Should You Be Using PPC Online Advertising?
To PPC, Or Not To PPC.
That Is The Question.
What is PPC online advertising?
PPC (pay-per-click) is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads. Although there are many other types of online advertising, the term PPC has stuck and is now commonly used when referring to any advertising done on the Internet.
While most services still charge per click, some platforms now charge per impression, or per video play. Some of the most common platforms for PPC are the major search engines such as Google and Bing. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular PPC online advertisers.
Common forms of online advertising include:
Search – Search ads are one of the most common and most effective online ad formats. When a customer searches for your chosen keywords, you can display your text ad at the top of search engine results. Advertisers generally “bid” for the highest spots. There are dozens of techniques to help fine tune the delivery so that it is only shown to potential customers.
Another great thing about search ads is that you can tailor your ads to people at all points of the sales funnel. People with urgent intent needing a bank service immediately could get one bid strategy, and people that have lower intent and are just looking for an answer to a question can have a completely separate campaign. Quality keyword research is critical in order to find the right search terms for each campaign.
The targeting options are fantastic on search ads, and when done properly they can spend your advertising budget very efficiently and get great results.
Display – Display ads are graphic ads that display either an image or an animation. They can be found in the form of banner ads on websites, display ads on mobile apps, ads that overlay YouTube videos and more. Some of the newest display ad types are Facebook Canvas ads, which fill the entire mobile phone and create an interactive experience that can include video and parallax scrolling tricks, such as content that slides into view as the user scrolls down through the advertisement. (example shown below).
Remarketing – In some cases it can take several ad impressions before a customer will take action. This is where remarketing comes into play. Every time a user visits your website or takes a specific action, we can track them and deliver your ads to them for several weeks afterward. This keeps your brand in front of them and reminds them that they need your services. This technique generally increases conversion rates at a very low cost.
Video Ads – Video is an extremely influential and effective advertising format. One of the largest video ad delivery networks is YouTube and it pairs very well with Google remarketing. A potential customer that visits your website or clicks your search ads can be delivered video ads afterward, or they can be used to target people by interests, geographic location, gender, age, and countless other demographic options. You can also sponsor specific YouTube channels if they are monetized. In some cases this allows you to place a sponsored ad directly onto other industry and competitor video channels.
Geofencing – This powerful form of advertising allows us to place a virtual “fence” around a specific location and delivers ads to anyone that enters that area and meets all of our targeting requirements, or if they perform an action such as clicking an ad or visiting a web page.
This is excellent for community based businesses that want customers in their surrounding areas to know about them. It can also be used for fencing convention centers and competitors locations where potential customers will be. Ads can be delivered to those visitors through their mobile phones when they use apps and search on the internet.
Why Should You Consider Using Online Advertising?
If immediate results are desired – PPC will deliver results fast. This is because the moment your PPC campaign is approved and your bids are high enough to get a good position, your ads will be available for thousands of people to see. Hence, PPC works amazingly well with product launches, squeeze pages, high converting offers, seasonal promotions, event-focused marketing, and more.
To have highly targeted traffic – Unlike SEO, PPC marketing will allow you to narrow down your prospects based on their demographic data. Many PPC platforms, like social media sites, allow you to promote to the age range, gender, income bracket, education level, and even marital status of the people who will be able to view your ad. Popular social media sites like Facebook also allow you to target people based on their hobbies. This makes PPC a powerful way of reaching the narrow band of people your business needs, and leads them to your web pages.
In addition to the amazing targeting options we would have on hand, many platforms such as Google and Facebook also allow us to advertise to “look-a-like” audiences. Their algorithm can analyze the visitors on your website and create lists of people that have the same general demographics – the same geographic area, same income levels, similar interests, etc, in order to put your ads in front of people that are most likely to become a customer.
To promote a time-sensitive offer – Marketing products, services or events with an expiration date are always a race against time. Often, the long gestation period of SEO campaigns would produce belated results. For these time-sensitive offers, the speed of PPC marketing would be perfect. Promoting an offer that will end in 2 days? No problem. PPC can deliver the traffic you need in a matter of minutes.
Because it’s highly measurable – Unlike mass media such as TV commercials, billboards and print ads, every single impression and interaction with your PPC ads are measurable. You will see every click generated from every keyword, and every conversion made after that click. You’ll see what demographic and geographic regions perform best, and our strategy can be shifted based on that knowledge.
Conversion tracking would be set up on the website so that we’d know if an ad helped influence a lead form submission, product sales, newsletter sign up, or any other interaction we’d like to track.
It Helps Your Organic SEO – All the major search engines will tell you that you can’t purchase better organic rankings directly, but there are indirect benefits to your organic SEO that PPC advertising provides. There are over 200 search engine signals that are measured when they are determining your rank. Some of those include how often your listing is clicked and how long people stay on your website after they click. PPC ads keep your brand messaging in front of more customers and after they see multiple impressions of your ad, people tend to click your brand name more frequently because you are familiar. When combining PPC with an active SEO strategy, results are always seen faster.
Faster Testing – A big advantage PPC advertising has over other marketing channels is faster testing. When you launch a new campaign, you can quickly ascertain how effective (or ineffective) your website and calls-to-action are.
By purchasing traffic through PPC you’ll learn what needs to be changed or improved on your site. And if you use A/B or multivariate testing, you can obtain this data even faster, with greater accuracy.
Does PPC Advertising Replace SEO?
The age old debate is whether or not PPC replaces SEO. The fact is that it compliments it very well but it does not replace the incredible value of having well optimized organic rankings. We prefer to put our efforts first into SEO, and then use PPC to supplement certain keyword positions.
PPC allows us to fill in the gaps and get your brand at the top of the results for phrases that aren’t yet performing as well organically. Once you rank at the top of the page for a given phrase, and no competitors are bidding for the spot above you, we can shift that PPC budget over to another search phrase that is underperforming. It is a dynamic and ever evolving tool that compliments every marketing strategy.
Which Advertising Platform Should We Use?
Does every PPC advertising channel work for your business? In most cases, the answer is no. Every business will have a unique target audience and some advertising platforms may not attract the right crowd. For example, Tik Tok is a video sharing app that is very popular with a young audience, but Google, LinkedIn and Facebook would perform much better at providing an older, more professional target audience.
What Does PPC Cost?
As we’ve outlined, the entire PPC strategy can be very complex. There are multiple product/service offerings that you may want to create campaigns for. There are several advertising platforms to be considered. We can create an overall ad campaign strategy that works for all of your business needs. A representative from Apache Interactive would love to discuss this further with you and answer any questions you may have. We’ve helped many clients with PPC, including Wood Construction Services, JB Irrigation, AMACS, Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate and dozens more, and we’d love to help you as well.
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