If you are here, it means you want to find out if pay per click advertising really works and that is totally fine.
People are constantly online, yet they still don’t know what pay-per-click, or even PPC is and how it works.
If you have ever used a search engine to search the internet for anything, you must have noticed the advertisements that appear alongside search results on Bing, Google or any other search engine.
Those advertisements are called pay-per-click advertisements.
You see, it hasn’t always been like that.
Before now, people would just go to Google and search for results and they would just appear straight-up without advertisements, but what is the use of space that can’t be utilized?
In this article, we would take a deep dive into Pay-per-click advertisement to figure out what it really is, how and if it really works, and how to make it useful for your business while also considering its pros and cons.
At the end of this article, you would be able to make the best decisions about PPC advertising as it concerns your business or a product or service you are intending to promote.
What is Pay-Per-click Advertising?
Pay-per-click advertising is an advertising model that allows online advertisers pay for their advertisement each time an internet user clicks on their online ads.
This is how it works – you apply to advertise your services with Google and they show it to as many people as your budget would allow and whenever an online user clicks on your ad, Google would charge you a stipulated amount.
For instance, whenever an internet user clicks on your advert (since it is usually a link to another page), Google will charge you say, $5 for each ad click, hence the name “pay-per-click”
If your advert generates 500 clicks, you would be charged say, $2500.
There are so many other online advertising models like Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) or Cost-Per-Thousand Advertising and the rest but the most common is the paid search engine advertisements. These ads only appear when people search for things online, especially when they search for things related to your adverts. This could be anything from a search for a “hotel near me” to “the best resort in Arizona”.
There are however, other forms of PPC advertising which include display advertisements (in form of display banners) and remarketing.
How Does PPC Advertising Work?
The thing is, no advertiser is allowed to determine where their adverts would appear in a Search Engine Result Page (SERP) by paying better than other advertisers in order for their ads to be shown to people first. Instead, all the adverts are subjected to “Ad Audition”.
Ad audition is an automated process that Google or any other search Engine uses to determine how relevant or how valid an advert is before it appears online.
Ad Audition is an ad bidding system that allows advertisers to bid on the best terms they would like to use to display their adverts. Those terms are known as “keywords”. Keywords are a set of texts you incorporate into your ads that helps trigger your ads for display.
Let us look at this SERP below and see what we can find.
Let’s say you are searching for “the best auto-detailers in L.A”.
The moment you enter that search “query” in the search engine, it would return a few web pages together with some adverts (that usually appears before the web pages so it gets seen first).
In our search, the key word is “best Auto-detailers in L.A”. This means that all the adverts it would display would be pointing you to auto-detailers in Los Angeles.
Since the advertisers are to pay a certain amount for each click, they are charged the moment you click on their ads.
Only the search engine figures out which ads to show first.
The Advantages of Pay-Per-Click Advertising
There are so many advantages of PPC Advertising, especially if you are intending to make sales online.
Granted, your regular local advertising may have done so well but with pay-per-click, it is about to do even better.
Let us take a look at some of the top advantages of PPC Advertising.
- You Control Your Budget
Isn’t it what it should be? For you to be in the driver’s seat and control how much you spend and how long to spend what?
While setting up your ad, you set a certain budget for your “ad campaign” (you can increase or reduce at any time).
The fun part is that when you realize that a certain keyword is costing you more, you can change it to another keyword that has a lower cost-per-click rate that can also target your desired audience or you can turn it off and focus your budget on the keywords that are performing best- this allows you to make the most out of every cent.
- You Get Fast Results
The internet is like a busy marketplace. People are constantly searching for stuff using the keywords you are bidding on and, you could have a lead or two almost instantly.
Now, this doesn’t happen always but you don’t have to wait for so long for you to have a great ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). For me, this is great news.
Think about it for a moment, if you are selling a product as an affiliate, you don’t have to wait for days to make a sale and gain your commission. It works out really fine because your adverts are displayed to so many people than you would have ordinarily reached.
