What is pay per click advertising?
Pay per click (PPC) advertising refers to advertising where you, the business or promoter, are paying per the visitor’s action (normally, a click) to place ads either in search engines or on major websites across the Internet. If you Google something, you’ll notice a few ads at the very top and a few to the right side of the search results. All of these ads are PPC ads. Google and Google AdWords represent just one platform where you can utilize PPC ads. Others include Bing ads, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and more.
Does PPC advertising work?
The short answer is yes. However, PPC advertising can easily fail, so it’s important to utilize it correctly. The most common point of failure is poor upfront planning to ensure the right strategies are being used. PPC is direct response advertising, meaning you have a defined audience, an ad, and an offer to close the deal. Audiences click on an ad that takes them to a landing page, usually on your website. You then want the visitor to do something on that landing page: Buy a product, download an app, sign up for a newsletter, etc. The audience you advertise to can be selected by their demographics: gender, age, location, likes, dislikes, etc.
The who and what
To be successful in PPC advertising, you need to understand three things:
- What you’re selling
- To whom you’re selling it
- What benefit the prospect gets
A mistake people make when using PPC ads is starting to advertise without analyzing who actually buys their product. For example, a local plumber should only show their ads 20 to 25 miles around their facility, as people outside of that range will likely find another plumber out of convenience. They would also want to target homeowners, not renters, and keep in mind that higher economic classes usually aren’t as price-sensitive. Before you start advertising, you also need to decide what you want your targeted audience to actually do. Potential customers need to have a clear understanding of what the next steps are to purchasing your product. In the plumber example above, you would want customers to call or fill out a form to schedule an appointment. This next step is different for different types of companies. An e-commerce site, for example, would want a customer to buy a product online. A service company like a doctor or an electrician might want a customer to sign up for a newsletter, so they could continue to market to them via email marketing. What part of the sales funnel you are targeting will determine what action you try to get from your prospect.
Value and effectiveness
Another important thing to consider is the value of the customer. With PPC advertising, you pay per action, so you don’t want to pay more for an action than the lifetime value of a new customer. To evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising, you need to look at your conversion rate and cost. If you get five phone calls to schedule an appointment, how many of those five actually book appointments? What is the cost to generate a single sale, and is that cost worth it?
Features and benefits
You need to understand the audience’s needs and desires, the features of your products, and the benefit your product creates. A feature of a product – for example, a car – could be gas mileage, and the benefit could be that it saves customers money. When you understand the features and benefits of your product to your audience, you can write great ads. Remember this: FOCUS ON BENEFITS. People care about themselves, so make sure you tell them what they get from your product or service.
Testing the ads
Once you write great ads with features and benefits, you want to test the ads before you spend a lot of money to run them. An easy and effective way to do this is A/B testing, or split testing. Does ad A about price perform better than ad B about quality? When you know what customers care about and are motivated by, you can run better ads and get more conversion for a better overall price.
Is PPC advertising a winning strategy?
Yes! Be sure to follow the rules and tips outlined above to create a great campaign that results in customers and sales.