Let’s just get the facts out the way:

Search ads increase brand awareness by as much as 80%.” (Google, 2014)

“74% of brands say PPC is a huge driver for their business”(State of PPC 2019/2020, 2019)

PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors.”(Unbounce, 2019)

Having statistics like these, one cannot deny that pay per click (PPC) advertising is one of the most popular forms of digital advertising today. PPC is one of the earliest forms of online marketing and even though it is one of the more traditional types of advertising, it remains a dominant force. 

PPC is an advertising marketing channel used to drive traffic to your website from internet advertising by paying a company a set fee every time one of your advertisements are clicked on. 

To show you just how vital PPC is in today’s world, I interviewed our very own PPC expert – Rhys. From the history of PPC to various PPC statistics to challenges faced by Rhys, you will quickly understand why businesses are investing billions into this marketing strategy.

How did PPC come about?

PPC has evolved tremendously since its birth in the 1990s. These changes have moulded paid search into what it is today and has assisted PPC in becoming the most popular digital advertising strategies in existence today. 

SERPWatch has put together a timeline of how PPC came about. This informative timeline covers every major milestone and change that has altered and defined PPC. 

So when was PPC invented and what contributed to this incredible marketing success? To start our journey, we need to travel back in time to the year dungarees and sweater vests were considered fashionable…1996. 

(SERPWatch, 2020)

PPC Basics: How does it work?

In PPC there are 3 main parties involved. Advertisers, PPC network and the Publisher. Advertisers are businesses or clients that make use of PPC to promote their business. Publishers are individuals who team up with PPC networks so they can earn revenue from displaying the ads of the advertiser.

These are individuals who usually own their website which they can display these ads on. And lastly, PPC networks are things like Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads. Digital platforms where these ads can be displayed. 

PPC consists of many different aspects, namely Cost per Acquisition (CPA), Click-through rate (CTR), Cost per click (CPC) and Quality Score. 

A brief description of each would be:

  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA): This is one of the most important metrics that marketers should track and measure. CPA will assist by telling you how much you pay as an advertiser for each lead or purchase. 
  • Click-Through Rate: Click-Through-Rate is simply the number of times your ad is shown divided by the number of times someone clicks on your ad. Rhys considered this an important factor of PPC. 

Rhys says, “It is important because it is a measure of quality and relevancy. The higher your click-through-rate the better  your search keyword matches your ad and this is important to Google as it shows good user experience and matches between keyword and ad copy.” 

  • Cost per Click: This is the final amount you are charged for a click on your PPC ad. 
  • Quality Score: This is used to measure how well Google thinks your keywords, ads and landing pages match up to your user intent.  

Rhys elaborates by saying, “ It is a measure of relevancy and usability to your intended audience. The higher your quality score, the less you need to pay in an ad auction for a click.”

(Serach Engine Journal, 2014)

How are ads ranked and priced?

Some different metrics and formulas determine how ads are ranked and priced. Advertisers with high-quality scores are charged at a lower price as a reward. If your quality score is not that great, you will be charged more. You can improve your quality score by extensions, optimising your copy and ensuring that your landing pages are relevant and user friendly. 

Advertisers usually bid on certain keywords as there are only several slots available on Google’s first page, therefore businesses need to battle it out to claim their rightful spot. 

I am sure you are asking: How does bidding actually work? Well let me tell you. 

Above the first organic search there are 4 ad positions available. Depending on the average keyword bid it will determine which position our ad will be displayed. Although we would all want the number 1 spot, it is important to know that it is not always worth it being in the number 1 spot. 

It is possible to be in position 4 and have a successful campaign. The chances are that you will pay a lot less compared to 1st position but you will still receive the relevant clicks. 

Rhys says, “The Budget you are willing to spend in a month and what you are prepared to pay for customer acquisition ultimately determines your keyword bid. If you have a large budget and are prepared to bid more aggressively to acquire more customers, you should acquire a good percentage of your industry’s market share. The Exact opposite is true with a smaller budget, but this does not mean you can’t get a positive ROI on a smaller budget.” 

