Although the principle seems easy enough, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising isn’t always easy to understand. A lot of new and long term small business alike don’t really know where to start when deciding to implement a PPC strategy. For some specialty small businesses, it can be the difference between an extremely successful or painfully unsuccessful marketing quarter.
So how do you decide if PPC advertising is right for you? Check out the following Q&As with our Director of Customer Services Mike Farney, where he explains what PPC Advertising is and how it’s used.
Q&A: PPC Advertising Explained
Q: What is PPC? (the watered down, simple version for us)
A: Pay Per Click (PPC) is an advertising method where the advertiser (that’s you) bids on keywords that appear in search engine searches. Google AdWords is the most popular PPC Advertising platform, but Bing, Yahoo, Facebook and others provide PPC options. In Google’s case, Google positions ads right at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) based on Maximum Bid and Quality Score. Typically, the person or business who is advertising does not pay for the ad until a search engine visitor actually clicks on the ad, hence the name “pay per click”.
Q: Who should be concerned with using PPC Advertising?
A: It depends. There is no hard rule for who should or shouldn’t use PPC. It all depends on what your internet marketing strategy is and, of course, that’s different for everyone. Without really getting to know the company and their goals it’s going to be impossible to understand whether or not they should consider PPC. One reason a small business would use PPC could be because you’re not getting organic rank for a particular term that you feel, for whatever reason, you should be ranking for. Another valid reason might be that you want to manage a particular territory or region and need PPC to make that happen.
Q: Give me an example of someone who might not benefit from using PPC
A: PPC advertising has become very complex. Although companies like Google have provided tools to make it easier for the average person to start and run campaigns, the advantage will always go to the person who knows how to use all the tools that are available in Google AdWords. A lot of our small business owners are very competitive people. When they see one of their competitors advertising on Google or in another location, their first reaction is to try to beat them at their game. This is not a good strategy because more times than not, our customer has no idea what resources are available to their competitor. That competitor might have a budget or a strategy that will easily beat yours. It is very important that you come up with your own internet marketing plan that helps you generate sales instead of getting into a PPC war with your competitor.
We often see some of our small business customers try to do brand advertising with an unknown brand. Unless that customer has a lot of money to spend to build brand recognition through PPC, this is not something we recommend. We will instead focus on keywords where we will have the highest probability for a sale.
Q: Why can’t PPC just be a do-it-yourself kind of thing?
A: Google AdWords has a Do-It-Yourself version; however, unless you’re using the more advanced version you’ll never reap the benefits of increased sales. A DIY approach puts you at a disadvantage. Another problem is time. Our customers are trying to run small business and PPC is a complex, time consuming platform to learn. If you want it done right, if your business is spending money, make sure you’re consulting an expert.
Q: Can you briefly explain how Google AdWords works?
A: Google AdWords rewards advertisers who have highly targeted ads inside of Adwords. That means you’re going to pay less and get higher conversions for the ads that are more relevant to the keywords that you’re targeting. So, the changes Adwords had put in place in the last two years have centered on rewarding people for more focused campaigns.
Q: Any last minute advice?
A: Don’t do Adwords alone. Hire a professional, specifically one that doesn’t get paid on your Adwords spend. This just creates a conflict of interest. A consultant needs to be willing to walk away if it doesn’t make sense and if you’re paying them on the spend rate, they will never tell you to stop. Finally, Adwords needs to be part of a larger internet marketing strategy. Adwords should not be your only part of your internet marketing plan. If it’s not integrated into a complete internet marketing strategy, then you’re doing yourself and your business a disservice.
If you’re looking for a little bit of a better understanding on how Google AdWords and Pay Per Click Advertising works, take a look at our Q&A above where we explain and discuss some of the most common PPC questions. Before you launch a PPC Advertising campaign through Google AdWords, make sure you’ve done your research and fully understand what you’re getting into.