Beginner’s Guide: How Does Pay Per Click Work?

how does pay per click work

No matter what size your business is, you’ve got to be online. Beyond a website, beyond a blog, online advertising is essential to online success.

It’s a wild and crazy world online and you need to have skin in the game to make it. Google ad revenue for the U.S. alone is on track to reach over $26 billion.

As a smart business person, you know that it’s all about quality and not quantity. There’s no point in throwing a lot of money into online advertising without a plan.

Pay per click is the way to go. How does pay per click work? Keep reading while we go over how to take your business to the next level with this important tool.

Pay Per Click Definition

Before we answer how does pay per click work, we need to understand what it is. There’s a reason why it’s every online advertiser’s go-to tool.

There are two main types of online attention – organic and paid.

Organic reach happens when a potential customer comes across your ad or site by themselves. Paid, the type we’re focusing on is when you bid to get your ad posted in places where potential customers will see it.

As you know, it’s not enough for a customer to just see your ad. You’ve got to get them in the door.

With pay per click, you get the ad in front of the customer but only pay when your ad is clicked. It’s efficient and effective.

But how does pay per click work? There’s a lot to it but you’re on your way to being an expert.

Bidding and Placement

The first step is to create the ad that best targets your future customer. You’re going to center it around a keyword.

A keyword is a word or phrase that research shows customers are looking for. Once you’ve lined up your ad with a keyword, you bid on placement related to the keyword.

That bid allows your ad to show up in the advertising section that most search engines have at the top. That gets you a lot of eyeballs and, with the right keyword, a lot of clicks.

Different Types of PPC

You might think Google is the only PPC game in town, but you’d be surprised at the variety of campaigns you can run.

Google is the biggest game in town – and extremely popular. It’s easy to see why – it’s extremely versatile.

Google allows you to not only run ads on their search engine, like in the previous example but on private websites as well. That’s a huge amount of potential customers!

Another surprising PPC option? Facebook. Only the foolish count Facebook out of the PPC game.

With two billion active monthly users, you can’t ignore that potential pool of customers. The price is nice, too. Advertising on Facebook isn’t as expensive as on Google, Bing, or other search engines.

Have you ever shopped online and seen the product you looked at turn up in almost every ad afterward? That’s called retargeting, another effective PPC campaign technique.

The Right Keywords

The beginning and end of your PPC campaign need to focus on the right keywords. They’re the key to your success.

How does pay per click work together with keywords to increase your targeted reach? Here’s how:

Use a tool (Google AdWords is the biggest player in the game) to discover trending keywords. Find which ones match your company’s goals.

Craft your company’s landing page, website, blog, and any other material to work with your selected keywords. (Here’s where an SEO website expert can really help.)

Build your ads around your chosen keywords. This ensures your ads will rise to the top.

You’ll work hand in hand with search engines to find the best placements, get your ads in front of the right customers, and get them clicking.

How Does Pay Per Click Work With Your Budget?

To get the most bang for your buck, there are a few things to consider. First on the list is the cost of your chosen keyword.

Certain keywords cost more than others. It all depends on what your customers are searching for.

It’s a safe bet that commonly searched for words, like “mortgage” or “car insurance” will cost a lot more than obscure words, like “pickled eggs”.

PPC Ad Examples

Beyond that, you can install an automatic off switch. Using Facebook ads as an example, you can set up a Facebook PPC campaign to use only a certain amount of money.

Facebook allows you to set a daily or even a lifetime limit. If you give Facebook a daily limit of $10, once that money is spent, it turns off your ads.

You can get your first glimpse of the effectiveness of ad this way.

Let’s say you set a lifetime limit of $100 on an ad. You program the ad’s lifetime to be around a month.

If your $100 is used up in a week, that’s good news and bad. The good is that you’ve got an effective ad on your hands and lots of people are clicking! The bad is that you might have to spend more money.

If those clicks lead to conversions, though, the PPC campaign pays for itself.

Putting It All Together

Still asking how does pay per click work in the real world? Here’s a step by step breakdown to give you an idea of how it all comes together.

The Campaign: This is your first focus. Figure out what you want your ad to be about. Who’s your audience? What goal do you want to achieve?

Keywords: Choose keywords that work with your ultimate goal but are still effective.

Ads: Combine your goal with your keyword to create a compelling and effective ad

Stick the Landing: Wherever you drive your customers, make sure the page is optimized for conversion. Get them to see your ad, click on it, and convert.

Call the PPC Pros

Now that you’ve got the basics under your belt, hopefully, we’ve answered most of your questions about how does pay per click work.

Need a professional to guide you through the entire process? That’s what we’re here for!

Call us at Market Crest to get a free hour of consultation today!

