Pay per click advertising (or PPC) is a tool used as part of an inbound marketing strategy. It’s a well-established form of internet advertising and popular method of driving traffic to a website or landing page. Search engines and social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all offer this service. PPC addresses a core marketing challenge of generating traffic and leads, as well as proving the ROI of marketing activity. Google Adwords is arguably the best-known version of the PPC format. This blog will look at the origins of PPC and how it can benefit your business.
The history of PPC
PPC has existed for longer than many people realise, in fact, some web engines had it as far back as the late 1990s. Google themselves unofficially created their ‘Adwords’ system in 2000. It was launched as PPC in 2002. This led to rival search engine organisations launching their own version. Yahoo! Created ‘Search Marketing’ while Microsoft launched ‘adCenter’. In 2010 Microsoft and Yahoo joined forces to try and reduce Googles stranglehold on the market. However, Google still takes 86.86% of the market as of July 2020.
What is PPC?
PPC is an online advertising tool used by search engines to provide a sponsored listing on a per-bid basis. This works alongside the organic search results, which are calculated by a variety of keywords found on your website. The ultimate purpose behind it is to increase the number of people visiting your website. There are two ways to advertise using Google Ads: search and display.
Search ads – work by placing a bid for specific keyword(s) in order to be ranked in paid listings. Google displays paid adverts above organic rankings. Search ads have three main components – a headline, a display url and description text.
If someone has clicked on your PPC advert they will arrive at your website or specific landing page and you will be charged the amount you ‘bid’ for the keyword. So if you were successful in the highest bid for the keyword ‘racing’ and you bid £0.60 on it you would be charged this amount every time someone clicked on your advert and website. If 100 clicked on it then the bill would be £600.
Display ads – these originate from Google and are shown based on targeting all over the Google Display Network while the user is browsing other websites. Statistics show that people see on average around 63 display ads per day.
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a service that allows consumers to compare items across different retailers who’ve paid to advertise. If you search for a blue shirt with white stripes, you’ll see thumbnail images pop up right at the top of the Google screen from a variety of retailers and you can quickly compare the price, colour and style. When the shopper clicks on a link, it takes them straight to the website to buy. It’s proven to have a 30% higher conversion rate than text ads. To do this you’ll need to have a Google for Retail account. We use Google Shopping for Servero and Projector Team, which are both OpenCart e-commerce websites.
The benefits and drawbacks of PPC
Like many things in life, there are a number of pluses and minuses to using PPC. Although generally speaking the benefits outweigh the negatives, it depends largely on your business and marketing strategy as to whether or not you should go ahead with it.
Let’s look at the positives first:
- PPC allows you to have quick results – businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in Google Ads
- PPC can complement your SEO activity by advertising to people searching for a business like yours
- The presence of your company and brand will be boosted as it will appear in organic and paid results – locally or globally
- PPC is also good for pushing short-term promotional offers since it’s so quick and highly targeted
- Finally, PPC gives you a degree of control over your adverts and the landing pages you wish to direct users to.
And the downside:
- PPC is tricky to explain and use; there will be a learning curve involved with it
- It is easy to overspend on PPC, so it’s important to have a clear cut budget
- It can be difficult to target your audience. This is especially the case if your product/service audience does not neatly fit into a search category. The more niche, the better.
Despite these drawbacks, we think PPC advertising is worthwhile and should be an integrated part of any marketing plan. We can help you set up and manage Google Adwords or Google Shopping for your brand. Get in touch today.