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Walking You Through the PPC Basics

Walking You Through the PPC Basics

by: | August 30, 2012

Pay-per-click advertising is huge in the online advertising world. You’ve probably heard of it but aren’t exactly sure what it’s all about. Pay Per Click (PPC), also known as Cost Per Click (CPC), is a marketing technique to promote websites and businesses online through text ads.

You only pay when your ad is actually clicked on—hence, “pay-per-click.” When someone types a search query into a search engine like Google, they get two kinds of search results: organic and paid. Paid search results usually show up highlighted as the first three results at the top of the page and then all along the right-hand side of the page. They also usually contain no pictures. These text ads are meant to almost blend in with the organic (unpaid) search results.

PPC is easy to set up, and most businesses can benefit with even the smallest of budgets. To get started, you must at minimum have a webpage to send your prospective customers to when they click on the text advertisement. Creating a “landing page” to send your customers to after clicking your ad is recommended.

A landing page is a separate page from the main website in that it speaks directly to the ad and the customer who clicked that ad. Landing pages offer a more detailed message and play the role of an action page that allows your prospect to follow through on whatever it is the ad inspired them to do. For instance, would you like them to: sign up for emails, buy something, or fill out their contact information to learn more about your products, etc

Now that you know what you want your customer to do once the ad is clicked, you need an actual ad. You can use various search engines and platforms to make and distribute your PPC ads. Google, Bing, LinkedIn, and Facebook are great sites to advertise on, just to name a few. Google specifically has Google AdWords as their ad editing and analyzing platform. You just set up an account, write your ad on their site, set up a variety of keywords for your ad to display in their search engine, then set your daily budget for your campaigns. After that, all you have left to do is give them your credit card number, and you’re ready to go! Don’t worry, wherever you decide to do your online advertising, there are always tutorials or guides on their site to help you get started.

So, how do you find these keywords to begin your campaign? Simple. Advertisers have figured that out for you. You just search for free keyword finders, tools, generators, etc., or click on a keyword tool that the advertiser usually offers. Type in the topic of your ad, and the generator will do the rest for you. You get hundreds of keyword results at your fingertips. Most keyword generators even list the statistics on how popular the terms are for best reach.

The most important thing to remember when bidding on your keywords for ad placement is: the more general or broad the keyword, the more it’ll cost. So, set those terms at very low bids to start!

Once you have your keywords, you need to sort them into different ad groups. You do this by differentiating the groups by the subjects of what you want to advertise. For example, if you’re selling T-shirts, you might want to have one ad group entitled, “T-shirt Sale” and have related keywords in that group. Another ad group could be “Men’s T-shirts” and relate that subject to your keywords, as well. It’s easier to sort your ideas and ads this way and to target your audience. You’ll also want to try a couple different ads per ad group. This will allow you to see what works best with your audience.

Next, you’ll need to write an ad that grabs your audience with the keyword “T-shirt Sale,” or whichever ad group you’re beginning with. If you get stuck writing your ad or just want to see your competition, you can simply search a topic that relates to your own topic, on the search engine of your choice, and you’ll be able to snoop on your competitors’ ads.  Then, you’ll want to come up with something better!

Once you’ve got all your stuff together and are running your ads, remember to optimize your campaigns regularly. Keywords, ads, and landing pages all need to be analyzed and updated on a regular basis. Something might be spending too much or not enough. One ad might be working better than another one in the same ad group, so you might want to pause the one that’s not doing so great. You can do all this from analyzing the data the advertising provider gives you alongside what you see internally through your own reports.

Then remember to relax; you should have new clientele in no time!

Posted in: B2C, Campaign Development, E-Commerce, Lead Generation, Optimization, Paid Search (PPC)

About the Writer:

Lisa Meyer has her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida and is an Internet Marketing Strategist at Full Sail University, where she has worked for more than four years. She has a passion for the online marketing world and loves working with amazing and talented people in her job. Lisa also has a love for good eats, sweet treats, and healthy living. She's combined those loves into her health blog Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrows where she shares recipes that are both delicious and nutritious.

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