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The Powerful Business Benefits of Pay-per-Click Advertising

What is Pay-per-Click Advertising?

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a way of featuring your website or business on a search engine, shopping site or social media platform like Google, Amazon or Facebook.

With pay-per-click, your company pays every time a user clicks one of your ads. This is unlike cost-per-thousand-impressions or cost-per-mile (CPM), where your company pays every thousand times your ad is seen on the internet.  

Pay-per-click ads can show up at the top or bottom of a search engine results page (SERP). They are more or less obvious as a sponsored result depending on the platform.  

Why Use Pay-per-Click Ads? 

PPC can be a truly effective addition to your marketing strategy, allowing you to see quick returns on your investment. With a high-quality ad and landing page, it takes only a few hours after setting up your account to start getting clicks.  

Using PPC gives you full control over your spending and gives the added bonus of paying for clicks rather than impressions. A buyer might click on an ad after seeing it several times on a search engine or their social media feed.

Pay-per-click allows you in-depth analysis to easily track and alter your approach, making it easy to better your marketing strategy and get the most out of your budget.  

Pay-per-Click Platforms

Different platforms use different methods to decide which pages your ad shows up on. This can be entirely manual through choosing keywords for Amazon ads to partially manual on Google and Microsoft ads. These platforms use your keywords and a real-time bidding system (RTB) to decide where and how often your ad should be displayed. 

  • Google Ads – A huge audience with a high cost-per-click due to competition over keywords.
  • Microsoft Ads – Bing and Yahoo – Slightly smaller audience with a cheaper cost-per-click. 
  • Amazon Sponsored Product Ads – The chance to directly reach potential buyers for economical prices. 
  • Facebook Ads (and Instagram Ads) – Offers very specific manual targeting based on age, location etc. 
  • Twitter Ads – Uses specific manual targeting based on interests.
  • AdRoll – A retargeting platform showing your ads on search engines and social media to people who have already visited your site.
  • RevContent – Places your pay-per-click ads on external sites, offering a low cost-per-click.
Different platforms have different pros and cons for advertising!

Optimising Pay-per-Click Ads

Optimising your PPC ads means creating a high-quality ad with relevant and engaging copy. A successful campaign also needs:

  • A clear bidding strategy
  • Good use of high-traffic keywords
  • An awareness of your customer demographics. 

You can keep optimising your ad campaign by constantly experimenting. You can then adjust these factors based on their impact on your return-on-investment (ROI). 

Balancing all these elements may seem confusing, but you can find a breakdown of each one below:

1. Ad Quality

Creating a high-quality ad is essential for platforms that use real-time bidding (RTB) like Google and Microsoft. These platforms place their ads according to ad rank, a combination of quality score and the bid amount. 

As HubSpot puts it

Ad rank = Quality Score x Maximum Bid 

Search engines have different factors they consider to determine the quality score i.e., the relevance of the ad. Google considers: 

  • Historical click-through rate (CTR) compared to other ads in the same spot 
  • Relevance of keyword to the ad 
  • Relevance of keyword and ad to the search query 
  • Quality of the landing page.

It’s well worth taking the time to maximise your ad’s potential by creating a high-quality ad and landing page in the eyes of Google’s AI. Even if your business places high bids on keywords, your ad won’t be chosen to be displayed if it’s of low quality.  

A strong landing page will give your ad a higher quality score! 

Read Now: 6 Ways to Increase Website Engagement 

2. Bidding & Budgeting Strategy 

It’s a fact that a budgeting strategy is needed for any pay-per-click ad placement. However, a bidding strategy is especially important when placing pay-per-click ads with Google or another RTB platform. 

Real-time-bidding means that advertisers bid on the top spot for different keywords, and the platform placing the ads conducts an instant auction whenever an ad is shown to a user.  

The outcome of this auction depends on not only the maximum bid the advertisers have placed, but the quality of their ads as discussed above.  

Once you have a good quality ad, you can think about how much you can afford to spend overall on your campaign – budget – and how that translates to cost-per-click – your bid.  

Many businesses use automated bidding strategies offered by the platforms themselves, for example Smart Bidding on Google. This method allows the search engine to decide the most effective strategy to achieve the campaign goals.

In this case Google decides the appropriate bid based on ad quality and competitor activity rather than just elevating your maximum bid to that of the highest bidder.  

3. Choosing Keywords  

In order to stretch your budget and achieve the highest click-through rate possible, you should choose high-volume keywords which match queries used by your most promising leads. 

Queries are the terms users type into search engines and keywords are the terms advertisers choose to target, to match up with their users’ queries.  

There are three levels of specificity you can choose from when deciding on your keywords: 

  • Broad match – broadest match type – your ad will appear for searches which include synonyms, abbreviations, different ordering of words, misspellings and inclusion of other words. 
  • Phrase match – your ad will appear for exact searches and searches including other words, plurals and misspellings. 
  • Exact match – targets most specific of potential customers, only showing for the keyword and very close variations (plurals and misspellings).  

The use of negative keywords is also available. This prevents results coming up for searches that include a certain keyword, meaning you avoid irrelevant traffic and don’t waste money advertising on pages where you won’t make a conversion. 

The key to choosing the best keywords for your ad is knowing your buyer personas and choosing keywords suited to them. Then you can narrow the search to the most effective of your tested keywords.  

Finding the right keywords for your product is essential in advertisement! 

Read Now: 3 Pro-Tips to Optimise your Amazon Ads 

4. Other Manual Targeting  

In order to maximise your targeting efficiency, there are many other preferences you can input to reach an audience with the most buyer potential. These include: 

  • Device targeting 
  • Location targeting 
  • Time of day/ day of week 
  • Demographic targeting. 

By considering these factors you could, for example, target users on mobiles after 5pm.  

It’s also true that different versions of ad copy might perform best in different situations. An ad group is a series of ads created based on very similar keywords, which you can then treat differently according to which environments they perform best in.  

In addition, remarketing tools are available to target or exclude past visitors to a website. 

To Sum Up…

Taking these factors into consideration in your pay-per-click strategy allows you to make the best use of your budget. In turn, you also maximise your customer conversion rate.

Do you think using pay-per-click ads could benefit your business, but don’t know where to start? Contact an advisor here at Floodmaker today.

Learn more about Floodmaker