Pay-Per-Click advertising is often confusing to non-marketers. While most of them understand the concept of a paid ad, they don’t understand how it actually works or why they should be paying someone to run their PPC campaign.
A lot of them also have qualms about paying for exposure. Wouldn’t organic traffic be better?
Let’s explore why PPC is an important part of most digital marketing plans and how brands can make the most of it.
It’s a Great Tactic to Start With
PPC ads are an amazing way to start promoting a brand-new business or a business that has not seen any meaningful traffic to date.
Other popular digital marketing tactics, like content marketing, email marketing, or social media marketing, require a lot of time to become effective. The sooner you start executing them, the better, but they will only bring results several months (perhaps even years) down the line.
PPC traffic is instant. The moment you start investing in it, people will come to your website (provided that you set up the campaign properly, but that goes without saying). It gives you the chance to start closing deals or selling products from day one, helping you start earning from day one too.
With a PPC campaign, you can raise brand awareness early on and start getting some word-of-mouth recommendations too. You can also leverage this traffic into subscribers and followers and start reaching a wider audience across other promotion channels.
It Drives Relevant Traffic
PPC also comes with the added benefit of only driving relevant traffic. Since you can be very specific about the audience and keywords you want to target, you can practically guarantee you will never see the wrong kind of customers on your website.
With organic traffic, you will often see people who are just browsing. They may be checking out different brands, they may just be bored at work, or maybe they’re not in the transactional stage yet. With PPC, you can reach your customer base at the right time and ensure that they’re either served the product they are looking for or an article that will help them choose that product.
This means that your traffic will be worth much more. You may see fewer people, but most of them will stick, and a fair number of them will convert (you can expect a conversion rate of around 3-4%).
It Can Help Your Beat the Competition
PPC can also give you the edge you need to beat your competition. Some of them may not be investing in paid promotion channels, so they won’t even be competing in the same game with you. Others may have targeted only a specific set of keywords, or they may not have optimized their campaigns well.
If you are the new player on the block, PPC will help you to see some traffic early on. If you start showing up among brands your customers already trust, they will want to check you out. If you’ve done your website design and setup job right, they will stick around to see what you have to offer.
Note that you will lose out to some of your competitors for some keywords, especially if you are battling it out in a crowded market. This is especially true if you’re an Amazon seller and need to drive traffic to your store there. Make sure to work with a highly rated Amazon PPC agency, as they will know which keywords to target and which are just plain expensive.
It Can Be Cost-Effective
PPC can also be very cost-effective if you place your campaign in the hands of an experienced agency.
The important number to be mindful of here is how much a conversion is worth to you. If you drive traffic to a product that costs $5 and you pay $4 for that traffic, your campaign is not effective. If you pay $0.2 for the same traffic, on the other hand, then you have chosen your keywords and bids correctly.
There will be some keywords that are just inherently expensive, particularly in certain niches. However, as long as you are sure you can afford the cost of the conversion, don’t be afraid to bid on them. You will need to fund this initial campaign yourself, as there will be nothing coming into the brand yet, but it’s a great way to get the ball rolling.
It’s Great for All Funnel Stages
PPC also lets you target your audience at any stage of the sales funnel.
If they’ve never heard about your brand or product, you can target a broad keyword and drive traffic to a blog post or a page that explains how your product solves that specific problem.
If people are looking for your product and already know they want to buy it, you can serve them an ad specifically about said product. If they have already visited your website, you can use a retargeting campaign to remind them of your offer.
Your PPC campaign itself will have different stages, and you will need to tailor the pages you promote and the CTAs you use on them to that particular stage. As long as you’re able to match intent to the landing page, your campaigns will be much more successful.
It Can Be Tailored to Any Campaign
PPC is also incredibly versatile and can be tailored to any campaign whatsoever. Even when you start seeing referral and organic traffic, you can still use it to promote a special offer, a new product, a new store, or whatever you want to make your audience aware of.
PPC lets you call all the shots — how many ads you want, when you want to serve them to whom, how much you want to pay for each ad, etc. That way, you can, for example, convert people who have forgotten to buy their mother a gift for Mother’s Day and are now googling in blind panic a day after the holiday.
Always have your audience in mind when coming up with your campaigns. What they need and how you’re meeting that need should always be the cornerstone of your paid efforts.
It Provides Data on Your Audience
Finally, PPC lets you collect amazingly detailed information about your audience, your competitors, and your own website. It can help you improve your SEO efforts, as well as your social media and your email marketing as well.
It will tell you what people are looking for and help you create new content or better optimize your existing posts. It will help you identify keywords that are very lucrative and that you need to work on ranking organically for. It will make you a better copywriter by telling you what people actually click on.
Use this data to fuel all of your other digital marketing campaigns, as it’s the most accurate you will ever have. It will give you specific information about your target audience you can’t get any other way.
Things To Remember About PPC
Now that you know why you should be using PPC in your digital marketing plan, let’s remember a couple of key facts about it:
- PPC only works as long as you keep paying for it. When you stop, the traffic will stop too. Try not to rely on it as your sole long-term strategy, as it can become quite expensive. Instead, aim to invest in other marketing channels over time too.
- PPC is not a substitute for organic traffic, and you won’t rank better just because you pay a lot of money for your ads. You can (and should!) use the data you gather through your PPC campaigns to inform your SEO efforts, but the two strategies are not linked.
- Some people will never click on ads and will prefer to work with the organic result. There’s no way around this, and you shouldn’t let it worry you.
- Try not to steal other people’s keywords, i.e., don’t try to rank for your competitor’s brand name. Of course, you can do it, but it’s not the best way to drive traffic to your website, as you will remain associated with your competitor in the mind of your audience.
- PPC can, in theory, fail, if the market is overly saturated and there is not enough interest in your product or if you target the wrong keywords or display your ads at the wrong time to the wrong audience. Don’t expect it to be a silver bullet.
PPC can be a great way to achieve all kinds of digital marketing goals. From raising brand awareness to boosting traffic and conversion rates, it can help you capture the attention of your target audience and stand out in a crowd. Remember to only work with experts in the field, as inexperienced PPC marketers can quickly blow your budget without delivering any meaningful results.