- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On April 12, 2016
Should your local business be running Pay-Per-Clicks ads? There’s a good chance you should. This post gives an overview of Pay-Per-Clicks (PPC) ads so you can decide.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is the advertising format popularized by Google (the #1 search engine in the world with 80% search market share—according to Search Engine Land). The name of these ads is “Pay-Per-Click” as you only pay for an ad when someone clicks on it. Each time someone clicks your ad you pay Google the agreed fee.
You don’t pay for ads to be shown to people as you do with print ads or web banner ads. This form of advertising is called display advertising and this is usually charged for as a set fee or a cost per thousand people that see your ad (often called “CPM”.)
Pay-per-click has become popular as in theory there is less risk to you than display advertising in that you are paying only for someone that has shown some interest in your ad versus everyone that sees your ad. In practice, PPC ads don’t always beat display ads but it’s certainly a very viable ad format.
You will have seen plenty of PPC ads by now since you’ve conducted so many searches on Google. A vast majority of ads on Google are paid by the click. When you conduct a Google search ads pop up on the top of the search and on the right hand side.
You can always be #1 on Google!
Simplifying things a little, Google PPC ads are shown with the advertiser willing to pay the most money per click in the top position, then the advertiser willing to pay the next most, and so on.
The top positions are given a larger/more visible amount of real estate above the free (“organic”) search results. The ads that don’t pay as much are shown to the right of the organic results.
Google ads are linked to keywords. This means that when you set up an ad you have to select which keywords that ad should appear for, for example “landscaper” or “landscaper Morris County” or “landscaper Morristown NJ”.
Your ad will only display when a searcher types in these keywords. (In fact there are options called “match types” that mean that you can choose for your ad to show up for searches close to your keywords but not an exact match. And there are actually some very good reasons for doing this.)
If you are willing to pay enough per click, you can come up in the #1 spot on Google for your chosen keywords. The catch of course is “if you are willing to pay enough”. So you can always be #1 on Google but it can cost you. (Note: this assumes you are bidding on keywords that legitimately match your business. Google has quality controls in place to avoid abuse of the system.)
Research shows 70% of the clicks go to “organic”/free results on a Google search results page vs the PPC ads (sorce: Imforza) So why would you want to buy ads anyway?
1. You’re not showing up on page 1: as we’ve said before, 92% of clicks go to results on page 1 of a Google search result (source: Chitika, via Search Engine Watch) . In other words people don’t often bother looking at page 2. Given this if your free SEO work is not getting you on page 1 of the results for your chosen keywords you may need to buy your way in, i.e. buy some Google PPC ads.
2. Showing up for organic results is slow: it can take quite some time and a lot of work for you to show up on page 1 of Google results for your chosen keywords using only organic SEO. Google ads on the other hand show up within an hour. If you need to get your message out quickly you may need to pay for some ads. You can work on your organic SEO in parallel but you will already have your message in the marketplace.
3. Testing keywords: this one is not obvious but effective. If you’re working on your organic SEO, you can learn a lot from running some low budget Google ad campaigns. The data you will get from Google when you’re running ads will help you with your organic SEO work.
One good example is running your ads with a “broad” keyword match. When you do this Google will show you other keywords (really phrases) people searched on before clicking on your ad. For example someone searched on “pools Morris County” instead of “landscaper Morris County” and then clicked on your ad. Google will show you that this person searched for “pools Morris County” and you can consider adding this as a keyword to not only your PPC campaigns but also to your organic SEO efforts. Something that could be very valuable to your business.
Should your local business consider PPC ads? It’s very likely you should. There are many benefits–not only directly through the extra business the PPC ads may drive but also to all your other marketing efforts.