Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks on their sponsored link (advertisement). The amount you will be charged will depend on a number of factors including how much you have ‘bid’ to have your ad displayed in search engine listings.
For example if you type “IT Services Surrey” into Google you will see the first three or four results are sponsored links and have the green “Ad” icon to their left. They have paid to have the ad for their website to occupy the top spots on the Google results, there’s a similar grouping on ads at the bottom of the page. Underneath the top ads begins the organic listings, where through good SEO practices have their websites placed highly on the results page.
PPC advertising a very popular form of internet marketing as you are instantly increasing the traffic to your site by buying more targeted visitiors. Whereas an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign will often take longer to implement and can have uncertain results on the organic (non paid) search engine listings.
Google Adwords is the most popular PPC system by far at the moment mainly because it processes over 90% of the web searches performed worldwide.
Within Google Adwords you can choose to place and advert on a number of it’s platforms. The most well known is of course the Google search engine itself, this platform is known as the Search Network. Their Display Network allows advertisers to place ads in placed such as YouTube, Apps, partner websites, on-line video games and more.
The Display Network shows your advert on related content and is not necessarily designed to provide and instant call to action (CTA) from the veiwer but more to provide an ‘infommercial’ which may promote a new film or to create brand awareness for example.
Being slightly late in arriving into the search engine scene Microsoft’s offering does not have nearly the same levels of traffic around the world and in the UK it has around 3% of market share and in the US has around 8%.
Bing Ads have adopted an almost identical approach in how they sell their service and also have a Search Network and Display Network equivelant. Additionally their search network also includes Yahoo and Ask and is worth baring in mind that less traffic means less competition. Ads placed on Bing are generally a lot less than their Google Adwords equivelent. If you’re happy to wait a little longer to reach your goals then Bing Ads is very much worth a look.
How is the CPC (Cost Per Click) calculated?
Wether you choose Google Adwords or Bing Ads the auction system is very much the same. The Bid Auction or bidding system works out where to place your ad and how much you will be charged. The system it look at your Max Bid, the Quality Score of your advert and determines your Ad rank or Ad position on the results page.
You may think that the highest bid will always make it to the highest position in the search page results. This is often not the case as the adverts' Quality Score has a larger baring on the Ads position than the Max bid. The quality score of an advert is determined buy how relevant the advert is to the keywords typed into the search engine, the Ad campaign you’re running as well as the landing pages your Ads are linked to. It is possible for your ad to appear above an advert and your ad will cost less that the ad below.
PPC Campaign Management
A key to making your PPC advertising campaigns a success is contstant mangement, review and adjustment. Additionally, before you switch on your first PPC campaign a lot of planning and web work will need to have already been performed. Poorly planned and managed PPC campaigns are unlikely to succeed and are more likely to cost you money rather than earn you any.
The amount of work required to setup and manage a campaign will depend on the amount of Ads and Ad Campaigns you are planning to run. For almost all campaigns the most of following will need to be considered to a greater or lesser degree:
- Platform suitablilty
- Keyword research
- A tight group of keywords for each ad will need to be developed
- Copy righting
- Ad variations
- Website landing pages (where the Ad will take the visitor)
- Website code modifications,
- Bespoke code
- Tracking tags for tools such as Google Analytics
Once you’re up and running your campaign will need to be monitored and adjustments made as needed. Over time you’ll accumulate a lot of useful data about which of your adverts produce the best quality of visitor, what time is best to run your adverts and how to optimise your bids and keywords. Bare in mind that all your competition is doing the same and often Google will tweek it’s search engine algorithms which will also affect your ad campaigns.
It is a bit like trying to hit a moving target but if done correctly and consistently it can have a huge positive impact on traffic and the success of your website. Good luck!