An Introduction to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising
In the second part of our new free resources series on Online Marketing, we look at what you need to know about Pay-Per-Click advertising models (PPC) and how these can be utilised in order to make the most of your website. Here we tackle the basics of PPC, the history of PPC, what it entails, and how it can be used to benefit your business.
Pay-Per-Click – What is it?
PPC (or Cost-per-click CPC) is a clever advertising model that can be used to instantly direct traffic to your website by positioning your company at the top of search engine result pages like Google. Every time someone clicks through from this link to your website, you will pay, hence “Pay-Per-Click”! This is usually linked to keyword phrases that are relevant to your target market.
PPC advertisements display a link when a keyword matches the advertiser’s keyword. A company can pay to be linked to certain relevant words, like for example “toys”. When this is typed into the search engine, the PPC results are displayed at the top and right hand side of the screen. These companies will have paid for them to be associated with this particular word, and then each time someone clicks through to their website via this link, they will be charged.
It is useful to not only add PPC Keywords relevant to your offerings, but also add PPC Negative keywords that are not of relevance to reduce wasted spending. Many companies split their keywords into Ad groups, allowing you to have more targeted pages. It is important to constantly review and refine your keywords, to make sure that any that are under-performing are removed and new ones utilised.
Keywords should be;
- RELEVANT – targeted to your business
- EXHAUSTIVE – also including the “long-tail” more specific searches e.g. “toys” as well as “toys for boys aged 3”
- EXPANSIVE – keywords should always be refined, adapted and extended to make sure that they are as effective as they can be for your business.
In December 1999, Google started search engine advertising, and introduced their AdWords System in October 2000. It is an appealing proposition, especially for larger companies that have a greater advertising/marketing budget to use, however there are packages for all budgets available. Google AdWords offer companies to
- Advertise locally or globally, targeting customers based on location, regions, distance from your shop etc.
- Reach the right people at the right time – people find you when they are searching for something that you can offer
- Support system
- No visit, no fee
- Can be tailored to suit any budget
It can be an effective way to generate more clicks through to your website, but there are obviously no guarantees. It is useful for short or long term campaigns, can be used to highlight promotions and build brand awareness quickly.
Flat Rate vs Bid-Based
- PPC £ = Ad Cost £ divided by Ads clicked
There are 2 basic models of how you can set up a PPC campaign;
Flat Rate – this is where a fixed amount is paid for each click. You can set your budget per day for example £20 and when this has been reached your advert will no longer feature as the top link. Prices can often be negotiated for lower rates. This option is typical for comparison shopping engines.
Bid-based Rate – This option allows companies to compete against each other in a private auction. Big companies obviously have a larger budget to work with, and this gives companies in similar positions to enter a bidding-war over popular keywords in order to get themselves positioned above their competitors in sponsored-links.
Google have their own ranking system to give you a “Quality Score”. This is based on the quality and relevance of your keywords, landing pages and PPC campaigns. If you have a good Quality Score this can lead you to more Ad clicks at lower costs and will affect your success in a Bid-based Rate. If you have a better Quality Score than your competitor, you are likely to win the bid for that particular Keyword; however the amount of the bid offered will also have an effect.
In short, PPC advertising is another tool that you can utilise to make sure that your website is reaching as many relevant people as possible, raising your profile and giving you an edge on your competition.
Here at CBW, we have our very own SEO expert, Barnaby Pitts, who can help you determine which keywords are going to be the most effective in this type of marketing.
In Part 3 we’ll be covering more about how to build natural links to your site, how search engines find their way through websites, and how you can get others linking to you.