Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click advertising is the best and fastest way to get visitors when you need traffic and you need it instantly. Pay Per Click or PPC is a part of Search Optimisation that many users attempt to undertake themselves. Google are very ready to let novice users use the system and anyone can sign up for a Google AdWords account and begin to bid on keywords instantly. With poor management, you can spend a fortune, generate thousands of visits, and end up with a very low ROI for your campaign. PPC must be managed as part of an overall strategy, or to prop a web project up when it is lacking in an area of Organic Search.
I use PPC for clients that need an instant Google presence, but I always describe it as a faucet: once it is on and running, all is fine. However, once the budget stops or keyword bidding becomes too expensive, all the initial worth of the campaign is gone. A good PPC campaign must always be done in tandem with a solid on-site and back-linking policy – put simply, you should only pay for keyterms while you are optimising for free organic search listings.
What is PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising?
Each major Search Engine and Social Media Platform also offers a PPC model. Google, Bing and Yahoo provide preferential listings within their search results or SERPs. This, is in addition to their natural or organic search results, forms what you see on each page when you search for any term within these search engines. Google’s Adwords platform is the most important here in Ireland and has pioneered most of the features and listing methods adopted by Yahoo and Bing.
So how does it work? The system is essentially an auction where the more you are willing to pay per click for a certain word or term of a specific language within a certain geographic zone, the higher you will rank within the Search Engine’s Listings. If someone clicks on your PPC advert, they arrive at the link you have specified for the keyterm and you are charged the amount you bid. There are a variety of other Quality driven factors which influence whether the Advert will be listed successfully, but the main driving factor is your budget. An average ad budget for a small owner/operator will range from €50 to €500 per month spread across 6 to 8 key phrases.
PPC on Facebook
Facebook offer one of the most targeted Pay Per Click systems available to date. Facebook stores and catalogues a large amount of statistics and data on each user and offers brands and advertisers a level of demographic segmentation that is available in no other search engine or social platform. Facebook also offers images as part of its advert model. A facebook ad is a small image, a title and a couple of lines of text. The real power of facebook comes from its delivery. Ads can be targeted in the following ways:
- Age Group
- Likes & Interests
- Geographic Location
Facebook can be used to direct traffic anywhere and does not carry the same strict Quality Guidelines as the Major Search Engines. One of my advised methods for facebook is to split the campaign to direct traffic to your company facebook page and also to your main website. This will help increase social reach and redirect traffic from facebook to your own web presence. Facebook Ads are also an excellent way to create a limited facebook presence without the need for a fan page or profile.
My System for PPC
My system for PPC is methodical and I believe that all paid search campaigns should follow these 6 steps in conjunction with an organic SEO campaign:
- Initial Keyword Research to determine local & global traffic trends
- Competitor Research to determine a realistic budget
- Geographic Linguistic Research to Determine Variations within phrases and key terms
- Paid Listing Copywriting
- Campaign Creation a tandem setup of Google Adwords and Google Analytics and a Third Party Tracking Software*
- Monitor and reiterate the cycle until the most profitable keywords are found
*Much as Google are a great service for Ads and Search Engines, I always like to have a 3rd Party tracking system to ensure I have the real results from a paid campaign with Google.