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- Gain Better Brand Recognition in Less Time
The fact that your PPC ads are showing up more frequently positions your brand better to gain better recognition.
If you just started a company, this is a great way to announce yourself and also rank for keywords that helps you dominate the industry.
- You Pay for Only Clicks
Paying only when people click on your adverts saves you money and exposes you to people at the same time (for free), knowing that there is a possibility that not everyone that sees your ads would click on it.
Also, you stand a chance to get 100% ROAS when handled effectively.
The difference between CPC and CPM Advertising is that you are paying for clicks (and gaining a little exposure on the side from people who would not click on your ads) while CPM only looks out for impressions and pays for every thousand impressions.
There is really no need to put in so much money in writing highly converting copies and designing landing pages like you would with CPM.
- Performance Tracking
You can monitor your ad performance to see how it is performing and what to adjust or change for it to perform better.
These results you will get while monitoring is a great resource for you when you are analyzing performance as you plan your next ad.
The depth of available metrics with PPC allows you to have a good understanding of your entire ad campaign from start to finish.
- Immune to S.E.O Changes
Search Engine Optimization rules changes anyhow. It has become increasingly difficult and complex to keep ranking for a keyword continually.
While there are regular updates to PPC, they are not as frequent as SEO updates or changes. So, no matter what Google algorithm twists, your ads will continue to perform as good without any need to change anything.
- Increased Web Traffics & Sales
PPC helps you generate web traffic almost instantly.
SEO and Social media are other great ways to generate good traffic but PPC (by virtue of the way it works) is guaranteed to generate you “crazy” leads within a very short while.
Since PPC advertising can give you a top-page exposure, you would generate web traffic to your landing page, website or blog instantly.
This also helps you directly target potential buyers of your products based on where they are in the customer journey or buying process as they usually are willing to make a purchase before clicking on any link.
The Disadvantages of Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Are there disadvantages to PPC advertising? Well, the answer is a “Yes!”
Let’s take a look at 3 of the top disadvantages of PPC advertising, shall we?
- Skills Required
You waste so much money running ads by yourself if you are not well skilled in running PPC ads.
It therefore requires that you spend quality time learning the skill so you can handle it effectively or you employ a specialist.
Whether you want to learn it or employ someone, it is always fine to do it well so that you’re your ROAS would handle whatever it cost you to learn or employ a specialist.
If you have the time and patience, it is always better you learn how to do it yourself. For how long would you be paying a specialist to keep running your ads for you?
- No Guarantee of Sales
PPC would allow you to get the clicks and visits you are paying for but not all clicks and visits would lead to sales.
This is entirely dependent on you and not Google or any search engine.
To get the most out of it, be sure to have the most effective copies written by a good copywriter and a great, conversion based landing page or website.
You should also put in the effort to nurture those leads and turn them into buying customers.
- PPC is Relatively Expensive
However profitable PPC is, it is still relatively expensive. Regular SEO would generate more leads at little or no cost compared to PPC any day any time (however slow it is).
PPC is very fast. If you need sales or leads quickly, optimize your ads in such a way that it would generate great results with less expenditure.
Should My Business Use PPC?
What are your business goals?
Do you have a budget for marketing?
Over 40% of small businesses use PPC to grow their businesses currently and they all are following effective ppc trends.
If your goals align with quick returns or sales and your marketing budget can handle it, then you should give it a shot.
Let’s say you run a hair salon down in Manhattan and you need more clients before Thanksgiving or even Christmas (since it is a few weeks away).
Running a PPC advert would do you good if you want to expose your hair salon to more persons and with a great offer, you should expect more clients in a day or two.
The catch is this: the adverts would generate leads, your ability to nurture those leads and turn them into customers with a convincing and outrageous offer is what positions you better to make sales.
All of the advantages as listed above should give you a push to try out PPC but be careful enough to consider your budget and marketing goals.