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PPC 101: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC

PPC 101: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC

Around 80 percent of businesses spend a quarter or more of their marketing budget on digital ads. There are many ways to incorporate digital marketing into a strategy. Most of them are affordable.

The bottom line is clear. People are investing in digital marketing.

As we said, there are quite a few different options if you want to include digital marketing in your plan. One of the best-known is pay-per-click, or PPC advertising.

If you haven’t explored this option yet, we’re here to help. Think of this guide as a sort of PPC 101.

We’ll introduce you to the concept of PPC and how it works. Then we’ll go over why PPC matters and how it works with your other marketing initiatives.

PPC 101: Defining the Term

What is the PPC meaning anyway? This abbreviation stands for “pay-per-click.” It’s one of the oldest forms of online advertising.

PPC should be familiar to most marketers. Like older, print forms of advertising, you’ll rely on ads to use this method of marketing. You’ve likely seen banner ads and pop-ups on any number of websites you visit.

The difference is that, with PPC, you only pay when the ad gets clicked. That’s where the name comes from.

The system of purchasing is also a little different. You’ll bid on different keywords. If your bid is successful, your ad will be shown when someone searches a particular term on Google or Bing.

This is why PPC is also sometimes called “search engine marketing.” Search engine PPC is one form of this advertising.

Search engines aren’t the only pay per click sites though. Facebook, for example, has a PPC ad system.

Once you’ve won your bid, your ad will be displayed to users searching particular terms. If those users then click your ad, you’ll pay what you bid. The price is set per click.

How to Use PPC

Adding PPC marketing to your digital marketing strategy is easy. You can sign up for an ad network like Google Ads (formerly Adwords). Then you’ll bid on various keywords. When you win the bid, your ad will display for that search term.

Seems simple, right? It is, in theory. Using PPC in practice can become a little more complex.

The first thing you need to do is set a budget. It’s also important to pick the right keywords. Bidding for common keywords can become quite fierce, so you might end up overpaying.

Another issue is picking poor keywords. While you may not end up paying much, you also won’t drive much traffic to your website. Those visitors who do arrive on your site might not be the potential customers you’re looking for.

Finally, you’ll want to pay attention to the quality of your ads. Ad text is important in convincing people to click on the ad. Ads with images outperform pure text ads as well.

You should aim to create quality ads, just the same as you would for any other advertising campaign. There are a few rules to make digital ads more effective, so be sure to follow them.

Why You Need PPC

The next question you likely have is about the benefits of PPC for your business. Many people feel PPC is outmoded or doesn’t drive the results they want. Some think it’s too expensive for how much they get out of it.

When done right, PPC can be an effective part of your marketing.

Some people will tell you that it’s more important to invest in SEO or content marketing. They might tell you PPC isn’t a good choice.

They’re forgetting that SEO and PPC actually go hand in hand. When you use only one or the other, you only have half a marketing strategy. A holistic marketing plan uses both and lets them support each other.

SEO makes your website more visible during organic searches. PPC, by contrast, can put your website front and center when competition for the top spot is stiff.

PPC is also a better choice for time-limited offers, like sales. SEO takes time to work, whereas PPC can drive instant results.

The ROI of PPC

How effective is PPC? Google reports that businesses make $2 for every $1 they spend in Adwords.

PPC’s effectiveness can be seen in other ways. For example, PPC visitors are more likely to buy something from you.

The intent is also clear. Ads receive more clicks than even the top-ranked result when the search term starts with buying keywords.

From these figures, it should be clear PPC can be an effective and important part of your campaign. Using PPC gives you total control of your campaign, something you can’t achieve with SEO alone.

Building Great PPC Campaigns

As we’ve stressed, the success of your PPC efforts hinges on your ability to create great campaigns.

The quality of your ads is one key component. You’ll want to be sure you’re using catchy, attractive ad text. Images help too.

Selecting the right target market is also important. If your ads are reaching the wrong people, you’re less likely to find success.

Keywords and budgeting are two other important factors in a PPC campaign. The right keywords will help you reach the right people and stay on budget. A good budget will help you control costs so your campaign can achieve a higher ROI.

Finally, make sure you’re testing your ads. Try out a few variants and see which ones perform best.

If you’re still hesitant about building a PPC ad campaign, you can reach out to an experienced PPC company. Their expert team can help you do keyword research or test out variants of ads.

Start a PPC Campaign Today

That concludes our PPC 101 lesson. Now that you know the basics, you should be ready to get started with your very first PPC campaign.

