Pay per click advertising is a marketing tactic most people are aware of, but have little knowledge about how it works or why you should pay attention to it. Whether you are a web surfer or a small business owner looking to expand your business, there are things about pay per click advertising you should know along with other forms of expanding your web traffic.
First, we have to know what pay per click (PPC) means, and what other common abbreviations and terms you will see used alongside PPC mean. PPC ads are made by companies and delivered through search engines and social media platforms. Then your company is charged when these ads are clicked by users. Another term commonly used when talking about online ads is search engine optimization (SEO). A natural and free way to boost search results and advertisements through understanding algorithms of search engines and boosting traffic. From both a business perspective and a consumer perspective, there can be many pros and cons to both.
For a business who is trying to grow, PPC advertising will help do that very quickly. As soon as you set up an ad you want to run, whether that is to promote a product, or just your website in general, PPC ads will help bring more traffic.
Depending on how much you are willing to put into it and how competitive your market it, you can find yourself at the top of certain search results. Finding certain keywords and phrases are key here because it isn’t as easy as it sounds. However, there are an abundance of companies and professionals who can help target the customer base you are looking for. Having a good understanding of how to keep up with Google AdWords and key phrases is important, but also efficient with enough attention given.
Some of the brighter side of SEO are that it is free besides the time invested. While it can be a little more time consuming to understand the algorithms and build your popularity in a more natural way, you may be better off to start this way.
Paying attention to analytics and how to tweak your landing page is very important when there is a large number of options and sources out there. It can bring more steady traffic to your website and even more serious or intentional traffic in some cases.
Too much of a good thing can come from PPC ads as well. Assessing the state of your company is important before bringing an influx of customers to your website. Is your sales team, website, and company ready for the potential of quick growth? Something else to look at is the market you are in. In a highly competitive market with a larger number of companies, bidding on words and phrases may become incredibly expensive. If you are trying to impact a certain area or group of people, geotargeting will be more impactful and cheaper than trying to compete in a bigger area.
SEO cons can include not being immune to algorithm changes. This means if a search engine were to change or shuffle results and what appears under words or phrases, you may lose some of the progress you made. It is important to understand the rules and guidelines of search engines, so you are not penalized later on.
For consumers, understand that just because a link comes up as the first option it doesn’t mean it is the best or most reliable. Companies may push hard and spend a lot of money to be at the top of searches. Make sure you are diligent in looking at the options and understanding what is an ad, and what came up because it is popular among other people. Research has shown that while the first link to come up may have the most clicks, often the second or third options that aren’t paid led to the most time spent on the site, and more interaction on the landing page.
What it comes down to is assessing your needs as a company and consumer. There are great options out there for advertising and it can be tailored to your company with some time and effort. For consumers, understanding and recognizing paid advertisements may help you narrow down your options and make your searches more specific as well.
-Chase Van Sant