Marketing 101: Pay Per Click

So what IS Digital Marketing? These words and “services” get thrown around a lot, but the truth is it’s very simple. Digital Marketing is anything a business can do on a digital platform (usually the internet) to try and promote their products or services and reach new and existing customers. The real question isn’t “what is digital marketing” it’s “what should my company be doing online and how can it help our bottom line”. Well if you have asked yourself that question then you have come to the right place for answers. In this series we will break down the different online platforms that are most successful and most popular and explain how each one can be used to help your business reach new customers and grow your revenue. 

Pay Per Click

Have you ever wondered, “What’s this ad on top of Google?” or “How did my competitor get to the top of the page?” or even “I want to be the top result on Google TODAY, but how?”. This is the Google Ad Platform which is most commonly known as Pay Per Click advertising. Here is what we have to say about this digital marketing strategy. 

If you have been in business for more than, about a day, then you have probably already received a call from a “digital marketing expert” telling you about the get rich quick form on online marketing, Pay Per Click. This isn’t to say that Pay Per Click (PPC) isn’t a great and effective online marketing tool, but the reality is that running effective campaigns takes time, money, and expertise and the every day telemarketer isn’t up to the task. PPC is a highly valuable tool for seasoned businesses who have historical data that let’s them know what time of the day, month, and year their customers are interacting with their business online. PPC is also a highly intelligent platform developed by Google that factors in things like your overall traffic and quality of your website when accepting your bids on positions, which is why having an established and well built website is a fundamental step you should take before investing in this platform.

How does PPC Work?
First, you need a website so that you have a place to “land” the potential traffic you will receive. This means you need to be able to direct customers from Google to the page on your website that corresponds with the search that they performed. How likely is a customer to call or hire you if they clicked on “Roofing Contractor in my Area” and are then taken to a page that deals with gutters and windows? This is important for two reasons: 1. Customers who are delivered to relevant pages are much more likely to be ready to buy the service they were searching for. 2. Customers who “bounce” off your page, meaning they left without visiting more than 1 page and generally within 15 seconds of being on your site,  hurt your traffic quality score and in turn that hurts your bidding authority with Google.
Second, you need to understand the search consumer behavior. It might sound simple but the reality is that research and expertise are required to run highly functional and profitable PPC campaigns. What do your customers say when they are searching for your products or services? You probably think they say things that you say in your business all the time. “Italian Restaurant near X” but is that really how they search? Many times consumer behavior and language is dramatically different than we expect it to be. Maybe you have 500 searches a month for “Italian Restaurant near X” but you may have 5,000 searches a month for “Best Pasta Near Me” and with a simple and understandable mistake you have lost out on 5,000 opportunities. And this doesn’t happen once or twice it happens with 40-50 search phrases on average. This is why having a PPC expert who can utilize the tools and optimize your campaign is so important.
Third, you need to understand how the Google Ad Auction works. It’s not as simple as the shows you see on TV where they have some guy who talks really fast and sells things to the highest bidder. Google looks at your website quality score, your traffic analytics, your landing page relevancy, your keyword selection, your ad copy, and your overall internet authority before it even considers your bid. Let’s say you have a basic website that doesn’t score very well technically, doesn’t have analytics tracking, and doesn’t meet the standard content requirement. You put in a bid on Google Ads for $5.00 per click on the keyword you want to rank #1 for. Now, let’s say your competitor who has a great website, lots of traffic, analytics to support his page, robust content, and highly relevant ad copy puts in a bid of $2.00 for the same keyword. Who do you think is going to win the bid? The answer is both companies. However, the competitor is going to be in the #1 position and you are going to be in the #2 position even though you paid 250% more than your competitor. For this and many other reasons you need a certified Google Ads expert helping you with your campaign. 
Last, you need to understand fee structures from companies selling their “expertise”. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise but companies who provide a service based on their assets and knowledge are going to charge you for the privilege. But, what exactly are they charging you for and how much is it? These are important questions. Larger companies with massive sales teams will call you day in and day out trying to get you to buy their “Search Engine Marketing (SEM)” platform with promises of huge traffic boosts and top of the page placement all over the vast internet for what seems like pennies compared to the ROI they are promising. Ever heard the expression “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”? What these companies conveniently leave out of their sales pitch is how it all works. Generally speaking here is how these companies operate: 1. They take your “budget” and remove 35-50% from the very beginning for “management” fees. 2. They take your remaining budget, the amount they are actually going to use to advertise for you, and put 60-80% of that into their own websites and directories or affiliates. 3. That take that tiny little amount they have left over and spend it evenly with companies like Google and Bing to try and get you some extra traffic. If you are going to spend your hard earned resources on PPC programs do yourself a favor and work with an individual provider who is willing to give you their fees and isolate your platform UP FRONT. If you are worried that you are trapped in an SEM scam or your provider is charging too much (more than 20% of your budget) for your PPC program Contact Us and we will be happy to evaluate your program and give you another option. 

Think you have a $1,000 a month budget on Google? You might be surprised…

Thousands of business owners think they are spending good money for Google Ad placement only to find out after months and years of spending that they were really only getting about $200-300 in actual placement. Don’t let these companies fool you into lining their pockets while you struggle to build your traffic. Contact your PPC provider today and demand a breakdown of every dollar so you know where your money is going. Better yet, let us do it for you. 

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