PPC – or pay-per-click – advertising can be one of the most powerful ways to spread your business branding far and wide. A PPC campaign can help bolster your traffic and increase conversions.
Whether you’ve been investigating ways to bolster your marketing efforts or you’ve been approached by marketers who want to help you achieve your goals, it will no doubt be three letters that you’ve heard plenty of times alongside other acronyms such as SEO, CRO and SMM.
You may even already be utilising PPC in your marketing strategy, in which case we will explore below potential ways in which you can turbocharge it for maximum returns.
What is PPC?
In simple terms, PPC marketing involves bidding for your page to appear on page 1 when people search for certain keywords in a search engine. If your bid is higher than others bidding on that keyword, you then pay up to your maximum bid every time a user clicks on your ad listing.
For example, if you search for something on Google – let’s say a bread-making machine – and a number of results appear at the top of the page with ‘AD’ next to them, these are the results of PPC campaigns.
PPC is generally associated with search engines such as Google and Bing, but the practice can also be applied to some social media platforms as well.
How Does PPC work?
Google Ads is by far and away the most used PPC platform, whether by small businesses or expert PPC agencies, so here we have focused on the process for that platform.
The first part of the process is to have landing pages ready to welcome people to your site from any PPC ads. You should think carefully about the content and calls to action of these pages before you start a PPC campaign, to try to help maximise any returns that PPC traffic may provide.
Then identify keywords that you want to bid on, whether it’s questions related to your products and services – or those direct commercial terms. Some keywords can be high volume but may be too broad / generic to drive conversions, so its important to consider your keyword strategy carefully.
Setting your bid strategy is next up. What is the maximum that you are willing to pay for each potential click that comes your way from a given keyword? This figure also plays a role in where your ad will rank if successful.
Your max bid is combined with your ad’s Quality Score to determine your ranking position. Factors that influence your quality score include the page’s user experience, its relevance to the keywords and the expected click-through rate.
Once all of that is in place, if a user searches your keyword and your ad’s ranking position beats your competitors, you will take the top spot on the SERP (search engine result page) and in turn have a better chance of a user clicking your ad listing.
Business Benefits of PPC
- Costs: Your max bid isn’t necessarily what you will pay, and the cost-per-click model means that you only part with your budget if a user clicks your ad.
- Measurable: PPC platforms will generally offer you the chance to delve into campaign statistics which can give a clear measure of performance and inform your future marketing efforts.
- Customise and target: PPC platforms enable to you to target certain users that might better match your product or service’s demographics, and alterations can be made mid-campaign to better serve these people’s needs.
Tips for Improving PPC Performance
Already got a PPC strategy in place but worry you’re not getting the most out of it? Here’s what you can do to help.
- Utilise targeting: You don’t need to stab in the dark in an attempt to gather leads, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of this feature.
- Optimise landing pages: Are your click-throughs not converting? It might be down to a poorly optimised landing page. That arrival on your site is a key part of the customer journey, so make it as compelling as possible with a clear call to action.
- Get a grip on your budget: If your return on investment is low, you could be paying too little or too much. Unnecessarily high bids can hit the bottom line, while stingy ones can leave you muscled out by your competition.