If you’ve tried your hand at digital marketing in any form or fashion – either for your own company or on behalf of another business – then you’ll probably agree that when it comes to search engine marketing, organic search is best for the long term health and strength of a business’ future. However, there are certain circumstances in a company’s lifespan that demand more blunt means of reaching the top of Google’s sacred search results page – maybe you’re wanting to optimise sales whilst you’re seeing a particular boost in search traffic or lands to your site.
There are few methods (in fact, none that we can think of) that will shoot you straight to the top of the Google search engine results page (SERPs) quicker than paying Google for the privilege. Ah, money truly does make the world go round.
There are several many reasons to as why a company, especially a small to medium company, would elect to use pay-per-click methods of boosting sales, and today we’re going to explore some of those reasons. What is pay-per-click? Who uses it? Why do they use it? What are its main benefits over other digital marketing methods, and what are some of its disadvantages to be aware of when starting out fresh ? We’ll cover all of that and more in this month’s Framework Marketing blog post. Hope you’ve got your bidding hats and gavels ready because we’re about to step into the ever-shifting world of pay-per-click advertising -so without further ado, let’s get to clicking.
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What is PPC?
Pay-per-click (which henceforth will be referred to as PPC for your author’s sake) is a method of digital marketing that involves a company advertising their brand to pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
In simple terms, it could be seen as buying your way into increasing visitors to your site, instead of doing so via the resource-heavy approach of optimising your website for search engines.
Adverts on search engines are one of the most popular forms of PPC as it allows advertising companies to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s dedicated ‘sponsored links’ area when a related keyword is searched for.
Every time an ad is clicked and a visitor is sent to the corresponding website, the advertiser then pays the search engine (in most cases Google) a small fee. If all goes to plan, then that small fee is inconsequential compared to the potential sales and profit made from it.
Who are the search engine ad providers?
This list is a small one considering there are so few mainstream search engines that the majority of internet users go to. The biggest and most obvious one – the search engine that around 90% of US internet users use – is Google, and its ad platform Google Ads.
Google Ads is singlehandedly the most used PPC advertising platform in the world as it works perfectly in tandem with its huge share in the search engine market. Every time is a search is made, Google uses the advertisers that have signed up with their ad program, and chooses those which appears in the invaluable ad space that appears at the top of their SERPs. Et voila! Those lucky bidders are now at the top of the most used search engine in the world, and the opportunities for sales and subsequent revenue skyrocket.
It isn’t just luck that determines a company’s chances of landing in that vaunted spot, a combination of factors including the quality of and relevance of an advertiser’s keywords, as well as the size of their keyword bids. More in-depth, two key factors are taken into account – CPC bid and Quality Score.
The CPC (or cost-per-click) bid refers to the highest price an advertiser pays for each click in their marketing campaign, and they vary greatly between industries. For example, e-commerce clicks cost an average of $0.88 per click compared to $5.88 for the average click regarding legal services.
Quality Scores have an equally important role in determining your chance in Google’s ad space, and they act much like how a social credit score changes your chances of succeeding a loan application. It is Google’s way of rating the quality and relevance of keywords and PPC ads, and involves factors like the advertisers’ click-through rate, keyword relevance, landing page quality and more.
Outside of Google, there are other search engines (honestly!)
Microsoft is Google’s closest competitor (if you can call it that) with Microsoft Bing – at around 5% of the market share. Other niche search engines have somewhat of a cult following. DuckDuckGo is a search engine marketed to those who value internet privacy, and you can find a search engine that puts money towards tree planting in Ecosia!
You may not find a more intuitive, user-focused experience with these search engines than you would with Google, but at least they offer something that is still of value to a number of the vast number of internet users out there.
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Preparing & maintaining your PPC campaign
It may seem like PPC campaigns are the golden ticket to easy revenue boosting – simply line Google’s pockets a little and you’re golden! Well, unfortunately this is not the reality of the situation.
The reality is that PPC campaigns can take up a lot of time and resources to get right. It is based solely on keywords but this doesn’t mean that a company’s keywords stay stagnant once they’re submitted. In fact, a major component of a PPC campaign is maintaining and refining keywords. The most successful Google Ads advertisers are doing this consistently.
If only one bout of keyword research is made, then you’re likely going to miss out on many more valuable keywords that could drive further traffic to your site. In this way, an effective PPC campaign must remain relevant and iterative.
Framework Marketing are a national digital marketing agency rooted firmly in the construction industry that helps construction companies grow further than they could ever imagine. Interested in knowing more? Get in touch here!
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