The Guide to Understanding How Pay-Per-Click Marketing Works

PPC Marketing

Want to bring traffic directly to your website? Want to boost your business online? PPC marketing is where it’s at. You can drive visitors to your site instantly, enabling you to increase sales, generate leads, and build brand awareness.

So if you’ve been wondering what exactly pay-per-click marketing is, this guide will help you better understand.

What Is PPC and How Does It Work?

Pay-Per-Click Defined

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a form of online advertising used to drive visitors right to your website. When you utilize PPC, you pay a fee for each time a visitor clicks on your advertisement. Essentially, it is a way to “buy” visits instead of attracting them organically. The fee paid in PPC is called cost per click, or CPC.

One of the quickest and most effective ways to grow your business is through a pay-per-click campaign. PPC ads are often seen on search engines and in social platforms, with popular ad platforms including Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

How Does Pay-Per-Click Work?

Now that we’ve defined what pay-per-click means, just how does PPC work? While the basics are outlined above, there is a lot more that goes into a pay-per-click campaign than just paying for an advertisement.

First off, when advertising through search engines, such as Google or Bing, the advertiser will “bid” on keywords or keyword phrases, with more competitive keywords costing more. The keywords you choose, along with your ability to bid on those keywords, will ultimately affect your ad placement on the search results page. You can see some examples below:

ads example

An advertiser’s bid on those keywords or keyword phrases can place them in a specified location in relation to their competitors. With this in mind, it is essential to perform research on which words are the most effective for your website. How relevant these words are to your ad determines your place on the search page, as seen in the example above. Because of this, writing compelling ads and landing page copy is extremely important in winning the sale from your targeted audience.

Two of the Top PPC Platforms

Among the many platforms (which include Bing Ads, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), the two major players in the PPC marketing game are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

    1. Google Ads – This platform allows companies to create ads to display on Google’s search engine. When a user searches for something, Google presents relevant ads based on the search. The ads that Google chooses are based on the quality and relevance of the keywords to the ad campaign, and the size of the advertiser’s bid.
    2. Facebook Ads – These ads allow advertisers to target a specific audience based on their social profile, likes, and interests. Facebook ads are particularly effective because they are difficult to block. They allow for more exposure and more clicks.

What Are the Benefits of PPC Marketing?

Even though the PPC marketing process may be tricky, it offers some key benefits. These include:

    1. Speed – Online advertisements provide traffic directly to your website, allowing you to see qualified leads, clicks, and sales right away.
    2. Control – Through PPC, you have all the power for your campaign to meet your goals and needs. You decide the amount of money you spend and who you are specifically targeting.
    3. Quantifiability – You can easily measure the return on your investment by tracking your conversion rates.
    4. Adaptability – If your campaign isn’t working the way that you would like, you can refine landing page copy or update keywords and the bid amount. Because your performance data is displayed so quickly, you are able to modify what is needed to make your campaign more successful.
    5. Costeffectiveness – With PPC, you have complete control over your budgets and how much you’re willing to spend. Since you only pay when a user actually clicks on your ad, sending them directly to your site or landing page, you’ll be getting the most out of your money.

A Quick Guide to Key PPC Terms

If you want to fully understand PPC marketing and how it works, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with some of the important terms. Here are a few to boost your expertise.

    1. Conversions – The desired action targeted from your PPC ad
    2. Impressions – The number of times an ad is viewed
    3. Campaign – The core message or theme you portray with your ads
    4. Ad Group – Exists within a campaign and contains one or more ads that share similar targets
    5. Keywords – These are search words or phrases that are relevant to your business
    6. ROI – This is the return on your investment; are you making money or just spending it?
    7. Click-through Rate (CTR) – The ratio of users who click on your ad to the number of total viewers to the page
    8. Quality Score – The number that Google determines by evaluating relevance and the quality of keywords for your ad
    9. CPC – Cost per click is the amount that an advertiser pays for each click on their ad
    10. Ad Spend – The total amount you are spending on your ads

Tips for Building an Effective PPC Campaign

When executed correctly, PPC can drive high-quality leads for your business. It can lead to a seamless user journey and generate significant ROI for your paid marketing. Here are some tips that will help you capitalize on your efforts and budget.

Creative and Captivating Ad Copy

If you want to generate clicks and high-quality leads, compelling ad copy is a must. The headlines and descriptions you use are what have the potential to drive users to click on your ad and potentially convert.  Make sure to include unique details about your company with the purpose of capturing qualified users.

Curated Landing Page Design

In addition to compelling ad copy, the page you send users to plays a crucial part in converting clicks into leads. With a unique landing page design, you can increase your conversion rate and lower your cost per lead. Don’t forget to keep the message of the landing page in alignment with the ads.

Keyword Analysis and Optimization

If you want to reach your ideal audience, you’ll need a list of highly relevant terms associated with your business or service. To find the keywords that will attract the most qualified users, try doing some keyword research to determine average search volume and CPC.

Competitor Research

Conducting competitor research is an important step in building a PPC campaign. You can gain valuable competitor insights using various software. With these tools, you can get an inside view on competitor campaigns, keywords, landing pages, and more. Competitor research also helps to benchmark your own campaign performance against your top competitors.

Refined Audience

Narrowing down your audience to reach your target customer is essential. If your audience is too broad, your leads are less likely to qualified and your budget will be wasted on unwanted clicks. PPC campaigns provide tools you can use to refine the targeting for each campaign. Targeting can be modified by geographic location, user interest and intent, age, income level, language, and more. Once you’ve determined your target audience, make the adjustments as needed.

Lead Tracking

Google Analytics is the most effective way to track the success of PPC campaigns. Google Analytics provides a code that needs to be implemented on your website for accurate tracking, and campaign goals need to be set up for each conversion action. If the codes are not properly added or goals are set up incorrectly, you will be unable to paint a clear picture of your paid marketing efforts.

Ongoing Management

Once the campaigns are up and running, it is essential to conduct regular maintenance to ensure your account is running smoothly and efficiently. Ongoing management should include monitoring budgets, keyword bids, search terms, campaign effectiveness, and overall performance.

Grow Your Business With Pay-Per-Click

Now that you have a solid understanding of PPC and how it works, you’re ready to get started on your own paid advertising campaigns. If you have any additional questions, contact our team at Sixth City today!

Sixth City Marketing

About the Author

Sixth City Marketing

This post was written and edited by employees at Sixth City Marketing, a full-service SEO and digital marketing agency helping clients across industries such as manufacturing, ecommerce, and many others since 2010.

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