PPC, which stands for “Pay Per Click” (also known as Google AdWords), is one of the most popular forms of digital marketing, and there are loads of reasons why small and medium-sized businesses should be using it.
PPC is a fairly simple but highly specialised form of online advertising.
Your ad targets certain keywords relevant to your business. For an example, keywords for a company that sells clothes for dogs could be “Pet clothes”, “Buy pet clothes online”, or “Jackets for your dog”.
When someone searches one of those keywords, Google either places your ad in the top three results (usually in a light yellow box) or in the results on the right-hand side.
Here we’ve explored some of the ways in which PPC can offer your business some serious advantages.
1. Precise targeting
As we mentioned, PPC requires the use of particular keywords to ascertain when your ads will appear.
These keywords relate directly to the search terms of Google users. This means that if you choose your keywords effectively and strategically, your PPC advert will show up only when someone searching for your services is actually looking. In practice, this translates to your ad being seen almost purely by potential customers.
Keywords are not so simple, though. Picking the right ones to target is both an art and a science.
Given PPC’s popularity, there are plenty of businesses – very likely your direct competitors – who are targeting the same keywords you want to use.
While the “science” is about finding the most popular keywords relating to your business, the “art” is in picking ones that are affordably targetable and will get the best results.
Ultimately, this is why you should be hiring an expert to devise and manage your PPC campaign. An experienced PPC specialist can also stop your ads from appearing in some searches. For example, if you sell boys’ baby clothes, and you were to use a keyword to target baby clothes, you would appear in both boys’ and girls’ baby clothes searches. A talented PPC campaign manager will be able to block your ad from appearing in girls’ baby clothes searches, thereby creating a more precisely targeted campaign.
2. It’s fast
Unlike SEO (“Search Engine Optimisation”), which is a slow but powerful digital marketing channel, PPC shows dramatically rapid results.
Once your ad campaign is active, a well-targeted keyword strategy will have you appearing somewhere on the first page of related searches in very little time.
This makes PPC ideal for a business that wants to get noticed quickly. It’s also a highly effective way to drive traffic to your site while your SEO rank slowly climbs.
3. It’s straight-forward
One of the reasons why PPC advertising is so popular is how directional and efficient it is. PPC is highly results-oriented.
As its name suggests, each click is a direct visitor to your website. PPC is in part so straight-forward because you know exactly where your money is going - you only pay when an interested party clicks on the ad.
This is quite different to traditional advertising channels, where you might spend X amount of dollars and hope that your target market actually ends up engaging with the ad, but never really end up knowing either way.
4. It’s affordable
Think of PPC as a kind of virtual auction block.
Some keywords are extremely popular, and can cost an exorbitant amount of money to target. The more you pay per click is part of what determines your rank among the other PPC ads. Google decides who appears higher according to the amount you pay per click, as well as a quality score.
PPC is quite affordable, with Google charging as low as 10 cents for a click. Since some keywords are searched for more than others, people end up paying more per click. This can differ drastically.
However, well-chosen keywords that are still relevant to your business and receive a decent amount of searches but are not as highly sought after as these extremely popular ones, will provide you with a very cost-effective digital marketing tool. This is where the art of keyword searching we mentioned comes in.
5. Trackable results
Another significant PPC perk is that everything you do can be clearly tracked and measured. You can measure anything that is related to a PPC campaign, including costs, profits, views, clicks, and visits.
From the moment you begin your campaign, you’ll know exactly how much you spend and whether you are generating profit or a loss.
PPC campaigns are also fantastically adaptable. They are entirely focused on your chosen keywords, and with use of the Google analytics tools, you can hone your choices to receive the best results.
Google is a pretty great tool, and it is by far the number one online search tool in the world.
PPC – Google AdWords – is therefore a must have if you’re looking to draw visitors to your website. Appearing on the first page of Google is highly desirable for your business.
7. Maximum visibility
Appearing on the first page of Google is a gigantic boost for a website’s traffic.
While effective SEO is the best way to guarantee a long-term spot on or near the front page, PPC provides the best solution for increasing visibility in the short-term.
With PPC, you can easily increase your likelihood of appearing on the front page by increasing the amount you pay per click. If you are keen to reach the top of Google immediately, PPC can absolutely do that.
In contrast to SEO, which is a long-term visibility strategy – a highly effective one, but not one which lends itself to instant gratification – PPC offers satisfyingly immediate results.