The following article will dive into the basics of PPC and some best practices on how advisors can use this advertising model to drive traffic.
What is PPC?
PPC is short for Pay-per-click Advertising or also known as cost-per-click (CPC). PPC is a form of internet advertising where you direct traffic to your website by buying ad space on various websites and paying each time a potential prospect clicks your ad.
When setting up your campaigns there are many different types of PPC models or ways you can pay for your campaign. The 2 most common are :
- Cost-per-click is where you pay only when the ad is clicked, no matter how many times it may be shown to the potential prospect while viewing a webpage. Every time an ad is shown to a user while they view a webpage, it’s known as an “impression.”
- Cost-per-impression is when you buy a block of impressions, usually around a 1000 at a time, to be shown to users of a webpage. You don’t pay each time the ad is clicked, only for it to be shown.
Both types of methods of setting up your campaigns have pros and cons. Overall the most effective is cost-per-click campaigns. CPC or PPC campaigns allow to manage your ad, spend more efficiently, and target a wider audience because your ads can be shown to more users without incurring cost to display the ad.
- Text ads are displayed on search engine results pages, usually located in the top, right and bottom of the page, and can also be shown within webpages. With text ads you cannot display images, and you are limited to the amount of characters you can use to develop the ad.
- Banner ads can be static or animated using various formats such as .jpg, .gif, .swf (Adobe Flash). These ads are more visual and allow you to have as much text or images as you want, as long as you meet file size requirements. Banner ads usually only allow for one interaction, which is a website page visit when the banner is clicked.
- Rich-media ads are the most complex banner ads you can develop. With their roll-over functionality they can display interactive content, surveys, polls, HD video and “click to call” options within the ad.
Which advertising networks should you use?
There are many advertising networks to choose from like AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, but the largest and most known is Google.
Google AdWords is one of the largest networks because of its search engine reach with ad revenues of $42.5 billion in 2012. Google AdWords offers various setups and ad formats as described above. You can create campaigns that run text ads on their search, and their partners’ search engines results pages. You can also run text, banner, and rich-media ads via their content and double click networks, which will serve your ads to users on various websites. Learn more about AdWords here http://www.google.com/ads/adwords2/