PPC advertising is a huge ocean. One gets overwhelmed with the possibilities and opportunities available in this platform. It’s common to get excited as well as scared by looking at those various numbers. This PPC tutorial would help you sail through the basics of PPC den and come out as a PPC champion.
Definition of PPC
Pay-per-click, as the name says it all, pay whenever someone clicks on the ad. PPC is widely used online advertising methodology which navigates traffic to websites from various platforms such as search engines, social media networks, websites etc. The advertiser pays to the publisher or intermediate ad serving platform only when a user clicks on the ad and navigates to the website.
PPC is the effective form of advertising, as it is charged for clicks not impressions. In comparison to organic reach on search engines and social media networks, the reach and targeting capability of PPC ads are way ahead. Yes, there is a cost involved, but best-optimized campaigns can bring in the revenue such that the ROI takes care of the cost.
Various PPC Channels
PPC ads can be launched on mainly 3 different platforms;
1. Search Engine
Let’s understand PPC ads in search engine with a case study;
Ravi has to visit his sister in London for her graduation. As the dates were confirmed recently for next week, he has to book last minute flights. Ravi looks at Google to solve his problem and searches for “Bangalore to London flight offers”. The ads of flight booking companies who have offer running shows up for his search. Ravi clicks on 2-3 ads, compares the price and timings and finally gets a best deal and books the ticket.
The above ad is search engine PPC ad, wherein advertisers having flight offers chose the related keyword and place their bid. They paid to AdWords, only when Ravi clicked on the ad.
2. Social Media Network
Let’s know PPC ads on social media network with a case study;
Shamita is a blogger. She consumes content over the internet especially on social media about blogging tips, blogging plugins and many things related blogging. When she opens her Facebook newsfeed, she sees an ad from WordPress about new blogging template which is having an early bird offer of 30%. She was indeed looking to upgrade look and feel of her blog and WordPress giving a 30% off is the best thing which happened to her. She bought the template from WordPress eventually.
The above ad is social media PPC ad, wherein advertiser targeted user based on the interest and behavior. They paid to Facebook when a user clicked on the ad, as they are using CPC model.
3. Other Websites
Manish was relocating from Delhi to Bangalore and he is looking for a house to rent for him & his family. He has been looking all around the internet for houses to rent in Bangalore. He sees an ad about renting furniture with an attractive offer on a website where he was reading a work-related blog. This was a relevant ad for him as the next step after finalizing house was to set up furniture. The idea of renting it rather buying the furniture looked reasonable to him and he went ahead and booked the items.
The above ad is a display ad. This can be served through Google display network, double-click, ad sense or any other display advertising platform. The advertiser targeted users who are relocating from one city to another. The platform analyses the users search history and targets accordingly. It has to be noted that display ads can have either Cost Per Click (CPC) model or Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) model.
How PPC works?
The above-mentioned types of PPC have multiple platforms underneath each type. Each platform has its own algorithm with a specific way of targeting, conducting ad auction, calculating the cost and choosing the winner of the ad. Let’s understand a basic PPC platform which is widely used – Google AdWords
The typical account in a search engine (Read Google AdWords) consists of Campaigns-Ad groups-Keywords & Ads. Campaigns can be created based on various factors such as location specific, product based or based on the budget allocation. Each Ad group consists of a set of keywords of similar theme and ad copies.
In search engines, targeting is solely based on the keywords used for the search. Additionally, one can refine the keywords targeting by choosing audience based on remarketing list, search behavior of user etc.
The fundamental bidding model on a search engine is Cost-per-Click (CPC). Advertisers pay only when an ad is clicked. There are various bidding strategies available; manual bidding, maximize clicks, enhanced CPC, Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) etc.
Ads get into auction whenever the targeted keyword is searched by a user. The eligibility and the criteria for ad position is based on ad rank of the keyword the account has secured. Ad rank is calculated by multiplying Quality Score (QS) and bid of the keyword.
