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Why you should use PPC to propel your business forwards

What is it?

PPC stands for pay per click just in case you are brand new to the subject. Anyway, PPC is a type of advert that is only paid for when a user clicks on it. These are most popular on search networks such as Google and Bing, though there are display ads found on participating websites and those video adverts on YouTube are also PPC.

Without PPC you rely solely on organic search results for online business. Organic search is any result in Google or Bing which has not been paid for, which is the majority of them.

SEO (Search engine optimisation) is the traditional way to fight for organic search results, but there is only so much you can do these days with SEO; good web designers should have already optimised your website for organic search and all that is left to do is getting external links to your page, which Google has made impossible to abuse, so that will just happen over time the correct and authentic way.

So the only option to be viewed at the top of Google for generic search terms is being a huge company like Amazon and appearing in organic results or PPC… and by the way even Amazon uses PPC!

Why you should Pay for clicks

You may be worried about the prices you will be paying, and part of that concern may be how Google and Bing work out how much to charge? The short answer is like most of their services it is automatically calculated…

So we have all heard of auctions or auction sites like eBay right? And we should all know how they work, you bid for an item and it is destined to be yours when the time runs out unless someone bids higher.

Google calculates the PPC cost in a similar way; lots of little auctions are happening all the time.

Except in these auctions everyone is a winner, just to different degrees. If you bid the highest you will likely appear in the number 1 spot and then the second highest on the second spot and the third highest on the third spot, after three the rankings continue down the right hand side of Google.

And like eBay you will only pay just above what the person below you has bid. So the prices are based on the competition, and the ferocity of the competition is based on how much money there is to make in your area of business. So bidding for a high spot will always yield high ROI compared to your spend. Still not convinced? Let’s visualise this.

How PPC bidding works illustration

Only the top three bidders will appear on top and in line with organic Google search results, 4 onwards appear at the right. And the top three bidders get the majority of the clicks, so naturally the bid price is much higher also. Still as I have shown in the diagram, your bid price should be just above the bidder below you.

Heat maps don't lie

Just to prove to you that this is not just speculation here is the result of a study carried out by Mediative in 2005. This revealed the areas of a Google results page the user spent the most time looking at and where they clicked.

Current Google search pages show three sponsored links at the top and in line with the organic results and the rest down the right hand side. Though the heat map is from an older Google which only shows one sponsored link I have shown where adverts would appear in modern Google.

There is an area where the most time was spent looking and clicking, and it’s right at the top where the first three ads would be and an organic result or two. In fact there is a line of clicks in an area of red right at the top which is the only sponsored link show in that column.

Mediative even repeated the study in 2014 with a more modern Google results page. The results are similar to the 2004 study as most time is spent looking at the top three ads and one or two organic results then the time spent on each result dramatically decreases.

*Google Beta product.

I’ve tried Google ads before and it didn’t work so what’s changed?

Google has changed a lot, and they have changed for the better. Google makes most of their money from advertising, and so it is in their best interest to ensure that the adverts they offer actually work for their customers; and the proof that they have done this and that the adverts actually work is in this graph with information from Statista here: Statista and here: Statista.

If Google’s adverts don’t deliver results, customers would have stopped using them over the years, but it seems that they have started using them more and more.

It’s not just money in money out

Though mostly you are paying for someone to click on a link to your website to make the money back and more, there are a few other things PPC can do for your business.

Spread brand awareness

PPC mostly costs much less than it earns but in the rare situations where the extra cost of PPC makes selling using it not comfortably profitable or even a small loss is made from your PPC sales you have to consider the other benefits of PPC other than direct sales.

Every person who sees your advert is a potential customer. From seeing your advert they might think of you next time they have the same need and if you are there when they perform the same search then you have a free customer!

Every person who clicks on your advert is even more likely to look for you next time, and they might even click on your organic result after searching for your brand, or just go straight to your website through the url.

Every person who clicks on your advert and then buys something is more likely to think of you next time and is even more likely to go straight to your website or organic search result.

Speed

The speed at which you can start PPC and get results is lightning fast compared to SEO or more traditional marketing. You can actually see the results of every click too; so it’s faster to adjust and optimise your campaign.

An experienced PPC expert will be able to compare the clicks your campaign is getting to other companies to gauge the interest in your area of the market. This will be useful to know so that you can adjust your overall spend on PPC.

I think there should always be some PPC happening at all times; less if you have a small uncompetitive market with slow growth, much more if you have a large competitive market with high growth.

A strange analogy to finish

PPC, the professional search results.

If you think about many professions they often have a version which is a hobby, football is the obvious example. Now I’m not saying that everyone who has a hobby is worse than their professional equivalent, but it is the case most of the time. What I’m trying to say is that the hobbyists are the organic google results and the professionals are the PPC results.

If you want some professionals to stand out from the hobbyists we can help at iD30 (no offense meant, I have hobbies too)

 

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