Pay Per Click Advertising

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a complex digital marketing channel. It presents a significant opportunity for digital marketers to increase their traffic and conversion metrics. But without a smart strategy and careful tactic, pay-per-click can cause major headaches.

We have put together the answers to some of the most common questions we are asked to better explain PPC marketing.

What is PPC (Pay per click) marketing?

Pay-per-click marketing is an advertising channel in which advertisers do not pay for the impression or the placement of the ad. The amount of the bid can affect placement, but the advertiser only pays when an online user clicks on their ad.

The most common PPC ad format appears on the results pages of search engines such as Google or Bing. Advertisers have the opportunity to bring their brand, product, or service to the fore in the form of an ad targeting a specific keyword or behavior.

Below is a recent results page for the query “solar panels”.

Everything that is highlighted in red is an advertisement. Yes, it is everything that appears on this search engine results page (SERP).

What do PPC ads look like?

Most PPC ads appear in search results, but not all. There are three main types of pay-per-click marketing ads.

Text Ads

A text ad is made up of text written by the advertiser. The format and character limits depend on the PPC platform you are working on. Text ads are typically triggered through the Search Network when users search Google or Bing for a keyword included in their PPC campaign. We’ll see how keywords and ads are selected later.

Display ads

A display ad is typically delivered in the format of a moving image or graphic. PPC platforms that serve display ads often have size and content requirements that advertisers must meet when creating their visual creativity.

Display ads typically appear and are available for placement on websites all over the Internet. Ads are placed contextually on the websites visited by the advertiser’s target market.

Shopping Ads

A Shopping Ads typically appears after a user submits an inquiry through a search or purchase engine. Shopping Ads usually contain an image of the product, the price of the product, and any pertinent specifications such as size, color, dimensions, etc.

What are the main PPC platforms?

There are countless platforms that offer PPC text, display, and buy ads, but there are three main platforms that you cannot ignore:

Google Ads

Google Ads is Google’s main PPC advertising platform. Google offers pay-per-click advertising on its Search Network and searches partner sites, along with image and video advertising on its Display Network. Advertising on YouTube is available through the Google Ads platform.

Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) is Microsoft’s PPC advertising platform. The platform enables pay-per-click advertising on its Search Network (Bing.com) and searches partner sites (including Yahoo.com) along with native advertising on Microsoft-owned web properties (such as MSN).

Advertising on Amazon

More than 46% of product-focused searches start on Amazon.

Amazon Advertising is the fastest-growing PPC platform for eCommerce retailers. Amazon enables advertisers to create display and shopping-centric campaigns that promote their products on the Amazon shopping network.

Should My Business Try PPC Marketing?

If you have a website, you should consider PPC advertising as a marketing channel. The keyword is “consider”. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you have to go into PPC.

Before starting your first PPC marketing campaign, consider your budget, your advertising goals, your competition, and your tolerance for risk:

  • Do you have a clear conversion goal? PPC advertising is most effective when the money spent can be linked to a conversion, such as a transaction or filling in a form. Clear conversion goals will help you achieve this.
  • What do you want to achieve? PPC is great for responsive and agile advertising. But when spending stops, PPC stops producing. If you want to balance it with earned media, try adding search engine optimization to the mix.
  • How much can you spend on PPC before you get a return on investment? Reality check: Your ads won’t produce instant results. Be prepared to spend some money without getting a return. It can be $ 50 or $ 50,000. Keep a number in mind.

You don’t have to have a definitive answer to all of these questions. What you do have to do is consider them before launching.

What are the potential benefits of PPC marketing?

PPC marketing has four distinct benefits:

  • Speed. Advertisers can quickly drive a significant amount of traffic to their website. If managed effectively, PPC marketing is one of the fastest digital marketing strategies to drive traffic growth and conversion.
  • Precision. Creating a highly targeted audience to show your ads to is easy, especially on the search and shopping networks.
  • Agility. Performance data is available almost immediately, making it easy to make quick adjustments to improve your campaign’s chances of success.
  • Measurement. With effective conversion tracking, advertisers can see the ROI of their ads.

