What Is PPC?

Not too long after you start delving into the world of online marketing, you’ll hear the term PPC and how critical it is to any effective digital advertising. PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s a basic measurement organizations use to understand how much money they have to spend to trigger some sort of consumer action. With PPC, you’re paying only for actions consumers take as opposed to paying simply for the placement of a banner ad, for example. PPC ads often appear on search engines like Google and Bing, as well as on social media platforms like Facebook.

If you look closely, whenever you search for something online, you’ll see certain results marked with “Ad.”Those ads are placed by companies that created a marketing campaign whereby their ad is placed at the top of certain search results. For instance, if a shoe company wants to target customers, anytime someone types “where to buy new shoes” into a search bar, their ad will appear on top of the page. If you click their ad link, then they’re on the hook to pay for the ad. That, in a nutshell, is PPC.

PPC and other metrics have been a boon for marketing teams around the country. Results are instantly evident, and you can adjust the ads you’re using, who you’re targeting, how effective your retargeting efforts are, and a million other marketing actions you can take. PPC is a critical piece of your marketing feedback loop.

Some Different Types of PPC Ads

Not all PPC ads are the same. There are several types designed for different marketing goals. Here are four of the main types of PPC ads.

Text Ads – Text ads are the most basic type of PPC ads. They’re the search results marked “Ad” that we’ve mentioned previously. The organization placing the ad writes the ad in hopes that you’ll see it at the top of your search results and click through to their website.

Display Ads – Display ads are similar to text ads except that they add some sort of image to the advertisements. Embedded display ads appear on websites you visit and are based on users’ web activities, search inquiries, and other online behaviors. For example, if a company knows that a target demographic frequents a certain website, they’ll place display ads at the bottom of that site’s webpages. Anytime a user clicks on the ad, they have to pay a certain amount.

Shopping Ads – Google, Facebook, and other technology companies are incredibly smart. They’ve gotten extremely effective at delivering the information you need very quickly. That includes matching buyers with products they’re looking for. Shopping ads are ads that usually have a picture of a product, the price, and customer reviews along with it. They’re located somewhere on the front page of search results.

Video Ads – A lot of online marketing is trending toward video content. People like consuming content in videos, it’s more interactive, and there are things like emotions that can be communicated more easily over video. With video PPC, some form of a video ad is created that’s designed to trigger consumer behavior like clicking a link.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Spend

Every company engaged in selling, influencing, or building a brand online should be using PPC as part of their overall marketing strategy. According to Ross Kernez Head of Growth at Marble says that one of the biggest advantages of PPC is the ability to measure the effectiveness of the money you’re spending to drive traffic. Marketing is much less of a guessing game than with PPC. You’ll know exactly what dollar amount you have to pay to get a certain amount of money in sales.

PPC typically requires constant honing of the right search parameters to find the right audience that acts via buying your products, filling out a form with their contact information, joining an email list, or visiting your site.

The trick to PPC is spending money that grows traffic and improves conversions. Marketers should be careful, though, to closely track what they’re spending and what kind of results PPC is yielding. PPC for popular search terms is priced expensively because tech companies know they’re in high demand. It’s easy to blow through marketing budgets with a shotgun approach, so PPC needs to be done methodically and surgically to find the right consumers ready to buy.

With PPC, marketers can experiment as well. Testing potential audiences are much easier. It’s a lot faster to push an ad to 100 people on Facebook and see how it works rather than sign a contract for a highway billboard in hopes that people driving by will remember your ad and act once they’re home. The flexibility of PPC allows marketing teams and small business owners to refine advertising strategy so every dollar you’re spending is driving sales with more confidence.

Creating Key Word Search Campaigns

With PPC, you can pay to have your ad appear every time a member of your target audience types in a pre-determined search inquiry or visits a certain website. It’s vital to effective PPC campaigns that you create a list of keywords that correspond well with your company’s advertisements. You can track how often each of your ads is clicked after a keyword is typed into a search bar. The higher conversions should be paired together most often for optimal results. There needs to be consistency in your campaigns. It will allow you to go back and analyze what worked and what didn’t and make your PPC even better in the future.