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Learn what you should know to get yourself ready for the PPC Journey: Week 1

Traffic generation is one of the biggest issues marketers face. The first thing you have to do after creating and publishing your website is drive traffic to it and this is where it gets a bit complicated, especially since there's a site out there for, well, anything you can possibly imagine. The more competition you have, the harder it gets to bring people to your site. However, it's not impossible 🙂

Pay per click (PPC) is one of the best and most widespread traffic generation techniques that is used by 80% of marketers. As much as 65% of small businesses invest in PPC ads and 59% do it consistently:

SMB PPC Statistics

If you are doing business online (and it’s 2021, so you are), you can’t go without PPC. As a marketer, you must have a clear understanding of PPC, how it works, why it matters, and how to get started with PPC.

This module covers the basics of pay per click ads, why they matter, and how to harness the power of different PPC channels. And, as a bonus, at the end of this module, you'll also get a whitesheet on how to define and create buyer personas.

What is PPC and How Does It Work?

PPC is an online advertising model where you (as an advertiser) pay the publisher (or ad network) whenever your ad is clicked (or viewed). It is also known as paid advertising since you are paying for the traffic you are sending to your website. PPC is the opposite of organic traffic where you receive visitors without paying for them (which is a long-haul game that requires its own type of investment).

Here is an example of a PPC ad on the Google search engine results page (SERP):

Google Ad example

There are two main entities involved in PPC:

  1. Advertiser: The person, agency, or business that wants to receive traffic and runs the ad
  2. Publisher or ad network: The website or platform owner who charges advertisers for sending traffic to your website.

The publisher is usually an ad network (e.g. Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.) that has access to millions of people globally, but it can also be a website or a group of websites where your ad is displayed.

Today, advertisers use PPC ad networks and don’t prefer going to publishers. The ad networks like Google and Facebook have their own interfaces for businesses that let them create, run, and manage PPC campaigns.

Here is how PPC works:

  1. The advertiser creates an ad campaign with the ad network (or publisher)
  2. The advertiser sets the budget, targeting, creative assets, and everything else, and then submits the ad for approval
  3. Once the ad is approved, the ad network starts displaying it
  4. Views, clicks, and conversions are all tracked by the ad network
  5. The advertiser is charged per click or view as agreed.

As an advertiser, you just have to create a PPC campaign and set your maximum cost per click or cost per impression that you can afford to pay. The rest is handled by the ad network.

Brian-Dean-quote-entrepreneurship

Why PPC Must be a Part of Your Digital Strategy

Several reasons make PPC an integral part of every business’s digital strategy. No matter what market you are in and what’s your marketing budget, PPC has something to offer every business.

Here are the top reasons why you MUST consider using PPC for your business:

Instant Traffic

Doing business online is all about web traffic and conversions. Yet, if people aren’t visiting your website, you won’t generate any sales. Period. It doesn’t matter how attractive and useful your product is, if nobody is visiting your website – it won’t sell. As the saying goes, if you’re not on the internet, you don’t exist (and the first step to “being on the internet” is precisely this: traffic). 

PPC provides you with quick way to drive traffic to your website and start generating leads and sales. If you create a PPC campaign on Google now, you'll have your ads running in almost instantly as soon as your campaign is approved.

In the absence of PPC, you'll have to wait for your website to rank in search results naturally. And it takes a lot of time. Even if you invest in SEO to improve your website’s ranking to drive traffic organically, it will still need a lot of time.

A lot of time…

Ahrefs conducted a study on 2 million random keywords and found that the average page ranking on Google’s first page is more than 2 years old and the pages that rank 1 and 2 are almost 3 years old:

Ahrefs Google Top 10 Results

Only 5.7% of all the newly published web pages reach Google top 10 (or first page) within a year:

Ahrefs Top 10 ads

This shows how time-consuming it is to rank on Google’s first page to get traffic. And even if you rank on the first page, traffic isn’t guaranteed. The first ranking receives 28.5% traffic, the second 15.7%, third 11%, and so on:

Google CTR ranking

You have to be in the top positions to receive a good chunk of traffic and it takes on average 3 years to reach there. That’s a lot of time, right?

Thanks to PPC, you can get your ad up at the top of Google SERPs in no time. You reach the first page instantly with PPC and get targeted traffic right away.

Cost-Effective

PPC is cost-effective as compared to other traffic generation techniques e.g. SEO. Not only does SEO cost you a heap of money but it takes a lot of time (as discussed above). The average SEO cost per month ranges between $1,364 and $2,819. Clicks, ranking improvement, and conversions aren’t guaranteed with SEO.