What are the potential dangers of PPC marketing?

Although PPC has clear advantages, this advertising model has potential problems that advertisers should be aware of.

  • Cost. Depending on your competition and the industry you work in, PPC marketing can be very expensive. Some ads can cost more than $ 100 per click. (Don’t worry, this is not common, but it does show the variability of the PPC market due to its auction model.)
  • Waste. Due to the technical nature of most PPC platforms, it is common for the ad to spend to go to waste without knowing the platform.
  • Volume. PPC marketing, especially on the Search Network, is often dependent on search volume. If users aren’t searching for your
    product or service, Search and Buy ads won’t generate much traffic.

What type of PPC ads should my business buy?

The type of PPC ads you buy depends entirely on your marketing strategy and goals. It is important to consider the conversion funnel when deciding the type of networks and ads in which you will appear.

Display advertising for top-of-the-funnel marketing strategies

If you want to publicize your business and pique their interest, pay-per-click ads on display networks are a good option. Display networks and display ad strategies are geared towards advertisers who want to reach potential customers who are starting an investigation, are not ready to buy, but can remember a brand for a later purchase.

PPC ads are at the top of the tunnel, but they are still segmentable and allow creative freedom. Not only can you take advantage of user targeting options to make sure your ads are showing to the right people, but you can also use image and video assets to grab the user’s attention. These creative options offer the opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors and get your message across effectively, creating new leads and increasing the size of your sales funnel from top to bottom.

Display networks tend to offer lower average cost-per-click figures, allowing advertisers to get a higher number of impressions and clicks compared to the search network. However, display network traffic is often of lower quality than search network traffic if the intent of those visitors is observed.

Search network and buy campaigns for medium and low tunnel strategies

Potential customers are looking for your brand or the products and/or services that you offer. They are aware of a problem and are looking for how to solve it, they are aware of a solution and they look for companies that can help them, or they are aware of your brand and they are looking for you specifically. They are found in the desire and action parts of the marketing funnel.

Pay-per-click ads through the Search Network will help ensure that you are fully visible, front and center in a SERP when users submit these queries. Traffic from the Search and Shopping Network is often more expensive than from the display network, but searches are much further down the funnel, which means they are more likely to convert to what you offer.

What are the basic components of a search network campaign?

Search Network campaigns contain a large number of components necessary to enable eligible ads on search engines such as Google and Bing.

Let’s take a look at those components:

Campaigns

A campaign is the highest level of organization in a PPC account. Each campaign you create will host a set of ad groups, each of which hosts a list of keywords and corresponding text ads. All the settings that govern your ads – placement targeting or ad scheduling are just two examples – are set at the campaign level. Also, each campaign you create will have a daily budget.

To learn more about the different settings you can use in a given campaign, see the first part of our guide to creating a Google Ads account.

Ad groups

As mentioned above, each ad group that you create will contain a list of keywords along with a corresponding set of ads that can show when one of those keywords is triggered in an auction. Your keyword lists should be granular and closely themed so that you can keep your account well organized and tailor your ad text to your keywords. This will help improve the relevance of any ad to the keywords it is linked to and maximize quality scores.

Regardless of how you decide to separate your ad groups, you must do so consistently across each campaign. For example, if you have a campaign for each category on your website, you can differentiate each ad group by subcategory. Of course, you can tailor the structure of that ad group as needed based on performance over time.

To understand the importance of the structure of your ad groups and campaigns, see the second part of our guide to creating a Google Ads account.

Going back a moment, this is the organizational hierarchy of a PPC account when looking at the structure and relationship between campaigns and ad groups:

Keywords and match types

Keywords are terms and phrases that you identify and that determine where you want your ad to appear when someone searches for a related search query. When any of your keywords are triggered by a user’s search, it enters an auction with the competitor’s keywords that have also entered that auction.

Keywords are set to one of four match types:

  • Broad match
  • Modified broad match
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

The match type you select for each keyword determines which queries can trigger your ad.

