What is PPC Advertising?
In this era of digitalization, all of us are well familiar and acquainted with online searches and works. Even for the tiniest detail or information, we are dependent on the search engines and really look up to them in need. In a way, they are our safe places to be at some points. While surfing search engines, users may notice the advertisements appearing alongside the search results on Google or numerous other search engines, those very advertisements are termed as ‘pay-per-click’ or PPC Advertising.
PPC or Pay-Per-Click Advertising is a model of online advertising that is used to drive traffic to websites and also where the advertisers pay the publishers (typically a search engine, website owner, or a network of websites) every time when the online ads are clicked by a user.
There are various other types of PPC advertising but among them, the most common is paid search advertising. These ads usually appear when people use any search engine like Google while searching for anything online, especially in cases of their commercial searches like groceries or any other essentials for buying purposes. The appearance of the PPC ads alongside the search results are not restricted to only groceries but from a cell phone search (looking for reasonable eat outs near them), to a local service search (looking for a doctor or carpenter in their area), to someone looking for gifts (for anniversary or birthday purpose) or even some high-end items like advanced technologies and numerous applications. All of the above-mentioned things trigger pay-per-click advertisements. There are other forms of PPC Advertising too, for example – display advertisements (also known as banner ads) and retargeting.
The term “pay-per-click” advertising is given to this whole process because of the fact that organizations that are the sole reasons behind these ads are charged only when a user actually clicks on that ad.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising is commonly associated with the frontline search engines such as Google Ads, Amazon Advertising, and Microsoft Advertising (previously known as the Bing Ads). With these search engines, advertisers generally bid on various magic formulas, in other words keywords phrases, which are very much related with their target market and pay the publishers if and when the text-based search ads, as well as shopping ads which are a combination of both images and texts, are clicked upon. Invariance on the other side, content sites commonly charge a fixed rate at each click rather than going for a bidding system. The banner ads which are also known as the PPC display advertisements are shown on websites with many relevant contents, of course, those who have agreed to show ads and are naturally not Pay-Per-Click advertising. They instead usually charge on a Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM). Social networking mediums like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and LinkedIn have also adopted pay-per-click advertisements as one of their advertising models. The amount which advertisers pay usually depends on the publisher and is driven by two major factors:
- One, quality of the ad, and
- Two, the maximum bid or amount that the advertiser is willing to pay on per click measured against its competitors’ bids.
Generally, it is considered that the higher is the quality of the ad, the lower the cost per click is charged, and vice versa. Nevertheless, websites can offer PPC ads and they often do as well. The particular websites that utilize PPC ads usually display an advertisement on the page if and when any kind of query, keyword or phrase matches with the keyword list of an advertiser that has already been added in other ad groups, or when any type of relevant content or matter is displayed on the web page. Such types of advertisements are termed as sponsored links or sponsored ads. The sponsored ads appear adjacent to, above, or below the results on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). It can also appear in places of a web developer’s on a content site.
The Pay-Per-Click online advertising model is open to all kinds of abuses through the click fraud procedure. However, Google and other search engines have accomplished in putting up automated systems which will guard against the abusive clicks and click frauds by competitors or corrupt web developers.
Main Purpose –
Pay-per-click (PPC), along with Cost-per-impression (CPM) and Cost-per-order (CPO) are used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and worth of online advertising and drive the cost of running advertisement campaigns as low as possible while holding on to the set goals. In Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM), the advertiser only has to for every 1000 impressions of the ad. Here, Pay-per-click has an advantage over cost per impression. PPC carries forward information about how efficient the marketing was. The clicks are basically considered a way to measure attention and interest of the users. If the actual aim of an ad is to generate a click, or more specifically drive traffic to the website, then pay-per-click is the right standard.
Mainly, there are two key advertising models for determining the pay-per-click campaigns:
- Flat-rate PPC
In the flat-rate advertising model, both the advertiser and the publisher agree on one fixed amount that will be paid for every click.
- Bid-based PPC
In the bid-based advertising model, the advertiser signs a deal that allows them to compete against other advertisers in a private auction ceremony hosted by a publisher or any other advertising channel.
How does PPC Advertising work?
