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Pay Per Click

The major digital advertising platforms, like Google and Facebook, provide a PPC cost model. PPC ads are great for direct response objectives, so dive into our posts if you want to learn more.

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PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s the sort of advertising you see on the side of or above organic search results on search engines like Google. It’s advertising that you only pay for if users interact with it.

Why is it useful?

Because at this point so many domains have become entrenched relative to others in regards to organic search results that it’s often difficult for new websites to breakthrough. PPC levels the playing field. On top of that, PPC has become so widespread that if you don’t use it you’re placing yourself at too far of a disadvantage. So, if you’re going to be a business online, PPC is likely going to be a part of (but not all of) your advertising strategy.

To get started, PPC works by targeting an audience using a variety of methods. There’s keyword targeting, which is the most popular choice. That’s when you select keywords that will prompt your ads to appear among the results. If you’re a dentist in Minneapolis, your keywords might be “Minneapolis dentist” “Dental office” or “root canal”. You can get even more granular with your targeting by specifying locations and/or the devices used to search.

Keywords, in turn, are assigned a match type, which is how you designate what sort of searches will prompt your ad to appear. There are seven (seven!) keyword match types:

  • Exact: the search must be entered verbatim.
  • Exact (close variant): the search must be made verbatim, but typos and other variations are allowed.
  • Phrase: The search must be entered in a particular order, but other terms are allowed before or after.
  • Phrase (close variant): The search has to be made in a particular order, other terms are allowed before or after, and typos and other variations are allowed.
  • Broad: The search can be made in any order, so your ad may pop up for similar searches too.
  • Modified Broad: Your search can be made in any order, but the search has to include terms that contain a plus sign.
  • Broad (Session-Based): A broad search that factors other searches you’ve recently made.

Already you can tell how complicated a PPC campaign can get! A modified broad search makes use of a search technique that many people aren’t even familiar with! When you put a plus sign before a search term it means that the words have to more or less appear in that order. So, if you search for, “+ white sneakers”, then the word “white” or some variation thereof has to appear in the keyword phrase. That may include misspellings such as “white” or “whitish”. If it was “white + sneakers” then the results could range from “sneakers” to “snakes”. With that much opportunity no wonder there are so many articles written about PPC!

Whereas other aspects of online marketing have fundamental principles you can always return to, PPC is always in flux because even our understanding of what gets people to click on an ad change! PPC is a subject that people can wax poetics about or something they can disperse practical tips for at great length. We’ll make sure to provide you with plenty of each so that you have both broad principles to always fall back on and new tricks to experiment with!

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