Content Marketing
Paid Advertising

The ABC of PPC – A beginners guide to PPC

Written by
Duncan
The ABC of PPC – A beginners guide to PPC

You’ve got your fancy website up and running, products/services ready to go, Social media pages all set up, and you’ve even done some SEO but something’s missing.

There is something else you can do. Pay per Click (or PPC) advertising.

It may sound confusing or complicated but we’ve put together a simple beginners guide to talk you through the basics of PPC.

What is PPC?

In its basic form, PPC is a form of digital marketing. But unlike other forms of advertising where you only pay for the ad space up front, you pay each time someone clicks on your advert. Sometimes it is mistakenly referred to as CPC (or Cost-per-Click) but this is the amount the advertiser paid per click. PPC is the correct term for Pay per Click marketing.

The idea behind PPC marketing is to attract new customers through increasing the brand’s visibility and encouraging them to visit the high value pages the company wants.

How does PPC work

PPC allows companies and marketers to target specific demographics, locations and customer interests. They can bid on keywords and phrases meaning that their ads will then appear on related search engine results pages and ad spaces on related websites.

Although on rare occasions it can deliver instant results, generally PPC campaigns take up to three months to see actual results. However, this is not wasted time. Plenty of data can be gathered in this time which is always useful to the company. This data can include but is not limited to; impressions, how often your ad was shown and what people search for to see your ad. All of this will help inform the long term strategy of the campaign.

PPC and Google

It’s no secret that Google is the world’s biggest search engine, but all of this still applies to the others like Bing and Yahoo, (don’t talk to us about Ask Jeeves, we still miss you).

The sheer size and scope of Google means that the reach it has, and by association any adverts on it would have, is huge. As already mentioned, PPC is about getting your brand in front of your customers, and if they’re using Google that’s where you should be.

Not only should you be where your customers are but also your competitors. If they’re using certain platforms the likelihood is there’s a good reason you should be too.

Ads are ranked on platforms through a combination of bidding on keywords/phrases and the quality of your ad. The higher the quality of the ad, the better the bid the higher you rank.

The higher you rank, particularly on a platform as popular as Google, the more people will be aware of your brand.

How to conduct keyword research

Keyword research seems easy. Simply go out and see what people are talking about. Done. But it’s not quite as cut and dry as that.

In order for your PPC adverts to be successful your keyword research needs to be thorough. The first step in this is making sure you have clear goals for your campaign. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, then there’s no chance of it happening.

Once you’ve clearly outlined your goals the next step is to do some research. Again you could sit for hours at the computer, typing things in and seeing what comes up. Our suggestion, however, is to use the right tools for the job.

There are plenty of programs out there that can help you with keyword research. They can outline the metrics and give you the data regarding the words and phrases identified. This allows you to move from generic keyword research to intent led keyword research. By doing this you can ensure you are hitting the right target audience. By focusing on the intent of your audience’s search you can maximise your opportunities for engagement.

Managing the campaign

One of the benefits of digital marketing, and PPC, is its flexibility. With PPC campaigns you have scope to be proactive and reactive in ways that potentially wouldn’t be possible in other areas.

The ability to review and analyse the performance of your keywords means you can continuously monitor performance and look to add or even remove words depending on need or activity. Not only can this align with changing campaign goals but also help with managing tight budgets.

Of course, once customers click on the ad they have to go somewhere. By being able to manage the campaign you can continuously adapt and modify the landing pages and calls to action based on individual search terms and changing keywords seen in the campaign.

PPC is not an alternative to the other marketing strategies you might be using. Instead, it is used alongside these to compliment them, and drive your customers towards your brand.

When used to its full potential a PPC campaign can be a great asset to any business. Click here to find out more.