I am writing this blog because I offer Pay Per Click (PPC) services. Too many folks don’t understand it, and that’s okay, that’s why you hire someone to do PPC management for you (also known as search engine marketing (SEM)) so you don’t throw money out the window. Anyways, I had a conversation with a client recently about this very issue and figured, it couldn’t hurt to have this ‘convo’.. right here. Even if you don’t currently have a PPC campaign, you might need it some day, might try to do it yourself or have someone (like me) manage it for you.. you will NEED to know this.
What is PPC
Pay Per Click ads are the ones that show up on the Google search engine results page (SERP) with a little sponsored ad icon or an ad link. There are usually 3 ads at the top of the SERP, several along the right hand side and/or a few at the bottom. The results in the middle are the organic results. Those, are free, but don’t get there without any effort. There are 10 paid ads and 10 organic results as well as Google Map listings as well.
Short version – how do paid ads work
The basics with PPC is that your listing shows up when someone types in a keyword phrase that matches the keywords you have in your PPC campaign. Should someone read your ads and be more interested, they will click the headline (or extensions) which will drive them to your website. When someone clicks on your ad, you pay for that quick. The cost of the click will vary based on a number of factors, but essentially based on the keyword, in an auction format. I have various other PPC blogs within this blog, so be sure to check them out if you need more information, or hey, contact me and I’ll be happy to set yours up and manage them.
The point – DO NOT CLICK or SEARCH
What you should NOT do with your PPC campaign:
- You should never ever click on your ad because just like I mentioned above it costs you money.
- You should never SEARCH for your ad. while you think, hey, I won’t click on it, I’m not that stupid… true, but did you know that searching for it can hurt you too? Oh, no, they say, I didn’t. Yep.
Why you shouldn’t SEARCH for your ads either
When you do a search you get results that show up; these are called Impressions. It will be called as such whether you look at it or not as it is in within View and thus it is an impression. An impression can be above or below the fold (internet term for what shows up on your computer without scrolling) so you may see it or you may not see it but because it is listed on that page it is considered an impression. When you click on the ad it is called a click and when it’s in view it is called an impression.
Click thru rate (CTR)
The click-through rate is determined by taking the clicks divided by the number of impressions which gives you the CTR. So if you did a hundred searches for which your ad showed up, that would be 100 impressions. Clearly, you wouldn’t click on it because you didn’t want to pay for your own clicking… CTR… ZERO, ZILCH, NOT HELPING YOU. Google sees this is as not enough interest to click on it. Obviously you, as the business owner, ARE interested but you are smart enough NOT to pay for your own click. Duh, right? I know… but be sure you aren’t searching either.
When I set up a PPC campaign for clients… I try to instill these points, but sometimes they don’t understand. I get it… that IS why you hired me, right? So, the increased importance of why this blog is essential… so you are welcome! Another thing to note is the transparency of your campaign. All of my clients have access to their own campaigns and can look at their ads, their keywords, their ad groups or whatever, at any time. I have nothing to hide, further, I send a report at the end of the month which shows their analytics with their Adwords campaign which shows how the month went.
If you want to see how your ads look, contact your PPC manager and have them show you your ads or try out the Google Preview Tool. The PPC manager’s job is to optimize and improve upon the well working ads. This is like AB testing. This is something that’s always being done, creating new keywords, creating new negative keywords, creating new ads, and optimizing the campaign.
Something else that typically concerns me or folks that have SEM managers running ads is IF their money being spent on the ads. With having access to your campaigns and/or details of your campaign, this can greatly reduce the skepticism of PPC campaigns. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want me to review your campaigns.
Don’t click or search for your ads, as it can negatively affect your quality score and your CTR. Again:
- Don’t click on your ads
- Stop searching for your ads, use the Google Preview Tool
- CTR = clicks/impressions.
- Impressions are your visibility in the search engine results page whether you look at it, click on it or just see it.
- clicks are just that, if someone clicks on it.
- By the way, don’t worry about having your competitor click on your ads, Google knows, seriously competitors, did you think you could do that and get away with it. Wrong!
If you do have any questions, comments, or concerns or want to see what your ads look like, contact me or your search engine marketing manager and have them share with you what your campaign looks like.