Pay Per Click Marketing, also called Cost-Per-Click Marketing, is a type of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) where the advertiser pays a certain sum of money to the search engine for every click an internet user makes on the ad. The ad appears during search results for certain words (called keywords) and is linked to a specific landing page usually on the advertiser’s website.
The purpose of the ad is to inform visitors about the product or the service the advertiser is selling. The ad usually appears when the user is looking for a similar product. The important triggers are the keywords that the advertiser has put in for the ad and the user’s location. For example, a baker in South Delhi may put up an ad where the triggers are the words ‘cake’ and ‘South Delhi’. Now, whenever someone from South Delhi or even outside Delhi searches for ‘cake South Delhi’ or some similar search term, the advertiser’s ad will pop up on the search results page.
These ads are helpful for business to bring in interested leads to their website and who are willing to buy the product or at least give it a good thought.
There are various aspects of Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing. Let’s take a look at some of them to understand how PPC can help your business.
PPC without an online presence is a bad idea under normal circumstances
Going for ads without building a business presence online is not a great idea. You ought to put up a website or create a Facebook or Instagram page (among others) before you start with the ads. This is because customers are more willing to trust you if you have a good website or an FB page with a few followers. Also, once the ad time runs out, you can continue to receive visitors to your site or social media page, which would not be possible if you do not have any online presence.
Defining the goal is important before one jumps onto the PPC wagon
It is essential that you know what you are trying to achieve before you move into SEM. The best way to go ahead is to quantify the numbers you are hoping to get. Classifying them into:
- what is the bare minimum you want to achieve,
- what would be good to get and
- what would be fantastic
is a good start.
You would need the help of an SEM services company to get sensible projection numbers. If the results are not effective, it makes sense to hold the campaign and understand the reasons. In most cases, continuing to tweak the strategy until you and the SEM company find the right one is a good move.
Sticking to the budget is important if one intends to succeed
The budget you have will define how big a campaign you can launch. If you run a small business, it may make sense to start small, see the results and then go for something big. In fact, the same holds true for anyone starting with an ad campaign for the first time. Also, you may find better results if you use a PPC services company to run the campaign rather than doing it yourself. Start small, see the results, tweak the strategy until you find the right one and stick to it. You can then put in more funds to get the ad going for a longer time or even increase its reach.
PPC works best for niche products that customers want to buy right away
A software company selling its software services online will have lesser success with an SEM campaign as compared to a company selling cakes and biscuits. This is because in the former case, the visitor is likely to wait and compare a few options before he makes a buy, while in the latter the customer is probably looking because they want to order right away and the price difference between two competitors does not create a decision-making issue. Similarly, a business selling next-day plane tickets at prices less than what one gets on aggregators or even the airlines’ own website will find more takers through appropriate ads.
Products that fulfil an immediate demand should use PPC as an integral part of their marketing campaign, while others should use it but place higher importance on search engine optimisation (SEO) services.
Research and tweaking are key ingredients for any successful campaign
Understanding customer behaviour and how they make purchasing decisions are important aspects of any ad campaign. A business needs to know when people make a purchase. For example, if we take the bakery we talked of in the earlier section, they have to know when customers are more likely to order cakes to create an effective campaign. If they cater cakes to mostly offices and for parties, then a time between 9 am and 4 pm may be better to run the campaign. If they only deliver to a few locations, then putting up those names in the ad itself may help as people in other areas will not click on the ad.
Taking this further, if the bakery sees that most of the orders are between 10 am and 1 pm, then they can choose to run the ads only during those times. Tweaking the ad to give more cost-effective results will allow the ad to run longer on the same budget and deliver better results.