The types of ads available on search network are text ads and shopping ads. Text ads can be enhanced by the use of ad extensions like site extensions, structured snippets, location extension, callouts, price extensions etc.
Typical PPC Proposal
Digital marketing is slowly becoming the next IT revolution in the industry and PPC has a huge role to play in it. So, it’s obvious that the PPC consultancies and services are mushrooming everywhere. Let’s understand the types of services and pricing structure of PPC agencies;
Services proposed by PPC agencies
PPC proposals consist of two vital services;
Campaign Building and Management
In this offer, PPC account is built from scratch and managed on regular basis. The agency would build the whole account with keywords, ads and landing pages. They are also responsible for data tracking of the campaigns and do optimization to some extent.
Following are the some of the important activities carried out in this service;
- Thorough understanding of the client’s business and extensive research of competitors’ and their PPC strategy
- Defining the objective of client’s PPC campaigns and discussing the budget allocation
- Building the base of campaigns with keywords tightly grouped into ad groups inside well-defined campaigns
- Writing compelling ad copies with appropriate ad extensions
- Building relevant and easily navigable landing pages optimized for conversion
- Creation of Google Analytics account along with the appropriate goals of the website
- Deciding the bid strategies and monitoring the cost and average ad position
- Experimenting and improving the campaign performance with regular optimization
This offering mainly focuses on improving the performance of current PPC account exponentially through various strategies and optimization methodologies.
- Keywords audit will be conducted to assess the quality and weight of keywords. Through this analysis, certain critical decisions will be taken to weed out money consuming keywords (Keywords getting clicks but not conversions)
- Identify new keyword opportunities through competitor research and certain keyword tools. Keywords with good potential would be added to the account
- Experiment with various keywords matches. Try out broader keyword matches to increase the brand awareness or with exact keywords to improve the conversion
- Conducting A/B testing with 2 or more ad copies and testing the effectiveness of ads
- As per the ad relevancy data of Quality score, edit the ad content to improve the said metric
- Experimenting with various ad extensions and testing the result
Landing Page Optimization
- Redesigning the landing page to make it optimized for conversion
- Conducting A/B testing for different CTA buttons
- Experimenting the landing page with an offer
- Improving the landing page experience of the user by making ad and landing page content in sync
Price Structure of PPC proposals
There are various ways in which PPC agencies charge their clients. The two most common ways are as follows;
- Pay per keyword
In this structure, a client is charged per keyword in the account. For example, if an account is having 200 keywords, the client would be charged 100 rupees per keyword which will sum up to 20,000 INR per month.
- Percentage of PPC budget
This is one of the most common costing structures in PPC. The client would be charged a percentage of the PPC budget. For instance, if the PPC budget per month is 1,00,000 INR, the client would be charged 30% of it which will be 30,000 INR for the PPC service.
Popular PPC Case Study
Complete Revolution of a B2B PPC Campaign
This PPC case study was presented by an agency of one of their client. The name of the company hasn’t been revealed.
- 85.71% increase in qualified leads
- 31.09% decrease in cost/lead
- 45.02% decrease in cost/click
- Detailed analysis of each campaign in terms of its cost consumption, search rank share, conversion percentage etc.
- Took some tough calls to shut down campaigns which are eating money and launch new campaigns
- Shut down campaigns with no leads and very few searches. Though they don’t eat money, they demand attention. Crop them off and focus on the ones which are making money
- Landing page optimization based on the experiment that traffic sent to homepage converted well compared to standalone page
- Ad scheduling! Based on day wise and hour wise data, ads were stopped running on Sundays and 8 pm to 8 am on all the days
Well, that’s how my friend we achieve great results in PPC.
In a Nutshell
The business world has become a fan of data and has bowed down its power, PPC is no different. The magic which happens in PPC is through effective data analysis. PPC is an exhaustive as well as a dynamic platform. Experimenting and changing the strategies is the only constant. In this PPC tutorial for beginners, we have emphasized on the art of utilizing data and taking the calculated risk which sets apart a successful PPC advertiser.