For advertisements to appear alongside the search results on a search engine which is more commonly referred to as SERP (Search Engine Results Page) the advertisers need to work a lot. They cannot just simply pay an extra amount of money to make sure that their ads appear clearly in the places convenient for users and more prominently than the ads of their customers. Instead, every ad is subjected to an automated procedure that is known as the ‘Ad Auction’. This auction is an entirely self-regulating process used by Google or other search engines in order to determine the materiality and rationality of the advertisements appearing on their SERPs.
How do Keywords play a role in PPC Advertising?
Pay-per-click advertising is a crucial element that allows the users to increase the search ranking of their websites by utilizing the process of bidding and more particularly, the usage of keywords in these biddings.
The above-mentioned bidding system or process is also known as the Ad Auction. This auction helps the advertisers in bidding on the terms that they want to activate and display their ads. These terms are further named as keywords. Keywords play a major role in pay-per-click advertising or campaigning. They are considered to be the keystone for providing the right and targeted customers in the direction of the desired or website of the advertiser. It is believed that effective grouping and organizing of the keywords helps in improving the pay-per-click strategy. They enable the advertisers to create more relatable, and score-friendly ad groups, text ads, and landing pages.
For instance – Suppose a parent wants to admit his/her child to the best English medium school which is exclusively known for its expert teaching faculty, methods, administration, and staff, and also the various curricular activities. Now the parent with the wish of admitting the child in a school that is an all-rounder and satisfies the parent will enter “best English medium school” in the search engine as the keyword so that it gets easier for them to find the relevant schools matching their expectations. The moment the parent is submitting the search query, the search engine carries out the complex algorithmic calculations on which the whole Ad Auction is based, and in return, this auction determines which ads are to be displayed, in which order, and by which advertiser.
Advantages of Pay Per Click Advertising –
There are various compelling advantages of PPC Advertising are:
- PPC is simple and generates traffic quickly.
PPC campaigns are able to generate traffic to the website as soon as the ad goes live. It looks more appealing especially if the results are perceived quickly. Moreover, it is quite simple and easy to understand the whole idea of raising an ad and paying for the number of clicks it is receiving which further adds to the interest of PPC.
- PPC campaign outcomes are simple to calculate
Unlike Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the outcomes or results of a PPC campaign can be easily measured. Many of the PPC networks have grades that let the advertisers identify if their ads are creating transformation and profit. These grades or standards are designed to show the number of viewers, number of clicks, and whether the viewers reacted to the ad as per expectations. There are also some changing picture elements that are codes present in PPC services such as AdWords. It permits you to know the keywords, ad messages, and landing pages that are bringing the transformation.
- PPC permits complete authority
PPC campaign grants full control over what will appear on the respective ads, the place in which it will be published, and the target audience it will be reaching to. The keyword searches and the appearances can also be controlled. Due to all this, user experiences can be enhanced well, the unwanted traffic can be filtered out, and the target markets can also be reached, locally or internationally.
- PPC Ads are easily adjustable
While other search engines and marketing techniques take ample time to get adjusted to the present market behavior, PPC Campaigns can very easily adapt to the current changes in order to meet the latest trends and developments in the market.
- PPC is cost-effective
The price of placing a single ad for any specific keyword can often cost as low as one rupee per click. But if that same click converts any user into a buyer of the products or services worth thousands, then it is an appreciable gain.
Disadvantages of Pay Per Click Advertising –
There are some major drawbacks of PPC Advertising as well, which are:
- PPC Campaigns can cost a lot if not managed correctly
PPC can be really fascinating as it initiates disclosure and change for a lower cost and it might go wrong on the budget if not done carefully. There are high chances of overspending on a PPC campaign if caught in a battle of bidding over keywords against the various competitors. Instead, focussing on some particular keywords which are less costly but more aimed to the desired market will help majorly in sticking to the estimated budget.
- PPC Ads are able to create junk traffic
At times it happens that some business owners intentionally click on the respective competitors’ ads just to create a mess in the latter’s expenses. The number of clicks might be beneficial in matters of statistics and charts, but in reality, are a major drawback for their finances and goals. Usually, the search engines or website owners don’t take into consideration whether they profit from the clicks. Till the time the ad is getting clicked upon, the advertiser gets charged. So, it is vital to manage the PPC campaign carefully in order to know whether the ads are generating transformations and making their way to the correct audience.