SERPWatch gives a really good visual example of how PPC ads are ranked and priced. 

(SERPWatch, 2020)

Why choose PPC ads?

You may be thinking, PPC seems like such a hassle I have to spend heaps of money to get people to click on an ad and the whole bidding is such a mission. 

Well, with an attitude like that it may be complicated. But utilising PPC whether your business is large or small can have a major – and positive – impact on most businesses. If you are not making use of PPC marketing, you are most likely losing out on valuable traffic and revenue. 

There are many benefits of PPC, and I mean MANY! I will touch on 3 key benefits that Rhys believes has the most impact on businesses using PPC. 

  1. PPC is measurable and trackable 

A major benefit is that PPC advertising runs through Google Ads which is measurable when combined with Google Analytics. On this, you will be able to see high-level performance details which include impressions, clicks and conversions. 

There is no guessing how your PPC ads are performing. Statistics are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing as well as what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget. 

  1. Targeting options

Many advertisers take a multi-layered approach in Google Ads to test and ensure full coverage across the networks. By doing approach you can ensure the full scope of Google Ads is being leveraged and due to that you are getting many impressions while targeting your prospective audience. 

The biggest benefit of PPC targeting options is that you are able to reach people who have been exposed to your brand in addition to those who are not already in your audience. 

  1. You have full control 

With PPC ads you have full control over a wide range of options for how you reach potential customers. This all starts with the keywords you choose to target and how restrictive you want to be. There is budget flexibility so you can start small. You can set your own ad budget and bigs, and decide what you are willing to spend – although you have to pay close to the market rate to play in most cases.

If you are seeing positive results with this, you can scale it up immediately. If you feel like you need to take a break, you can always pause and stop your ad spend just as fast you can scale up – immediately. 

The benefits of Google Ads is another list on its own, yet Rhys prefers Google Ads over other network platforms.

He says, “Google Ads holds over 70%  of market share amongst PPC advertising. This allows you to reach people all over the world with your advertising. It is constantly evolving and improving, making it the World’s most dominant PPC Program.”

The statistics reveal why it is the most dominant PPC Program. SERPWatch has created an infographic on just why Google Ads is remarkable for PPC.

(SERPWatch, 2020)

PPC vs SEO:

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What are the differences between PPC and SEO?

The main difference between PPC and SEO is that traffic from SEO is free (organic) whereas traffic generated from PPC is not, it’s in the name ‘Pay per click’. 

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What are the benefits of using PPC and SEO together?

PPC and SEO work well together, but what exactly does PPC have that SEO does not? Well for starters PPC allows you to attract the right people. The people that are clicking on the ads want to buy it right away. From that, PPC can help you increase your sales right away. 

When PPC and SEO work together, you will be able to drive results that are greater than running them individually. 

The benefits of using both SEO and PPC together include:

  • Keywords and conversion data from PPC can be fed into organic search (SEO)
  • By targeting clicks in paid and organic for high-performing keywords it can increase the total volume of traffic, and
  • Increase in awareness and confidence by having both strong paid and organic visibility.

When asked what SEO techniques would you use to increase conversion rates? 

Rhys responded by saying, “The biggest long term improvement is through constant tracking.  See PPC like a running engine. Maintain it, improve it and try new things to make it run more efficiently. Adjust a few bolts and replace a new pipe and in a few months time, it’s running even better… you get the idea.”

What are the common mistakes in PPC?

As we know PPC is one of the most popular forms of digital advertising today as it is one of the fastest ways to generate customers to your business. 

However, running a PPC campaign the right way is not necessarily easy for most people. Many people running campaigns end up wasting their money when running paid online ads and this leads them to believe that PPC is not for them when in actual fact they are making a few simple mistakes that can be easily fixed. This will help their online advertising efforts and have a positive effect on their quality score. 

