PPC |Pay-Per-Click|Paid Search Advertising
What is Pay-Per-Click?
PPC is also known as Pay-Per-Click or Paid Search Advertising and is an online form of advertising which uses adverts displayed on the search results page (SERPS) of your search engine of choice.
You are not charged for your advert when it is displayed (called an impression) but only when someone clicks, hence the name Pay-Per-Click.
These adverts are different in how the look and work to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) listings. Two examples are below:
Here is an example of a Pay-Per-Click advert on Google.
And here is a Pay-Per-Click advert on Bing.
You would be forgiven for thinking there isn’t a huge amount of variation between the styles of the SEO and PPC results. PPC has been evolving over the years to rival the feature-rich snippets of the SEO results however if you are ever unsure if what you are looking at is a PPC or an SEO result, the PPC advert will always show or be under a small “Ad” or “Ads” banner. The above example also shows Google Shopping (top right) which are perfect for e-commerce websites.
For more information on Google’s Pay-Per-Click see here: Google Pay-Per-Click and for Bing’s Pay-Per-Click, see here: Bing Pay-Per-Click
How Does Pay-Per-Click Work?
So now we have an idea of what PPC adverts look like, how do they work? There are multiple providers of PPC platforms, but the largest in the UK is Google.
Google’s platform is called Adwords and it integrates with their analytics offering, Google Analytics. With Pay-Per-Click in general, the following is the usual process.
Once you have your account set up and live, traffic will start to come to your website (this all depends on the keywords you have chosen and other parameters). This process is straightforward enough and looks like this:
This is basically how Pay-Per-Click works. In amongst all of this there are tools to fine-tune your targeting to ensure you get higher return on investment. There are a multitude of factors that influence where your adverts appear and various levers can be pulled to make your Pay-Per-Click more cost effective. Speaking of cost, it’s worth spending a minute or two just discussing budgets.
Is Pay-Per-Click Expensive?
In general, there are two costs; the click and then if you use an agency (or even employ someone) there is the management cost. Management costs vary depending on your needs and each client with Adherence is dealt with in a completely bespoke manner, however, the real cost is the click that your PPC provider charges you.
Each click will have a CPC (cost-per-click) level and this is dictated by a wide variety of factors, some of which will be in your control (quality of your PPC account structure, keywords etc) and some won’t be (competitor bidding level for example).
A stumbling block many SME’s encounter regarding PPC is how they slice up their marketing budget.PPC can be as expensive or as cheap as you allow it to be (management costs notwithstanding) however it is worth trying to find a PPC specific allowance within your marketing budget.
One of the reasons for this is search traffic volume changes, sometimes with seasonality or perhaps a products popularity. Without a constant presence over a variety of keywords, your business may miss out on a rise in demand. Unless you have a very comprehensive SEO index covering hundreds of keywords then there is a good chance this traffic will be lost to your competitors.
Is it a good idea to leave your Pay-Per-Click running even when budgets are tight? We believe it is and our advice is to try and keep PPC going, even if at a reduced level for example on brand terms. As mentioned before there are a number of areas that can be optimised and it is best to exhaust all of these before going for the off-switch.
Approaches on Pay-Per-Click vary from agency to agency and vertical to vertical. Pay-Per-Click techniques for an e-commerce business may be quite different to PPC for a charity. The only real “right” way is the way that works for your business and here experimentation will prove invaluable. We can help you to build a campaign from scratch, rebuild any current campaigns or even take over the running of campaigns entirely.
As our experience and knowledge of your business grows, we can conduct more extensive experiments with adcopy, keywords, match types (broad, phrase etc), optimise landing pages and more which can prove very fruitful.
Adherence Digital is a Google Partner and this means our ability to manage Pay-Per-Click accounts exceeds Google’s high standards.