Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is a marketing tactic that uses targeted messages to build awareness for your company, products, or services and drive visitors to your website. Unlike traditional print advertising where you pay for anyone and everyone who might potentially see your ad, with PPC you only pay when someone is interested in your message and clicks on or engages with one of your ads.
“What’s the catch?” There isn’t one. “So clicks must be really expensive.” Not really. The cost of each ad click varies based on the popularity of the keyword that triggered the ad or the website on which the ad displays, but the average cost per click is usually less than $2. Daily budgets that you can change any time help you keep your costs in check.
While many people think only of search ads as PPC, there are actually three primary types of pay-per-click ads:
While your PPC ad is the introduction to a potential new customer, your landing page is the get-to-know-you conversation that determines whether you go on to have coffee or dinner or you go your separate ways.
It’s critical that your landing page – the page that an ad clicker reaches upon a click – offers content that follows the message of the ad and gives those who are interested direction as to what to do next. A clear call to action might offer something valuable such as an ebook or white paper related to your ad or a free consultation. Whatever incentive you offer should be made in exchange for the interested party’s contact information to help you gain a lead and build a relationship down the road. After all, you wouldn’t let the attractive guy or girl you met at the dog park get away without exchanging phone numbers, would you?
Pay-per-click advertising platforms offer a number of handy tools to help you make sure you’re targeting the right keywords, crafting the right ad content, and reaching the right people.
Planning tools for keywords and website placements plus targeting tools for audience demographics, geographic locations, languages, and more help you ensure you’re reaching those who are most likely to find the most value in your ads.
And tracking tools allow you to follow the success of your ads almost immediately. You’ll know who’s clicking on what ads that are triggered by what keywords or shown on what websites, giving you the power to update ads, keyword lists, targeting, and budgets on the fly.
Pay-per-click advertising is an essential weapon in your inbound marketing toolbox for reaching potential customers and bringing them in as solid leads.
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