Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can be a great way of getting your business noticed online.
But how does it work? And when might it be right for you?
PPC – taking you to the top of the Google tree.
When your customers use a search engine to find what they need, Google (or their preferred search engine) will give them a list of options.
Some will be ‘organic’ or natural results, based on what Google believes your customer is looking for.
Others will be ‘paid-for’ results, where a site has paid to be ranked highly for certain keywords.
To give your web pages the best chance of ranking highly in Google’s natural search results, you should be using Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
But when that isn’t enough, you might want to look at paying for a boost in ranking through PPC.
How PPC works
Paid-for results are displayed slightly differently and more prominently, normally at the top of the results page.
Once your customer clicks your ad, Google will take them to your linked page and charge you for that referral – which is the Pay Per Click.
How much you’re charged for each referral will be based on a range of factors which you agree upfront with Google.
Well-planned PPC activity can be a really cost-effective and intelligent way to market your business – especially for pulling through customers who are already searching for the thing you offer.
So when is it worth paying to boost your rankings?
1. You’re a new business with a new website
You’ve brought in the experts and created a fantastic new website (nice work!), but that site is still a sapling as far as Google is concerned and similar sites will rank above yours simply because they’ve been around longer and had more visitors.
A short-term PPC ad campaign can be a great way to boost your site’s visibility and push it to the top of the Google tree.
2. You’re in a particularly competitive marketplace
If you know you’ve got competitors on your doorstep and there’s not much to differentiate your offer from theirs, PPC can be a great add-on to your marketing activity to push you ahead online and get you noticed first.
3. You’ve got a new campaign or offer
If you’re running a specific campaign or promoting a new product offline, a PPC push will point customers straight to you online once they’ve seen your ad or received your direct mail. It’s a simple and effective way to add value and seamlessly integrate your activity. It also makes life a bit easier for your customer – which is always a good move.
4. You’re moving towards an online-based business model
Maybe you’ve developed an e-commerce site or a new online booking system. A PPC campaign with a tailored advert is a great way of promoting your flashy new functionality to your existing customers as well as reaching lots of new ones.
5. You’ve got a new story to tell
Maybe you’ve recently re-branded, entered a new marketplace or launched a new product. If you’ve got a shiny new story to tell or want your customers to notice your fab new look, a PPC campaign is a great way of highlighting that you’ve got something different to shout about.
But don’t forget…
If you’re planning to spend on PPC make sure you’ve invested in your website, first.
If customers click your ad but land on a slow site that isn’t responsive and carries poor information, they’re going to bounce straight off and you’re going to lose those customers for good.
Top tip – make sure your site is in great shape before you start inviting people in!