What is PPC advertising & how does it work?
PPC advertising (Pay Per Click) is an online model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads via search engine marketing. Sounds simple doesn't it. Well it is if you get the foundations right and this article aims to explains how.
Although there are various PPC ads out there, one of the most common types is the paid search ad. These ad groups appear when people look for products and services online using search engines such as Google. So, they're an ideal shop window for your Shopify store and a good place for you to allocate your ad spend. This is especially the case when potential customers are carrying out commercial searches, i.e. when they're looking for a purchase. Such searches can vary massively, from mobile searches (e.g. someone looking for “burgers near me” on their phone) to local service searches (for example, a vet or a electrician in their area) to those shopping for gifts (e.g. Mother’s Day flowers) or high-end products like the latest software. Despite being varied, all of these searches trigger pay-per-click ads (ppc ads).
You may be relieved to hear that when running pay-per-click advertising business ads you'll only charged when users actually click on your ads. So, 'yes' ppc advertising really does live up to its name. The amount of search engine results you get for your Shopify store depends on how well you manage and build your PPC ads.
It's important to be aware that other forms of PPC advertising include display advertising (usually associated with banner ads) and remarketing. It's finding the right one for you which counts.
How PPC Advertising Works
Ok, let's look a little closer at your digital marketing including Google ads, search ads and more. In order for your ppc ads to appear alongside the results on a search engine (Search Engine Results Page or SERP), it's not a case of simply paying more to ensure that your ads sit more prominently than those of your competitors - if only things were that straightforward. When it comes to the online advertising of your Shopify store, your PPC ads are subject to what is known as the PPC Ad Auction. This is an automated process which major search engines (for example Google) use to assess the relevance and validity of advertisements that appear on their SERPs.
How Keywords Work in Pay-Per-Click Advertising
As you may expect, the PPC Ad Auction operates on a bidding system. That means you must bid on the specific terms that you want to display in your ads. This process relies heavily on relevant keywords.
Let's look at an illustration...Say, for example, that your business specialises in fishing equipment. A user wanting to purchase a new fishing rod, fishing bag or portable seat enter the keywords “fishing equipment” to find search engine results for retailers who offer these items.
Once users submit their search, the search engine carries out complex algorithmic calculations. This forms the foundation of the PPC Ad Auction. In turn it determines which ads are shown, in which order, and by which advertiser.
Don't forget that you'll have to pay for every click your ad receives; so it’s essential to only bid on relevant keywords for your business. That way you can be sure to get ROI from your ad spend. Keyword tools can help you find the right keywords to bid on that are both likely to drive sales or conversions, and are not prohibitively expensive.
What Is PPC Management? (Definition, Purpose and Benefits)
In basic terms PPC management (pay-per-click management) is the strategic process of monitoring your PPC marketing campaigns and importantly measuring advertisement spend. Depending on a your online business' needs, you may decide hire internal marketing staff or an external advertisement agency as this is typically a time consuming process and indeed a skilled operation. There are various core checks which must be done for successful PPC online advertising as follows:
- Researching keywords (as mentioned above)
- Strategising channels - this involves selecting websites on which to host your PPC campaigns. A variety of search engines and social media websites can be considered as part of this process. It's best to select channels based on the type of products or services you provide. For example, they may host content on an affiliate network, which describes another organisation that sells similar merchandise.
- Campaign monitoring - as an integral part of your PPC management campaign, it's beneficial to monitor keywords. In turn that will allow you to see which terms trigger an advertisement to show. Identifying ineffective keywords means that you can switch them out for a new set of words which could give better results. Unfortunately there is an element of trial and error involved. Keyword costs is also a factor you must observe especially when planning and applying budget for your PPC advertising. Remember, a campaign's requirements can vary daily, so day-to-day monitoring is a must.
What is important for PPC strategy and campaign planning?
If you already have a current ad set, that's a great place to start. Modifying what you have (even subtly) can make a huge difference to your CTR (click through rate). So, for example, including or excluding your brand name can significantly boost your results. Similarly the simple exchange of US spelling of verbs such as, 'analyize' to the British spelling, 'analyse' may seem a tiny tweak but it can have big results. Experiment with unique selling propositions (USP) when planning your PPC before then deciding which are best for your specific audience. Promoting the right products and services to the right demographic is absolutely essential. After all, how can you build search ads if you haven't identified who is actually searching?
Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords)
Now let's look at Google ads. In basic terms Google displays your PPC ads when people use their search engines to look for products or services like yours. Your Google ads can appear on Google Search and Maps, and across Google's network of partner sites. You'll pay for results, like when anyone clicks on your ad to call your business, visit your website or to get directions to your store.
Good news! Signing up to a Google ads account is absolutely free, what's more you'll get regular insights and reports on how your ads are doing - helping you to keep an eye on spending once people do start clicking.
When it comes to search engine marketing, Google ads are suitable for businesses of all sizes large and small. Whatever size your company is, targeting the right keywords, audiences and locations is integral to how successful your PPC can potentially be.
When shaping your Google ads it's important to ensure:
- Your landing page(s) is firmly in place
- Be prepared for some short-term investment
- Have an awareness of competitors in your industry - do your homework!
- Finally be patient; the average Google ads take 3 months to mature and then 4-12 months to develop into stronger campaigns
Data from PPC ads can improve your SEO strategy
As the results from PPC ads is pretty instant it's easy to quickly identify which keywords are driving traffic to your Shopify site. Alternatively it can be easier to see which ones should be left out i.e. as they may not be performing so well. That way you can drive more traffic to your site much more easily.
From there you can also dig more deeply into your digital marketing and identify if there is a new landing page or pages you can create. Keep an eye on conversion rates. Think about seasonal trends. Focus on testing your copy to see if you can really get that organic traffic flowing too.
As you can see, PPC is definitely worth a closer look at part of your Shopify site's advertising. Those search engine results (especially when carefully planned and managed) can bring healthy traffic in terms of sales and SEO too.
Of course, carrying out your PPC strategy, shaping a campaign, and carefully monitoring the ad spend, CTA, keywords and search terms takes time. What's more when done by experts who are well versed in what to look for, where and when the search engine results are typically even better.
If you'd like to see how we could help or you'd simply like more info on where to start visit
www.digitalmediateam.co.uk or call 0800 808 9980.