Web Marketing & Pay-Per-Click 101 – The Basics
“The internet is unique in that it can communicate with the user in an
interactive way whilst at the same being able to elicit responses directly”.
Most businesses today have developed some kind of online presence. Free templates make it simple to develop a professional looking website, and social networking profiles are free and are accessible to millions. Companies that sell products on a national or international level have the most to gain from web marketing. Imagine a local auto body shop. They have no incentive to try and connect with customers on the other side of the country. A simple website with their hours of operation and customer testimonials may be all the web presence they need. However, major retailers within the global market must use web marketing aggressively.
Web marketing refers to a broad category of advertising that takes many different forms, but generally involves any marketing activity conducted online. It’s basically a computer-based version of traditional marketing objectives that involve a product, price, packaging, promotion and place. Marketing is ultimately about propelling a product or service through the proper channels and marketing on the web uses the Internet as that channel. Marketers have shifted their efforts online because it tends to be significantly less expensive. Many online advertising spaces are free to use. Companies can upload videos to Youtube or start a blog for no cost at all. Other outlets like official websites or paid search marketing cost a fraction of what a major television advertising campaign would.
There are at least ten types of web marketing:
1. Display advertising
2. Search engine marketing (SEM)
3. Search engine optimization (SEO)
4. Pay-per-click advertising
5. Social media marketing
6. Email marketing
7. Referral marketing
8. Affiliate marketing
9. Inbound marketing
10. Video marketing
Web marketing activities should support the business model of a company. For example, blogs and articles are ideal on corporate or business websites if they give expert advice that shows authority on a subject. To be specific, a potential client of a law firm may read a blog or article on the firm’s website, appreciate the advice and then contact the attorney. An e-commerce catalog type of website that sells products directly to consumers may feature a customer forum as part of its web marketing activities. Seeing positive comments from other customers that have purchased an item the web visitor is considering may help the visitor decide to go ahead and purchase the same item. Web marketing is much more than just information on a website. In recent years, Absolut designed two music making robots and posted an interface on their website that allowed users to control the robots. The site received hundreds of thousands of hits over the duration of the campaign. Axe began offering wake up calls through their website. The service was both helpful and an effective way to create a brand image. Another great example of web marketing: Burger King offered users a free burger if they would send in the email addresses of ten friends.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) refers to a type of online marketing available on the popular search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Google where the advertiser only pays if their ad is clicked and a visitor arrives at their website. The PPC ads appear alongside and above the organic search results on the search engine results pages. Major PPC advertising platforms are based on a bidding per keyword model. The advertiser simply decides which keyword phrases they would like to trigger their ads and chooses a maximum price they would be willing to pay if a visitor clicked their ad once triggered by the selected keyword. Many different advertisers are often bidding on the same keyword and hence the bidding model is used to determine the position where the advertiser’s ad will display. Google, the largest PPC advertising channel (Google AdWords) displays a maximum of 11 ads per page. The cost per click is determined by many factors, such as the number of competitors bidding for that word, the quality of the ad and its relevance to the keyword, the click-through rate of the ad, etc. PPC advertising is available to anybody with a website or a landing page and is a highly targeted digital marketing channel. PPC advertising allows you to target users who are actively searching for keywords associated with your product or service. It also allows for detailed reporting and analytics so you can tell exactly how many people clicked your ads, what it costs and how much revenue you made.
When to start using PPC campaigns? Adding PPC marketing into your business is a great decision if you want quick results. Here a few reasons why you might be in need of a PPC campaign:
- If you’re looking for immediate results PPC is a great way to drive immediate traffic to your website. However, one downside is that the traffic will stop as soon as you stop a campaign.
- If you’re in a seasonal business (like HVAC), with PPC you can push your time-sensitive offers like tune-ups and drain cleanings.
- By using PPC, your business is able to more specifically target people based on keywords, location, device and even times of day. Depending on the type of ad you’re running, this can be helpful for reaching a more targeted audience more quickly.