What is PPC?
PPC advertising has become important to understand since users use search engines such as Google and Bing both to look for materials they will buy and to provide information on certain topics. If you came across any sponsored search result while searching something on Google, you have seen an example of a PPC ad. You will learn more details in this article, but before going into details about PPC advertising, it is important to understand the basic search engine algorithm. After all, the search engine algorithm is at the heart of both SEO and PPC.
Search engines perfectly detect the user’s search intent and list results according to it. On the search result page, first ads and then organic content are shown. For example, if the user typed “green apple” in the search box, Google probably showed the nearby markets at first. When typing “benefits of green apples,” blog posts, videos, and rich content are listed first. Regardless of the user’s search intent, there are thousands of results associated with the search terms, and search engines aim to bring the most relevant and useful one in front of the user in the first place. Otherwise, users leave the page because they cannot find what they want. At this point, the purpose and method of search engines closely coincide with the goals of advertisers who want to show their ads on relevant searches at the right time to reach more people. The digital advertising system in which advertisers pay for certain products and services as they get clicks is called PPC. An ad that is not clicked has no cost.
Why is PPC Important?
In PPC advertising, you can reach the right audience at the right time, and present products and services people are likely to be interested in. As said earlier, search engines such as Google and Bing try to rank the most relevant and useful ones among the results based on the user’s search query. For this reason, the Google quality score must be high for the success of the advertisements. Thus, the advertising content has a placement where users can see it more easily.
When PPC ads are managed properly, it helps to save on advertising costs. If ads do not work as intended, they can be modified or removed. Per-Pay Click advertising, which allows testing and learning, prevents payment for advertising that does not work, unlike traditional advertising.
PPC ads give quick results, and you can instantly manage how well the advertisement is published. Since the aim is currently to meet the customers’ needs when they want it, the results can be followed in real-time as well.
It is easy to control, edit and modify your PPC ads, especially in Google Ads. Google Ads optimization score section has more than 50 recommendations to improve ads. For example, if your optimization score is 80, it is possible to increase the ads’ optimization score by 20 points with these suggested changes. Google Ads optimization is not a one-time work; it should be managed continuously and done with changing user needs.
How Does a PPC Work?
When it comes to PPC advertising, the first thing that comes to mind is Google Ads Campaigns. If the process of campaign creation in Google Ads is successfully run, it becomes possible to use PPC advertising most efficiently. Here is a list of the steps for an advertiser or business owner who will create a campaign for the first time after opening a Google Ads account:
- Choose the campaign type
- Choose the campaign purpose
- Adjust campaign settings such as budget and bidding strategy
- Adjust ad group settings which is the most important part of this step is keywords
- Complete creative assets in the ad level
- Ready to publish
The most important step is to choose the Google Ads campaign types that best fit the business and goals. Campaign types are Google Search, Display, Video, Discovery, Performance Max, and App Campaigns. Then, campaign objectives are “sales,” “leads,” “traffic,” “product and brand consideration,” “brand awareness and reach”, and “app promotion,” and there is also an option to continue without a goal.
You will get charged per click after the ad is published; views do not cost anything. Still, it is important to pay attention to how many views the ads get because the CTR is calculated by the click-to-view ratio, an important metric that measures the success of the ad. CTR gives you important information about your ads. For more information on this, you can check the “What is CTR” article.
What Does PPC Mean in Social Media?
Although Google Search and other Google campaign types come to mind when PPC advertising is mentioned, PPC is also frequently used in social media advertising. In social media advertising, you can pay per click, which is what CPC is, or you can be charged per thousand impressions, which is what CPM is. So, it is important to notice the difference between clicks and impressions, creating a distinction in payment methods. Meanwhile, when comparing CPC vs. CPM, basically as two bid strategies, the campaign strategy and priorities of the business should be considered brand-specific. Note that there are also automated bidding strategies in both Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
PPC in social media is available on social platforms like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Linkedin, WhatsApp, and even Snapchat. Still, Facebook is the most popular platform where social PPC is used, with its simple and self-service functionality. In social PPC, audience targeting can be based on demographics, interest in specific topics, or customer data gathered by the platform, which includes previous website visitors, potential customers, and current customers who purchase goods or services from the company over time. Social PPC is closer to Google Display ads than Google Search ads because Facebook offers more user-oriented targeting based on users’ interests and actions than Google Search campaigns, where advertisers focus on targeting users’ search terms.
PPC Optimization and Measurement
The optimization process of PPC campaigns is as important as setting up the campaign correctly, as the customer journey does not go in a straight line, and user needs are constantly changing. When optimizing the campaign, it’s a good start to use metrics to analyze how it works and the recommendations in Google Ads. The ad’s quality score and optimization score should be as high as possible, and luckily, Google Ads gives suggestions on how to improve the quality score and optimization score.
Quality score and optimization score can also affect the ad rank and position. Ad rank is a term that is used for a state where the ad is shown on the result page. Google tries to decide the order in that ads will be shown in each search query. It is a split-second activity which is called an ad auction, and Google decides whether an ad is eligible to show or not according to quality score.
Important metrics to look at when measuring the success of an ad:
- Quality Score
- Click-through Rate
- Impression Share
- Average Cost Per Click
- Conversion Rate
- Cost Per Conversion
- ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
In Social PPC, additional actions such as likes, comments, and follows should be checked besides sales or other conversions. Note that there are different campaign performance analysis methods for each digital advertising platform and for each business goal.