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PPC Marketing 101 – The Basics

February 22, 2012

By Carol Amato

PPC, or pay-per-click marketing, is one of the easiest ways to get traffic to your website.  While you have to pay for this type of traffic, it can be a good addition to your Internet marketing strategy.  Because it’s so effective, I’m going to cover it on my blog today.

Before I get into PPC marketing, I want to give you a basic overview of organic and paid traffic.

PPC Marketing 101 – The Basics imageOrganic Versus Paid Traffic

There are two main types of traffic.  First, there’s organic traffic.  Organic traffic refers to the free traffic you get from web searches.  You get organic traffic by moving your website up in the search results.  Then, when people type in a series of keywords related to your niche, your site will come up.  Whenever someone clicks on your site, you receive organic traffic.

The second type of traffic is paid traffic.  This is the type of traffic you receive from running advertisements online.  Often, these ads are PPC ads.  When you run these ads, you can get traffic, even if your site is buried in the back of the search results.  That’s because the paid results are placed above and beside the organic results.

PPC Marketing 101 – The Basics imagesGraphic

Now that you understand the different types of traffic, I’m going to explain what PPC advertising is.

PPC Advertising Overview

There are four components involved in PPC advertising.  The components are:

  • The platform
  • The keywords
  • The advertisement
  • The bid

Component 1 – The Platform

PPC ads can appear on different platforms.  The most common platforms are:

  • Web search pages
  • Content sites
  • Social networks

Web Search Pages

These ads display in search results.  For example, if someone goes to Google and conducts a search, he’ll receive both organic and paid results.  The paid results will be at the top and right hand side of the pages.  These are PPC ads.  All of the other results are organic. 

PPC Marketing 101 – The Basics graphicContent Sites

Content sites can also display ads.  Marketing companies typically match the ad with the site.  For instance, if you’re marketing video games, the advertising company would work to find relevant sites (i.e. sites that talk about video games) across their network.  Then your ads will display on those sites.

Social Networks

Advertisers can also display ads on social networks.  This allows advertisers to cash in on all of the traffic that social networks generate.

Facebook has one of the best PPC advertising platforms available.  You can set up a campaign to send traffic to your business website or to your Facebook fan page.  Thus, you can use these ads to get more customers and Facebook fans. 

PPC Marketing 101 – The Basics pictureNow that I’ve gone over the different platforms, I’m going to move on to the next component.

Component 2 – The Keywords

Keywords also play a big role in PPC marketing.  That’s because, in most cases, you have to bid on keywords, and those keywords will trigger your ads.

For example, let’s say you are an Internet marketing consultant.  You would bid on keywords that are related to Internet marketing consultants.  Then, if someone typed one of your keywords into a search result (or went to a website that has those keywords), your ad would appear.

Component 3 – The Bid

Your bid refers to the amount of money you’re willing to spend on a keyword.  The more popular the keyword is, the higher the bid will be.  Additionally, sites like Google AdWords reward people who have successful advertising campaigns by lowering their minimum bid amount.  That’s so they can have high quality advertisers.

For example, let’s say Tom and Joe both have AdWords accounts and both want to bid on keywords related to Internet marketing.  Both have had their AdWords accounts for six months.  Tom has a click through rate of 15%.  That means that 15% of the people who see Tom’s ads click on them.  Joe, on the other hand, has a click through rate of 6%.  Joe will likely have to pay more for the same keywords, since he hasn’t been as successful on AdWords.

Component 4 – The Advertisement

Finally, PPC advertising has an actual ad.  You’ll create this ad and use it to drive traffic to your site or social networking page.

There are three types of PPC ads, which are:

  • Text ads
  • Image ads
  • Text and image ads

You’ll need to come up with your own text or images for these ads.  While that might seem like a daunting task, it’s actually easier than you might think.  Simply go to Google or Facebook and check out the ads that are running.  Use them as a guide as you create your own ads.

This was a really basic guide to PPC marketing.  Let me know in the comment section below if you’re interested in this type of information.  If so, I can give you some detailed information on setting up, targeting and managing your ads.

Take Care,
Carol





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  • Ruth

    Hi Carol,
    Good job on the explanation. It’s good to have this information, and by “this information” I mean your entire blog, I’m not quite ready to do the PPC yet but I know where to look now. I’m sure the in-depth information will be useful to more than just me. Your blog is so easy to follow for a newbie and this is so important. Thanks.

    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Thanks, Ruth. Well, I am just going to begin PPC, so had to do the research on it and learn the fundamentals for sure. I am glad you find my blog to be a good resource – makes me happy for sure! :)
      Have a great day.
      - Carol

  • Barry

    This is a good explanation of PPC advertising. Helps to break it down.

    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Glad you got some help, Barry. It’s new to me, and I wanted to share what I learned.
      Have a good evening.
      - Carol

  • Don

    It is really nice for someone else to do all the hard work of researching relevant and important topics for me. I REALLY like your blog.

    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Hi Don,

      Wow – so glad that you are enjoying and appreciating the blog. That just made my day! :)
      Thanks for stopping by. – Carol

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