Pay Per click advertising is a strategy that’s not for everyone. Those who do use it and use it well enjoy increases in both traffic and sales, with complete control of cost. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads have become popular pay per click or online advertising programs with simple to use tools that make setting up a campaign very straightforward.
This post will outline what pay per click is, how much it costs and will look at how using Google AdWords can help you establish your own successful pay per click campaign.
What is Pay per Click?
Pay per click (PPC) is the online advertising vehicle where the advertiser pays for every time their ad is clicked. The advertisement will appear whenever it matches search requirements, known as impressions. When the advertisement is clicked by the searcher, the advertiser is charged – this is called the cost per click (CPC). The amount the advertiser is charged can work on a bidding system, so you might be charged different amounts each time, or a flat rate, depending on the company you go through. The conversion of impressions to clicks is known as your click through rate (CTR).
Research says that 20% of people will click on paid search results. Although that number doesn’t seem huge, depending on your category, getting onto the first few pages of organic search results can be a long process and if your category is highly competitive with big players, it can be extremely difficult. PPC gives you the chance to get on the first few pages of search results with a daily budget that you set.
We have had clients get on the first page spending just $14 a week and getting 82 click throughs. Another client spends $21 a week and gets 957 click throughs (2.68% CTR) operating in a very popular category but carefully selecting niche keywords.
How much does it cost?
PPC allows you to set a daily budget with each click through becoming a credit charged against that budget. Once the budget is exhausted, your ads will no longer appear. With PPC as stated above, you only pay when your ad is clicked. Your ad could appear 100,000 times and if it is only clicked once, you will only pay for the one click.(Although that would give you a dismal CTR and you would want to reassess your ads and your keywords to find out why you are not getting clicks).
The bidding system for PPC is based on an auction model, where keywords are bid on and the resulting rank in the paid search area is determined by the bid. Each keyword will have a different CPC as the popularity is different, therefore the bids will be different. E.g. Sydney flowers may be $1.50 for the top position where as Dubbo flowers may be $0.65.
If you operate in an extremely competitive category expect to spend more on your CPC. If you work in a less competitive category or drill down on keywords that match your product or service more specifically than other businesses, you may be able to secure a lower CPC.
Think of the bidding system like a silent auction. You can either state your maximum bid per keyword or make a general rule e.g. if I set a maximum CPC for any keyword to $0.80, the system will then use this information along with bids from all advertisers to determine who gets returned in the results and in what rank. The winner is charged the highest bid, not necessarily their maximum CPC. Just like on eBay; you might set your bid limit on that handbag for $200 but have the winning bid at $175.
Why Choose Google AdWords
Sometimes it seems the world is Google mad.Call it effective branding, but I generally use the word Google as though I learnt it on a flashcard as a toddler. I always find it interesting when in a movie or TV show they use Bing as their search engine; I see it as futile attempt to shift what already is second nature to many.
Like with all assumptions, sometimes you can’t help but stop and ask “really?” I was so pleased when I came across this Experian Report that stated Google accounts for 65% of all search activity. With the Bing group accounting for 29%, meaning all the hundreds of other search engines share in the reaming 6%. This left me feeling very validated about always wanting to “Google it” and for favouring Google AdWords for our own and our clients PPC campaigns over Bing Paid Search.
With Google accounting for 89.2% of all search enquiries, using Google AdWords gives you the opportunity to get in front of 65% of searchers. Google AdWords tools make it easy to set up a campaign with tested Keywords (read our post on Mastering Keyword and Keyword phrases for SEO), estimate the traffic it will bring and manage your bids and daily budget – allowing you to set your campaign and for it to self-manage.
We recommend checking on your campaign every few days to:
- Review your keywords; which are getting the most clicks? Are there similar words or phrases you could add? Are there words with lots of impressions and no clicks? Should you pause them or check your ads to make sure they are maximising your keywords in the copy.
- Review your ads; which are getting the most clicks? Can you create any news ads by mixing words from your two ads with the highest CTR?
- Check your page rank; are you average past page 5? Do you need to increase your CPC bid to ensure a better page rank?
Running a Google AdWords campaign successfully requires constant monitoring and adjustment in response to the results you see. We loved this article by Melinda Samson on Copywritematters.com.au that takes the rules of online dating and applies them to your Google AdWords campagin.
My experience with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads
I was lucky enough to trial Google AdWords and Facebook Ads for free. I received a free $50 credit for Facebook Ads when I signed up for my website and Google AdWords has a $75 credit for all new accounts running (we have a Google AdWords package to help get you started).
I operate in a highly competitive category, dominated by big business; keywords I target include Small Business Advice and Marketing Consultants, each having bids up to $5. I found with my trial I needed a high daily budget, a high CPC bid and the results were average. On Facebook Ads however, I targeted interest groups and demographic information instead of keywords. I displayed my offer and not only got clicks, but got likes, resulting in a longer term relationship being established.
My advice is if you can find a niche avenue to explore, use Google AdWords. If you operate in broad categories, try Facebook Ads. If you are not sure which to try, go with Google AdWords, after all who can argue with $75 free advertising while you tread the water and test some results.
Until next week, P is for Pay Per Click and also Panic! It’s November already, the year has flown past!