Companies of all sizes use PPC ads. They’re all over the internet wherever you go. But are these ads actually any good at generating leads? How many times have you seen an ad, clicked on it, and bought the product? Is it all a waste of money? This post delves deeper into PPC ads and whether they are effective.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for ‘pay per click’. You set a budget, which corresponds to a certain amount of clicks. You are then able to keep displaying your advert until a certain amount of people have clicked on it.
Most ads on the internet are PPC. The biggest advertising platforms include Google, Bing, and Facebook. These adverts can include images (such as Google’s display ads), videos (such as those found on YouTube), or just text (such as search engine ads).
PPC ads are targeted towards internet users based on their cookies. These cookies are pieces of information that are collected every time we visit a site. By using these cookies, advertising platforms are able to offer internet users personalized ads based on their internet activity. This means that your ads will only be targeted towards users that are deemed relevant. In many countries, users have the opportunity to reject cookies, so this may not always be the case. However, in most cases, adverts will be targeted at the right people.
Does PPC work?
When you pay for a PPC ad campaign, one thing is certain: you will be able to keep running your advert until a certain amount of people have clicked on it. If your ad goes ignored and no-one clicks on it, you won’t lose any money. This is different from a billboard or a radio advert – regardless of whether your billboard or radio ad goes ignored, you still have to pay to display it.
Of course, not every click on an ad is a conversion. Some people may click out of curiosity but then decide they don’t want to buy your product or sign up for your service. There may also be a few accidental clicks, which will still count towards your budget.
The average conversion rate for PPC ads is about 3.75% – which means for every hundred clicks, the average company is likely to generate three or four customers. This percentage varies across industries and across platforms. The time of year that you display your ad could even make a big impact. As a result, it could be worth doing your own research by trying out a PPC campaign and using conversion tracking to work out exactly how many clicks are converting to see whether you think it is worthwhile.
It’s important to also remember that those internet users that don’t convert – and even those internet users that don’t click – could still be turned into leads at a later stage. One thing that PPC ads are good at is building brand awareness. Many of us have seen internet ads and then gone on to use that product or service at a later date due to the familiarity.
How to make PPC ads more effective?
For PPC ads to be effective they need to be strategically planned and carried out. If you’re using a video or image, this needs to be eye-catching and professionally made. You then need to set the right parameters to make sure that your advert is targeted at the right people.
There are guides online that can help you to find the right strategy depending on your industry and depending on the platform you are using (creating an effective Google search engine ad is very different to creating an effective Facebook ad). You may also be able to hire professional marketers to help you design the perfect campaign.
Unfortunately, creating a successful PPC ad campaign often requires a bit of trialing and fine-tuning. By collecting analytic data on each of your campaigns, you can work out which strategies are most effective at generating conversions and which are least effective.
Alternatives to PPC ads
While there are some people that are converted by PPC ads, there are others who have learned to tune them out. These people may even have extensions in place to block ads. If you want there to be any chance of converting these consumers, you’ll need to try out other marketing strategies. There are many digital marketing strategies beyond PPC ads that you can use. These include:
For those consumers that find ads annoying, content marketing can be the more friendly and less obtrusive solution. Content marketing involves blog posts, videos, infographics and various other pieces of content. While these pieces of content can be promoted as ads, they may be able to attract customers organically in many cases.
For example, if you run a plumbing company, creating a blog post on ‘how to fix a leaky tap’ might attract consumers with a leaky tap problem. They may read your post and then choose to use your plumbing service if they feel it may benefit them further.
Content marketing can also be used for B2B purposes as this B2B content strategy shows. There are plenty of other guides to content marketing online that could also be worth a read.
Many consumers will search directly for companies they want to use on search engines like Google and Bing. SEO (search engine optimization) is a marketing strategy that can help to boost your website’s rankings so that consumers searching for your type of product are more likely to click on your site.
SEO relies on a variety of methods such as placing keywords onto web pages, building links, and increasing web page speed. Many companies choose to hire an SEO company because it can be quite a complex practice. This guide to SEO offers more information.
Some consumers are more easily converted by directly promoting your service to them. An advert alone may not be enough – an email may be more likely to get noticed.
With email marketing, you have more control over exactly who you target, which can be a major benefit. By reading guides on email marketing, you can craft the perfect email most likely to convert customers.
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