Pay per click (otherwise known as paid search advertising or PPC) is the ability to display your search ads for a fee right where your user/searchers will see them. These are different from ‘organic’ search engine results which occur naturally.Pay Per Click can be a very effective marketing tool if used in the correct manner. With this in mind, here are some examples of when PPC marketing can be used to put you ahead of your competition.

Advertising on your own branded items.

How often have you put in a search for a company name and a competitor has come up before the company that you were searching for? You may well think it’s a dumb move (given that the search is company specific) but many people are trying to get the edge by advertising this way. If you find that your company is being targeted then you might want to put a Pay Per Click campaign together based around your own brand. There will be far less competition than other non-branded keywords, therefore cost per click can often be kept to a minimum. Try running campaigns on different variations of your company name and do include misspellings.

Getting quick results with Pay Per Click

If you’re in a time-sensitive campaign and your organic results simply aren’t bringing home the bacon, then a pay per click advertising campaign can help. It’s no match for organic longer term strategies, but in the short term, it can be key. You can easily get an ad-words campaign up and running in a couple of hours and your adverts can be right where your main audience can see them pretty quickly. You can adjust bids to increase your rank if and when necessary.

Content analysis

Using Adwords can be a great way of effectively gauging which key phrases work the best. This can be immediately seen by looking for the ones with the highest click-through rates (CTR) and using analytics, you can track this right through to see which ones drive the higher conversions. This way you can build more terms around these key phrases in order to really corner your target audience. Pay per click can also be used to measure the relative effectiveness of different landing pages or different offers. The flexibility provided through Pay Per Click allows you to direct site visitors and to measure the comparative results.

Spotting a target audience in an obscure niche

No matter how obscure you think a product or service is, you can bet your bottom dollar that there’s an audience for it. The problem is finding them. By bidding on relevant keywords for your specific (if somewhat obscure) niche market, you can still attract them. These niches can be based on specific end client needs, geography or other segmentation. Pay per click allows you to quick test your markets – with immediate results.

‘Bigging up’ your local search presence

Adwords gives the ability for local businesses to be able to advertise in a specific location. For example by bidding on keywords such as ‘best butchers in Cork’ it will be much more laser targeted, and therefore more often than not, it’s also cost-effective. The reason for this is that money won’t be wasted by people clicking through who live nowhere near your location. Instead you’re far more likely to receive genuine leads from people who live solely in and around your area of business. Statistics show that even if you have a presence in the Organic search results – appearing in the sponsored ads as well gives you brand greater credibility and results in increased site traffic.

As you can see, if pay per click is used properly it’s a powerful tool in your advertising arsenal. However it can prove costly if not used in the right context. This being the case, you might want to seek advice from a Pay Per Clickexpert who can guide you on best use.