- PPC is not always successful
Holding up a PPC campaign does not necessarily mean that there will be an increase in conversions or sales. Traffic and profits to the business cannot be always generated just by setting up ads. A PPC campaign will only be successful at obtaining the marketing goals if managed properly.
Different ways to improve PPC Campaigns –
For every digital marketing professional, PPC Campaigns will most certainly remain as the vital element of the marketing strategy turnover. But just as with the commencement of every new-year, people aim for new milestones and set fresh objectives to meet, the tactics, strategies or even the campaigns of the previous year needs to be changed and designed freshly to check where they need to adjust, improve and optimize the efforts.
There are certain points which generally help out the professionals in improving their pay-per-click campaigns.
- Expanding the Keyword List
The first and foremost way to improve the PPC is to expand the present keyword list of the campaign by adding adjectives and adverbs to long keywords of four or five terms, whereas short keywords of one or two terms might work better if the illustrative words are taken out. There are a variety of keyword suggestion tools available online for free and paid both, that can also be used to search for ideal keywords. Keeping a track on the keywords which rank the competitor’s contents and target may also be of immense help.
- Identifying Keywords With Mediocre Performance
Keywords are an essential element in PPC advertising that can make or break the campaign. So it is way more important to keep a thorough check on the performances of the keywords, especially those with unsatisfactory performance while reviewing the keywords because the poor performances could be coming from low bid value or search capacity. It could also mean a high cost per lead often.
- Enlarge the List of Negative Keywords
In order to reduce the costs and improve the performance of the campaign, the professionals must keep their focus on enlarging and monitoring the negative keyword list systematically. The negative keywords, which are also known as the “negative matches,” are those that no marketer would want to provoke their ads with. One of the biggest advantages of having a negative keyword list is that it helps in segregating the “window shoppers” or leads that probably will not transform or change.
- Influence the Reviews of Customers
If the online reviews for any product, service or brand are great, and implies the trust factor then the same can be put to good use in the PPC Campaigns. They can use a seller ratings ad extension to display ratings as part of an ad for any product or service. This is one of the biggest opportunities for the professionals to develop trust for the ads or campaigns among the customers and increase the rate of click-throughs too.
- Geo Targeting the Ads as per circumstances
While maintaining the ad targeting, the campaign holders need to remain focused on particular geographic locations where the products, services, and brands are applicable and easily available. The best method to decide on which regions to target is by using different kinds of geographic reporting features in paid search platforms of the holders’ choice. For example – while using Google Ads, they must go deeper into the reports of locations and distance to measure the performance data by location, which in return can influence the location targeting setting to select particular areas where the advertisers want their ads to be visible. It can also bring the campaign costs down and enhance the rate of ROI (Return on Investment).
- Re-analyzing the Charades
To raise PPC campaigns it is important to analyze the personalities and review the present client and prospect demographics, once in a while. If the demographics and data do not match with their choice of ideal client facades then the best option will be to adjust the campaigns to reach underserved segments of the target mass. The preferences of the consumers change and develop so it is essential to keep a track of the potential leads to avoid mistakes of missing out on them by thinking they are not part of the ideal customer group.
- Refreshing the Web Page
The last but certainly not the least option which would help in improving the pay-per-click is to check how the web/landing pages are presently performing. An advanced and well-crafted web page can be the difference between a click turning into a lead or going away from the very site. The campaign holders must continuously optimize their landing pages to increase completed actions, whether it’s a design refresh, a new call-to-action copy, etc.
The PPC Trends that are well guessed to be dominating in 2022 are
- First-Party Dater
- Audience Targeting & Segmentation
- Conversion Tracking
- Responsive Search Ads
- Small Business Education
- Return to Fundamentals
- Be ready for anything
Pay Per Click Advertising has always proven to be an authentic and cost-effective channel for abundance of B2B, B2C, non-profit, and other companies/organizations who are looking for fast, quality traffic and transformations.
Each and every pay-per-click campaign is unique in its own way, but the most successful campaigns are the ones that share the same features of a reasonable, properly assembled form, extensive keyword research, ongoing management, and maintenance, etc. PPC strategies are the most fruitful when they are not simply set up and left alone. With regular trials, scrutinizing, and developing, the PPC campaigns will automatically reach a better position to meet their target audience and beat their fellow challengers.