Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is one of the most important developments in advertising in recent memory. PPC is already a multi-billion dollar market, and it’s growing rapidly everyday. If your business has never considered (or heard of) PPC advertising, pay attention; you’re falling behind.
When a user searches for something on a search engine like Google, the search engine displays “sponsored links” in addition to the regular search results. These “sponsored links” are PPC ads, and they are set to display for searches that are relevant to the products or information that they offer. They’re called pay per click because instead of paying for impressions, the advertiser only pays when users click on the ad and are taken to the advertiser’s website. Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and their PPC advertising service, AdWords, is a great place to get started with your own PPC campaigns.
PPC advertising is growing quickly because it has four huge advantages over other forms of advertising:
1: It’s easy. At the basic level, Google makes it easy to setup an advertising account, and to start making bids on keywords. Since the ads are simple text, they’re easy to write and tweak. After you have your campaign setup, it can be totally automatic, driving traffic to your web page with no effort at all.
2: It’s budget-friendly. With PPC, you are in complete control of how much you spend. You can be up and running with AdWords for as little as $5. Ad-driven traffic will continue until your weekly budget is reached, then your ads stop running. It’s that simple. The more money you have to spend, the more traffic you can drive to your site.
3: It can reach anybody you want. Instead of broadcasting a uniform message to a large and possibly ambivalent audience with traditional advertising modalities, with PPC everybody who sees your ad is looking for something related to what you are offering. Simply bid on keywords that users who would appreciate your services would likely search for and viola.
4: You can quantify it’s success. Oftentimes the value of advertising is difficult to precisely measure. Not so with PPC. If your website is set up correctly, Google allows you to measure your ROI to the cent. With this statistical evidence, it’s easy to make instant adjustments to your PPC campaign to boost profits. Try that with television advertising.
With a properly set up PPC advertising campaign, you can attract more customers for less money than with any other ad medium. While it’s easy to get a PPC campaign set up and running, know that experience can play an important role in optimizing your campaign to maximize the return on your ad dollars. And remember the unmentioned prerequisite for PPC marketing: a fantastic website. Your ads are worthless if your site can’t turn visitors into customers. For tips on getting started with AdWords, see my next post.