The top three mistakes in PPC are:

  1. Targeting an audience that is too niche or too broad

By targeting a very broad audience it will result in paying more to get what you want out of your PPC budget. Whereas targeting a too niche audience will probably result in a campaign getting little to no traffic. 

  1. Set and Forget

The statistics gathered throughout your campaign is used to help improve your performance. This data allows you to see what is and isn’t working, and what needs to be changed. Setting up a campaign is very important but it is not the last thing you do. Optimising and tracking your campaign is what matters. 

  1. Not matching your ads to the relevant landing pages

Do not disappoint your visitors or Google by not relating your landing pages to what your ads promise. This will result in a bad quality score for your keywords or ads. Consequently your ads will show less often, in lower positions and will cost you far more. 

What’s your most successful PPC campaign so far?

Everyone has their own story of what their most successful PPC campaign was, but for CleverClicker Rhys it was a campaign he is extremely proud of. 

Rhys said,” I’ve managed some pretty great accounts for a variety of businesses. My biggest success in terms of ROI for a client is for a law firm in Australia which spent $30 000 in 6 months on there advertising and made just over $ 300 000 in revenue.”

What were the biggest challenges of PPC?

From learning about PPC as an intern I got the impression that PPC advertising is pretty straightforward. You buy an ad, it appears on Google, and that ads get clicks. You spend money to make money sort of them. From that traffic is booming and all your ads are appearing in the right place. Yet, that’s not always how it works. 

Rhys opened up to me about the biggest challenges he faced in PPC and how he overcame them. He said the biggest challenge was building three large PPC accounts this year on his own after not knowing where to start. I guess 2020 did challenge everyone. 

He overcame it by stating that a methodic method for building and structuring these accounts has proven to be the best method instead of rushing into it. 

Having a solid plan on how to overcome challenges is great, yet it does not always go as planned. Some challenges result in failures. Rhys elaborated on this by stating that he too did have his fair share of failures with PPC advertising. 

He says,” I would say in the past I have used a number of Automated Bidding Strategies that were not thought out and lead to a low ROI for clients. Automation is not always best. Control and understanding is where the results are at.”

Owning up to failure in any aspect of life is admirable as one can only learn from it just as Rhys did. 

Every PPC expert has their secret way of getting their campaigns to rank up there on Google Search. You will have your secret sauce as to how you achieve a great quality score and ROI with your PPC ads.

Trying to get the secret recipe out of Rhys, I had asked him if he had a secret recipe like Colonel Sanders did for KFC, what would your secret recipe be for PPC? 

Of Course he had a little giggle at the question, sweating at the brow trying to decide if he should answer and divulge his winning recipe. After many eye batting and puppy dog faces,  he eventually cracked… sort of. 

Rhys said, “I think something that a lot of people overlook is understanding your clients business and their specific needs. Once you can properly grasp this, you can build a funnel to achieve a positive ROI and provide transparency between you and the client for success.”

While keeping his secret to himself he did try to answer with a little hope to improve on your secret recipe to PPC ads. 

Why should you care about PPC?

You must be asking yourself, “So what? Why should I care about PPC?”

Well, you don’t have to if you don’t love your business like it’s your firstborn child. 

By utilising PPC to advertise your business, it can only promote your business to audiences you never thought it would be able to reach. Using PPC and SEO together can do nothing but great things for your business by attracting customers that appreciate the products and/or services that you offer. Those are the kind of customers that will remain brand loyal. 

The benefits of PPC are endless but it’s understandable if businesses are a little hesitant to invest money into something they have no idea what the ROI might look like. How does that saying go again? Oh yes, you have to risk it to get the biscuit!  

Let’s face it, if the statistics, Rhys and this post does not encourage you to use PPC, you may never know the hidden customers out there that have been searching high and low for your business. 

Do you want to risk the success of your business or would you rather take the advice from this post and achieve great things for your business? 

Check out the PPC services we offer so we can help with your business’s game plan.

Remember, make wise choices. 

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