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What is PPC?

March 10, 2014 in Internet Marketing, Pay Per Click

Animated diagram about Pay Per Click

PPC is a commonly used acronym for pay-per-click advertising. When someone says they are running PPC ads, they typically mean they are using Google Adwords or the ads that appear in the search engine results.

How Does PPC Work?

The easiest way to think of PPC is quite literally you pay per click. When your ads are shown through Adwords, you only pay Google when someone clicks on your ads. The cost of that click is then determined by many different factors. The most common factors include:

  • Targeted keywords
  • Location
  • Bid
  • Quality score

Ads are created inside of the Adwords control panel and are governed by many different regulations ranging from character limits to the words you’re allowed to use.

Character Limitations

Example Ad Max Character Length
Headline Red Shoe Sale 25
Display Line 1 Buy One Get One Free 35
Display Line 2 At Doug’s Red Shoe Store 35
Display URL 35

Google strictly enforces the types of claims you are allowed to make in an ad. Anything advertised must be truthful, accurate, factually supported, and 100 percent verifiable. Information in ads must match what is on your website, including offers and prices.

Ads have really evolved over the years. Google now allows advertisers to implement trackable phone numbers which can be clicked, product listings, maps which integrate with your Google Local listing, and many other ‘extensions’ to enhance your campaigns.

What Is This ‘Quality Score’ I Keep Hearing About?

According to Google, “Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad.” Simply put, if you are advertising a facelift, you want to make sure that the keywords and ad copy are relevant to facelifts and that the page you are sending people to is all about facelifts. This will earn you a high Quality Score, reduce your cost-per-click amount, and help your ads place better.

The Benefits of PPC

PPC has a number of benefits depending on your current circumstances. If you’re not able to organically rank on the first page, PPC is a legitimate means of buying your way to the top. On the other hand, you might already be on the first page. Buying more real estate on the front page for the terms you’re trying to advertise helps ensure you’re the site people visit.

Measuring your return on investment is one of the greatest benefits of all. Unlike SEO, which can sometimes be confusing as to exactly what you’re paying, PPC can literally tell you exactly what it cost to get that visit and ultimately that lead. The freedom to adjust your bid, retarget your audience, and change immediately reduces the hassle of having to wait for Google to re-index your website. PPC is flexible enough to give you the freedom to change.

You shouldn’t forget about brand awareness, either. Having ads display in Google right at the top of the list is a great way to begin associating your brand with terms people actually search. Top of mind awareness is incredibly important. If you’re a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills wanting to improve the number of porcelain veneers you sell, you want people to think of your name when they think of porcelain veneers. PPC is a very effective at increasing visibility.

How to Get the Most Out of Your PPC Campaigns

Now that you know what PCC is, how it works, and why you should use it, it’s time to learn how you can really get the most out of your campaigns.

One of the best recommendations we can possibly give any of our clients is to stop sending traffic right to the homepage of their site. Think about it: you’ve just spent money figuring out the keywords you want to use, the demographic you want to target, and you’ve convinced that person to click on your ad. Why would you want to send them to your homepage where they can get lost, confused, or bounce?

We use incredibly effective, handcrafted landing pages for all of our PPC campaigns. These pages are designed to convert and are tailored precisely to their corresponding ads and campaigns. Our goal with PPC landing pages is to quickly educate the visitor to qualify them, then present them with the opportunity to learn more. Our landing pages consistently convert higher for paid traffic because of our ability to refine for that lead.

Use PPC to augment your existing efforts. Drive visitors to the procedures or products you want to improve. Advertise specials, create campaigns, or even break into a new market. If you’re not using PPC, you’re leaving money on the table and missing out on great opportunities to grow your business.

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