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Pay per click (PPC) advertising allows you to buy text based ads that are guaranteed premium position on the search engine result pages (SERPs). PCC advertising also differs from organic search results that rely on keyword usage, social media shares, and backlinks to make it to the top of the SERPs. Website owners and marketers follow the industry’s best practices in attempt to become one of the top organic results on the SERP, however SEO can never offer a 100% effectiveness guarantee to a client. On the other hand, with pay per click advertising you can pay for the most prominent locations on the SERPs. For example, Google places its PPC ads on the right sidebar and in prime real estate above their organic or SEO results.
PPC advertising doesn’t just exist on the SERPs. Google allows advertisers to purchase spots on their other networks such as YouTube through the AdWords facility. Advertisers can also use AdWords to choose to have their pay per click ads show up on popular websites alongside ads such as The New York Times and other prominent organistations.You also need to be wary that Google isn’t the only search engine that offers a pay per click service so it’s helpful to have a good grasp on how your target market is searching to find the correct channel and mix for your business’ pay per click advertising strategy.
The downside of pay per click advertising is that it requires payment for every click that you receive. Systems like Googles AdWords allow you to explicitly pick the keywords that you want your ads to show up on as well as specifying the price that you’re happy to pay for each piece of traffic. With PPC you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and is directed onto your site so it can be a cheaper method than impression based advertising.
Keyword research is as essential to the success of your PPC campaigns as it is to your search engine optimisation efforts. The more popular keywords typically have a higher cost per click from this added competition. However as your ad space is guaranteed on the search engines’ front-page, it is invariably worth the price. Just like with SEO, you might want to focus on more specific or long-tail keywords because even though searchers may be performing these long tailed queries less frequently, they often know exactly what they want. This will lead to a higher return on your advertising investment.
You can also select to ignore certain keywords that you do not wish to pay for. For instance, you may not want to pay for someone that is looking for tutorials, webinars, or jobs related to your keywords as they’re not going to be the purchase-ready client you’re seeking. Ignoring these keywords will improve your conversion rate by allowing not to pay for people that are only researching a topic or are looking for an unrelated service. Keyword experimentation is also a must when it comes to this type of advertising as your PPC campaign needs to be constantly evolving to yeild the best results. This is because your most profitable keywords are constantly changing as people change how they search for your product.
You’ll also want to experiment with the content of your ad as different services have different size and character limits. For example, AdWords allows you a title for your ad, the ad URL and a tagline, each with its own character limit. Your ad’s text should explain where the searcher is going as well as a beneficial enticement for the user. All ad copy should include a call to action such as “Sign up now!” or “Get your free trial!” Though simple, the benefit and call to action encourages clicks by readers who want what you have, and this means higher conversions.
Another element of a successful pay-per-click campaign is the landing page, this is where visitors will go after clicking on your ad. The page should be relevant to the ad and not deceptive ie if your ad copy was about a quality kitchen knife, visitors want to see that knife. A good landing page will provide enough information for the visitor and encourage a sale. Landing pages should be free of distractions, only have one call to action on the page. The easier it is for consumers to make a decision, the more likely they’ll make the decision you want them to. Of course, a call to action on your landing page is necessary to get them to sign up or purchase now.
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