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What Does PPC Stand For & Why Invest in It

What does PPC stand for feature image

What Does PPC Stand For & Why Invest in It

Those entering the digital marketing space may wonder, “What does PPC stand for?” This is a valid question, as PPC is integral to online advertising and marketing in virtual environments. Companies should invest in learning PPC basics to determine how to approach advertising online.

It’s no secret that shopping experiences are moving from brick-and-mortar stores to digital spaces. Online shopping is becoming a preference rather than an alternative for many customers. 

This novel shift made a notable impact during COVID-19 lockdowns. Online spending increased by over 32% in 2020 alone, indicating that buyers are comfortable purchasing online regularly and confident in making bigger purchases virtually.

Companies need new ways to appeal to customers in digital spaces. As many consumers take up online shopping, more and more businesses are considering PPC campaigns and strategies. 

Helpful Resource: Find a reputable PPC agency near you.

This article will highlight the definition, functions, and benefits of investing in PPC to attract customers online. 

What Does PPC Stand For?

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a type of digital marketing approach requiring companies to pay a set fee each time a customer clicks on their advertisement. 

Pay-per-click ads are shown prominently on their host platforms for increased visibility. Companies aiming to make quick connections with the right audience are often drawn to PPC campaigns.

In 2021, only 33% of small and mid-sized businesses invested in PPC efforts. Small businesses have the chance to stand out from the pack by simply giving PPC a chance.  

Popular Traditional PPC Ad Platforms

Important Note: While Google and Microsoft ads are pay-per-click, social media ad platforms typically charge by impression or view depending on the established goal of the campaign. 

A PPC budget may involve multiple platforms, combining social media and search engine channels to interest a broader audience.   Ads on different platforms may appear differently, but all of them follow the same general model. 

How Does PPC Work?

While it may sound complicated at first glance, PPC follows a pretty straightforward process. On the customer end, PPC ads may appear similar to any other search result or social media post.

PPC advertisements fit seamlessly with other content that ranks organically for search results. For instance, if a customer is looking for a wedding dress, they’re likely to search the keyword “wedding dress” on Google. When they do, a search results page appears with PPC ads listed at the top.  

what PPC ads look like

Some PPC ads also include visuals, perfect for a retailer looking to funnel an interested audience to their website. The only difference between PPC advertisements and a regular Google search result is an “Ad” tag at the top left of each ad listing. 

PPC ads are particularly effective because they bring companies to the top of search result pages. Over 25% of people click on the first search result after running a search query, so getting to the top of results pages via ads is a huge advantage. 

Once customers click on the advertisement listed at the top of the results page, the ad will bring them to whichever landing page a company selects for a targeted keyword. In this case, the customer that searched for “wedding dresses” is taken to a bridal gown section of a much larger retail store, Revolve. 

how PPC ads work

Source: Revolve

This store may not rank organically for wedding dresses on its own because it provides all types of women’s clothing and accessories. It’s not necessarily specialized as a wedding vendor. Still, the company achieved maximum visibility for this search term by purchasing a PPC ad on “wedding dress” SERPs. 

PPC ads are meant to establish a straightforward, no-hassle funnel between customer searches and relevant products. Companies that undergo PPC campaigns on Google will likely use Google Ads to develop ads and track success over time.    

Google Ads Manager

Source: Search Engine Watch

The platform has countless information and insights relating to the success of particular ads, campaigns, and related costs. 

Your PPC team will be able to extract critical data that informs whether the traffic coming from your PPC campaigns is worth the price. Based on what you determine, PPC strategies can be adjusted and retargeted directly on the platform. 

6 Benefits of PPC

There is a multitude of advantages to investing in a PPC campaign. Companies should weigh the importance of each benefit against company budgets to determine whether or not to give PPC a try. 

1. PPC Positions Companies High in Search Results

The most apparent and significant advantage of PPC is that it positions a company landing page of choice at the top of a search results page of their choice. 

On Google, for instance, companies may invest in entire SEO and content teams to rank highly on search results pages. On top of that, organic content can take up to six months to finally rank on the first page of Google SERPs. 

Companies looking for a quick and strategic way to the top of search results will benefit from a PPC campaign.  

2. PPC Informs Other Digital Marketing Strategies

Any successes and failures in your PPC program can help guide your strategies in other areas of digital marketing, particularly SEO.

SEO and PPC heavily rely on keyword research and thoughtful keyword targeting to connect with the right audiences and correctly turn leads into conversions. 

PPC ads will appear at the top of search results pretty much immediately. That means your paid search team will be able to figure out whether or not a keyword or target landing page is effective quickly. You’ll have performance insights from PPC ads before an organic piece of content would even have time to rank on the first page.

This means that you can take what you learn about keyword targeting in your PPC campaigns and apply them to your SEO endeavors. PPC metrics and insights are relevant across many digital marketing activities.   

3. PPC Helps You Turn Leads into Conversions 

Creating a smooth buyer journey is a tall order for many businesses, especially those just transitioning to an online-first environment. 

PPC campaigns allow you to experiment with targeting bottom-funnel keywords that will smoothly guide interested buyers to your services. Additionally, you can opt to target top-of-funnel keywords to introduce curious buyers to your existing user funnels from a higher level. 

Whichever you choose, PPC campaigns create a direct path from search engines or social media to your company’s goods and services. 

4. PPC Creates Brand Recognition

For companies looking to engage buyers outside of the final steps of a buyer journey, using PPC to boost brand recognition is a great benefit. 

Starting a PPC ad campaign will direct your chosen content to the top of a given results page. Leveraging thoughtful content in these advertising slots for keywords that serve audiences that aren’t quite ready to make a final purchase will help people become familiar with your company

Making this part of your PPC strategy encourages customers that you’re a helpful company that wants to guide them through their decision-making process from start to finish. Over time, that will help to build up audience trust. 

5. PPC Advertising Teaches You About Your Audience

Via Google Ads and other paid advertising management tools, companies can learn a lot about who they’re engaging with specific advertisements. This is particularly helpful for companies aiming to carve their own space in the market.

By paying close attention to insights like age, gender, geographical information, and the type of device used to access ads, you’re learning more about your audience and how to meet their expectations of your business better.  

6. PPC is Highly Targeted 

Companies can tailor just about every aspect of a PPC campaign to fit their needs. Using tools like Google Ads, businesses can adjust targeted keywords, landing pages, and more to optimize campaign performance over time quickly.  

This speedy, highly-targeted, iterative process allows continuous improvement as companies learn how to best appeal to their intended audience with PPC advertising content. 

Strategic PPC Ads are a Good Investment

There is plenty of risk upon entering the PPC world: expensive cost-per-click barriers, audience misalignment, and more. However, companies that take a strategic, iterative approach and commit to learning how to optimize paid ad opportunities will find significant ROI and plenty of other digital marketing benefits. 

Businesses looking to tackle PPC strategically may benefit from connecting with a team of PPC specialists who know how to get the job done.  

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