Brief: Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The internet: the best thing since sliced bread! It’s a virtual lifeline that has all the answers to our questions, can settle any dispute (because whatever the internet says, must be true) and helps us find people, places and things. Best. Thing. Ever.

So it’s no wonder Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines have capitalized on your customer’s search engine fascination and allowed companies to advertise on search pages. This is known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. After reading this article you’ll be more familiar with PPC advertising and how to plan for a campaign.

How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?

Pay-Per-Click advertising is where advertisers’ costs are based on the number of times an ad is clicked on during a search. Sounds easy and efficient, right? Not so fast. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into making sure ads are displayed on relevant search pages.

In order for an ad to show up on search engines, advertisers bid on keywords (words that users are likely to search for that are related to the advertisers’ ad). For example, an insurance agency may bid on keywords such as “auto insurance”, “home insurance”, “home and auto insurance”. The amount an advertiser bids on a keyword is how much they are charged when the ad is clicked. Bid amounts vary depending on how competitive the keyword is, location and quality score. The higher you bid the more likely your ad will show. Our insurance example falls into a highly competitive pool of keywords.

But That’s Just the First Step…

Even after you pinpoint keywords to use for your campaign, your work is not done. The key to running a successful pay-per-click advertising campaign is monitoring metrics such as keyword quality score, Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and Conversion Rate. In addition to adding/removing keywords, adding/removing negative keywords and refreshing your landing page.

When executed and managed correctly, PPC advertising can be a valuable channel to add to your marketing mix. Keep in mind it is extremely important to treat each campaign as a test. This mentality conditions you to have hawk-like qualities when watching metrics. It also encourages you to deactivate those campaigns that are not performing to expectations.

If you want to take your Pay-Per-Click advertising efforts to the next level, check out: 3 Adwords Features Experts Forgot to Tell You About