PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is a way of using search engine advertising to drive people to click on your website rather than allowing for search engine optimisation (SEO) to earn you those clicks organically. Perform a Google search and the results at the top of the page with “Ad” written next to them will be there via PPC advertising.
When you set up an advert, you pay the search engine a fee whenever someone clicks on it and goes to your website (hence the term pay-per-click). Google Ad’s are PPC advertising, along with other platforms such as Bing Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn. Specialists can advise the best platforms for your business, but it’s also worth knowing that, according to the October 2020 information from GlobalStats statcounter, over 92% of people use Google for their search engine with Bing following a close second at 2.7%!
The Google Ad’s model involves users bidding on keywords – so every time a search is initiated, Google looks at the pool of bidding advertisers and chooses ‘winners’ to appear in the ad space. Advertisers are chosen via a combination of factors, including quality and relevance of the keywords, size of bids, how much you’re willing to spend, your click through rate, relevance of your website and landing page quality.
Why choose PPC marketing?
One of the big advantages of PPC marketing is the speed in which you can get to the first page of a search result. Organic SEO can take time, whereas an advert can get you there within hours so it’s really great for creating brand awareness. Also, you’ll have noticed on your Google searches that paid adverts now appear at the top of the results page, meaning that you need to scroll down to find the organic listings.
Adverts can be targeted to people in a specific location (for example, within 20 miles of Barnsley) and to run only on specific days. The results are completely measurable via tracking sales conversions or contact forms and you can get started on PPC with a low budget. If things are working well, the budget can be increased whenever you want.
As a note, if you run an e-commerce site, you may want to look at Google Shopping vs Google Ads as it can give better click through rates and conversions.
How much does PPC cost?
The cost for PPC depends on the popularity of your keywords. For example, a very competitive keyword can cost £5 or more per click and, when factoring in that you need around 100 clicks to get an enquiry, it may not be cost effective for lower priced products. However, it could be a great strategy for much higher priced products.
Bing is cheaper, and Google have an estimator for how much your campaign will cost, although the accuracy can sometimes be questionable. It’s therefore recommended instead to set a daily budget which the platform cannot go over.
We spoke to Business Village tenant, John Hinds from Lojix who are a digital marketing agency offering both SEO and PPC. His view is that “a balance of SEO and PPC is the best way of succeeding online” and recommended getting started with a Google Ads budget of £10 per day and then running adverts for a month.
How do you get started with PPC?
The starting block with an Ad campaign is to find out what your customers want, what they’re looking for and how they’re searching for it. Essentially, it’s knowing what keywords to use – pick the wrong ones and you could end up spending money and not getting conversions. Once you have those, you can check the demand using keyword tools such as Google’s keyword planner (remember that high competition tend to be a higher cost, so you’re probably looking for the middle ground as you also don’t want to pick those which have a low search volume).
You’ll need to create a campaign, setting things such as your budget, plus establish ad groups with your target sector or products. Importantly, you’ll need to write some compelling adverts with naturally appearing keywords and a powerful call to action. The written copy can make all the difference to your campaign as the more closely your advert targets your audience, the more likely they will be to click and convert.
Can you get to page 1 of Google without paying?
The short answer is yes! However, it will take longer as you need to build authority with the search engines.
Looking at Google (they do have over 92% of the market after all) the quality of your website content is vital to improving your organic search listing. Google’s job is to provide relevant search results to people, so if your website is providing good quality information which people click and read, it will help you to build your search ranking.
Organic SEO is a complex process and it may be worth contracting someone to look into it for you (it tends to be cheaper than PPC advertising). SEO specialists will look at your website, checking that it is fast and mobile friendly, that there are no broken links and that you have good quality backlinks. They will also look at (amongst other things) relevant keywords and the quality of your content.
Creating new and relevant content which people find useful to read is an important strategy when it comes to organic SEO. Google sees that you’re updating your website regularly and that people are interested in what you’re saying, so your site will start to appear higher up in the results. Using your blog to demonstrate your expertise, authority and trustworthiness is a great tactic and you can incorporate keywords and natural links into the posts.
PPC marketing can be a useful strategy to quickly create brand awareness and jump to the first page of search results, but your content still needs to be compelling and useful so that people will click on your advert.
However, combining PPC advertising with organic SEO can deliver longer term results.
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