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Boost Pay Per Click Conversions By Avoiding These 4 PPC Mistakes

PPC Pay Per Click MistakesIf you ‘d like to get pay per click traffic, you need to know about the most common errors businesses make– and how to avoid them. Avoid PPC mistakes here!

Anyone with an online presence knows that traffic matters. We’re living in a world with 3.5 billion internet users. That’s a lot of eyes.

Internet advertisements expose your product to more people and generally create more sales. It’s a simple concept, but one that gets mishandled all the time.

When most people think of increasing traffic, they’re looking to build their organic traffic. And, rightly so. It’s a great strategy to attract potential leads, and SEO is too important to ignore.

We’re not talking about SEO though. Most web focused businesses already have a decent SEO strategy, even if there is always room for improvements.

Pay per click ad campaigns can drive high value visitors with the greatest likelihood to convert. Make the most of your pay per click ads by avoiding these common mistakes. 

Our focus is on how bungled most pay-per-click campaigns are.

In 2014, 10 percent of surveyed companies said they planned to increase their PPC budget for the upcoming year. The rest of those businesses misread the market.

Seventy percent of surveyed businesses ended up increasing their PPC budget in 2015.

We think this increase in spending is likely related to the growing number of mediums allowing businesses to get pay per click traffic. It’s a good thing for smart advertisers and a bad thing for naive ones.

Not only did most companies not see the PPC success coming last year, but now they have to catch up with new and ever evolving platforms. It’s not going to be a smooth few years for small businesses without the large budget to adapt.

So we’re stepping in, so we can champion for the little guy. We’ve broken down the two biggest mistakes we see that prevent people from getting pay per click traffic.

You Aren’t Using Mobile to Get Pay Per Click Traffic

Mobile traffic represents 51 percent of our digital media consumption daily, yet some people still choose to ignore it.

Don’t be one of those people.

In fact, in 2015 Google disclosed that mobile searches had outpaced desktop searches on its platform.

Another study showed mobile platforms make up an estimated 58 percent of U.S. online searches.

The shift in users device preference means businesses either adapt or suffer. The number of resources you’re putting into mobile ads per year needs to increase drastically.

We’re seeing more and more studies come up with numbers supporting mobile’s ability as an advertising platform. An astonishing 93 percent of people who use a mobile device for research go on to make a purchase.

That’s an unheard of percentage. Conversions are what make pay per click campaigns worth running, and with mobile, they’re easier than ever to come by.

The results of a Flordia law firm provide substantial proof to any doubters that these studies aren’t one-off anomalies.

When the law firm increased mobile ad bids by 25 percent their conversion rate tripled, their click through rate increased, and their cost per click decreased. New customers also increased by 149 percent.

That’s an increase in business and a lowering in cost across the board. You don’t even have to question why this works so well for small business, just understand the results and climb aboard.

Confusion About Keyword Targeting

Keywords are important. So important that we’re using them right now in this article.

Pay Per Click and Keyword mistakesPeople don’t realize that your keywords and how you apply them are the fundamental basis of your marketing. Everything goes through a search engine, and your ad success is going to depend greatly on what people are searching for.

You have two basic choices when choosing keywords, short-tail, and long-tail.

The highest Google AdWords bid on a keyword is for “best mesothelioma lawyer,” at $935.71 per click. That’s a short tail keyword and an unheard of price for a small business budget.

There’s just no way to compete with companies like Progressive or Geico, but you don’t have to.

Long-tail keywords cost significantly less than short-tail, and also help target customers likely to purchase your products.

That’s the easy part, though. Once you’ve established a keyword you must know how to use it.

We feel that half the battle to using keywords correctly has to do with budgeting.

Championing what’s called a “broad match.”

It’s a feature that displays ads based on keywords that are similar to your desired text string. If your keyword is “black sweatshirt,” and someone searches for “black sweatpants,” your ad could still appear.

Bing Ads has reported companies receiving as much as 57% of their total impressions and 43% of their clicks through broad match.

That’s a great statistic for those with money to burn on failed conversions. People will be less likely to purchase sweatpants if they were searching for a sweatshirt.

Instead, try out phrase match and negative match targeting.

Phrase match only shows your ads if the search incorporates your keyword. Our example “black sweatshirts” ad would appear in a search for” buy black sweatshirts,” but not “buy black sweatpants.”

Negative matching allows you to exclude keywords altogether. For example, when people searched “red sweatshirts,” you could exclude your ads from appearing.

In theory, these keyword options will make sure you only pay for ads that target your demographic.

Not targeting better ads  – Google allows businesses to use customer email addresses 

Create lists with the Google Display Network that tell the platform what ads to serve based on specified criteria. Customers who have added an item to their shopping cart in the past thirty days can be specifically targeted with unique ads.

Health food service, Julian Bakery, saw a 35 percent increase in conversions using Google Display Network.