PPC guarantees clicks and conversions (depending on your campaign). The average cost per click for Google search ads across all industries is $2.69 and $0.63 on the display network. Some industries have a significantly low average CPC such as advocacy, ecommerce, and travel.

The best part is that your average cost per click improves significantly with time as you improve your ad quality. When you optimize your PPC campaign, it lowers CPC. There are fair chances that you'll end up paying a significantly low cost per click than the industry average.

The difference is evident. PPC is cost-effective both in the short-run and long-run.

High ROI

In some industries (like Apparel, Real Estate, and Healthcare), PPC has one of the highest ROI among all digital marketing channels. According to Google, businesses make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. This accounts for a whopping 800% ROI.

Research shows that 63% of people are more likely to click a search ad on Google because it directly answers their query. As much as 75% of people say that search ads help them find desired information quickly:

why people click Google Ads

When done right, your PPC campaigns can deliver a decent ROI. Of course, it needs testing, optimization, and tweaking but it has a significantly higher ROI than other channels.

One thing you should definitely keep in mind is this: while PPC does usually yield a high ROI and while it is quite cost-effective, there are issues you should be aware of (just as there are solutions to these problems as well). More on this later on in our course, though. 

Targeted

One of the key reasons why PPC has such a high ROI is that it is extremely targeted. Whether you are running a search ad campaign, display ad, or social ad, you have tons of targeting options that make it super-easy to reach your ideal customers.

If you are running ads on a leading ad network (e.g. Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), you'll have a lot of targeting options as these networks have lots and lots of data about their users. This makes it easier for advertisers to use the right keywords, interests, and demographics to reach their target audience.

Ad networks are very particular about the quality of the ads and targeting. Ad relevance is given high importance and ads that aren’t relevant to the search query are demoted by the ad network.

5 Key PPC Channels

There are different PPC channels (also known as PPC ad networks) that you can use for running PPC campaigns. Selecting the right PPC channel is one of the most essential steps to running a successful PPC campaign.

Why?

Because each PPC channel has its own characteristics and caters to a specific target market. Here is a list of the leading PPC channels, their salient features, and when to use each:

1. Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is one of the most popular PPC channels with a 19.3% market share in the US and more than 10 million active global advertisers:

Facebook Ads gives you access to Instagram Ads too. You can run the same ad on Facebook and Instagram from a single dashboard. This gives you access to the two most used social networking sites in the world (with access to more than 3800 million active users combined). This is what makes Facebook Ads the most important PPC channel as it is the most used global social networking platform.

The key characteristics that make Facebook Ads unique are:

  • It is the most used social networking website in the world
  • Gives you access to Instagram ads too
  • Laser-targeting options since Facebook collects a lot of data including interests, demographics, behavioral, etc.
  • It allows you to run remarketing ads
  • A wide range of different ad types to choose from e.g. lead ads, video ads, engagement ads, and more.

Best Industries for Facebook Ads

Facebook and Instagram are social networks and visual platforms (they are more focused on images and videos). As such, industries that tend to be very visual work best on Facebook Ads. Some examples include (but are not limited to:)

  • Fashion
  • Ecommerce 
  • Fitness
  • Décor
  • Food
  • Auto.

People use social networks for socializing and that means, when they are on these platforms, they aren’t in “buying mode”. Therefore, hard-selling and less-entertaining industries don’t work well with Facebook Ads. This includes Finance, Legal, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Engineering, Construction, and similar industries.

2. Google Ads

Google Ads is hands down the best PPC channel out there (it has the highest ad revenue share in the US and worldwide). It is the most used ad network globally primarily due to Google’s massive reach and user-base.

You can run a wide range of PPC ads on Google Ads:

  • Search ads
  • Display ads
  • Video ads
  • Shopping ads
  • App ads
  • Local ads
  • Remarketing ads.

The key Google Ads features include:

  • Has a global reach as Google is the most used search engine in the world
  • Comes with a wide range of different types of ads to choose from
  • It’s the largest network of publishers and partner websites and apps where you can run your display ads
  • Offers laser-targeting options for every stage of the buyer journey
  • Provides you with attribution models, conversion and sales tracking, and sales funnel are the most unique features of Google Ads
  • It gives you quick access to Google’s first page without investing a penny in SEO
  • Offers you multiple bidding strategies to choose from.

Best Industries for Google Ads

Google is a search engine and this is what makes it best for all types of industries. If you are interested in search ads, it will work for all industries as long as your primary target audience uses Google. The same is the case with display ads as Google has a gigantic list of partner websites and apps. No matter what industry you are in, you'll find tons of display network options.

