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Pay per click is a form of online advertising that only charges the advertiser once their advert has been clicked on, so if people do not like the advert and do not click on it there will be no charge. In Google for example these Ads are the search results you see at the top and bottom of the page with the ‘Ad’ note, or in Facebook these are the ‘Sponsored Posts’.
The different platforms run auction systems where you set bids for your adverts. If you are aggressively targeting a market you can place higher bids than your competitors to ‘get to the top’.
This is not always necessary, as Google AdWords for example also have metrics called Ad Rank and Quality Score. If you have done a good job in setting up the advert you may be able to ‘get to the top’ with cost per clicks lower than your competitors.
There are many advantages of pay per click advertising over traditional marketing, the primary one being you only pay when someone takes action. Compare that to a newspaper advert, where you pay up front for an adverts inclusion irrespective of whether there is a response or not. This can mean your advertising budget is much more efficiently spent. There are numerous other advantages:
- Speed - ads can be written and live within minutes (depending on the platform)
Control – you have full control:
- When the ads are run – time and days, plus turn off at any time
- The budget – set your daily / monthly budget
- Changes – change the adverts being displayed at any time
- Targeting – you have the opportunity to very tightly control the market you are targeting with an advert, so the advert is not shown to people who are unlikely to want your products or services.
- Feedback – very rich statistics are provided on the types of people who clicked on your ad, times of day, location, keywords they used and much more. This enables you to improve the adverts you are running to get better results.
Pay per click is a technical discipline which requires planning, time and expertise to set up and manage. Typically, the campaigns that do not work have not been set up or managed correctly.
Many business owners tell stories of PPC campaigns that cost a great deal of money with poor returns. Though Jacob Baadsgaard in his blog post 4 Things I’ve Learned from 2,000+ AdWords Audits , cites the main reason for poor performance as inadequate tracking and lack of attention. Effective PPC campaign management will ensure this does not happen.
There is a misconception that to get your advert shown you need to pay more. Whilst the various platforms do have auction systems where you can ‘get to the top’ if you pay more, this is not a cost-effective way of advertising; instead you should focus on creating high-quality adverts that people click on.
In Google AdWords  you get rewarded for adverts and landing pages that are effective, the reward is lower cost per clicks. Google wants to promote good quality adverts, so if you do this, you can feasibly pay lowers costs than your direct competitors.
There are many types of pay-per-click advertising:
Paid search advertising
In the search results of Google and Bing, there are adverts at the top, bottom, and sometimes on the right-hand side of the page, above, below, and to the side of the natural search results. This is paid search advertising and is the primary reason Google is today one of the largest companies in the world.
Product listing Ads (shopping)
When you search for products in the search engines, the results displayed are now adverts where the advertiser only pays when the searcher clicks on the ad.
Many of the banner, image and text adverts you see on other websites are served up by services such as Google AdWords Display Network. Typically, the ads are targeted using audience demographics. So, for example if you are visiting a website about ‘football’, it may show relevant adverts on ‘football boots’, or ‘sports betting’. Whilst the visitor may not have specifically visited that page to purchase a product, relevant adverts are places to catch their eye.
Have you ever been browsing products or services on the web; then every site you visit displays adverts for the products you have just been searching for? Well this is re-targeting or re-marketing, where your advert can ‘follow’ the web browser around the web.
Social Media Advertising
Social media adverts have really taken off in the past few years, and are the ‘sponsored posts’ you see in Facebook or Twitter feeds. Facebook has become particularly good at allowing you to closely target specific groups of people.
Let’s say you are a children’s nursery based in Surrey, Facebook Ads allow you target young Surrey based mums. In their Facebook feeds, young mums only in your area will see the adverts and no-one else.
The type of advertising most suitable for your business will very much depend on your products and services and target market.
The different PPC platforms allow you to target very specific audiences.
Paid search advertising (Google AdWords and Bing Ads)
You can target:
- Search queries (plumber in London, mens orange jumper etc.)
- Locations (UK, England, Surrey, Croydon, etc.)
- Devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, mobiles etc.)
If you are a plumber in Croydon you can target search queries such as: ‘Plumber’, ‘emergency plumber’, ‘plumber in Croydon’ etc. - and only appear to people searching in the Croydon area only.
This can be extremely effective if you chose the right buying keywords. For example, if you target ‘jumper’, this may not be nearly as effective as ‘buy mens orange jumper’.
Display and social media advertising
You are targeting audience demographics rather than specific search keywords, such as:
- Age, from say 25 to 55.
- Detailed targeting - demographics, interests and behaviours, for example: Tenants, who like sports, and are single.
Within certain markets if you target your advert well this can be very effective.
Why PPC is so powerful
Never before has the advertiser been so in control
John Wanamaker (1838-1922), the successful US businessman coined the phrase “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half” .
With pay-per-click you now have much more control, and so much more data that John Wanamaker ever had, so you can control how all your money is being spent.
Select your audience
The success of your marketing campaigns rests on how well you craft your message to your audience.
Optimising your message
It was time consuming and expensive to find the message your market responds to most. Not with PPC.
Set your budget and schedule
Advertising costs and time schedules used to be defined by the publisher. Not with PPC.
Better than your competitors
Pay up to half that your competitors are paying and get more customers!
Pay less than your competitors
We will manage your PPC campaign, so you pay less than your competition and get better results.
Constantly Improve Ads
We will constantly be testing and improving your adverts, so you drive more clicks and visitors.
Increase Customer Conversion
Your landing pages are an extension of your PPC adverts, so need to be optimised to increase customers conversations.
- Google AdWords – Get your ad on Google today.
- Bing Ads - Millions are searching. Make sure they find you.
- Facebook Adverts - Advertising on Facebook makes it easy to find the right people, capture their attention and get results.
- Twitter Ads - Create ads focused on the objectives most important to your business
- LinkedIn Ads - Reach your ideal customers on the world's largest professional network
- YouTube Ads - Start advertising on YouTube
- “4 Things I’ve Learned from 2,000+ AdWords Audits“ kissmetrics.com
- John Wanamaker. wikipedia.org
- Ad Rank Definition. Google.com
- Quality Score Definition. Google.com
- Average Cost Per Click Definition. Google.com
- AdWords. wikipedia.org
- About the Google Display Network. Google.com. wikipedia.org
- “7 Tips to Master the Google Display Network”. wordstream.com. 2017.03.07
- Behavioural retargeting. wikipedia.org
- What are Facebook Ads?. facebook.com
- Bing Ads. wikipedia.org
- About relevance score. facebook.com