Pay-per-click campaigns (or PPC) are one of the best ways to get your business discovered by web users. It’s easy to set up and monitor service that allows your business to appear in relevant searches.
If you’re interested in investing in a pay-per-click campaign, this article will explain how it works and why it is a great tool for small businesses in the professional service industry.
What is Pay-Per-Click?
If you are not familiar with pay-per-click, the basic definition is the payment of an agreed amount every time a web user clicks on an ad, rather than paying a standard monthly fee. Other advertising payment options include pay per impression or pay per views.
If your business mainly sells its services online and requires visitors to convert into leads or sales, pay per click advertising could be the best option for you.
Is It Right For You?
Paid search engines are especially useful for small businesses as it has provided an opportunity to compete with larger brands. It also doesn’t have to break the bank so a company can invest what they can afford and reap worthwhile benefits from that.
Digital marketing already dominates the marketing space, and if you want your company to succeed you need an online presence. Pay-per-click campaigns are one of the best ways to exist in the online space, and they generally cost less than traditional marketing methods. A pay per click campaign might cost you $10 per day, but if it generates 20 enquiries then it’s well worth the money!
Investing in something new can be confusing and time-consuming, so here is a list of the top three benefits to help simplify the dilemma.
1) ‘Cost’ – You only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. This can work out much cheaper than traditional forms of online advertising such as search engine optimisation (SEO) and banner ads because it is targeted specifically towards people who are actively searching at that exact moment for your product or service. This means you pay only for people who are ready to buy – so it’s definitely an investment and not a waste of money!
2) ‘Control’ – You pay for clicks, not impressions (impressions = how many times your ad is viewed). PPC lets you control how much you pay per click through two key elements: max bid and Quality Score. Your maximum bid can be whatever you want but the higher the max cost-per-click the more likely it is that your ads will appear on top of search results pages. So if something really useful comes up in organic search results at the top of page 1 but isn’t relevant to what you’re paying for, then you can reduce your bids or pay more attention to your Quality Score.
3) ‘Convenience’ – pay per click ads are easy to set up and pay-per-click is available on most search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can also use pay per click advertising for mobile devices so if people are searching using their mobile phones they’ll be able to see your ad too!
What do pay-per-click ads look like?
A pay per click campaign consists of two main elements: text ads and sponsored links.
Within each search engine results page (SERP), the first organic results appear at the top of the page (these are free listings) but below them pay per click ads can appear as advert links.
The pay per click ad either consists of a headline, 125 characters in length, followed by a 90 character description and then an optional link that is anywhere from 2-20 characters long. You may also want to include a CTA (call to action) which encourages people to take a certain action e.g. Visit my website!
What should you pay for pay-per-click?
Now let’s look at how much you pay each time someone clicks on your pay per click ad:
1) The max bid – this is the maximum amount you are willing pay every time someone clicks on your ad; if something more relevant comes in search results you could reduce your bid.
2) Quality Score – this is a number from 1-10 that pay per click providers use to determine how relevant your ad is in relation to the listings around it and then how much you pay for each click on your pay per click advertising! The higher your Quality Score, the more accurate a reflection of a user’s search query it is and the less you pay per click. Your Quality Score is determined in real time, so it’s important to check it regularly. A Quality Score is determined by three things:
- a) Ad relevancy= how well your pay per click ads reflect what a user is searching for based on chosen keywords. It also gives users their first impression of your company lookout for spelling mistakes and be clear about what you offer.
- b) Your click through rate (CTR) = how often people actually click on your ad in relation to the number of times it has been shown.
- c) Landing page experience = this is related to ad relevancy but refers to how relevant and useful the landing page a user will find is. This page needs to fulfil everything promised in your ad.
How do you optimise pay-per-click advertising?
Now that you know what pay-per-click is all about let’s talk about making the most of a pay-per-click campaign.
1) Set up conversion tracking – this enables pay per click providers to show you useful information like where people who clicked on your pay per click ad went on your website and if any goals were reached which will help you determine exactly how effective your pay per click advertising has been so far! This way, if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know why…
2) Optimise for mobile – so pay-per-click is available across most search engines but it’s even more beneficial on mobile devices so people are able to see pay-per-click ads when they’re searching for something using their phone.
3) Use pay per click advertising for other digital marketing activities – pay-per-click is pretty versatile so you can use pay per click advertising as part of other digital marketing strategies to get the most out of your investment! For example you could run pay per click advertising alongside email marketing, social media marketing or online PR. This way you’ll have an active strategy that drives traffic towards your website and builds brand awareness.
Pay-per-click campaigns provide success for all companies big and small. They are a great way to grab the attention of web users who already search with relevant search terms. If you’re in a professional service industry, they are a great way to bring in new clients and convert clicks to sales.
For more advice on developing a Google Ads campaign, check out our other posts here.
For more information about how a pay-per-click campaign can help your business contact us here.