3. Bing Ads

Bing Ads is the official PPC channel by Microsoft, and it has a 6.5% ad revenue share in the US. Bing has the second-highest desktop market share worldwide (6.18%), whereas Google has 88.14%. Since Bing is the default search engine in Windows,a good chunk of people use it, so it might be worth your interest.

The benefits and features of Bing Ads include:

  • It’s cheaper than other ad networks (especially because it is less competitive than other channels)
  • It offers different ad types including text ads, dynamic search ads, product ads, smart ads, app installs, and a few others
  • It supports automated bidding
  • Voice search through Cortana and Alexa are powered by Bing
  • Microsoft has partnered with Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, and several other smaller search engines
  • You can use Bing Ads to target LinkedIn profiles

Best Industries for Bing Ads

The audience on Bing is quite specific. More than 54% of Bing users are well over the age of 45, are more educated, and have a household income of well over $100K:

These user statistics limit targeting options, which means Bing Ads don’t work for all industries. Yes, if your primary target audience is an older segment of the population, Bing is the best option for you.

The best industries for Bing Ads include:

  • Health
  • Business and Finance
  • Automotive
  • Technology and Telecom
  • Real Estate
  • Retail.

4. YouTube Ads

YouTube is the second most used social networking platform in the world with over 2000 million active users. YouTube Ads give you instant access to the YouTube audience. According to Google, YouTube contributes 10% to its overall revenue. In terms of ad revenue share, YouTube is a bit larger than Amazon ad business standing at $15 billion.

YouTube offers video ads specifically and this makes its scope limited. Since the demand for video content is increasing year after year and consumers want to see more video content, running video ads seems to be the best way to connect with your audience.

Here are the key YouTube Ads features:

  • It allows you to create highly engaging ads
  • The ads are targeted as you can use a wide range of targeting options
  • You can run multiple ad types that aren’t just limited to video ads
  • Ad types include display ads, skippable video ads, non-skippable video ads, bumper ads, and more
  • It has a smart AR tool (AR Beauty Try-On extension) that lets users try makeup virtually

Best Industries for YouTube Ads

YouTube is most famous among 18-34 year olds making it a social networking platform for youngsters and millennials. If you are interested in targeting this age group, YouTube ads will work best for you. Also, YouTube can be accessed in more than 80 different languages and 70% of the views are generated by mobile devices.

Still not sure if YouTube Ads is right for you? Here is the list of industries that work best with YouTube Ads:

  • SaaS
  • Entertainment
  • Travel
  • Ecommerce
  • Technology

Any industry that can be best expressed via video content will work great on YouTube Ads.

5. LinkedIn Ads

Owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is the leading business and employment platform that is mostly used by businesses and job hunters. LinkedIn Ads gives you access to its global audience of over 722 million users from 200 countries.

LinkedIn Ads offer you different types of ads including sponsored content, message ads, text ads, and dynamic ads. The key features are:

  • Cost-effective with multiple ad types
  • It offers a wide range of targeting options including demographics, education, experience, skills, and more
  • It supports account-based marketing
  • You can create text, images, and video ads on LinkedIn

Best Industries for LinkedIn Ads

Clearly, B2B is the leading industry that works best for LinkedIn Ads. It is used by professionals and businesses, which means you can use it to reach businesses easily. Perhaps, it is one of the few PPC channels that connect you with businesses and business professionals.

Here is an overview of the leading industries on LinkedIn:

The top industries are:

  •  IT
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Human Resources
  • SaaS
  • Banking & Finance 

If you are targeting either businesses or professionals in these industries, go for LinkedIn Ads.

Buyer Persona: The Building Block of PPC

Before we jump head-first into the next module of our course, we should first discuss an essential building block for all of your PPC, organic, and social media campaigns: buyer personas

Look at buyer personas as the foundation of any solid marketing campaign, the ground upon which you build your reputation, targeting, and establish bridges of communication with your target audience. 

And yes, PPC does not make an exception from this rule. Imagine you want to run a PPC campaign and need to identify the right PPC channel, ad type, ad content, keywords, demographics, and several other targeting features. How can you do it if you don’t have a blueprint for the types of people you want to see your ads?

A buyer persona, also known as a customer or marketing persona, is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It tells you who your ideal customers are, what are their interests, challenges, income, what websites they visit, what type of content they like, and all other crucial details.

Seth-Godin-quote-buyer-persona

Want to make sure you build your buyer persona correctly, right from the very get-go? Download our Buyer Persona Template below and start strategizing your Ads before Week 2 of The PPC Masterclass by ClickGUARD: How to Choose The Right Type of Google Ads Campaign for Your Goals.


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