Pay per click marketing is where instead of earning positions in the natural or organic search engine rankings, you pay to be seen.
Search engines divide their real estate into two separate pieces:
Organic listings as you know cannot be bought, only earned through relevance, so good positions are only achievable by following structured search engine optimisation techniques on your website.
By using pay per click marketing tools such as Google Adwords or Microsoft Adcenter; now Bing Ads you will appear in the sponsored listings (usually displayed above and alongside the organic or natural listings) by agreeing to pay if someone clicks on your adverts.
At first this may sound very expensive, and without a well managed pay per click marketing campaign it can be, however if managed correctly the costs involved are very reasonable considering the visibility and targeted traffic you will receive.
You will only have to pay a fee when you receive clicks on your adverts. This means that you will only pay the search engine when they send someone to your website. The price of your clicks will vary depending on the industry you are in and the competition bidding on your keywords.
What are the benefits of Pay per Click Marketing?
Pay per click marketing is a very important and useful tool to have in your online marketing arsenal.
The reason this is so valuable is that you can be on the first page of Google for keywords that are targeted to the services and solutions offered by your businesses within minutes of opening up a Google Adwords account.
With Adwords you can create your ad and choose your keywords, save them and then be seen on Google in an instant. This is unlike optimising your website, where you have to wait for the search engines to update and continuously optimise for better results by adding fresh and relevant content that courts backlinks and citations.
The following is a list of benefits for pay per click marketing:
Advantages of Pay Per Click Marketing:
1. Demographic Targeting
If your target audience is 50 year old women in the areas surrounding your business location then you can specifically target for them and only that audience.
2. Immediate rankings
Many local businesses run special events or one off occasions. A pay per click marketing campaign can mean that you can advertise that event immediately by setting up a new campaign and having that go live the same day. This allows your business to benefit from immediate and targeted advertising.
3. Ability to test your search terms before you optimise your entire site for organic searches.
Before investing in optimising a website for specific terms or phrases to rank organically in the search engines, pay per click marketing can help ascertain the true level of traffic as well as interest and commercial intent on the keywords and phrases. The test results may show that some keywords have better results than others while showing that the more obvious keywords have less relevance than first thought.
4. Test headlines and offers
Pay per click marketing can be used to test headlines and offers. You can run separate headlines, known as A/B or split testing, or offers and see which offer gets the best response before committing a large portion of your advertising budget
5. Track your conversions
Most search engine platforms such as Google Adwords and Microsoft Adcenter give you a management suite that shows you exactly what adverts have been clicked on, what keyword terms where used and also shows you which keywords resulted in your advertising goal. This is allows you to pause certain campaigns while increasing spend on other campaigns that are providing better results.
6. Select a daily budget
When advertising, budget is always a key consideration and when using pay per click marketing you can set a daily budget so that your campaign can last for a set duration as opposed to all going out at one time like other forms of advertising media such as TV, radio or print.
7. Make Instant Changes to increase conversions
With ppc marketing you don’t have to wait to make changes. Changes can be made and instantaneously be reflected in your ads on the search engines and having an impact on your conversions.
The main benefits of using ppc are that you can instantly appear under your desired keywords and have your website seen by people who are interested in your offers. This makes the sales process easier as you do not have to convince people to buy what you are selling – they are already looking for it. This ensures that your conversion rates will be higher than if you are targeting people at random with other forms of advertising.
The disadvantage of PPC Marketing
Although the picture painted of pay per click marketing above is quite a positive one there are some downsides to PPC that you also need to consider.
On the internet, something can become popular or go viral in an instant. This could have a severe impact on your PPC marketing campaign. For example one of the keywords that you are bidding on may be linked to some celebrity or is in the news and suddenly that keyword can become grossly popular meaning that you end up paying for a lot of clicks where the searchers are not actually looking for your product or service.
1. PPC Advertising is not set and forget
Although it can be relatively easy to set up a pay per click campaign, managing, optimising and getting the best and most cost effective results requires constant attention and intervention at the right times. Therefore many business owners who cannot afford the time to monitor their PPC campaign can find that they get very little return for their investment.
2. PPC Marketing can be Really Expensive
The cost of individual keywords and phrases are set by industry and competition levels therefore if you were looking to advertise in the insurance niche then things can get pretty expensive, pretty fast. An example would be if you were looking to advertise for “accident claims”, this could set you back £66.09 per click. That would mean that every person that clicked on your advert would cost your business *£66.09 without them necessarily becoming a lead or client. That all comes down to the conversion rate or performance of your landing page. This could mean that to get one lead could cost several hundreds of pounds if not more. *Source Google Adwords
NB. Please note this is an extreme example as there are many keyword phrases that you can target for just pennies.
3. People Tend To Ignore Sponsored Ads
A recent survey suggests that 94% of people ignore PPC adverts and opt for organic search listings instead.
4. People Are Sceptical of PPC adverts
People do not like being sold to and the fact is that vast majority of sponsored ads are there to sell. People who are looking for information or an unbiased opinion may choose to ignore these adverts and look to the organic listings which are harder to position in.
5. Choosing the Wrong PPC Marketing Company
There are thousands upon thousands of digital marketing agencies that offer Pay Per Click management services, offering companies the earth and stars as far as return on investment for their services. The truth of the matter is that each pay per click campaign is unique and until a test is carried out is hard to quantify what result can be achieved. Take your time and do your due diligence before committing to work with any organisation.
Pay per click marketing can be an integral part of any businesses marketing mix and can be used to drive sales from people who are further down the buying cycle, meaning quick returns. However without the correct set up and careful on-going management it can soon can become a burden on business owners in terms of time and expense.