Pay per click advertising (or simply PPC) is an online marketing term that refers to online advertising schemes, for example Google AdWords. Pay per click ad units are relatively small text-based ads that show up on search engines results. PPC tools only charge you if your ad is clicked, and visitors are redirected to your website.
The beauty of a pay per click campaign lies in simplicity and cost effectiveness. You bid on terms relevant to your business. In other words, your ads are shown only if a user searches for terms that you are targeting. These search terms are often referred to as key phrases or keywords.
Launching a PPC Campaign
Pay per click campaign is as weak as its weakest link. That being said, you should pay attention to each step of your online endeavor. Here are the 6 steps to follow in creating an effective PPC campaign:
- Uncover your competitors’ weaknesses. You may even enhance or change your products and services to meet a market need that your competitors have missed. This is the most important step of the process, but sometimes one that is glossed over as unimportant. Keep in mind that successful online business owners never make the mistake of not analyzing the competition.
- Analyze search terms Internet users enter into major search engines. This process is known as the keyword research. There are many online tools you can use to do a keyword research. The most important one is Google AdWords. It’s not only free and easy to use, but it can help you choose relevant key phrases.
- Strategy development. This step should help you decide on which pay per click network best fits your goals, the cost per network as well as the maximum CPC (cost per click).
- Optimizing your landing page. When it comes to landing page optimization, there are four things to keep in mind, including high page loading times, targeted content, user friendly navigation and multiple calls to action.
- Measuring and monitoring predetermined main and side goals. Return on the investment is your main goal. Side goals include impressions (the number of times your ad is shown), click through rate (the number of click-throughs divided by the number of messages delivered) and response rates (how frequently Internet users respond to your website’s offers).
- Campaign optimization. For many online business owners, the thought of going into their AdWord account and making some changes is quite intimidating. However, the work of a profitable pay per click campaign is actually never done. The collected data should be used to continuously update your ads, key phrases and your landing page. The PPC campaign is never done! Test it and change what needs to be changed. There is a pretty good chance that some of it worked and some of it failed to work. So, your job is to look through the results of your campaign and find out exactly what happened.
These 6 stages overlap and are ongoing for as long as you continue to use this advertising strategy. In other words, although these stages are presented in a specific and logical order, sometimes the requirements of your PPC campaign require you to perform these stages in a different order or to backtrack to a stage you have already performed. Also, even though it’s quite cost effective to launch a pay per click campaign from one search engine to another, it is crucial to know that a brand new PPC campaign must be customized in order to perfectly match that search engine.