Online Marketing…the Digital world…Scary place eh? Not really. I think too much is made of the complexity of digital marketing. SEO, CPM, PPC; following on from last week’s blog post, there are acronyms everywhere online, but one of these acronyms in particular is a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to market themselves, their product and services. Behold PPC.
PPC means Pay Per Click, and is a paid search marketing solution. Paid search marketing means you advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying either each time your ad is clicked (pay-per-click ) or less commonly, when your ad is displayed (cost-per-impression – CPM).
We’ve all seen PPC but perhaps are unaware of it or at least, unfamiliar with it and what it looks like from a customer’s point of view. So that we can all carry on harmoniously singing from the same hymn sheet, I’m going to ask you to carry out a small exercise. Using your search engine let’s look for the following, a ‘chocolate fountain’ (I know it’s January and that’s precisely why I am looking and not touching) The search engine results page (SERP: I feel this may be an acronym heavy article too..?) will display results not in a standard top to bottom linear list but in a column like format or a F format in order to distinguish those which have been given more priority.
The paid for search results are usually boxed out at the top of the page or listed down the right hand side. The “person” at the top of the box will have paid the most for the search term ‘chocolate fountain’ and is guaranteed the top spot on the results page. The important thing here is that your company appears near the top of the search page. With organic results being pushed further down the screen and being very competitive, it’s vital that your company appears within the top five results in order to stand a chance of click-through. With PPC you can be naturally above the top 5 organic results and punch way above your weight.
Take a look at this diagram:
This heatmap shows that people click more on the top and right hand column where the PPC ads are hosted.
PPC is not that complex or difficult to set up either. With a little bit of training or online reading, you could set up set up a PPC campaign in less than an hour, and appear immediately in the sponsored results. The other huge benefit is that it can be managed in real time, and a budget can be set. Therefore no matter what budget you have you can set a maximum spend limit, and when the number of clicks reaches your budget limit, then the campaign stops and you aren’t left overspending.
PPC also has the advantage of being able to work to a local level. As search engines have advanced, PPC adverts can be deployed in certain specific locations and at certain times too meaning you can appear in your local area at opportune times. For instance, if I ran a Pizza Takeaway I could choose to have my advert served in the postcodes that I deliver to, and at the times I deliver. This ‘tailoring’ can give you greater control over your budget and performance but remember that the most competitive times and areas will also be the most expensive.
So to summarise, we have seen that PPC is a quick and easy way to appear highly ranked and positioned within search engines. Your ads can be managed easily and cost effectively, and can be targeted locally. If you are looking to take your first steps into digital marketing, PPC marketing is a nice way to trial and position your brand and product in front of people searching for relevant terms, and makes you appear highly ranked in this area.
Next week I am going to look at content marketing – it’s set to be the next big thing so this will be a post that’s not to be missed.