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Is PPC becoming a more prominent, simpler way to achieve a front page position?

A brief look at the facts:

  • Global spend on search advertising rose 15% in Q1 2013, year-on-year, with a 62% jump in click-through-rates (CTR) and 21% increase in clicks compared to 2012 (Kenshoo Global Search Advertising Trends 2013 Report)
  • 45.5% of Google Search users can’t identify paid results if not clearly listed in the sidebar on the right hand side of the page (WordStream 2012).
  • Ad Extensions and formats can now affect the positioning of ads on the Google search results page.  Google is pushing advertisers to use extensions in their ads as this now has an impact on Ad Rank.  Advertisers who haven’t added extensions will need to look at incorporating them in their campaigns.
  • A Google+ presence can increase your ads click-through-rate, research shows that a general +1 on the ad contributes to between 5-10% increase and a personal +1 (from someone in your circles) leading to an average 17% increase in CTR.

Let’s revise – what is PPC?

Digital advertisers have the option to focus their efforts and spend exactly where consumers are – engaging on social media and searching via search engines.  Pay-Per-Click Advertising in Search or Social is the ideal option to effectively reach target markets.  This blog is concentrated on ‘Paid Search Marketing’ or ‘Search Engine Marketing’ (SEM) which is the process of paying for advertising on sites and search engines; advertisers are only charged if someone ‘clicks’ on the Ad.

Search Engines allow advertisers to bid against each other for prominent positions in search engine results pages for certain key words or phrases.  These results are different from the organic, unpaid results, these occur ‘naturally’ or more commonly through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation techniques).

You may have noticed that recently pay-per-click ads have taken up more space on search engine results pages, the blue boxed ‘Sponsored Links’ have been replaced with pale boxes which look more like the organic results.  This might explain the 45.5% of Google searchers struggling to differentiate between the two sets of results.

The main PPC platforms include Google’s Adwords and Bing Ads.  Both work in a similar way with bids based on how much you are willing to pay per click (Cost per Click – CPC) or thousand impressions (Cost per Mille – CPM), with impressions being the number of times that Ad is shown.

Top 10 Benefits

  • Paid Search is faster to implement than Search Engine Optimisation and gives the instant result of a front page position for popular keywords.
  • You can target and tailor PPC ads to reach certain geographic areas, target specific days or times to suit your market and only advertise to those users searching for your specific key words.
  • PPC is scale-able – you can increase or decrease your campaigns depending on your business time frames.
  • PPC is accessible even with a small budget, with no fee to insert an ad and analytics to help focus your advertising spend for maximum ROI.
  • You only pay for actual ‘clicks’ and you can see measureable results.
  • Tracking users activity will provide valuable insights into future campaign success.
  • SME’s can be on a level playing field with large organisations with the help of PPC advertising.
  • By keeping one step ahead of new innovations by the search engines, increases in CTR’s can be achieved.  Google’s extensions and Ad Rank and social extensions enable savvy marketers to reap higher rewards.
  • By scrutinising Adwords and Bing Ads analytics businesses can keep a keen eye on activity, spend and adapt their approach instantly to improve ROI.
  • PPC can provide a supporting backup plan, to the increasingly complex world of Search Engine Optimisation.

What to Consider?

Only 6% of Google and Bing users click on a paid search result compared to 94% that click on organic, unpaid listings.  This shows that organic listings are by far the preferred choice, however, statistics show that the decline we had in PPC in 2011 has now been reversed and paid searches are becoming increasingly popular with marketers.

100 billion searches are completed through Google each month, so suddenly the 6% seems worth considering – 6 billion clicks per month.

As Google release new algorithms such as Penguin 2.0 (discussed in our previous blog post) the nature of improving Google rankings by Search Engine Optimisation has become increasingly complex and in-depth.  As organisations take Google advice to clear-up unnatural back-links, manipulative in-bound links and web spam (a lengthy involved task) many are finding it harder to rise up and stay up the Google rankings.  This is where Paid Search marketing can come into its own, a quick, instant ‘fix’ for companies to maintain a presence on the all-important front page.

At Front Page Advantage we review and tailor your PPC campaigns to ensure they stay effective, efficient and operating at maximum levels to drive an increase in traffic to your business.  Using our proven expertise (we are Certified Google Partners) we can improve return on your advertising spend.  Call us today to discuss how we can help.

Next month we look at Social Advertising.