Pay Per Click or PPC, is a form of online marketing. Advertisers bid on advert placement positions for particular search terms with different search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. PPC Advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked on – hence the name “pay per click.”
PPC essentially is a way of buying visits to your website. As a rule of thumb, the higher you bid per click, the higher you’ll appear in search results.
All three advertising platforms allow you to do the same thing: Set up, manage, maintain and run PPC advertising campaigns.
The difference between these three platforms simply is the search engine that your ad will display on. These are, however, as their names suggest:
In 2015, Wordstream reported that Bing grew to 19.7% of the US search market share and Yahoo saw a 10% increase in paid search clicks over the past year.
Nonetheless, Google AdWords remains the single biggest global platform used by online marketers. In April 2016 it was reported to have a huge 89% of the desktop search market share.
How the PPC Auction Works
When a customer types in a search query, e.g. “full-service marketing agency Winchester,” into either Bing, Google or Yahoo, they create an auction where each advert targeting the search query bids against each other.
Typically, you would think that the highest paying bid wins the top spot. But, these auctions vary according to each search engine:
As an example, Google uses a bidding metric called Ad Rank. Ad Rank combines the bid with the quality score of the advert. Correspondingly, whichever advert has the highest Ad Rank will win the number one spot.
A lot of PPC campaigns we see, unfortunately, are stuffed full of broad keyword matches. These either generate low-quality traffic or simply do not generate any traffic at all.
Keyword research for PPC campaigns is essential and really does pay off:
Here at Rooster, we use Google’s Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner is a free AdWords tool that helps you build Search Network campaigns. It does this by finding keyword ideas and estimating how they may perform. If you want to know how to use it, read our latest how to use keyword planner blog post.
Keyword Planer works by firstly, identifying high traffic search terms relevant to your service or product. These are then reconciled with information on competitors who are also bidding on a specific keyword.
Using Keyword Planner to identify high traffic areas with low competition serves as the crucial initial steps for any successful AdWords campaign.
Managing a single PPC campaign can be a monumental task in itself. It requires time, resource and money. And if the person managing the campaign does not understand the bidding system, it can potentially cost you even more.
A successful PPC campaign is all down to continuous management and monitoring. This includes bid adjustments, search query research and that all important keyword research!
Google offers advice and guidance with ‘opportunities,’ but, these can cost you 4x as much as when you started your campaign. This is where great PPC management comes; a ‘PPC pro’ can easily assess whether the opportunity highlighted is worth the extra spend.
Think about it, are you first on search engines for what search term you want? If not, then it’s a likely possibility that PPC is the next stage for you.
Pay per click advertising allows you to be the top result in seconds, for the price you want and for however long you want. PPC really is so easy and very flexible: You only ever pay when someone actually clicks on your advert which improves your volume of visitors anyway, and you also can switch of any campaign in an instant.
Pay per click advertising has also been known to improve natural search engine rankings. This, in turn, improves overall traffic and click-through rates.
We research, build and manage pay-per-click campaigns. Ours are designed to drive immediate, relevant traffic to websites. PPC often proves most effective after a new website’s’ launch whilst the performance of an organic SEO campaign starts to build.