I’m guessing you found this article because you did a search for “What is PPC advertising about?” I’m glad you found this blog because I’m here to help. PPC means Pay-Per-Click. We also call it CPC or Cost-Per-Click. PPC Advertising and PPC Marketing are ways for advertisers to pay for ad space within search engines and advertising networks, like Google, Bing, or Revcontent.
Let’s say you have a blog post (like this one that you’re reading now). You’ve optimized the content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), have a good CTA (Call to Action), and you published the post. After a bit, the search engines have indexed your post and it starts to gain some traction, rising higher in the search results. After some time your CTA starts to convert. But you think it can convert more. This is where PPC Advertising comes in.
How PPC Works
When people search the web for particular keywords the search engines try to provide them with the most relevant content. The search engine tries to put what it think will be the best content for the user at the top of the search results. Depending on the quality of your content and how much the search engine likes it, your content may or may not appear on that coveted first page of the search results. Hitting the top three results and being “above the fold” is even better.
PPC Advertising is a way to get your listings in front of potential customers. Your bidding to have your listing show up in the ad network. If someone clicks your ad then you pay a relatively small fee to the ad network. That’s the Pay per Click.
Now, what you do with that click is up to you. Hopefully, the target of your ad is relevant to the person that clicked on it, and they proceed to your CTA. So you want to optimize the content and CTA before you start PPC Advertising. More on this below.
Paid vs. Organic
Take a look at this search example. I searched Google for Amazon. The top search result is a paid ad. We know this because of the little green “Ad” icon by the search result. So someone (probably Amazon) is paying to have that listing show up at the top of the search results for the keyword “Amazon”.
Second on the list is the organic results for Amazon’s site. Notice there’s no greed Ad icon. Organic means that the search engines rank your listing by the value of the site and its content. No one pays the search engines for organic search rankings. They move up, well, organically.
I’m seeing their ad in the search results for “Amazon”. But it’s very likely that they’re bidding on many other keywords that are relevant to their site. Their goal is to get their listing in front of as many people as possible, as long as those people are searching for keywords that indicate some interest in what Amazon offers.
It’s a good idea to make sure that your content is converting before you jump into the cost of PPC Advertising. After all, if you don’t know your content is going to convert than throwing money at advertising may just be a waste.
But if you know that your content is converting then PPC Advertising can bring even more traffic and more conversions. But you still want to look at the cost-effectiveness of PPC Advertising. You do this with a basic ROI calculation (Return On Investment).
So let’s say your CTA is for the visitor to buy some product that you offer. The offer pays you $10 for each one you sell. That’s your conversion. Your job as a marketer is to bring customers to that offer and convince them to buy it. If they do then you make 10 bucks.
So you put up a blog post or some other type of page that describes the offer and tries to convince people that it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Somebody follows through on your CTA and you make the commission. If all your traffic is organic and you haven’t spent any money on advertising, then the commissions you make from the offer are 100% profit.
Now let’s assume you start PPC Advertising. You create a few ads targeting your keyword and start a campaign. You place a bid for $0.50 per click. Remember this is your offer to the advertising network. It’s how much you’re willing to pay to have somebody click on your ad. The advertising networks will consider this offer and see if it’s worth it for them to use up their ad space for the chance at earning your $0.50 from each click.
If we look at the $10 profit of one sale, and we divide that by $0.50 per click, then after 20 clicks we will have spent the same $10 that we will make for one sale. So, if just one of those twenty clicks results in a sale (one conversion) then we break even, and the ROI is 100%. Our conversion rate is 5% (1 conversion ÷ 20 clicks). If we get two conversions from those 20 clicks then we’ve spent $10 to get $20. That’s an ROI of 200% and a conversion rate of 10%.
Finding the Sweet Spot
Now obviously our goal is to make as much money as possible from the offer. We don’t want to spend all of our profit on advertising and just be rewarded with more traffic. We have to find a sweet spot between the amount we’re willing to pay per click, and what our conversion rate is for those clicks.
Once your ad is converting you can start to optimize it. Maybe you drop your ad bid to $0.40. Now your $10 ad spend gets you 25 clicks. If your conversion rate stays the same at 5%, then your $10 worth of clicks might get you an extra sale. On the other hand maybe lowering your bid also lowers the conversion rate. So you might raise your bid instead. That will get you fewer clicks for the same $10, but if your conversion rate goes up you may still make a profit. It could be that the ideal CPC changes depending on the day of the week, or even the time of the day. You have to try higher and lower bids, tracking your conversions along the way, and figure out where the sweet spot is.
Scale It Up!
Once you’ve optimized your campaign and it’s showing a stable conversion rate over time, then you can start scaling. If the campaign’s ROI is 200%, then spending $10 will make you $20. But spending $100 will make you $200. $1000 will get you $2000. The only limit is if you can fund the increase in ad spend and if the traffic will sustain itself.
The Take Away
The information and examples here are fairly basic. (Remember it’s an intro). If you really want to learn more about affiliate marketing, keywords, SEO, PPC, and all the other stuff you need to know about to run a successful online business then I suggest you check out The Super Affiliate Network. You can gain access to a huge library of training content, and a very active and helpful community with members around the world, and all the tools you need to launch into the world of PPC Advertising.
I’m not professing to be an expert super affiliate. But I want to pass on what I learn. So I hope you know more about PPC Advertising than before you found my article. Do you already have experience with PPC Advertising? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve presented here? Let me know what you think. I’d love to get your feedback.