Avoiding cross-matched target ad groups can further this success. Try to target the most specific demographics you can without overlap to save money and increase conversions.

Small business will never be able to go shot-for-shot with massive corporations. This doesn’t mean we’ll fail, only that our pay-per-click strategies need to stay savvy and mistake free. Keep in mind these two mistakes and take steps to avoid them to watch your traffic grow.

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Combine PPC and SEO for Your Best Results Yet

 

PPC and SEO

We’re taking a deep dive into why PPC and SEO are a match made in heaven. Read on for the search knowledge you need to jump start your marketing campaigns.

Okay. You have your website live, your products uploaded, and tons of blogs to make your website Google friendly. But nothing great has happened yet.

Sure, SEO is important and landing your site on Google’s first page results is essential if you want more sales, engagement, or any other call to action you are hoping for. But why not combine it with another, equally effective method? 

What is PPC?

Since we are sure you know what SEO is, let’s explain briefly what PPC marketing is. Long story short, PPC is an advertising model through which advertisers pay an online source to run their ads and direct traffic to their websites. The way advertisers pay for this service is actually in the name of this marketing model– yes, PPC stands for Pay Per Click.

When talking about PPC, many publishers automatically think Google Ads. However, since it’s 2016, every popular website or platform with millions of users (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) allows you to publish your online ads.

 

benefits of combining PPC and SEOThe Benefits of combining PPC and SEO:

  • PPC and SEO can exponentially boost your exposure and make your product or service popular to online users.
  • Your conversions will increase so much you will not even believe it.
  • You can lead searchers to the content that you choose and you will not just let them click on that bad Glassdoor review that shows up first on Google (everyone has them).
  • More visits lead to a more involved audience. How will someone like your Facebook Page or follow you on Twitter when they haven’t even gone to your website yet?
  • And, last but not least, investing money on advertising, makes a company feel more legitimate. sorry to say, but it does.

Yes, you’ve guessed it right. Both PPC and SEO help your website shine and gain more visitors. Additionally, it can help “webpreneurs” promote their products/services and achieve more sales. After all, it’s a material world we live in, right?

Now, that we’ve finished the theory class, let’s take a look at four different ways to combine PPC and SEO to make your life easier and your income bigger.

PPC and SEO Keywords Matter

And, maybe, they matter the absolute most. One way to monitor what people really need these days is by visiting the Google Trends website and take a look at “what is hot right now.”

However, since you are running a business there is another, quicker and more effective way to help you understand what your audience really needs from you. Your website’s search bar. Yes, if you don’t have one, you ‘d better add one right now. Right this second.

This way you will know what content would be wiser to promote the most on PPC marketing and what SEO modifications you have to make in order to ensure these products are found first on Google results.

In other words, this way you will allow your own visitors and the keywords they use to provide you with the focus keywords you’ll need to keep in mind.

Very clever, huh?

Your Website Also Matters

Having a website is not even enough when you are entering the world of digital entrepreneurship. You have to create a website that both looks amazing and is modified for PPC and SEO purposes as well.

For example, according to Google, an important factor that the most popular search engine is looking for when deciding where each page is going to show up on results, is the website’s loading speed.

Is your website fast enough? Do you need to make some small modifications to meet the standards that Google has set? In addition, and again, according to Google, PPC rates vary and among these parameters is your page’s load speed.

Why pay 5 cents per click when you can have the same results with just 2?

Extra tip: Please make sure your website looks beautiful and easy to navigate in. You’ve got your visitor’s attention. Now, all you have to do is to provide them with a reason to stick around.

Test Performance

We know, the word “performance” may sound intimidating to any Internet marketing newcomer. But, to be honest it’s much easier than it seems. Monitoring performance requires you keeping your eyes open and see what your audience is all about.

An easy way to monitor your website’s performance is by promoting via PPC marketing different products, product categories or services to different kinds of people. Targeting specific demographic profiles is one of the most important tricks a marketer has to keep in mind.

You might be promoting your products to 25-year-old women who live in Minnesota, but no matter how niche this audience might seem, it will help you get your products’ appeal on them. If it turns out to be a mistake and this audience is not that right for you, you can just keep experimenting.

Makes sense, right?

So, after promoting anything you want to promote to different kinds of consumers, you will understand what each audience needs or what audience your website speaks to the best.

This way you will have the ability to make some more modifications in order to make your page SEO friendly and reach the people who will engage the most.

Target Different Keywords

Yes, you guessed it right. You can (and you should) target different keywords for PPC campaigns and for SEO purposes.

In fact, since some keywords are more expensive than others, you can target the cheap ones via PPC and work your SEO magic on the costly ones. This will save you some money but still help you succeed.

After this primer, you’re ready to jump start your search marketing with some PPC and SEO action!

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What Is SEM And Is It Right For Us?

