Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) an integral part of your business's digital marketing plans? If not, why not?
PPC can sometimes be seen as a bit of a dirty word among those new to digital marketing. It can be seen as a dirty word by those who have experience in the sector as well, but it shouldn’t be that way. Like all digital marketing tools, it has its place within your marketing strategy, and depending on your goals it can be a particularly effective tool.
Part of your SEM Strategy
For PPC to be most effective it needs to be a part of your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy, alongside Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). An effective SEM strategy helps to create effective, quality, optimised landing pages for both organic and paid searches, generating better results for both PPC and SEO campaigns.
This means when you are thinking about a PPC (or SEO) campaign always ensure you are thinking about the SEM structure as a whole.
Why should you be using PPC?
PPC campaigns provide success within three well-defined goal sets: Awareness; Conversion; and Engagement. Understanding what you and your business are looking to achieve with PPC (or any marketing campaign) is the first step to success, so let’s take a look at how PPC – which can include Search, display, video, app can help with each goal:
If you are looking to get to the first page of Google quickly, PPC is far more effective at achieving this goal in a timely fashion than organic/SEO tactics. With awareness-led campaigns the goal is always to see your company name, product, or service in that search result. Clicks are a bonus at this stage and when they occur should be directed to informative landing pages.
Looking to promote a particular product or service? Running a special or sale on a certain product? PPC is your best friend! Running a cost-related, conversion-orientated PPC campaign will put that promotion in front of people searching for key words relating to that particular product. They will be able to see the offer, and if price is their key motivator, clicking the ad would be a solid indication of buying intent. Landing on a store page or a one-click away from purchase page will increase chances of conversion.
Building brand engagement is the next step on from awareness and akin to conversion just in a slightly different way. Encouraging the growth in community or interaction with quality content can be achieved through PPC campaigns. Successful PPC campaigns can inform a new audience of a social platform for your business, a community platform for your business, or help to create a mailing list by promoting free/data capture lead content such as content services or downloads. Landing pages should be focused on driving engagement, including the ability to share the content and capturing data to drive future engagement.
By acknowledging your goals, you will be able to identify how PPC fits in with your digital marketing plans and its place in achieving your goals/targets.
What are the drawbacks of PPC?
As with all marketing tools there are pros and cons with using the tool, here are couple of the key negatives to be aware of:
Perception of PPC – Informed audiences may shy away from clicking PPC placements on Google. The ads are clearly defined as adverts or sponsored when displayed which may create a perception (or mis-conception) of your listing causing some people to not click on the listing.
The cost implication – One of the P’s of PPC is ‘pay’, so cost is obviously a downside to PPC (or any advertising) and, to be fair, there are companies out there who have wasted vast sums of cash on ill-advised badly managed campaigns in the past. It is possible for costs, if left unmanaged, to be an issue for some businesses.
They can be badly managed – As alluded to in my previous point, management of PPC campaigns is important and necessary to make sure they are performing effectively. Whether the campaigns are managed internally or externally via an agency it is important that the campaign is managed correctly from day one, implementing changes when needed in terms to the campaign content and budget allocation.
What are the benefits of PPC?
Although there are multiple key benefits based around Awareness, Conversion and Engagement, such as getting to the first page of Google quickly with the right message, there is one advantage that outweighs most negatives and other positives alike – measurable return on investment (ROI).
As you are only paying per click, you can assign a direct cost of each visit to your website and calculate the cost of achieving your defined PPC campaign goals. ROI is key when measuring the success of campaigns and no ROI is more specific and measurable then that of PPC campaigns.
If you know each click costs 0.12p or £5.85, you know that when that figure is spent the person is one step closer to achieving the goal you have set out.
The effectiveness of conversion now becomes an internal challenge, but the lead generation aspect of the marketing plan has been tackled in a measurable fashion by PPC (alongside a structured SEM plan).
So, why is PPC so important to digital marketing plans?
Hopefully you can see from the above, but PPC is important because it is another tool at your disposal - and not just another tool, but one with a proven track record of success that has immense measurability in terms of ROI.
“PPC is a great tool enabling businesses to raise their positioning on search pages and push their business profile out into the market place. Common misconceptions around PPC are the costs, but with daily budgets and Keyword bidding you can keep control over your spend and get the maximum benefit out of paid advertising.Olivia Axon, Digital Marketing and Events Apprentice at the Business Growth Hub
The monitoring of the success of PPC can be achieved through the effective use of Google Analytics and Google Tag manager to track conversion rates. If you want to understand more about PPC or any other digital topic, the Business Growth Hub’s Digital team run courses on a variety of digital marketing topics, including PPC, SEO and Google Analytics. For more information please contact me at Olivia.email@example.com and we can get you booked on to one of our many fully-funded courses. “
Michael O'Flynn, Sales & Marketing Director - Professional Academy
Michael O’Flynn has a decade’s worth of applying digital techniques to sales and marketing to achieve cost- effective, high-impact results for various companies. Since cutting his teeth in the highly competitive and high-pressure hospitality sector he joined Professional Academy as Sales & Marketing Manager (a company for which he is now the Sales & Marketing Director). He has been able to not only implement these skills in his day-to-day job role but also pass this knowledge on to help companies and individuals use digital technologies and skills more effectively to improve sales and marketing activity as well as operational performance.
Michael is also a trainer for Business Growth Hub running PPC training sessions for Manchester businesses throughout 2017 and into 2018 – find out more about Business Growth Hub Digital Skills Workshops below.
Theme: Digital & Technology
Google Adwords and PPC MasterclassThis session will give you the tools and knowledge to make the most of Google Adwords and ultimately give your business a boost.
Date: 18th July 2018
Location: Central Manchester
Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm