Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
What is it?
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a form of paid online advertising offered by the major search engines. It allows you to bid on keywords or phrases that you believe users from your target market are using to search for your products or services. In its simplest form, when a user searches using those terms, your ad appears. Where your ad appears will depend on the amount you bid, advertiser competition and several other factors.
Why should I consider PPC?
The magic of a pay-per-click campaign lies in the simple fact that it is possible to reach millions of targeted new customers within minutes of launching a new ad. It is the quickest route to the front page of any of the major search engines, and therefore, the quickest way to bring qualified traffic to your website.
If your site is either very new or is struggling to reach page one of the search engine rankings in a very competitive market, this can be a great way to get an immediate presence and create more traffic. Some key benefits:
You only pay when your ad is clicked on, and you can stop it at any time.
How does PPC work?
First, we help you determine which search engine you want to advertise with. For example: Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing or MSN adCenter. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, depending on the audience you are trying to reach.
Second, we perform research for you to ascertain the key phrases that your website visitors re using to search for your products.
Third, we create compelling ads for you that accurately reflect your product or services, and persuade the viewer to click through to your website. An example of a text ad and where it appears in the search engine Google is seen in Figure 1.1
Search Network vs. Display Network
The search network is exactly what it sounds like. It is the collection of pages that the search engine displays when you type a query into the search box. Figure 1.1 above is a snapshot of the results shown on the Google search network.
Most search engines provide you with the opportunity to advertise on their search network (as seen above) or on their display network. In the display network, the search engine you are advertising with will try to match the keywords you are bidding on with the most appropriate sites in their index. See Figure 1.2. In this example a search for "used cars Anytown" brought up a directory site for "Anytown" that listed used cars, and Google inserted this ad by a specific automobile company.
One of the most appealing aspects of PPC advertising is the control you have over spending. Spending limits can be placed on a daily or monthly basis, and those limits can be changed as often as needed.
The initial period of a PPC campaign is critical to the effectiveness of the ad in the future. Researching and testing each new ad regularly provides important feedback information about the value of the chosen keywords. As each keyword can have a different cost per click (CPC), optimizing this list is fundamental to the success and ROI of the campaign. Establishing ad patterns early on in the campaign allow for efficient management. Campaigns with too few initial clicks due to budget constraints often take 6 months or more to accumulate the minimum activity history required for pattern analysis. We therefore suggest that the initial 3 months of a new ad campaign carry a larger budget. This will allow us analyze your campaign sooner, and more quickly make changes that will enhance your ROI.
The following sample monthly budgets do not include the setup or management of a PPC account. They are the costs incurred by users clicking on the actual ads as charged by the Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing.
The $100.00/month Campaign
At $3.33/day, most PPC campaigns are not going to provide much in the way of exposure or return on investment - unless the ad being run is targeting a very narrow niche market. The reason for this is simple. Popular keywords or common terms cost more per click than very specific keywords or phrases. For example, at $3.33/day, an ad targeting the keyword phrase 'house painters Boise Idaho' costing $1.00/click, will be disabled after 3 clicks, having reached its maximum budget for the day. Depending upon what time of day the maximum is reached (and this could 2:00 a.m.), the ad may only be showing for a small part of the day. Different users are active at different times of the day. If the users that best translate into sales are active later in the day, the ad may be missing its optimum target market. The limited exposure can translate into a poor ROI.
The $500.00/month Campaign
At $16.66/day, a well targeted PPC Campaign can provide a positive ROI. Following the initial intensive review and adjustment period, the $500.00/month campaign has the potential to do quite well with a select group of keywords. The downside, again, depending on the market being targeted, is that general keywords, often the subject of bidding wars between competitors, may be out of reach on this budget. However, a nice selection of more specific phrases can perform quite well.
The $1,000.00 - $10,000.00/month Campaign
At this level, the opportunity to create a highly effective, targeted set of Ads is very good. This budget allows for the creation of multiple ads, each focusing on select keywords for maximize exposure. A campaign like this will quickly establish a niche with positive ROI due to the adequate initial and continued monthly investment.
Our PPC management services don't stop at creating traffic to your website. They take into consideration how that traffic converts - so that you can measure ROI from your PPC initiatives from "cradle to grave". Too many PPC practitioners and consultants rest easy when they've been able to create good traffic to the website. And, granted, this is the critical first step. But, if visitors don't convert, or do something, once they get to the website, the PPC budget is essentially wasted. We work with you to put in place conversion tactics that work, and ensure that your PPC money is well spent.