If you’re actively involved in the online marketing strategy for your business, you’ve probably seen the term “PPC” thrown around haphazardly on marketing blogs, videos, and other forms of media all over the internet. But what is pay-per-click advertising and, more importantly, how does it work?
What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?
PPC is a form of online advertising in which you are charged based on the amount of clicks your ad receives. This differs slightly from traditional methods that often require you to pay a set price for ad space. PPC advertising is primarily used to drive traffic to websites with the hopes of converting these visitors to paying customers.
How Does PPC Advertising Work?
In order for PPC advertising to be effective, three things are required –
- The Advertiser (that’s you)
- The Ad – A quality ad that makes people want to click through to your site
- The Publisher – This can be search engines like Google and Bing or social networks like Facebook that publish the ad you have created.
PPC Advertising From Start to Finish
If you’re an advertiser, you’re most likely trying to accomplish a specific result by posting an ad on a publisher’s platform. For example, if you run a car detailing business, you want people to book appointments with you to have their car cleaned.
That’s why most PPC ads link directly to landing pages with professional sales copy that makes a convincing case for the visitor to signup/buy/book a product or service.
But first, you need people to actually click on your ad. In order for that to happen, you need to make sure it appears for the most relevant audience.
Google recognizes this and therefore gives priority to the advertiser with a combination of the most relevant ad and the highest bid for the particular keywords that are used in each search query. This is known as real-time bidding (RTB).
Let’s walk through the entire process from start to finish. Suppose I live in Calgary and I need to get my car detailed. I’ll jump over to Google and enter the following search:
I notice the first result that pops up is an ad for Auto King Detailing in Calgary. This means that they had the highest bid (or created the most relevant ad) for the keyword phrase “car detailing calgary.” If I click on this result, I am immediately directed to the Auto King landing page:
Auto King is charged by Google for every click on their ad so they will now be charged a fee by Google for directing me over to their website.
When you invest in PPC advertising, you must be sure to optimize your website to improve conversion rates. Otherwise, you’ll just be spending money to get people to your site with no sales to show for it!
Auto King does a good job of this in the example above. Notice how their landing page has not one, but two buttons you can click to book an appointment?
They realize that they’re paying for people to visit their website so they maximize the likelihood of converting these guests to clients by making it easy to follow up and get involved with their business.
Keep in mind, this is just an example of a PPC ad ran through Google. There are many other sites that offer this service as well, including Facebook, Bing, and countless others.
Consider adding PPC ads to your marketing strategy to generate a higher volume of website traffic and more sales!