PPC provides a valuable revenue stream for many businesses. Have you ever wondered what it is or how you can get started with PPC for your business? We’re here to help you understand the basics and get you started with PPC If you decide its right for you.
What Is PPC?
PPC is a form of online advertising that helps to drive interested visitors to your website. It stands for pay per click because advertisers pay the search engines each time an ad is clicked, taking the visitor through to their website.
Who Should Use It?
Pay per click advertising is a very effective means of generating sales for a lot of businesses. It’s especially effective for those selling online, particularly online retailers. One of the reasons it is particularly successful is because it captures potential customers at the point they are actually searching for products or services that the advertisers are offering. This means the user is already highly interested in something or even ready to buy, making the potential sale much easier to convert.
The only way to really find out if it works for you is to try it out. However, there are also a few cases in which PPC may not be ideal. Firstly, campaigns do require time and management to perform effectively. If they’re set up and ignored they’re very unlikely to produce the results you’re looking for. If you don’t have the time to invest yourself or the budget to allow someone to manage your PPC campaigns then they might not be the best form of advertising for you.
Aside from those who are pushed for time, there are a few other circumstances when PPC might not be the best choice. To be effective, paid search needs to generate a positive return on investment. If your campaigns don’t convert often enough or your average order value is too low then you might not find this a profitable form of advertising. Equally, some markets have such high bid prices you might find the cost per click is just not achievable. Finally, if you sell products or services that usually require a long sales process rather than a direct conversion you might struggle to make the figures add up. However PPC can be a valid part of lead generation so bear this in mind when you’re measuring success.
Pros and Cons of PPC
As with any advertising medium, PPC has pros and cons. Here are some of the plusses and minuses of investing in PPC:
- Direct response
- Easy to track
- Highly engaged audience
- Budgets can be managed closely
- Increased visibility
- A badly managed account can spend unnecessarily
- Clicks don’t always convert
- You need time to manage your account
- PPC takes time to succeed
How Widely Used Is PPC?
Paid search is a popular form of advertising. In a recent survey by Ascend 2, 29% of respondents indicated that paid search was one of the most effective channels for their digital marketing plan to include. What’s more, the IAB’s 2016 revenue report as discussed by Search Engine Land states that paid search spend accounted for 48% of total digital spend in 2016.
This goes to show that PPC is big business, and if you haven’t got started yet, you could be missing out.
How To Get Started
Here’s our quick step-by-step guide on getting started with paid search.
- Learn: don’t jump in until you’ve learned the basics of PPC, how it works and what you want out of it. Think about your goals, how you will measure them and who your competition is. Think about realistic budgets and what level of return would be acceptable for your business.
- Management: once you have decided PPC is the right option for you, think about how your campaigns will be managed. Are you planning to learn the ins and outs and manage the campaigns yourself? Perhaps you’d like to train up a member of staff to take on the responsibility? Or maybe you don’t want the hassle and would prefer an agency who is already adept at managing PPC to keep things in good order for you?
- Account: in order to make a start you’ll need an account to run your PPC ads from. The most popular is Google Adwords, because based on current statistics Google dominates the market share with over 77% of search engine use. However, Bing ads is also a contender which has the potential to provide better value depending on your audience and campaign. Whichever you choose, the first step is to get your account set up.
- How To Set Up A Google Adwords Account – this guide from Google explains how to go about setting up an adwords account.
- How To Set Up A Bing Ads Account – this guide from Bing covers setting up a Bing ads account.
- Research: next, you or your agency should do some in-depth research into the products or services you sell using the Adwords keyword research tool. This will help to assess the size of your market and the competitive landscape.
- Set Up: campaigns should be structured, set up and prepared for launch. This should be done with great care, as the structure you choose may have a knock on effect on how your campaigns can be run. If you’re doing the setup yourself and you’re unsure where to start, check out this discussion on how to set up a good PPC account structure.
- Test, Monitor, Learn: after launch, the work doesn’t stop. You or your agency should regularly monitor results and adjust budgets and ad copy to improve performance.
Getting started with PPC can seem like a challenging task but it can pay dividends. If you’ve never tried it, it’s certainly something you should consider as part of your marketing mix!