Pay Per Click Marketing: A Refresher
You’ve heard of pay per click marketing before, usually shortened to PPC. This is a means of internet ad marketing where you pay only if a client clicks on your ad.
This increases your bought traffic, not organic, but gets people on your site either way. Think of it as renting space from Google.
Think about an equipment rental place, near a lake or a beach. You don’t get charged for looking at the equipment, but if you want to use something you have to pay for it.
In this scenario, you’re paying google whenever someone uses (clicks on) your ad. If you set up your budget correctly, the fee is trivial compared to what the click is worth.
So, to continue with the equipment rental example, let’s say your site rents out canoes to people vacationing in Maine. Each canoe rental earns you $77 of profit.
When someone searches “canoe rental Maine delivery” or whatever your keyword and click your ad, you pay Google $0.17. If the person books your services, it only knocks seventeen cents off your profit.
That’s a pretty high return on investment.
What you spend per click is up to you, it’s called the CPC bid. This is the most you’ll spend on one click. Google won’t spend your max amount unless it will have you beat your competitors.
How it decides which competitor to show first is a combination of how much money Google will make and your quality score. We’ll learn more about that below.
Why Use PPC Marketing?
If you’re asking yourself why you’d pay for traffic you might get for free, check out the five reasons below.
1. Quality Score
One of the ways Google decides who to rank first is the website’s quality score. The quality score is Google’s made upgrading system of ease-of-use.
Google wants their users to find what they’re looking for, not click back and forth to find the right site.
To make sure they get it right on the first try, Google shows the most helpful sites first. A site is helpful if it’s:
- Easy to navigate
- Full of related content
- Loads fast (Website Speed)
- Full of relevant keywords
- Has a low bounce rate
On one hand, this is more work for business owners. You have to play Google’s game and impress their judges (the qualities above).
On the other hand, it keeps you accountable to update and pay attention to your website. In the end, a bad website will lose you money.
Google’s quality score is like that parent who always made you do the homework that got you good grades. You may not like it, but it made you better.
2. Easy Data Tracking
To use Google’s PPC program, you have to install a tracking widget on your website. This tells Google where people go when they click your ad, what pages they visit and how long they stay.
It also shows Google the demographics of the person who clicked. They can track that information and target more people likely to purchase your products.
The good part? You get access to all of this data. You don’t have to hire some special analyst to break down audience data, Google did it for you. They have videos and articles explaining everything and make it easy to navigate.
This saves you money and makes you more in the long run. Once you learn what kind of people click on your ad, you can target them more.
Or you can create a different ad to target a separate kind of customer, it’s up to you.
3. Allows Testing
Google allows you to test out which ad copy, audience, or extensions your customers like best. These are A/B tests.
Instead of you having to make, track, and analyze two different ad campaigns, Google does it for you.
They run both ads for the same amount of time, then prioritize the more popular one.
You can set it up to do this automatically, so you don’t have to lift a finger to make sure the more popular ad runs longer.
4. Makes Customer’s Lives Easier
Inside Google Adwords (the PPC program name), they have sitelink extensions. These are the page-specific links that pop up under a bigger listing.
If you google your local florist, for example, there may be a link with their phone number. Clicking that link pulls up your dialing app and makes the call.
You didn’t have to open the florist’s website and search the page: Google put it right in front of you. Easy peasy!
5. It’s Effective
There’s a reason when people hear PPC marketing they automatically think of Adwords. It’s the most popular system in the world.
Maybe that’s because Google has enough money to make it good or people trust in their name, but either way – it works.
Adwords PPC marketing delivers users to sites, those most likely to purchase. They make the user’s life easier and deliver you a loaded toolkit at a pretty small cost.
Making the Google Gods Happy
So remember point one where we talked about the quality score? That’s not exactly an easy thing to do.
You’d be smart to hire a web designer who has experience creating sites with high-quality scores. You can do it yourself, but you’ll spend days or even weeks trying to figure out the exact criteria.
Google has a habit of changing the pay per click marketing rules at any time, too. Letting a professional handle it will cost more, but save you so much more time.
Time is money. Even so, we’ll be happy to give you some of our time for free to go over your project.