Optimizing ­PPC — or pay-per-click — advertising is a cost-effective way to market your business. You may not know PPC ads by name, but you certainly know them in practice. They appear alongside your search results on Google or your social media platform feeds. Here’s why PPC can be such a successful route when implemented correctly.


What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising is a form of internet advertising in which advertisers pay a fee when users click on their ads. Though there are a few different kinds of PPC ads, the most common is the paid search ad.

Paid search ads occur most frequently when an individual performs a commercial search on a search engine like Google. For example:

  • A mobile search: “Restaurant near me”
  • A local service search: “Dentist near me”
  • A gift search: “Anniversary flowers”

All these searches can trigger PPC ads. A business that runs ads will only be charged when a user actually clicks on the ad, which is why they’re named as such. So, for instance, a company like 1-800-FLOWERS may create a PPC ad for the search “anniversary flowers.” Doing this would trigger their ad any time someone searched those words in Google. More on that below!


How Does PPC Advertising Work?

For ads to appear alongside the results on a search engine like Google, advertisers cannot simply pay more than their competitors. Major search engines use a process known as an “Ad Auction” to determine both the relevance and the validity of the advertisements that appear on the results page. This ad auction is a bidding system in which advertisers must bid on the keywords that they want to “trigger” the display of their ads.

In the example above, “anniversary flowers” would be the keyword that 1-800 FLOWERS might bid on to have their ad displayed. There are also several other keywords that would be of interest to them such as birthday flowers or Mother’s Day flowers.

When it comes to keywords, the most important factor is only bidding on keywords that are relevant to your ads. This helps ensure that you’re only paying for clicks that can help you get sales.


How to Optimize PPC Ads

Pay-per-click marketing is a highly cost-effective method to advertise when done correctly. It allows you to drive traffic to your site and ultimately grow your business. To optimize your PPC costs, consider the following factors:

  •  Relevant keywords: Reflect on whether you’re selecting the best search terms for your optimal audience. Do the terms help connect them with products they want to buy or allow them to find solutions to their problems?
  • Quality ads and landing pages: Google awards the best ad placement as well as the lowest costs to businesses that optimize the customer experience. Your CTR (click-through rate) is a good metric to use for customer experience. A good Google Ads click-through rate is 4-5%+ on the search network or 0.5-1%+ on the display network. If your CTR is less than desirable, consider improving the quality of your ads and landing pages. This way, your clicks are providing a return-on-investment.


Final Thoughts

Are you a California-based business looking for digital marketing support? Reach out to Mattingly Consulting for support online in PPC advertising, social media management, email campaigns, and so much more.

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