What Is PPC Advertising?
One method of Internet marketing that you may hear about is PPC advertising, which a lot of people will tell you can generate quick results and good returns – which it can! If, that is, your PPC advertising is done correctly.
PPC is an acronym for “pay per click,” a type of search engine advertising that shows multiple types of ads to potential customers searching for your business, products or services. Otherwise referred to as “paid search advertising” or “paid search,” you pay search engines to show those ads.
It can be a very profitable endeavor, though caution and prudence is required. It doesn’t take much to make short work of your advertising budget.
What Is Pay Per Click Advertising?
Pay Per Click advertising, or more accurately paid search advertising, is where you pay search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo!, to show advertisements to people that are searching for the type of products or services your company sells or offers through your website. These ads also display on network partner sites, or websites that partner with search engines and display search results or visual images. Examples include websites that show search Google search results, or websites like YouTube that have videos or images on them that partner with Google.
Generally, ads break down into a few different categories: search ads (also called text ads), image/visual ads, video ads and shopping ads. Each has their purpose and place.
Search ads appear in search results for various search queries. A person types in a keyword into a search engine, and several results – usually at the top and bottom of the page of search results and perhaps some to the side – are actually ads rather than organic search results.
Visual ads are image ads that appear on various websites that show visual or image advertisements. For instance, websites that have Google’s AdSense display image ads.
Video ads are video advertisements. Ever see a commercial on a YouTube video? Perhaps a short survey asking you to answer a question before the video runs? That’s a video ad.
Shopping ads are located in Google search results and Bing search results from Google Shopping and Bing Shopping sites. These have an image of the product and the price and so on.
A business or website pays those search engines to display those ads.
How Does Paid Search Advertising Work?
To run a paid search advertising campaign, first you’ll need an account on that search engine, which is usually free to set up. Then, you get started with their advertising platform, which is Bing Advertising in the case of Bing and in the case of Google, AdWords.
From there, you determine the type of advertising (or multiple types – many businesses will run a text, visual, video and shopping campaign for the same product!) that you want to do. What your product is will usually determine which type of campaign is right for you, as each has benefits and drawbacks.
Once you’ve picked a type of ad campaign, you create your ad, set how you want to pay and your budget. Then, once your ad is approved to run, it will start to show to your customers!
Now, what type of bidding scheme you prefer is up to you though what you’ll be able to use depends on the platform. AdWords allows you multiple bidding strategies; Bing has only a few.
Largely, it depends on what type of campaign you’re looking to run. If you want customers to see images of products, say if you run a clothing company, then you’ll want to emphasize views rather than clicks or conversions/sales. If it’s important to get people to your website over anything else, then you’ll want to emphasize clicks. If sales are your goal, say if you run an ecommerce site, then you’ll want to select a bidding strategy that emphasizes conversions.
There’s much more to it, of course, but that’s the gist of it.
Is It Worth Running A PPC Campaign?
Is it worth running a PPC campaign? Well, it’s not so simple to say “yes” or “no,” but it’s closer to the truth to say “it is very likely to be!” Very, very few websites or businesses will not benefit from a paid search campaign in the long run.
- If, that is, the paid search campaign is run correctly.
That takes good management and a good understanding of how to get the most out of your ads. To do that, they have to be well-made ads which get high quality scores. They have to be relevant, engaging and useful ads for potential customers. You also need to dial in a budget and bidding strategy that will both help you accomplish your goals as well as meet your requirements in terms of daily or monthly budget as well as return on spend.
- And that can get complicated.
However, it’s highly likely that your site can benefit from a PPC campaign! It’s a great way to get traffic moving to your site and bring customers, if not sales, to your site very quickly.