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5 Things You Need to Know about Pay Per Click

Pay per click (also called cost per click, paid ads and so on) is pretty simple to understand. You pay money to Google to have ads for your website pop up in organic search (and elsewhere). However, just because the concept is simple doesn’t mean that the practice is.

Here are 5 things you should know about PPC:

It’s Different from SEO

Not everything that has to do with Google is SEO. SEO involves organic search placement, whereas you pay to show up in PPC (obviously). But that’s not the only difference. Due to additional levels of control in the search engine results page (SERP), PPC allows for targeted landing pages. In other words, if you provide multiple products or services, you can target a single service through a PPC campaign. Then, instead of landing on your home page, users can land on pages that specifically outline that particular product or service.

I should note that, to some extent, you can accomplish this through SEO, but generally the goal in SEO is to have users land on the home page.

It’s Quick – but not Instant

Because PPC allows for quick ROI in comparison to SEO, many people assume that the ROI will come immediately. To the contrary, paid ads take some time, as each industry has different economic quirks and each set of keywords, geographies and other factors take time to learn. In any case, PPC will still yield quicker results than SEO, but in most cases it will still take several weeks for a campaign to take hold.

You Can Target Geographic Regions

If you seek to target a specific state, metro area or zip code with an ad campaign, PPC is the way to go. You can target ads to a specific geographic region that might be outside of your physical location. With SEO, that’s not as doable, and certainly not good practice. If you operate out of Buffalo and want business in Skokie, target Skokie with an ad campaign. If you start to build a presence in Illinois, you might consider working Skokie, Illinois into your SEO campaign, but until that happens, stick with paid ads.

It’s Not Easy

As I stated above, just because a concept is simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy to practice. Yes, the concept of “pay Google for immediate top placement” sounds so simple that it’s almost irresistible, but the actual system is quite complex. Without a working knowledge of the system itself, general economic math and a smart (even witty) ability to write concise marketing language, a PPC campaign will fail horribly.

It Requires Maintenance

Lastly, and this is very important, you cannot set up paid ad campaigns and let them go indefinitely. As competition, the economy at large and web trends change, these factors will affect your campaign. Currently, the bid for a specific term might be low, and you might see a lot of clicks, even conversions, for a low cost. But, what happens when your competition catches on? Besides that, Google changes guidelines, updates policies and has a generally fluid approach to its products. So, PPC managers have to keep their eyes on campaigns, constantly. It’s the only way to have continued success.

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