The night I finally reached Crystal Lake
Search engines are one of the first places that businesses focus on for their marketing strategy. This is because of the tremendous amount of website traffic that can be gained from these channels.
Not convinced? Search users complete over 3 billion searches every day on Google. Often, these searches are made to answer a question or find a solution to a problem. When a business finds itself on the receiving end of one of these searches, they can generate a lot of traffic to their pages.
PPC, or pay-per-click, marketing is a fast way to acquire traffic from search engines. Yet, you need to know how it works before you can begin utilizing the strategy effectively. Otherwise, you could waste money from your marketing budget!
This happens all too often because PPC marketing requires a bit of learning and experimentation before it begins to provide the awesome returns promised by Google Ads and other platforms.
This discussion will aim to simplify the PPC process so that anyone can understand how it works and why you should include it in your marketing strategy.
What Is PPC?
As mentioned, PPC stands for 'pay-per-click.' It is also referred to as paid search marketing. PPC marketing is the process of creating ads targeted at search users and enticing those individuals to visit your website instead of another result on the page.
The process includes many different steps that will be discussed in greater detail later in this discussion.
How Does PPC Work?
You are a magic bean salesman, but business hasn't been so good since the Jack and the Beanstalk incident. So, you decide to start a paid search campaign to drum up some traffic to your website.
First, you need a compelling ad message. The ad consists of a headline to introduce you and your product and a short description that adds more details about the magic beans.
As you create your ad message, you have a specific type of customer in mind. After all, you don't want your ad to appear just anywhere, but only in front of people interested in magic beans.
Keywords are the answer! By targeting popular keywords searches that relate to magic beans, your ads will sometimes appear when someone enters these terms into Google.
Suddenly, your ad message is being seen by magic bean enthusiasts across the Internet!
What Does It Cost?
Your ad messages won't always appear for your targeted keyword searches. That's because there are other magic bean salesmen that are also creating ads on Google.
How does Google decide what ad messages to show to users? An auction! When you select your target keywords, Google also asks for a bid for each term. Your bid is how much you will pay if a user clicks your ad. That's where the term pay-per-click comes from! You only pay when someone clicks.
Google compares all of the keyword bids and decides which ad messages to display.
So, Ads Are Sold To The Highest Bidder?
Not quite. The bid amounts are just one factor that Google considers when choosing ad placements. The quality of each ad, how relevant the message is to the keyword, the quality of the resulting landing page and many other factors also contribute to the auction.
In other words, Google doesn't want to choose the richest ad, but the highest quality ad. So, if you have the best possible ad for magic beans, Google will choose yours even if your bid isn't the highest in the auction.
Is PPC The Same As SEO?
No, but the two are closely related because they are both types of search marketing. SEO focuses on organic search marketing. That means that SEO strategies aim to have your website listed as one of the top results on Google that appear naturally and not through paid advertising.
Unfortunately, placing your website at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) organically through SEO tactics can take months. For some search terms, it just isn't possible to climb to the top of the SERP.
That is why many marketers turn to PPC. While they have to pay to place their business on the SERPs each time, it is sometimes the only way to gain visibility and attract traffic from these searches.
Magic beans aside, PPC marketing is not as complex as it seems. There are plenty of resources on the Internet, like this one, that help new search advertisers understand the process.
If PPC marketing seems like a fit for your business, you should explore other guides and articles on how to use paid search ads!