Understanding PPC: What, Why and When

March 2016

Understanding PPC: What, Why and When

Chances are good that you know at least what PPC advertising is – you’ve encountered sponsored results when running a simple Google search. You’ve seen paid ads on Facebook (which, while part of social media marketing, also fall under the header of pay-per-click advertising). However, it’s just as likely that you don’t know enough about PPC to make an informed decision about its use on behalf of your business.
What Is PPC? PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s an advertising method specific to the online world. Essentially, you create an ad targeting a specific keyword or phrase, and then you pay every time someone clicks through the ad (which appears in search results). Sounds simple enough, right? Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Let’s start with the real difference between PPC and other forms of advertising. With other methods, you’re paying for the promise of results at some point in the future. You’re paying for the hope that someone will see your ad and visit your website. With PPC, you’re paying for the actual result itself, right then.
However, here’s the rub. You CANNOT consider a click as a lead (as defined by sales lingo as someone who’s expressed interest in your product or service). A click is a visitor – they’re interested in enough to click the ad and visit your site. That doesn’t mean they care a whit about what you have to offer. You can change that to some extent through carefully crafted ad language, but for the most part, a click equates to a website visitor, who may or may not move on through the process and eventually become a lead.
With that being said, PPC campaigns can be incredibly effective, but you have to use them the right way, and at the right time.
Why Are They Effective? Given how savvy consumers have become these days, you have to wonder why PPC campaigns are still effective. They do realize they’re clicking on an advertisement, right? Yes, they do. They click on those ads because they incite curiosity and promise to solve a problem they have. However, you have to lay the groundwork correctly for an effective campaign. For instance, you must highly target your ads to a specific audience. You must also ensure that you’re not selling through your ad copy – leave that for your product or service pages. PPC text should make viewers curious enough to know more about what it is you’re offering, without clubbing them over the head with a sales pitch.
When to Use Them? Contrary to popular belief, PPC campaigns don’t have to be run 24 hours per day throughout the life of your website. There are times when they’re more effective than others. For instance, if you have a new website, then a PPC campaign can be a great way to build traffic while you wait for organic SEO to kick in. These campaigns can also be invaluable during product launches, new service deployments and in many other instances.
At Peppersack, we’ve got years of experience dealing with pay-per-click campaigns for our clients, and we know the what, how, where and why of it all so you don’t have to worry about it.

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