MONTHLY ARCHIVES: June 2014


The History of PPC

Pay per click (PPC) is an internet advertising tool that is used to drive traffic to a particular website. The advertiser contracts to pay the website owner or publisher a fixed amount when a visitor clicks on the ad. A content site such as a news aggregator charges a specific price for each click on banner or rail display ads. When the ad opportunity is offered by a search engine, such as Yahoo! or Google, the advertiser places a bid on keywords that are related to their customers' search queries. PPC is used to gauge how effective a particular ad is on a particular site, by charging the advertisers only when a visitor clicks through to the ad's source

Beginning of PPC

PPC was introduced to the web in 1996, when an ad was placed on Planet Oasis, an online directory that provided links to a variety of websites. While PPC had a slow start, more than 400 commercial brands were participating in PPC advertising by late 1997. In early 1998, the PPC search engine concept was presented during a TED conference by Jeffrey Brewer, then of Goto.com, a startup business that was later acquired by Yahoo! Before Google launched its search engine advertising initiative in 1999, search engine results pages (SERPs) were clobbered with unrelated search results. The lack of sophisticated algorithms left the door open for keyword, link, and index spamming, and pages of irrelevant search results left users fuming in the SERP wasteland. When Google introduced AdWords in October 2000, advertisers were able to buy text ads that garnered preferred placement on a SERP. The first use of AdWords was monetized via cost-per-thousand-impressions until 2002, when PPC was added to Google SERPs.

Online Options

When dial-up modems incurred per-minute fees from the ISP - or the phone company when a toll-free access number was unavailable - users got on and offline as quickly as possible. However, when broadband access became common in homes and businesses, users were willing and able to spend additional time online. Broadband access opened up a new vista to the first generation of online consumers, which kicked the door wide open for online advertising strategies such as PPC. The early bid-based PPC model gave preference to the highest-bidding advertisers. This model did not account for the ad's effectiveness, just the revenue for the search engine. However, a seldom-clicked ad did not benefit the search engine, so Google introduced the Quality Score in the mid 2000s. Search engines prefer a 75-cent ad with a 15 percent click-through rate, over a $7 ad with a 2 percent click-through rate. The Quality Score measures the relevance and quality of the ad, giving the highest-revenue ads preferential placement in the sponsored portion of the page, over the organic search results. Other search engines, such as Microsoft and Yahoo!, implemented a similar program to maximize their ad revenues and relevance.

Revenue

According to eMarketer, Google made $22 billion in worldwide ad revenue in 2009; the average cost per click was $0.60 over 37 billion clicks. In 2012, Google generated $42.5 billion in all ad revenues.



PPC Services

The best, and most effective, Paid-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns include multiple components to deliver a concise and accurate message in a way that inspires web visitors and browsers to take action and make purchases. PPC advertising often carries a high price tag, so you want to make sure that your efforts are paying off. Many companies choose to hire outside firms who specialize in PPC ad campaigns to make sure that they are getting results from their online marketing initiatives.

Knowing your Target

Most consulting marketing and advertising firms know that you want to see the best results in the shortest amount of time. One of the first steps towards reaching that goal is identifying what you want to get out of the campaign. Having a specific target in mind helps make you, and your hired consultant, understand what you expect to achieve as an end result. Many companies set their sights on specific conversion goals, which will gauge the effectiveness of their campaign by following consumer actions. Conversion rates compare the number of times people visit websites with the volume of purchases they make. Ideally, conversion rates are equal, and an electronic transaction is made every time a user visits a website. Once you identify a set number of sales you want to make, and perhaps set a time parameter too, it is time to figure out how to attract the attention of your targeted audience. This involves brainstorming to create lists of keywords that are geared towards the products and services your company offers. Keywords should be broad enough to capture the most basic searches for your products, but not so general that your company appears as just one of many in your potential customer’s results page. As with traditional advertising methods, you will want to make your PPC campaign tailored to a specific group or audience that is most likely to purchase your company’s end products. Expert consultants will help you identify those audiences, and create keywords based on the demographics of those groups, such as age, gender, socio-economic status, and geographic location. One difference between traditional advertising and PPC advertising is that companies must purchase advertising space for posting PPC advertisements. This is done through a competitive bidding process, which can be cost-effective if done correctly, but can also result in lost time and revenue. Many PPC consultants provide assistance with navigating the field of competitive bidding as part of their overall PPC marketing assistance package. When it pertains to bidding, you get what you pay for, and the highest-priced spaces are those in the most visible locations on a webpage, generally at the top and off to the right-hand side.

SEO Content

If you are fortunate to win a bid for one of the top spots, you will want to make sure that your ad has the right content and appealing features that will make consumers and potential clients click on the ad. That involves a bit of traditional marketing know-how, as you will need to craft a straightforward and concise message that tells people exactly what they will be purchasing, and what the cost will be. This is where it is critical to make every word count, as it only takes most users a matter of seconds to decide whether or not to click on an ad. An effective campaign sees the PPC advertising process through, step-by-step, from start to finish. From setting goals to making strategic lists of keywords and settling on a targeted audience, to competing for advertising space and creating quality ad copy material, there are many valuable services provided by PPC consultants. In the end, your campaign should be time and cost-effective, and bring you business, popularity, and ecommerce prosperity.



Content Creation Tips

New businesses and companies emerge every day. While they may be selling the same products, or offering similar services, they want to make themselves stand out from the competition. In the increasingly more competitive corporate marketplace, it is becoming more and more critical to have content that is unique, fresh, and engaging. Whether you are just beginning to embark on a corporate marketing campaign, or are a seasoned veteran looking to get a little bit of a leg up, there are several tips that will help businesses of all sizes, from small family operations to large corporations, generate excellent content.

Understanding the Client

As with your personal life, it is good to practice acts of selflessness in the corporate world too. Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and clients helps you understand their interests and what they expect to get from your services or products. Even though you might be practicing acts of selflessness, your customers may be considerably more selfish. They will be far more likely to purchase products that speak to them, and therefore you should determine the specifics of your targeted customer base, such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status, in order to generate a marketing message that catches their attention and interest. Many consumers, particularly when shopping online, have a specific product in mind, or have a good idea of what they are looking for. If they do not see what they want on your company’s site, they will quickly lose interest and go elsewhere to find it. It only takes a few seconds for them to look at a screen and decide whether or not to purchase an item that they find. One way to catch their eye is to create high quality, promotional headlines that summarize, in a word or short phrase, exactly what your company offers. Additionally, if your customers see something on your site that is interesting, informative, and important, they will share it with others in their social networks, which brings more web traffic to your site. You can rely on your own marketing prowess to generate quality headlines, but there are content generating programs that are good at generating unique and quality content in short periods of time.

Creating Content

While outstanding and memorable headlines are good for catching the immediate attention of your customers, you will need to follow those headlines with well-written content to establish their confidence in your brand over the long run. Even though more business is conducted over the internet, good writing and marketing skills are still critical for establishing trust, credibility, and developing a good reputation. Part of creating an effective marketing message requires figuring out who your target audience is. You can pull key information, such as your readers’ likes, dislikes, and interests, by tracking their social media actions. Following their Twitter feeds and blog posts gives you critical insight into consumer behavior, and makes it easier to craft messages that are geared towards them. Unique content creation can do wonders for your company. It sets you apart from the competition, and can help you attract new clients and customers, which in turn will help your business grow. In today’s competitive world, every advantage counts, and using a little bit of creativity and innovation in the marketing realm pays off.


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