Pay-Per-Click 2018: Your PPC Guide to Success

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What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising is a specific type of marketing that deals with paid ads designed to have your perspective customers calling you, texting you, or buying from you. Sometimes it is just used to increase traffic to your website or create ‘brand-awareness’. Pay-Per-Click advertising with Google Adwords or Bing Ads is the best way to get immediate and targeted traffic to your website.

This article is a for anyone interested in Google AdWords, Bing Ads or any type of pay-per-click campaigns. Advertising on Google or Bing is a low-cost technique to generating sales that every small business should try.

By biding on particular words or ‘key-words’ as they are called which are associated with your business this will trigger a simple text ad that you design to display on the top page of the search results as in the example below:

pay-per-click - ppc, adwords, search results, ppc
Google ads triggered by the keyword ‘plumber baton rouge’.

PPC advertising provides local companies with unique spending flexibility and exceptional targeting capabilities. You can target ads to show on particular time of the day, only in certain areas, just on mobile phones, even just to display to a particular income level!

The type of ads vary from text ads, mobile and tablet ads and also have various extensions and other features we will cover a bit further on through the article.

With any type of advertising campaign what really matters is results. In terms of cost, you only pay when the ad is clicked on, hence the name pay-per-click advertising.

Pay-per-click - Diagrams Marketing Modern Analyst Manager Desk

What are the Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

While PPC Campaigns have an intial cost up front the return on investment (ROI) can be staggering! You get instantaneous website traffic, phone calls for your services, more people coming into your shop and emails flow in full of inquiries about your products. This has just been my experience.

The difference between SEO (search engine optimization), On-Page SEO and PPC marketing are like the difference between night and day.  Optimizing your website for search engine friendliness should always be in the works, however it is slow as molasses as far as getting Google or Bing to rate your site.

Of course even with proper website SEO you could have an article that is 10 times better than the top 3 on page one of your favorite search engine and still never make it to front page due to not having enough backlinks from authority sites, as well as several other factors.

On-page SEO just takes time and you may not have that kind of time to spare especially if you are a small local business.

So pay-per-click advertising is your answer! Some of the benefits from PPC advertising are trackable results, near  immediate sales, free exposure of your brand – yes, I said free.  You only pay if someone clicks on your ad, not if they just see it. That’s the difference between an impression and a click.

Let’s go over some of the benefits in detail.

Scalable Campaigns: You can start with simple text ads then add more keywords or even negative keywords – words you do not want to trigger your ad. From that simple text ad you can add extensions like click to call, click to text, click for location  as well as extensions that showcase your services in various ways.

Dynamic Ad Types: There are two main ad types such as text ads and mobile ads. There are other styles of ads as well, however that can be saved for another article.  If you are just starting PPC advertising then just stick with these two basic ad types.

Measurable Results: PPC results are 100% measurable. Everything in a PPC campaign can be measured and tested.  Hits on your landing page, call tracking, impressions vs clicks, what device was used, where they were at when they seen or clicked your ad. Test all aspects of your PPC marketing campaign such as landing pages, ad copy, offers, and design.

Coupled with Google Analytics the amount of information that can be gathered will allow you to shape your PPC campaign into a marketing surgical strike with a low investment and high ROI!

SEO is not out of the picture though as you need the right keywords on your landing page to match the keywords in your ad copy and be able to measure as well as perform A/B testing with analytics.  Yes, On-page SEO still has it’s place, we are just using it in a different way.

pay-per-click  - ppc campaign for local business
About ~80% of our customers clients are from mobile ads!

How Much Does PPC Advertising Cost?

Google AdWords or Bing Ads are pay-per-click marketing channels. This means that you’ll be paying every time someone clicks on your ads. The pay-per-click ads are triggered by keywords that you set a bid on.

The cost of your campaign is really going to be dependent on which keywords you are bidding on and what the competition is like in the area you are running your campaign in.

For example, the keyword ‘plumber’ will cost next to nothing if your running your PPC campaign in a small town and you are one of three plumbers and only one of them is advertising on the internet. However, that same keyword in say New York might be 10 times as much.

Google AdWords as well as Bing Ads both come with a keyword planner tool that will give you a general idea as to how high the competition is for a keyword, how often it is searched for and the general cost per click. This is only an average cost though so don’t be misled.

So there are a lot of factors you can count on to bring down your cost. Ad copy, long tail keywords, landing page experience – just to name a few.

Before we talk about cost of your first campaign there are a few things you need to understand…

Basics of Ad Placement and Cost per Click

Auction System: Pay-per-click operates with a complex auction system and how much you bid on each keyword does not really equal  how close to the top of the page the ad appears. The other two factors are Ad Copy and Landing Page Experience.

Remember: If you have a popular service like plumbing, catering, wedding planner, etc. just  like the ‘plumber baton rouge’ or ‘plumber fill in this area with your city‘ you will be bidding against others in the same category. So for example say you research a keyword and find it usually cost about $5.00 a click. If the competion in your area is extremely high for that keyword it might go as high as $10 or $15 a click.

However, there is a way to pay less for Cost per Click and still get the top page position – read on…

Daily Budget: This is how much you want to spend per day on your ads. This factor can be augmented by the time of day you want to show your ads, which day of the week, where you show the ad. This may sound complicated but really it isn’t. It’s about being in the right time at the right place.

Those are just some of the main factors above – there are many more.   If this seems overwhelming, just contact us.  We would love to correspond with you and help out.

WARNING: Without a thorough understanding of how pay-per-click ads work, it is very easy to blow your monthly advertising budget in just a couple of days.

PRO TIPS for Beginners

  • Set a Daily Budget
  • Set a Monthly Budget
  • Should you display your ads 24/7 or just certain times of the day?
  • Set your area you are advertising in. Are you nation wide or just local?
  • Only advertise in areas where people can afford your services
Keywords by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

More About PPC Campaigns, Ad Types and Keywords

With PPC advertising, you don’t pay for impressions, you pay for clicks. So, creating a PPC advertising campaign will more than triple your chances of attracting high quality traffic to your website. A well-planned advertisement campaign can create near-traffic using Google AdWords, Bing Ads and or Facebook Advertisement.

If it were a simple case of highest bid gets the top spot then the local business man would never stand a chance against the corporate giant. So ad position is not linear so to speak but based on quality.

So how does Google for example determine who wins the PPC auction and get the top spot on the results page? It is determined by 3 major factors: CPC Bid, Quality Score and Ad format

ad copy formula
Google Ad placement Score

CPC  maximum bid (50%)  + Quality Score (40%) + Ad Copy (10%) = Ad Rank

Cost per Click max bid = you can specify the most your willing to pay for a keyword

Quality score = keyword relevance + Landing page experience. In other words, the keyword research you do for your ad should be the same on-page SEO research you do for your landing page.

Ad Copy = The wording of the ad should match the keywords intent.

Pay-Per-Click Marketing In Closing

Think goals first, then establishes the right play to target prospective customers across the right devices in the right area at the right time. With the right PPC strategy and a little bit of guidance  your sales goals are just within your reach.

As with everything in the online marketing world, it’s all about creating a plan, setting the right goals to create the right outcome. Digital marketing only works if you drive the right traffic to your website.

Author: Gregory Herring

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