If you work within the world of marketing, you’ll have certainly heard of PPC, and probably know how to effectively use it. But for most people, the term ‘PPC’ is just another acronym that they’re confused by!
So what exactly is PPC? PPC stands for Pay Per Click, which means that each time a PPC ad is clicked online, the advertiser pays a fee. Essentially, it’s a way of driving traffic to a site through paid advertising, rather than by relying on organic traffic.
how does ppc work?
When you advertise using PPC, it’s not as simple as paying more money for your ads to rank higher than those of your competitors. Though you may end up paying more for certain keywords – we’ll cover this in more detail below.
Ads instead have to go through what is known as the ‘Ad Auction’, which is an automated process that Google and other search engines use to determine the relevance of the ad, which in turn dictates where the ad appears on their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Search Engine Advertising
As you can guess by the name, the Ad Auction is made up of bids. So advertisers have to bid on particular terms that relate to their ads – these terms will then show relevant advertisements. The terms advertisers bid on are referred to as keywords.
For instance, if your business specialises in art and craft supplies, you’ll know that when consumers are looking for such items, they’ll enter keywords like ‘watercolours’ ‘acrylic paint’ and ‘art’ into the search engine.
Once the consumer has submitted their query, the Ad Auction will happen behind the scenes, using a host of algorithmic calculations. Such calculations will determine which ads are displayed, and in what order.
This is where the cost of keywords comes in. Obviously you’ll only bid on keywords that are relevant to your business – the art and craft supplier won’t bid on ‘camping supplies’ for example. But the keywords with high search volumes are almost always more expensive than lesser used keywords, so you’ll need to carefully consider which keywords to bid on to get ROI (Return on Investment) from your ad spend.
ppc keyword research
Because of the highly competitive nature of keyword bidding, it’s essential to research relevant keywords for your business. To be honest, this is usually a time consuming process, and a constantly ongoing one. But as your PPC campaign will be built around keywords, the businesses that have the most success with PPC will constantly reassess and adjust their list of keywords.
So how do you determine the best keywords to bid on? How much you spend on PPC will be a major factor, but a few other considerations include:
- Are the words relevant? You don’t want to pay for traffic if the consumers are not looking for products related to yours. If you want to get a higher PPC click through rate, you’ll need to bid on targeted keywords, closely related to the products and services you sell.
- Have you included long tail keywords? A long tail keyword is something that, while related to your business, won’t be the most popular or the most frequently searched term. As these keywords are less competitive, they should be less expensive, and if you have an exhaustive list of long tail keywords, this will probably drive most of your traffic.
- When did you last review your list? The world of PPC is constantly changing, so you need to adapt your strategy on a regular basis in order to keep up! You should therefore expand and refine your campaigns frequently.
In case you’re worried about having to determine which keywords to use completely by yourself, don’t panic! You can find high ranking and long tail keywords specific to your industry using one of numerous platforms. Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is generally a popular choice.
managing ppc campaigns
As mentioned above, you can’t just let a PPC campaign run by itself in the background. You need to constantly adjust and refine your approach. You can do this in a number of ways, and not all of them directly relate to PPC.
First, let’s go through the top three ways to manage your PPC campaign directly:
- Keep an eye on costly keywords – if they are not performing as well as they should, you should consider pausing them or stop bidding on them entirely.
- Keep adding relevant keywords to your PPC campaign, whether they are popular or long tail keywords
- Don’t forget to add negative keywords to your campaign, which will reduce your spend and ensure your campaign stays relevant
When it comes to other ways to manage your PPC campaign, it’s important to make sure that you don’t send all your traffic to the same page. While having a high ranking homepage is important, if you have pages specific to certain keywords, it’s a good idea to direct traffic to those pages instead.
You should also review the pages themselves, to ensure that they have clear CTAs (Calls to Action) that align with the search queries you’re bidding on.
Optimising a PPC campaign isn’t always easy, and will take time and dedication. If you’re looking for help and advice on managing your campaign, The Pineapple Agency would love to hear from you.