SEM what is it white

Attracting visitors to your site is absolutely necessary, but it’s harder to do than you might think. As search marketing becomes more and more widespread, your competition is increasing every day. What’s more, small companies have different challenges than big companies—and it isn’t easy for either one.

When someone types a word into a search engine, sees a page listed from your site, and clicks through to visit your site, you have attracted a searcher. If you do nothing at all, searchers might still find your site. To maximize the number of searchers coming to your site, however, you must take specific actions to attract visitors to your site, otherwise you risk invisibility. This is what SEM (SEO & PPC) is all about—overcoming invisibility.

What is SEM?

The process of search marketing is called SEM (search engine marketing). Essentially there are two different types of search with which marketers are concerned. These types of search are unpaid search and paid search, often called pay-per-click (PPC).

The process of paying for search involves paying for advertising that show up on the top or the side (and sometimes the bottom) of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This type of search marketing is called paid search because the advertiser pays the website hosting the advertising money every time someone clicks on an advertisement.

Display advertising has been around for ages, so why has a newcomer such as paid search been outselling it since 2003? For the same reason that cowboys wear spurs: because they work. Paid search is thought to be more like direct-response advertising than display is, and direct-response advertising is thought to work.

Search advertisers believe that customers who see their ad soon after they have evidenced interest by searching for some topic will be more responsive. They regard seeing a display ad as a passive experience, often devoid of intent or even interest.

What are the Benefits of SEM?

  1. SEM connects qualified leads directly with your business.
  2. Strategy changes based on results are much easier to put into action, businesses are able to stretch money further when digital marketing is working effectively.
  3. Any size business can see revenue increases for a fraction of traditional advertising budgets.
  4. Search engine marketing is a more scalable way to reach customers than outbound marketing.
  5. Results are easy to track and thus measure ROI.

What is SEO?

The unpaid type of search is known as organic or natural search and the process of getting ranked “naturally” is known as search engine optimization (SEO). This SEO process involves an understanding of what is known as a search algorithm. An algorithm helps the search engine decide which pages come closest to which queries on the Internet.

The natural or organic search results show up below and to the left side of the advertisements on the search engine results page. One of the latest developments is that Hummingbird has made it more difficult for smaller companies to show up in search results because of an increased emphasis on corporate branding.

Increasingly you might see results from larger companies because they have a stronger brand. Another change is the emphasis on ‘semantic’ or ‘conversational’ search. However, the basic principles of SEO remain in tact.

There are many factors that result in ranking high in natural search and while the basic principles remain fairly constant it is important to stay abreast of algorithm changes across all platforms. The basic idea behind organic search for a company is still what has been emphasized is that you must have a good idea of who the company is to choose the right keywords for web landing pages and therefore to be found by search engines when users are looking for your type of product or service.

Increasingly, especially if you are logged in to your Gmail account while searching, you will see results in search that are specific to you; no longer will everyone see the same results but you will see results dependent upon your most recent searches. The content on the site is emphasized more and more frequently and it is less important to have lots of inbound links and more important to have relevant ones.

For organic search, a number of other factors are important in terms of rankings. People typically do not go beyond that first page for search results so it is important to rank highly. In addition to keywords mentioned above, other important factors are the content on the site and the authority on the site.

Authority is established through inbound and outbound links to the site, suggesting that the information is relevant to a number of users. Authority is also established by the type of site. Those sites that are associated with educational institutions (.edu) often rank highly in organic search because of their domain authority.

What are the Benefits of SEO?

  1. The ability to bring in a significant volume of consumers on a wide range of search terms at a highly effective cost per visit.
  2. Increased traffic to your website helps to build brand awareness.
  3. SEO leads have a nearly 15% close rate, while outbound leads have only 1.7% close rate (Search Engine Journal).
  4. As more and more people visit your site, you’ll be able to refine your sales process and increase your conversion rate.
  5. SEO for mobile is under-utilized, due to the number of sites not being optimized for mobile devices and the search engines becoming increasingly aware of this. An effectively planned and implemented mobile SEO campaigns can be one of your most important business drivers.
  6. The more prominent your website is, the less prominent your competitors’ websites will be, as there are a limited number of spaces on that first page; therefore your share of voice is increased.

Why SEM?

Readiness to buy is one of the most basic reasons to spend your scarce marketing budget on search: 89% of those online use search engines to look for information about brands and products. Lest you think that not enough people are online for search marketing to be worth your while, note that total Internet users passed the seven billion mark worldwide in 2012.

As simple as it sounds, your customers are online, and they use search to buy. Make no mistake, your site must be found by these searchers who are ready to buy. Contact us to learn more about attracting visitors and converting them to leads.

About MarketCrest:

MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance.

MarketCrest provides SEM (SEO & PPC) and Content Marketing Services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

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