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What is PPC? Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising Explained

What is PPC marketing? How can I use Google Adwords and Bing to grow my business?

If you’ve ever felt uneasy or confused about paid advertising and how it can grow your businesses then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll explain the basics of pay-per-click advertising and the benefits it can provide to your growing business.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is the process of bidding on keywords you wish to list for on search engine result pages. Every time a visitor clicks on your advert, you pay a fee.

For example, when you search for something on Google or Bing, you’ll see adverts above the top and right hand side of the page as illustrated below.

PPC Pay-Per-Click

When done correctly, you can get a swarm of hungry prospects waiting to eat what you’re offering, giving you huge ROI from your paid marketing efforts.

Here’s an example of PPC advertising done correctly:

Let’s say you deliver paid online marketing courses to businesses in the UK.

You bid £2 per click and are the highest bidder for this keyword. There is a good chance you’ll be top of the pecking order for this keyword in SERPs (search engine ranking pages).

You charge £300 for your course, and generate 50 clicks during your PPC campaign. By the end of your campaign you make 1 sale.

You spent £100 during your PPC campaign (£2 x 50 clicks) and sold 1 course worth £300. Therefore your ROI is 300%. For every £100 you spend, you make a profit of £200. Therefore spending £1k on PPC could generate you £3k and etc. You get the idea.

Whether you decide to double-down on PPC advertising and invest more money depends on key factors such as available budget and current results.

But you have to be smart.

Simply pumping money down the PPC food chain without having a clear strategy is a sure-fire way to fail. 

PPC Keyword Research Strategy

Keyword research is the most important element of any PPC campaign.

The phrases you choose should strongly match the needs and desires of your target audience.

Creating effective buyer personas is a great way to gauge how your prospects think and feel.

The goal of your keyword research strategy should be to continually compile a list of keywords that are:

  • Long-tail and highly specific
  • Low-cost
  • Indicate buyer intent

Long-Tail Keywords

Targeting keywords that are long-tail (3 words or more) ensures you pick out the less common but highly specific, problem-focused phrases. And if your product or service solves this specific problem, you’ll laugh all the way to the bank.

Whilst general one or two-word phrases generate more traffic in isolation, they’re very expensive to bid on.

Long-tail keywords are less competitive than general terms making them less expensive too.

Indicate Buyer Intent

There are generally two types of keywords you’ll find when doing keyword research.

1). The first type of keywords are information-intent phrases.

People who use these phrases are looking for information about their problem. They’re not necessarily trying to buy a product.

2). Buyer intent keywords are phrases which indicate what a searcher is looking to buy.

For example, “best place to buy a PS4 in UK”, “SEO services in Birmingham”, “6 inch heels, size 7”.

It’s in your best interest to target keywords with buyer intent, as they already know what they’re looking for in a product, thus making the traffic quite easy to convert.

If you do target an “information-intent” keyword, ensure your landing page isn’t designed to sell a paid product right off the bat.

Your conversions will be very low. Instead, opt for a free giveaway and use the opportunity to build an email list. Ensure your conversion funnel and autoresponder emails are designed to build a relationship with your prospects.

Is Pay-per-Click Marketing Right for You?

PPC advertising can bring healthy returns for most businesses however your success, like most aspects of marketing and business, depends solely on you.

If you like engaging in ego-based bidding wars simply because you want the coveted #1 spot, PPC marketing is not for you.

Successful PPC campaigns are not born through trigger happy, spray and pray activities.

You’ll only be a hindrance to the success of your business.

And you’ll lose a lot of money whilst doing it.

There are many components that make a successful PPC campaign. These include but are not limited to:

Ensuring that each component is strong will result in being charged less per click, leading to even higher profits and marketing ROI.

This is why it’s essential that you learn how to do PPC correctly to avoid picking up bad habits.

Thinking of creating a PPC campaign for your business? Check out our adwords article and learn the best tricks of the trade for creating a successful PPC campaign.

What pay-per-click tips and strategies have you implemented in your business? What worked and what didn’t? We’re curious to hear from you in the comments below.


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  1. Oh god this is so helpful
    Truly amazing

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