Pay Per Click (PPC) Introduction
In 2012 there were over 12,000,000,000,000 searches across the world on Google and 75% of people in the UK search on Google on a daily basis.
Nearly every industry in the world, whether it is online or offline gets thousands of searches on Google each day. In today’s world it is imperative that you have a presence on a search engine.
What is PPC?
When a user searches on Google they are presented with 2 sections on the results page.
The bottom section is the organic/natural listings (SEO) and the section which appears at the top and down the right hand side is the paid section (PPC).
Every time a user clicks on one of the ads in the paid section the advertiser is charged. These ads are managed via a tool called Google Adwords.
Within Adwords an advertiser is able to define a list of keywords they want to bid on (e.g – Flowers, Flower Delivery), set a price and also create an adtext which explains to the user why they should click and ultimately make a purchase on their site.
Most people have the misconception that where you appear is solely based on how much you are willing to bid but this is only one factor, the other major factor is the quality score.
You can read more about building a higher quality score in our article here but in essence Google looks at how many people click on your ad and whether your website and your adtext are a good match for the keyword the user searched for.
Why invest in PPC if SEO is free?
Whilst an advertiser might appear in position one for many terms there are going to be hundreds of terms where they won’t. To appear at the top for all of these terms on natural search would take a considerable amount of time and money. PPC enables you to target these keywords instantly to help give your brand a presence.
Even if you appear near the top of natural search for all terms it is worth also investing in PPC. Studies by Google show that approx 45% of consumers click on a paid link due to the presence Google gives it, as demonstrated by the heat map below.
If you are a local business advertising on Google, one major benefit over traditional offline media is that you can define exactly where your ad displays, so you are not wasting money on customers you don’t serve.
A successful campaign isn’t about how many clicks a campaign gets but how many “quality” sales/leads it generates.
If you have an eCommerce store you will be able to put some Google generated conversion code on the receipt page which will enable you to work out what keywords/adtexts have generated your sales.
This will quickly enable you to work out what parts of your campaign are profitable and which parts need tweaking.
When setting bid levels you can use your existing conversion rate to gauge what you should be bidding. If for example you sold hampers for £20.00 with a 50% margin and your site conversion rate is 5%, then £0.50 would be a good starting point on your hamper related keywords.
Non eCommerce Tracking
If you don’t have conversion tracking there are still many ways of tracking the success of a PPC campaign. If you have a store or shop where people visit, it is imperative that you ask your customers how they found out about you.
In addition to asking customers you can also use a tool called Google Analytics which enables you to track the bounce rate, average time on site and average pages per visit for each individual keyword. This will give you a very clear insight if the keywords you are targeting are bringing engaged users to your site.
Other Search Engines
90% of searches are done on Google in the UK so without a doubt this is the best place to start.
Once you’ve got an established Google campaign it is also beneficial to create a campaign with Microsoft Adcenter which covers both Yahoo and Bing. Most advertisers find that their Return on Investment is greater on Adcenter even if it only typically generates 10% of the volume.