Gone are the days when you could just put up a website and expect visitors to find you by chance or by reference. Today, the web is packed to the rafters with thousands of websites and in such a scenario you have to pay to get noticed to gain any traction as a serious business. While there are several ways in online marketing to attract targeted traffic to your site and make them convert, Pay Per Click (PPC) is undoubtedly the fastest and most effective way.

PPC, in simple terms, is a way of advertising where you pay each time a potential customer clicks on your ad which takes him to either your website or a specifically created landing page on your site. A successful PPC campaign is where the visit is worth more than the cost you pay for the ad.

Here’s is a look at the different kinds of PPC ads that appear if you search for a product in Google search:

blue-shoes--600x297

11 Key Benefits of PPC advertising

1. High ROI

PPC gives the highest possible Return on Investment due to its highly targeted nature. A comparison of ROI between PPC and other online marketing channels showed that PPC advertisers get a minimum of 11% higher ROI than Email Marketing, the nearest competitor. A successful PPC campaign makes the cost of buying ads negligible.

2. Small initial investment

Search engines do not charge you to display a PPC advertisement. Setting up a PPC account is also free. The only payment involved is when an interested customer clicks on your ad.

3. Increases brand awareness

You get a free lunch right from the start since your ad gets millions of views potentially whether they are clicked or not. These visits increase your brand awareness among potential customers for future sales.

4. Flexible budget

PPC campaigns are flexible i.e. the number of ads, the time for which ads are served, and the location where ads are served can be changed instantly. The budget can also vary based on your aggressiveness and business goals. Budget flexibility saves you from making inaccurate underestimations or overestimations.

5. Creates an even playing field

Visibility of an ad is based on its quality and not the big bucks an advertiser is willing to pay. In fact, on AdWords you are rewarded for creating quality ads with cheaper ad costs. Quality based ad servings evens the playing field between an international brand and your local business.

6. Quick results

Due to the quality based nature of PPC ads you get top placement right away as long as your ad is of good quality and relevant to your audience. According to research, users pay most attention to the top three search results. Getting your ad there can increase traffic which translates into sales. Further research has showed that 52% of people who click on PPC ads go on to call the advertiser.

7. Real-time progress tracking

The PPC ad server provides you with analytics tools for you to monitor the progress of your campaign ensuring it is efficient and effective. There is no guessing as concrete progress can be tracked. The rate at which traffic increases on your site can be used to fine tune your ad for perfect results.

8. Smart exposure

The ad is served across the whole continent and even other continents as long as interested customers are searching for your services. Even if you own a tiny local business, the ads are smart in that you can prequalify your site’s traffic based on the location to ensure that right people get your services.

9. Highly targeted 

PPC ensures you get the right targeted traffic by serving ads based on keywords you want and if you wish to target a different audience you can quickly change the ad parameters. According to research by Wordstream on web users, nearly two-thirds (65%) of clicks go to Sponsored Results when the user has commercial intentions. Targeting increases your ads effectively as not only interested but buying users land on your site.

10. Target Keywords

It enables you to target keywords that you’ll never be able to rank organically form. PPC enables this by allowing targeting using broad terms.

11. Improve Search Engine Results Page (SERP) presence

PPC ads are beneficial to your businesses even if you’ve perfected Search Engine Optimization and were at the top of the Google search page. They can still increase traffic by making your site appear twice on the search increasing chances of site visits and boosting customer perception of your brand.

Is PPC right for you?

A recent study shows that 70% of respondents increased their PPC spend budget in 2014 due the positive results.

State-of-Paid-Search-by-channel-600x382

Image credit: Searchengineland.com

Given the high flexibility of PPC ad marketing it could work for almost any business with aims to boost sales & traffic on their website. However, the best cases for use of PPC advertising are:

  1. If you are overly dependent on SEO: To diversify marketing channels and reduce dependency in case of future updates and search algorithm changes.
  2. When everyone else is using PPC ads: Don’t be left behind as your competitors will have an edge on you which could mean loss of market.
  3. When SEO is too expensive: If estimated SEO costs far exceed PPC costs, go for the latter.
  4. When SEO is too hard: If you lack the technical skills for an SEO, PPC is your best option.