For example, if you bid on the keyword “rain jacket” in the broad match, the search query “waterproof fleece” may be close enough to Google satisfaction to trigger that keyword and its corresponding ad. However, if you were to bid on the keyword “rain jacket” in the Exact Match, only the search queries “rain jacket” or “rain jackets” would be eligible to trigger your PPC ad.

Advertisers can also add negative keywords to campaigns and/or ad groups. Negative keywords are terms or phrases that you want to make sure Google doesn’t trigger one of your ads.

A common example is the use of the negative keyword “free”. Using the “rain jacket” example, the search query “free rain jacket” would not trigger that keyword if “free” is added as a negative keyword to this campaign or ad group.

Text ads and extensions

Text ads are what users see on SERPs after they submit a query that triggered one of your ads. Text ads must be directly related to the list of keywords they are linked to within an ad group and must be tailored to the content of your landing page so that a user’s expectations are appropriately set if they decide to click. in your ad.

There are four components to every text ad:

  • Headlines: Up to three (minimum two) with a limit of 30 characters for each headline.
  • Description lines: Up to two (minimum one) with a 90 character limit for each description line.
  • Path: Up to two (no minimum) that will be displayed after the domain URL in the ad unit itself. These are for cosmetic purposes only and do not affect the actual URL of the landing page you want to send the user to.
  • Final URL: The URL of the landing page that you will send the user to once they click your ad.

All text ads must adhere to editorial guidelines and run the risk of being disapproved (not eligible for ad impressions and clicks) if they violate any of those guidelines. Although similar, Google and Microsoft Advertising have different editorial guidelines.

In addition to the text ad unit itself (shown above), advertisers can also use ad extensions to provide search engines with more information about their business directly on the SERPs. These extensions appear below your text ad and allow you to take up more space in the SERPs when they are displayed.

Here’s a PPC ad that effectively uses the site link ad extension in its existing text ad:

Landing pages

A landing page is a page that a visitor lands on after clicking on your PPC ad. The URL of this page is equivalent to the final URL of your text ad. The landing page you choose should be directly related to the ad text so that the user sees what they expect once they click. Otherwise, you risk users leaving your site and losing potential customers.

 

An optimal PPC landing page should focus on the action you want the user to take. For example, if you want the user to buy a specific product from you, the landing page you use should focus on that product with high-quality content and an obvious and easy option to buy that product. As such, a landing page should limit the user’s options to navigate away from this action that you want the user to take.

What are the basic components of a shopping campaign?

E-commerce retailers can use the shopping ads offered by Google or Bing, among other platforms. These ads allow advertisers to display their products directly on a SERP. Potential customers can view essential information (eg price, product image) before clicking on your site. To generate these ads from your PPC account, you must format and upload a product data feed to a corresponding Merchant Center account which is then linked to your PPC account.

Once the product feed is successfully uploaded to Merchant Center, you can create shopping campaigns. These campaigns do not use keywords or text ads; Google matches the information in your product feed (for example, product title, product description) to match a product with a user’s search query. Google then uses the essential information from your feed about that product to automatically generate a purchase ad.

To get the most out of your ads and shopping campaigns, it is essential that you have an optimized product feed.

What are the basic components of a display campaign?

Display network campaigns on a PPC account are a great way to build awareness of your brand, product, and/or offers. Display campaigns typically contain image or video ads that are shown to users that match your targeting criteria on websites that choose to show display ads on your website.

Advertisers have several audiences targeting options at their disposal with display campaigns, including

  • User demographic data
  • User interests (based on search history)
  • Users in the market for specific products or services
  • Content of the website

Advertisers can also use display ads to re-market to user audiences who have already visited their site. For example, if you want to show a specially discounted image ad only to users who have visited your site but not converted, you can set up a remarketing campaign to do so.

How can I find out more about PPC?

Pay-per-click marketing is a complex digital marketing tactic. It can be a risky marketing channel if not managed properly.

However, it offers significant value and has to be a staple for any successful digital marketing campaign. Know your goals, set your budget, and test carefully.

If you want to know more, we are constantly adding PPC-focused content to our website.

Clicking365.com also offers PPC marketing services for businesses large and small. If you are interested in working with Clicking365 or in learning more about how we could work together, please contact us.

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