Remember that help is always close at hand. If you need expert advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help you build successful PPC campaigns for your business.

Soar Into 2019 With These Top 10 PPC Trends

Soar Into 2019 With These Top 10 PPC Trends

Businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 spent on Google AdWords. Will this continue with the latest PPC trends or will your business notice a drop in your ROI?

If you think that changes are negative, that isn’t always the case. As PPC changes and evolves, those that evolve with it and get ahead of the trends will see major gains. 

What you do not want is to fall behind the trends. If you fall behind the trends, your business could suffer greatly if you depend on sales from PPC. Continue reading this article to learn what trends to look for in 2019.

Don’t Miss Out on These PPC Trends

Staying ahead of the pack in SEO and PPC is one of the growth secrets for many businesses winning with inbound marketing. Make sure your business is ahead of the trends with the following ten tips.

1. Mobile Is on the Rise

In 2018, 52.2% of website visitors accessed the internet via mobile devices. PPC for mobile is a growing market, but many marketers are letting it pass them by. Ads that aren’t optimized for mobile won’t have as good a conversion rate as those that are specifically crafted for mobile.

Make sure your ads are written for mobile and that your website is mobile responsive. You want to provide a seamless experience for your new potential customers.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence or AI was at work in 2018, but in 2019, it is going to be even more active. The ability for marketers to automate their PPC campaigns will be because of the latest developments and uses of AI in the digital marketing space.

Having AI working on your behalf will allow your PPC campaign to operate at its highest level. Learning how AI works and how you can use it to skyrocket past your competition is a necessity for 2019 PPC.

3. Amazon Is Edging In on the Big G

Remember when Google AdWords was the only place you could run a PPC campaign? Facebook came onto the scene and started to gain market share. Facebook and Google have been enjoying the ability to be the go-to providers in this space.

In 2019, Amazon is getting more attention as a PPC campaign provider. People already trust Amazon, and it is one of the highest performing platforms online which makes it an obvious choice for advertising.

4. Voice Search Is Working

Voice search has been growing in popularity over the past couple of years, but 2019 is the year for exponential growth for voice search. SEO and PPC are going to notice major changes in results as more people use their smartphones and home devices for voice searches.

5. More Data for Audience Targeting

While companies like Facebook have received some serious flack about their data practices, that doesn’t mean data-driven audience targeting is going away any time soon. In 2019, your company will have even more data available for targeting the right audience for your offer.

Data-driven PPC targeting isn’t only good for you, but it is also good for your potential customers. Your business has the solution that they need, and when your ad shows up, they can find the solution easily.

6. Visual Searching Widely Adopted

Google and Pinterest have had the ability to search by image for some time, but sometimes the results aren’t the best. As technology develops, more people will use visual searching. Your consumers will be able to use their camera to search for your products and services which is an ability that will change the PPC world.

7. Easy Remarketing

Remarketing is a great way to get the sale that slipped through your company’s fingers. While your previous conversion efforts may not have been up to par, you can try again by remarketing to those same people that showed an interest in the past.

8. PPC & Social Media

As people continue to frequent social media, these venues are a great place to pick up more leads. PPC on social media will be another place you can get in front of your audience in 2019.

9. Get Ready to Pay Bigger Bucks

While there are more opportunities in the PPC world, that doesn’t mean prices will stay the same. With more opportunity, the price is going to go up on certain platforms.

If you are used to getting clicks for pennies on the dollar, that isn’t going to be as easy as it was in the past. The best thing you can do is understand the trends and how you can keep paying the lowest prices.

There are ways to ensure you don’t pay the highest prices on PPC platforms but it can take time to understand what is going on and why you’re getting charged so much. One of the biggest things you can do to make sure you keep your CPC low is creating highly relevant content. 

10. Personalize that Ad

The more specific you can get with your ads, the more effective you will be in 2019. You’ve most likely got ads that didn’t make any sense for you and it isn’t unlikely that you hit that unsubscribe or spam button.

Serving untargeted ads in 2019 is like trying to submit a kindergarten drawing at an art show. It most likely isn’t going to work unless you’re really lucky.

Increasing Your Visibility and Growth

While you can pay to be seen with PPC, if you aren’t keeping up with the latest PPC trends, your ad can get lost in the shuffle. With the above ten tips, you can start seeing great results. 

With the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, you may be frustrated and confused about your campaign. Instead of getting stuck in a rut, contact us today to find out how we can help you with your PPC campaigns.

