PPC, or pay-per-click, marketing is one of the most common forms of marketing on the Internet today. However, if you’re a business who’s contemplating a PPC marketing campaign, it’s important to understand how it works, and what steps you need to take, so you can come out ahead when the campaign has finally reached its end.
How Does PPC Marketing Work?
The first step in a pay-per-click marketing campaign is to design an ad. Once an ad has been designed, the next step is to tag it with certain search terms. These terms, called keywords, will be the words which are linked to your ad. For example, say you created an ad for a site that sold women’s shoes. You might choose the search term “buy women’s shoes” to link to your ad. Then, when someone searches that term, your ad is the one that’s displayed. The hope being that someone who is shopping for women’s shoes will see your ad, click that ad, then go to your site and make a purchase.
So where does the “pay” part of pay-per-click come into the picture?
Rewind back to the part where your ad was being displayed. When someone clicks your ad, the search engine, blog, or other site which hosts that ad gets paid a fee. So, if someone finds your ad, and clicks through, then you will have to pay a fee as little as a few cents, or as high as a few dollars to the hosting site.
Clicking Through Doesn’t Mean You Made A Sale
The part where some businesses balk is that they aren’t paying for a sale; they’re paying for the click. Imagine, for a moment, that your store was a physical location instead of a digital one. Now imagine that all the websites hosting your ad were people holding signs walking the streets. They’re the ones who get the traffic, and they’re the ones who tell passerby that they need to go and check out your store. A few of them decide to heed that advice, and step in through your front door. For every person who steps over the threshold, you pay a fee. It doesn’t matter if they look around and shop for a few minutes and then leave, if they bookmark you to come back later, or if they buy a huge amount of your product; you pay the same fee to the person who sent them to you.
That sounds a little risky to some businesses. After all, your ad might get a lot of people to click-through, but fail to make any sales. The result is your business pays out a lot of fees to the ad hosting sites, but doesn’t make any sales.
That’s where the rest of your marketing strategy comes in. For example, you need to make sure that the keywords you’re using for your ads have a strong correlation with sales. Additionally, you need to be sure that your website has a strong conversion rate (the rate at which your viewers become customers), and that you’ve done everything you can to give your visitors what they want.
On the one hand, it is possible for you to get a great deal of traffic without making a lot of sales from a PPC marketing campaign. Other times, though, you may get only a few hits from the ads, but the people who clicked those ads will become lifelong customers. There is no way to predict with certainty what will happen, but it is possible to stack the odds in your favor with a properly planned and managed campaign. For more information about how PPC can work for your business, simply contact us today!