If you are running a website for your small business, your ultimate goal is likely a higher search engine ranking to increase traffic and conversion rate. All will be in vain, however, if those clicks don’t convert to actual sales. To solve this problem, a number of digital marketing strategies and tools stand ready to help you ultimately boost your business—not the least being pay-per-click advertising or PPC.
What is PPC?
As the name suggests, PPC is a type of internet marketing wherein search engines are paid a particular fee for every click. Essentially, whenever your ad is clicked, you must pay a nominal fee to the search engine. In other words, you are paying the search engine for every user who visits your website through the paid ad. Most clients opt to use Google AdWords as their advertising system, since it enables the ad to appear on all Google properties.
Though it might sound costly over a high volume of clicks, running a PPC campaign is actually a cost-effective digital marketing strategy. According to Google, you can potentially achieve twice the amount in revenue for every fee that you pay on AdWords. Moreover, a small fee—say $1.12—to search engines is nothing if it leads to $100 in sales.
Placing your paid ad through Google proves particularly valuable, especially when there are almost two trillion searches that go through this search engine giant every year. Nevertheless, running a PPC campaign can be complicated. You must implement the correct keywords and campaign settings before you can witness a noticeable return on investment.
How does PPC work?
Unlike traditional advertising, for which you need to pay more money just to gain a larger spread (print) or longer run time (broadcast), search engines don't dole better rankings because a business pays them more money.
To effect PPC, keywords go through a bidding process. Those who win the ad auction are the only ones placed prominently on the search engine results page (SERP). The auctioneer, in essence, is the search engine's complex algorithm. The ads with keywords most relevant to the search engine query become the winning bidders.
The Magic of Long-Tailed Keywords
Of course, for PPC to work, you need to determine first what keywords to use. As a rule, you want to stay away from broad and generic keywords simply because they are also likely used by your competitor and they also tend to be a bit more expensive as high-traffic keywords.
What your business needs are long-tailed keywords. These are more specific and can thus better connect to your target audience. For example, the user might be looking for a laptop repair shop. Your keyword can gain more currency with a corresponding geotag, which reduces the chance that those who are not near your service area will click on your ad. Hence, you will also avoid paying the search engine for an inconvertible click.
Statistics Don’t Lie
Recent statistics show that PPC campaigns help increase an audience’s brand awareness by 80%. Those that get the first position in SERP enjoy a 7.94% click-through rate compared to PPC ads falling in lesser positions, which only see a 2% click-through rate. Though the number seems small, more than half of those who click paid ads end up buying a product.
A PPC campaign can be used on its own, but its results are multiplied when used with other digital marketing tools, such as search engine optimization (SEO). If you are planning to try PPC as your major marketing campaign, it helps to hire professionals to set it up and manage it for you. Otherwise, you risk wasting your time and money on the wrong keywords or settings.
8 Reasons Your Business Should Hire a Pay-Per-Click Professional, HuffingtonPost.com
20 Ways to Increase Conversion Rate Optimization For PPC Advertising, SearchEngineJournal.com