5 Telltale Signs You Need to Switch PPC Companies

5 Telltale Signs You Need to Switch PPC Companies

Did you know that the majority of digital marketers work 8 hours or more each day?

That’s quite a bit of time these experts spend making people see their clients. But do you feel like your PPC company is working that much for you?

If not, it might be time to start thinking about switching. There are plenty of similar PPC companies out there, so you want to make sure you’re leaving for the right reasons.

The last thing you want to do is get stuck with another company with poor results. To help you decide if you should leave, we’re going to break down some telltale signs you need to leave your PPC company.

Read on to learn more!

1. Takes Too Long

There’s no doubt that many people few PPC management as a get-traffic-rich scheme. And, as we all know, this is not the case. You can’t expect a million hits within a week if you only had 1,000 the week before.

But, in fact, you can expect results in a relatively short amount of time. This depends on the business and the industry, but you shouldn’t have to wait too long to see a bump in your traffic.

Have you seen an increase in traffic since using PPC? It’s time to leave your PPC company if you said no to this question. Even if it has just been a few weeks, there should be some growth on your site.

Many PPC companies will say it can take half a year or more. This is not true at all. You can’t expect conversions right away, but traffic should increase.

The only reason it shouldn’t is if they bought ads for the wrong term. Make sure you know what they’ve used your money to pay for. You probably don’t want to waste money on an ad for “Coffee near me” if you sell tea.

Imagine spending money on any other marketing campaign and having to wait 6 months before it starts working. Does that sound ridiculous? 

That’s because it is.

2. Odd or No Results

Not only should you be seeing results, but also, you should be able to see those detailed PPC results

This is one of the most important parts of hiring a PPC company. They should be able to tell you exactly how your business is performing and what you could do better.

That means, if you’re not seeing results, it’s time to leave. Even if the results aren’t great, you should have access to information telling you how effective your money is.

Keep in mind that your PPC results aren’t always going to be perfect, and sometimes they might just be bad. If your agency gives you perfect results every time, consider investigating to make sure it’s true. 

Avoid Cookie Cutters

Along with this, your PPC company should not be sending you a standard statistics sheet they send to everyone. Although it’s okay for them to have a standard, they should be optimizing it to make it work for you.

For example, if you run an eCommerce site, chances are getting someone to your contact page isn’t the best conversion on your site. But for someone accepting clients, they need people to visit their contact page.

In other words, your PPC company should care about your specific brand. If not, move on.

3. A/B Testing

Any good marketer knows that A/B testing is one of the most important parts of optimizing your site. Nothing says unprofessionalism quite like avoiding A/B testing.

You shouldn’t expect your PPC company to do it all the time. But it should be a regular part of your advertising online.

Plus, this a quite simple process. All it takes is a few minutes to edit copy or to buy a different ad placement. Whatever it is, these reports shouldn’t be hard to create.

Before axing your PPC team for this, make sure to ask them about it. Sometimes they may have done it on their own.

If they have without telling you, this is a strike against them. And if they used the extra money that you allocated to them, you might want to find a new company.

4. Poor Communication

This is relevant to any business or freelancer you will work with. But with a PPC company, communication is everything.

Because you not only spend money on the company but also the campaigns they are doing, you have to make sure the PPC company has great communication. If they don’t, the may end up spending your money in a way that you don’t want.

Poor communication can also be a bad sign of other problems. If they can’t even communicate well, why would they do PPC well?

Missed calls, unopened emails, and more can all seem like small things at first. But after a few months of dealing with that, it’s time to move on to better professionals.

5. No Teaching

If you’ve been doing PPC for a few months now, you should know a thing or two about it. You might not be an expert, but you should feel comfortable with telling others about it.

Why?

Your PPC company should be teaching you how more and more about PPC. Over time, you should know what they know about the marketing strategy.

Of course, they will always be the experts. That’s why you’re paying them after all! But if you’re not learning anything, it could be a sign they don’t know much more than you do.

Give them a chance to explain why they haven’t been teaching you anything. If the reasoning is fair, it might not be time to move. But if it’s because they’re too busy or don’t know how to describe what they’re doing, you might want to move on.

Ready to Find New PPC Companies?

Deciding to leave your PPC company is a huge step, but if this article has resonated with you, it might be time to look at some other PPC companies. Make sure the new PPC company provides your results.

Ready to start your search? Guess what. It’s already over.

Check out our PPC management services to learn what we can do for you.

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