What is PPC?
PPC or pay-per-click is a form of online advertising usually with Google AdWords or Bing Ads. You set aside a budget. Then, create a campaign aiming at popular keywords that represent your services. Once a keyword is typed into Google (or Bing) your ad will pop up as a result. If the user clicks on your ad, they go to your site or landing page and you have to pay for the click (hence pay per click).
It’s becoming more popular
Paid ads are becoming more popular as Google gives paid ad participants the coveted first four spots of the results page. Paid ads are a quick way to gain visibility and get users to your site. This makes PPC a tempting option for businesses looking for more online conversions. We’ve seen PPC greatly benefit small town businesses and large corporations.
We call it “marketing crack”
There is a reason we at Happy Dog call PPC “marketing crack”. It can be euphoric as your traffic and conversions increase. You may find yourself adding more money to the budget and getting more conversions in return. Sounds addicting, right?
The problem is, once you stop PPC all these wonderful things stop. So, it is imperative that you have an expert to rely on to make sure you navigate PPC in a way that benefits your business.
The Main Benefits of PPC
Unlike content marketing and SEO, you will notice a change in your traffic quickly when using PPC. This is one of the most enticing things about the pay to play method, you can see results in a few days.
Boost in traffic
Even a horrible PPC campaign can bring in more traffic. That is the power of online ads. An excellent campaign’s traffic will be more likely to convert, which is another reason why you should hire an expert.
We’ve seen a lot of companies try to do PPC ads themselves, and they see more traffic and think- great! But, in reality, they are wasting their money if their conversions aren’t increasing as well. A high bounce rate from paid ads traffic is a huge indicator that your PPC campaign is failing.
A PPC campaign should increase your conversions by a substantial amount. How much of an increase in conversions will depend on your PPC campaign, your site, your competition, and your industry.
Your site plays a huge role in conversions. The ads can bring the traffic but, your site needs to do the difficult part of walking users down the sales funnel. A PPC expert will let you know if there is anything to do to increase conversions before the campaign starts.
Better Brand Awareness
Having your brand in the top 4 results grows brand awareness. If you sell watches, and your company’s PPC ad is in the top 4 results for “new watch” a user will see your brand and make a connection.
It’s the power of association. Having your watch company’s name next to Rolex insists you are a credible watch company as well (even though you may be a start up).
A good PPC campaign should have an average ad position in the top 4 spots. There are positions on the bottom of the first page for ads, but you don’t want your ads to be down there.
If you don’t rank on the first page organically, PPC could be your ticket to better visibility.
Whenever we have a client that deliberately wants to rank #1, we tell them to do a PPC campaign for immediate ranking WHILE investing in digital marketing. A PPC campaign can only do so much, investing in digital marketing ensures long-term growth and success.
Equal playing field
Google is the referee in this game of PPC and they will choose the ads that answer the given search query the best. That means your small business company can be up there with the national companies if the campaign is executed well enough. (Hire a pro!)
Gain an edge
You can gain a huge advantage on your competitors if they are not using PPC ads (or they are not using them properly). Some large companies CEO’s might not trust the pay per click strategy. This means less competition for you and your industry.
How can you find out if there’s an opportunity? Just Google some common keywords for your business and see if any PPC ads pop up. Then, see if the competitors are local or national. Even gaining a local advantage can be a win for your company.
See your return
PPC campaigns don’t lie. You can see the exact return from your investment. Clicks, impressions, the click-through rate, the cost per click, the average position of your ads, and more are all shown. There’s an option to track anything and everything you want to.
Users like seeing your ad when Googling your business. It assures the searcher that your brand is legit. Usually, this is a cheap investment since you will be the most relevant ad for your brand (resulting in a low cost per click). See how Casper is doing this below:
Bidding on your own brand allows you to take up more space on the first page too. Who wouldn’t want that?
How do I know if PPC is the right strategy for me?
You have a budget
I highly recommend having a budget of $300-1000 for the first couple of months (depending on the size of your business). Keep in mind this could increase depending on your industry, its competitiveness, and your success. Many business owners don’t mind adding an extra $1000 to their PPC budget after seeing the return they are getting.
You are investing in other areas of digital marketing
We have had clients that only want to do paid ads. To us, that is like only investing in a car’s exterior. Sure, it looks great and people are complimenting you on it. But, there is no performance under the hood where it counts. Paid ads should be an add on to your existing digital marketing strategy.
Your site is solid
Paid ads will send people to your site. But, if you have a site that isn’t dialed in for conversions, mobile friendly, or growing in organic traffic, you are throwing your money away.
Your site needs to be attractive and have a flawless sales funnel process for PPC to be effective. Contact a web design company (like us) for consulting on proper web design and conversion optimization if you need help in this area.
You are confident in your experts
Do not invest in someone who has little to no experience in paid ads. It is like lighting your money on fire. Users and competitors will see a poor ad and attribute that to your brand. That is not what you want! Google is constantly changing everything they do, including AdWords. A PPC expert is going to know the system and how to create enticing ads to get you the best return on investment.
More About the PPC world
There is some set up for PPC
An agency should take a look at your analytics and site to get to know the brand.
Then, they should speak with you and create a goal or goals you want from PPC (drive traffic, get more conversions, build brand awareness).
They may need to change the current design on your site or create a landing page. This is the best way to get the most out of your investment. Sending users to an ugly or confusing site is pointless.
Next, the PPC expert will do some research and look at what keywords and adgroups would work well for your campaign.
Last but not least, they should run it by you and answer all of your questions.
If you are curious and have the budget, talk to a PPC expert and test the waters with them. This is a completely normal process for starting PPC as business owners can be weary of a new investment. Then, as you get comfortable and see an opportunity, you can add to the budget as you see fit. We recommend at least 2 months of testing.
PPC Company vs Digital Marketing Agency
A company that is solely PPC is not a wise choice. That means all they know and do is “marketing crack”. Stick with a full-service digital marketing agency that knows more than PPC: content marketing, social media, SEO, etc. As for price, a digital marketing agency will give you more bang for your buck (and remember you should have an online marketing strategy too). That means skilled, in-house developers and marketers at your fingertips for anything your website desires.
Bing is an option too
Bing is used on multiple devices (Bing, Cortana, Siri, PS4, and Xbox One to name a few) and is the default to Windows 10. Therefore, it still grabs a decent amount of searches. Bing Ads typically have a lower cost per click and a higher conversion rate, but there will be less traffic than you would receive from AdWords. This is a great chance to get more bang for your buck, especially if your competitors haven’t utilized it yet.
Questions of what PPC can do for you specifically?
Feel free to email us here at Happy Dog. We would be happy to tell you the level of competitiveness in your industry and how much you should expect to spend in a PPC budget. If you have any other PPC questions, ask away! We are here to help.