in “house for sale” in search engine, will be captivated by description that reads “get your home sold in 24 hours” not “best realtor in ….”
- Take visitors straight to sales page
It’s a mistake to lead visitors to the homepage of a website in the hope of acing a sale, not unless the product or service being advertised can be found there. As a rule, link your ads to a matching page.
Wrapping things up
PPC advertising is as simple and effective marketing strategy to get your products and services right in front of your targeted audience. Though it may not be easy at first and many mistakes may follow, things would eventually smoothen out with time.