How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work & Should I Do It?

Paid search is a digital marketing technique that allows advertisers to display ads on search engines such as Google or Bing. Apart from pay-per-click, other forms of search engine marketing are SEO, sponsored listing, search engine advertising, and so on. In this post, we demystify what pay-per-click marketing entails, why you should use it, and when.

How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?

There are many reasons that compel businesses to use pay-per-click advertising. For starters, it can help you achieve high-level exposure of your products or brand, and its results are trackable and measurable.

These, among other benefits, are the reason why 45% of small and medium businesses use this form of advertising. However, only a handful of marketers grasp and exploit the full potential of PPC advertising.

What is Pay-Per-Click?

PPC is a form of marketing in which your company pays a certain fee every time your target audience clicks on an ad. The goal of a PPC campaign is to direct the people viewing the ad to your website or app where they complete an action such as buying your product or signing up for your newsletters.

In essence, you will be buying visits to your website as opposed to waiting for organic traffic. If your audience sees the ad but doesn’t click on it, you’ll only be made aware of the impression, but you won’t have to pay as they did not click on it. You can use data such as the impressions the ad earned and how many times your audience clicked on it to optimize your PPC campaign.

How Does PPC Work?

Advertising on search engines is aided by real-time bidding. Real-time data is used to hold a private automated auction in which the advertising slots are sold. Each time there is an advertising slot on the search engine results page, an automated auction for the specific keyword is initiated. The auction begins when an internet browser searches for specific keywords. If there are companies or advertisers interested in displaying related ads, the auction is triggered. The ad that carries the day and is displayed is chosen based on such factors as its quality, and the bid amount.

There are several options when it comes to where the ads should appear. These include:

Search Engines

As mentioned, ads on SERPs appear when internet users type certain keywords on the search bar. PPCs on search engines are quite effective as they are highly visible. Trying to position your website on page one of search results organically can take years of hard work.

Banner Ads

You can use PPC to display banner ads on sites that are related to your company’s products and services. While such campaigns can be rather effective, you will need to be careful not to appear intrusive to your audience.

Social Media

With over 3.5 billion social media users across the world, it is only right that companies leverage the power of advertising on social media platforms. You can vary the format of the ads that will be displayed on social media as well as their destinations. You can also define your target audience based on such factors as their demographics, interests, location, and so much more. You can use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, among others.

How Does PPC Differ From SEO?

While pay-per-click and search engine optimization are both Search Engine Marketing techniques, they are quite different in practice. The primary difference between them is that you have to pay for the traffic gained from PPC, while SEO is organic or virtually free. They are also different when it comes to their conversion rate, cost of running paid ads, ease of use, position on search results, and traffic potential.

#1 Conversion Rate

When it comes to the conversion rate, PPC has a higher potential to convert leads to sales. However, you will need to create ads that are 100% keyword optimized and highly targeted. In this way, you can attract qualified leads.

#2 Cost

While traffic from SEO is free and that from PPC is paid, a lot of effort goes towards getting free traffic. For starters, competition for almost any keyword you search is quite high. You also need to have built a quality website and have a solid SEO plan to get to the first page of the search results. If you have no idea how SEO and search engines work, you are better off hiring an SEO expert.

See also: Why PPC & SEO are Better Together

On the other hand, PPC largely depends on such factors as:

  • The popularity of your chosen keywords
  • The number of companies or advertisers who want to use the keyword
  • Related sites with ad positions for that keyword

In PPC, you only pay for the clicks your ad earns, not for the views. You can also plan for your daily PPC budget in advance and not spend a penny more. While SEO is free, you will have to pay for SEO services. You can also not pay to get to the first page of the search results.

#3 Ease of Use

Both PPC and SEO aren’t easy, especially if you have little or no experience or knowledge. However, SEO might take you years to master or rank among the top results. PPC has relatively faster results. However, you might have to hire an advertising expert or take a course if you have no idea how it works.

#4 Position on Search Results

PPC ads appear on the top and bottom of the search engine results. The exact position depends on the keywords you are targeting and those on your ad copy.

Organic or SEO results appear in the middle of the search engine results page. Whether your website appears on the first page or subsequent pages depends on how optimized your site is when it comes to off-site and on-site SEO.

#5 Traffic Potential

When it comes to your website’s traffic potential, SEO provides you with more traffic than PPC. This is because the higher you appear on the search results, the more likely it is that internet users will visit your website.

For your digital marketing campaign to be successful, you need both PPC and SEO. Most businesses are more effective when they begin investing in SEO and complement this with PPC to the extent that their budget can allow. As you gain more organic traffic, you can scale down on PPC and only use it to promote specific products or offers.

When Should I Use PPC Marketing?

Businesses use PPC to reach a wider audience and convert leads into sales. Some of the instances when you should consider using PPC are:

#1 When You Want Quick Results

Unlike SEO marketing, PPC delivers immediate results on your traffic and sales. However, you will still need to optimize your PPC campaign. Some of the ways you can do this are:

  • Research on your preferred keywords and concentrate on high-performance keywords
  • Monitor negative keyword lists
  • Create compelling ads and optimize your ad copy
  • Use remarketing or retargeting to lure bounced visitors
  • When your website is not optimized for SEO

Some of the features of a website that’s SEO optimized are:

  • A short, legible domain name that’s keyword optimized
  • Full of content and not be keyword stuffed
  • Meta tags that are not duplicated
  • Zero broken links

Due to the dynamic page ranking algorithms, you need to update your website to build and maintain its SEO regularly. Most companies do not have the budget or the resources for such. In that case, running a PPC campaign will get the message about your products or brands in front of the right audience.

#2 When You are Advertising a Time-Sensitive Product or Service

If you are marketing seasonal products, services, discounts, or coupons, you are bound to be pressed for time. In that case, choosing a digital marketing technique such as SEO would give you belated results. On the other hand, PPC delivers the desired results in a matter of minutes.

#3 When You Want to Reach a Highly Targeted Audience

PPC allows you to segment your prospective audience based on demographic data. For instance, social media platforms allow you to segment your target audience based on their age bracket, education level, gender, income, and even hobbies. This segmentation is an effective way of narrowing down on qualified leads.

#4 When You are Integrating it With Other Forms of Digital Marketing

You can use PPC to gain insights on what digital marketing campaign would be ideal for your website. For instance, it can show you which keywords would profit your site the most. Gaining qualified leads can help strengthen your email and content marketing campaigns. It also allows you to implement remarketing techniques such as retargeting.

Need Help? PPC Experts Here to Assist!

While PPC is and should be part of your digital marketing campaign, it will not work alone. You will need to analyze your unique business needs and work on combining it with other forms of marketing. Often, an integrated approach is most effective. For instance, you need to gain traffic to your site if your business is to grow. At BizIQ, we offer PPC management services perfectly tailored to help businesses reach their target audience while still staying within their marketing budget. Get in touch with us today, and let’s discuss how PPC advertising can help you convert more prospects.