PPC is the acronym for “Pay Per Click,” a popular form of online advertising offered by a wide variety of internet platforms such as search engines like Google and Bing, social media sites like Facebook or Twitter and more. As the name implies, the cost of running an advertisement depends on the number of people who click on the ad. The more clicks, the more the ad will cost.
When composing a PPC advertising campaign, the advertiser is able to set a budget, create the advertisement, choose the length of the campaign, select the appropriate keywords, choose the landing pages the user ends up on after clicking the ad and designate other settings. Each time the ad is clicked, the agreed upon amount is subtracted from the budget until it’s depleted and the ad ceases to run.
Compared with traditional advertising in print, radio, television or other media, PPC is a huge breakthrough for small businesses. Not only does an advertiser pay solely for those customers who interact with the ad, the feedback information collected is far richer than anything a traditional media ad can produce. PPC is probably one of the most important breakthroughs for small business advertising success. Here’s why:
As opposed to traditional media, the only schedule you have to worry about is your own. There’s no waiting for the next print issue, available slot or for an ad representative to return your call. If you have a website and something to sell, you can get your PPC ad up and running at your earliest convenience - even on the weekend or in the middle of the night.
Compared to traditional advertising, PPC gives you an amazing wealth of information about the people who are interested in your product. You can see who is interested, exactly what they are interested in and when they may have decided they were no longer interested. On top of that it’s easy to compare what works and what doesn’t without exhausting your entire budget. Metrics such as profitability, return on investment and click through rates are also easily accessible.
It Works For Low Ranking Websites
Of course, it’d be great if your website was the top ranked result when someone used Google to search for your product category or service. But even if it isn’t, a PPC campaign can leap frog your website into a position above the highest ranking websites. Suddenly you’re a ranking with the big names rather than being a complete unknown.
You Reach Your Target Audience
Are you trying to entice a local or international audience? Your PPC campaign will get clicks from either; or both. Do your best customers speak French? You choose the language and those will be the customers who respond. Mobile or desktop users? It’s up to you. You have a much wider choice of parameters to target your audience with PPC than with traditional advertising.
It Works For Any Budget
Because you choose the budget and breadth of your campaign, PPC advertising is perfect for small businesses. The campaign can be analysed for profitability in real time so it’s easy to remain within your budget and not have costs spiral out of control. Whether your budget is limited or endless, a PPC campaign can be tailored to your financial situation.
It’s An Efficient Test For Product And Marketing Viability
The ability to measure and analyse your results quickly and efficiently can give you insight into which products or marketing strategies are working and which are not. Do certain products get more attention? Do different landing pages get different conversion rates? PPC is an easy way to test various strategies and find out what works best. Similarly, it’s possible to use the analysis tools to find out what’s working (or not) for your competitors.
It Creates Brand Awareness
Because PPC puts you in front of your target audience, whether they click on your ad or not, your campaign is creating brand awareness. In the case of someone who doesn’t click on your ad, that brand awareness spike is free. And although there may not be an immediate benefit to this, the awareness can build credibility and pay dividends in the future.
It’s An Integral Part Of A Complete Digital Marketing Campaign
PPC has become so important that it can work as the base of a complete digital marketing campaign. PPC can give you insight into what will work best when building a website, how to optimise that site for search engines and reveal what keywords attract the most customers; all while collecting customer email addresses for future use. PPC can also be the basis for a retargeting campaign where you market to those who clicked through on your initial PPC ad, but didn’t convert into a sale.
In Summary, How Can PPC Help Small Businesses?
- It’s a fast and efficient way to get an ad in front of a target audience allowing a small company to respond quickly to changing market conditions.
- The PPC results are easily measurable giving more insight into customer profiles and return on investment than those received from traditional advertising.
- PPC is a great way to get your name to the top of search engine ranking pages without having to spend months on search engine optimisation.
- The ability to target your audience means your budget is used to appeal only to those who are already interested in your product or service.
- PPC campaigns can be created with even the smallest of budgets.
- PPC can be used as a low cost testing ground for product development, advertising layout viability, marketing strategies and more.
- PPC will put your product or service and brand name in front of interested people, which creates awareness and credibility.
- PPC can be utilised as the start, middle or end of a complete digital marketing strategy.
Although a relatively recent development in the advertising world, PPC has proven itself to be an important tool for a successful small business.
About the Author
Jamie FitzHenry is the founder of Grizzly, a Bristol based digital agency focussing on helping businesses enhance their online presence.