PPC, another digital marketing abbreviation. ‘But, what is PPC?’ If you’re not sure what it means, then it’s a good thing you clicked on this article. PPC basically stands for Pay Per Click. It’s a form of search engine marketing, involving advertising on a search engine like Google, Yahoo, and Bing too. PPC is so beneficial for businesses, no matter the size, because it allows you ultimate visibility on search engines, without the long work behind SEO.
Thinking about investing PPC? Don’t have the time to learn all about it? Well, good thing you're hearing. We’ve created a quick and brief guide to help you understand the world of PPC – so you can be confident investing in it. In this short guide, we’ll talk about what PPC is, how it works and why it should be used – because you’re busy, and who has the time to read an endless blog post. So, look no further for the basic information of PPC, we’ve got you covered.
What is PPC?
It’s already been said that PPC is a form of search engine marketing. Where SEO focuses on the organic ranking of a website, PPC focuses on paid means. By this, we mean that for PPC, you bid on a keyword that you imagine searchers would use to come across your site.
Paid search results are usually displayed on search engines over organic ones (as seen on Google). Normally 4 top ads appear at the top of search engine results pages, and your website and ad are up to scratch, your ad could appear too.
Pay per Click, as the name suggests means that you are charged for each click on your ad. Different factors make up the CPC (cost per click), but we’ll get into that when we explain how PPC works. All you need to know for now about the ‘what’, is that it’s a form of paid advertising on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
How does PPC work?
Because Google is the most popular search engine in the UK, we’ll be talking in terms of PPC in relation to Google and Google AdWords too. It all starts with a Google AdWords account, which is linked to your website. This means keyword research can be done to make sure it’s known what keywords and phrases a website ranks for – let’s put it this way, you don’t want your ad appearing in irrelevant searches.
Because PPC costs money, you don’t want your ad to just appear in any old search – you need to be sure it’s appearing in front of those who may buy your products or services. There are many different kinds of PPC ads, including website links or shopping ads (and more), but these all appear at the top of searches (above organic results).
AdWords kind of works in a similar way to an auction, with different companies bidding on selected keywords. The more bids there are, the higher the CPC. Popular search terms like ‘car insurance’ and other more generic terms can cost a lot (because of the number of companies who all bid for the same word). More specific keywords and terms cost less. But it’s a bidding war, with only 4 top places to grab. Then, once you’ve landed a rank, your CPC comes into play.
CPC is determined by different factors whilst being really complex and technical. The basic idea behind it is first determining your ad rank, which works as your CPC bid times by your website’s quality score. Your quality score is, well, the quality of your site. How the site works if all the links work well and is a good landing page for ad click-throughs.
The bidder with the highest quality score and bid will earn the top spot out of the ad ranks. Then, the other places are determined by the cost of the top ad, depending on your quality score of course. It’s fairly complicated, so if in doubt, ask a PPC expert (they’ll probably tell you it’s complicated too…)
After that, you’ll be able to get your ads on Google for relative search terms. It’s vital to mention that proper keyword research should be carried out, to eliminate any negative keywords (those that are irrelevant to your business), so you can get the right people finding your ads. With handy tools like location targeting and more, it’s never been easier to directly advertise.
PPC is an essential part to boost a business’ online presence. Where SEO work can take months and months to yield results, PPC can help a business’ website, products or services appear on the first page of Google. It’s a great way of boosting sales or even spreading your business out there.
Whilst PPC isn’t great for a long-term strategy (purely based on the cost of each click), it can be a great way to promote seasonal or introductory offers, end of line products or just a new blog post. You need to weigh up whether the conversion at the end is worth the CPC.
If you’re selling a product that costs £10 and your CPC is £5, that’s a big gamble because there’s no guarantee of a conversion. So, you need to make sure that the payoff of PPC is worth the cost of it.
For your PPC to be truly successful, you need a great website (so you can get a good quality score), as well as doing your research too – to find out the right profitable keywords for your company. If you want a quick way of appearing on the first page of Google, enlist a PPC expert to assist your company in growing your online presence.
Getting those ads clicked on and getting some sales out of your ads (hopefully). Combining both PPC and SEO can help you dominate the search engines, opening up a whole new pool of potential customers for you to tap into.
These are the basics of PPC, but there’s so much more to it as well. For now, you can be confident that PPC is a solid investment
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.