Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click (PPC) is a type of search marketing where advertisers bid on a range of phrases related to their business and whenever a prospect clicks on their ad (otherwise known as a click through) they pay the bid price. The higher you bid the higher you will appear in the search results.
Pay per click is generally run through pay per click providers who then have search partners which is where their results appear. These results often appear as the sponsored results above the normal web results on a search engine.
In such a competitive sector, pay-per-click (PPC) is essential for targeting heavily saturated keyphrases and driving traffic to the site. It gives immediate presence, can be set up quickly and tracked through to conversion. This can also provide an early presence in search engines while the search engine optimisation (SEO) activity is taking effect.
PPC can play an important role and should be viewed as a comparatively inexpensive form of advertising. It also helps to gain early positive results, as a campaign can be set up in about two weeks.
The big advantage from the PPC system is that you pay only for a click from the search engine to your website. This is a guaranteed qualified lead, someone has typed in the search term and clicking because that is what they are actually looking for! (As opposed to generally surfing.)
On average about 35% of search engine traffic comes from PPC. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of pay-per-click, are summarised below:
|Provides a rapid result to be at the top of the rankings – whilst you wait for the effects of SEO||Not all users click on sponsored sites (although the figure is believed to be approx. 35 % and rising)|
|You only pay for the results (ie the click- through’s)||Once you stop paying you will not be listed (it can therefore be considered a form of advertising)|
|Provides qualified leads – the person was searching for the product/service|
As mentioned, it can be considered a form of advertising, as once you stop paying, you stop appearing. This is unlike search engine optimisation where the results can remain for some considerable time. In addition, the ROI can be tracked via clicks and conversions so you know whether it works for you very quickly.
The initial stage of setting up a campaign on pay per click involves the creation of a campaign plan.
This plan involves us researching keyphrases that are currently being used in the search engines and compiling a suitable list of options. The plan also shows:-
- Estimated searches
- Estimated clicks
- Cost per click
- Estimated total cost
- Estimated position
From this campaign plan and discussion with the client we choose the appropriate phrases for the campaign and set the initial monthly budget.
Once the phrases are agreed the next stage of the campaign is to write the titles and descriptions. This is basically the text that will appear when the searcher types your phrase into the search engine.
Yahoo and Google Adwords have very strict editorial guidelines that must be adhered to when writing the listings. These include no superlatives, no repetition, relevant listings and certain character lengths.
Campaigns need careful daily, weekly and monthly management to ensure that the objectives are achieved and positions are maintained.
It’s possible at this stage to change budgets to suit eg: position two is often cheaper than position one which means the budget goes further, taking out some high-cost (usually generic) phrases can reduce spend, and so on.
Included within the management and reporting cost each client receives a standard monthly report for their campaign.
These reports show every phrase within your campaign and how it performed over the monthly period detailing:
- Total clicks
- Average cost per click
- Total spend
- Average position
Additional reporting is available for those clients that require conversion tracking. The conversion figures would be included in the usual monthly report.
Some clients feel they need reports on a weekly basis as well as their monthly report. This is not offered as part of the standard service but can be added to your campaign as an additional report.