Apr 19 2019

PPC 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Search Engine Marketing

Posted by Aj Aviado , ,

Although 45% of small businesses today use paid ads, pay-per-click (PPC) is a concept that remains confusing to most digital marketers. However, when nearly half of SMEs rely on it, we can’t just afford to ignore the benefits this channel has to offer.

As a trusted SEM agency in Singapore, we understand that PPC is an essential skill marketers should have in their arsenal – or at least have a basic knowledge of. In the hope to give you a better understanding of pay-per-click marketing, we created this guide that will serve as a comprehensive resource which will introduce you to the strategy behind the profitable Google Ads.

What is PPC?

PPC is a form of search engine marketing (SEM) where advertises pays for every click on an ad. Here, advertisers only pay when a user interacts with their ad. Each click means you attract a user who might be interested in your offer. Advertisers bid on the predetermined value of each click based on the keywords as well as the audience type in which it originates.

When done effectively, PPC can earn you leads which could translate into greater ROI. If you’re wondering where you can find these ads, you will typically find them in search engine results pages (SERPs) such as in Google or Bing. They’re the results you see on top and on the right-hand side of the organic search results.

The Benefits of PPC

PPC is used for basically all types of campaign objectives including:

  • Increasing Sales
  • Generating Leads
  • Promoting Brand Awareness

In case you’re debating why you should pay for ads when its benefits are technically the same with your organic content marketing efforts, the answer is that the world of digital marketing has become increasingly competitive.

Getting your website on top of the search results for your targeted keywords have become more difficult. What’s more, with the increasing number of businesses using paid ads, your chances of appearing on the first page of search results is low.

But, of course, using paid ads doesn’t mean you should throw all your SEO efforts in the bin. Your paid advertising is only meant to complement your organic efforts and not to replace it.

Best PPC Platforms

Users search for information, products, and services at any given time and PPC offers you the ability to deliver targeted ads as the searching happens. For instance, if a user searches for SEO services in Singapore, you can show an ad using similar keywords.

Below are some of the top PPC platforms used today:

Google Ads 

Google Ads Expands Headlines Descriptions Characters

Formerly called Google Adwords, Google Ads is by far the largest pay-per-click platform there is. In fact, it receives as much as 3.5 billion inquiries daily. Although it places you where the majority of your targeted audience is, the keywords in Google Ads are competitive, meaning you’re likely to spend more than in any other platform.

Bing Ads

Bing Ads

Next to Google Ads is Bing Ads. It is a pay-per-click platform that shows ads on Bing and Yahoo networks. In 2017, Bing Ads has reached an average of 142 million daily searches. Although the number is significantly lower,  it has the benefit of cheaper cost per click (CPC) than Google ads – but at the expense of a wider reach, of course.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads

Steadily increasing in popularity is Facebook ads. While it’s actually not a search engine, more and more social media users are using the platform to search for products, services and information. What’s better about Facebook is that it allows you to target users based on interests, behaviours, demographics, and location. It also has these so-called native ads, which means ads are served into the social feed like a regular post.

Step-By-Step Guide to PPC Advertising

Now that you have a basic understanding of PPC and know which platforms you can advertise on, we now move on to how you can start a PPC campaign. Below is a step-by-step guide.

Setting Goals

Are you looking to increase sales, generate leads or raise brand awareness? Setting your goals is crucial otherwise you risk your campaign being ineffective and waste your money on something that doesn’t deliver ROI. Think about what you want to accomplish with your ads and how much you’re willing to spend on it.

Below are some of the PPC goals and how to measure them:

Brand Awareness – This goal is aimed to introduce your brand to your target audience. You might want to look into display ads for this specific goal. You can measure brand awareness through surveys, social engagement and direct traffic.

Lead Generation – On the other hand, lead generation is the result of users being led to a relevant landing page by clicking through an ad. Because there is a separate landing page for each ad group, you can easily track lead conversions.

Sales – Ads also prove an effective tool if you’re running a promo, discount or contest. In this goal, you need to create a dedicated sign-up page or a specific discount code so you know where the users came from. This goal can be measured based on how much you have sold through your paid ads.

Website Traffic – Increasing traffic may only be useful if you have high-quality content on your website. If you’re spending money to drive users to your website, you might as well do it effectively by providing valuable information to them.

Selecting the Type of Campaign

Now, you should not confuse your goal with your campaign metrics. Your campaign metrics is the answer to how you will advertise. As you will realise, there are many ways you can advertise and your option should depend on where you want to reach your audience. You can try out a combination of campaign types as long as you determine what works for you and what doesn’t. Here are the types of PPC campaigns:

Search Ads – The most typical type of PPC which refers to the text ads that appear on SERPs.

Display Ads – Usually image-based, display ads are placed on external websites, such as social. You can use display ads through Google Display Network (GDN), to name one.

Social Ads – This type of ads refer to the ones that appear on different social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Conduct Keyword Research

Each ad group you create requires a pre-determined set of keywords to target. This way, search engines will know when and where to display your ad. As a rule of thumb, select between up to five keywords per ad group. These keywords have to be highly relevant as your Quality Score will depend on it.

In case you’re looking to use keywords that don’t align with the others, you will have to create a separate ad group for them. Afterwards, you need to monitor these keywords throughout your campaign so you can determine which ones don’t bring in the types of audience you’re targeting.

Set Up Google Analytics and Tracking

Once you’ve accomplished the above steps. You’re now ready to set up Google Analytics. The tool is free to use and provides you with insights into how your website is performing as well as how the users are interacting with your pages and which content attracts them most. Such information will prove valuable for PPC, among others.

PPC may actually sound confusing. But, it proves to be all worth it, factoring in the benefits it has to offer from exposing your business, products, and services to your target audience. What’s more, with SEM, you have full control over the budget, so you can set how much money you’re willing to spend. Start small and see how well it will work for you.

If you’re looking to get started with PPC, you should consider working with an SEM agency like OOm who has the skills and expertise to help you achieve your goals. Get in touch with us today!


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