The ABCs of PPC: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC Ads

If you’re looking to increase your brand awareness or business success through social media, one fundamental method is to use PPC advertising.

PPC stands for “pay-per-click” and is an option that social media and search engine sites offer for businesses to market themselves. We’re going to look at this advertising option today, giving you some insight into how it works and what it can do for your business.

So, let’s take a look at PPC.

What Is PPC?

PPC ads are the sponsored posts or advertisements that find their way into our search results or social media feeds. As time has gone on, you may have noticed that these advertisements are more and more specific to you and your interest.

You might have even had the experience of talking about something, only to find that you receive an ad about that very thing the next time you use social media.

Algorithms and artificial intelligence are getting better at placing ads in front of users interested in them. This might feel a little creepy or invasive from the user side of things, but it poses a big advantage to businesses who want to get their content out there.

It’s also the primary way that search engines and social media sites make money, so they have a vested interest in making advertising effective.

Why Is It Called Pay-Per-Click?

PPC gets its name from the fact that users only pay when their content is engaged with.

Let’s say you post an advertisement, and nobody clicks on it, likes it, shares it, or comments. You wouldn’t have to pay a cent for that advertisement, even if you spread it out to thousands upon thousands of people.

Generally speaking, PPC keywords have a specific set rate for the amount a company pays when it’s clicked. Let’s say you choose a popular keyword, and it costs you 60 cents per click.

You can distribute that advertisement out to your target audience as much as you like, but your bill will keep ticking upward as it’s clicked more and more. The beautiful thing is that you can set a budget cap so you never get further in the hole than you’d like to be.

The amount you pay tends to be different based on each advertisement, though.

Understanding Costs and Keywords

In most cases, you’ll incorporate a target keyword that allows the algorithm to place your advertisement more effectively. Keyword research is an excellent way to figure out what your target audience is interested in, and you can use keywords as direct channels to wind up in their feeds and searches.

When you find an optimal keyword, you can place your advertisement in searches with that keyword. The thing is, some keywords are a lot more popular than others.

Those are the keywords that a lot of businesses want to use in their digital marketing campaigns. There are limited spots for those keywords, though. There are only so many placements available, so there’s more demand than supply.

As a result, many sites use a bidding system to get the best price for their keyword placements. Prices can vary from a few dollars to a few cents for the price of a click.

You might get lucky and snag a popular keyword for cheap, but you could also wind up paying a lot of money for a reasonably popular keyword. In this way, the PPC cost is difficult to get an estimate for.

The value you spend should be in relation to how much potential value you’ll receive from a user that follows through on the ad.

Creating Effective Ads

An effective PPC ad involves a few key parts. First, you have to have the right target demographic. Your advertisement will not do anything for you if you don’t place it in front of an interested audience.

The beautiful thing about the internet is that there’s so much information that you have the potential to find that audience. A little keyword and market research should queue you into the right placement for your ad.

Next, you have to craft a good post that will get users interested. After that, your website has to hold enough water to get people thinking about making a sale or following through with whatever measure of success you’re using.

No advertisement will work for you unless your site seems credible and you’re pushing a good product. That said, a great ad does have the potential to draw a lot of traffic to your website. If your site is up to par, you’ve got a good chance of success.

Evaluating Return on Investment

If you’re going to invest all this time and effort into a marketing effort, it’s important that you have a way of monitoring how well it’s doing for you. The ROI of PPC ads can come to you in a number of ways.

First, you’ll have access to clear-cut analytics on how well the ads are drawing traffic. You’ll see numbers on views, engagements, and what those engagements do for you when they go back to your website.

Further, you can see when someone makes a purchase as a result of a session that started with a PPC ad. That’s a clear way to understand the cash value in momentary terms.

That said, an abstract return on investment is the benefit that your PPC ads bring to your SEO results. The more engagements you have on your site, the more valuable your site will look to Google.

Once you reach a certain point in the search results, organic rankings are a free way to advertise your site to thousands of people. So, the value comes in through a couple of avenues, but it definitely comes in.

Want to Improve Your Digital Marketing Campaign?

There’s a lot to learn about PPC. There’s a lot to learn about SEO and site management, too. We’re here to help you work through all of those ideas and create a marketing campaign that works.

Contact us to learn more about what digital marketing can do for your site and what we can do for your digital marketing campaign.