Online advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry in North America. Search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) display advertising are the primary formats driving its growth. Online advertising has remained the primary marketing tool for businesses online since the early days of the internet. As the technologies have evolved, so have the advertisements and tactics. However, two things remain the same. For many content and service providers on the internet, it represents a primary revenue stream. For businesses, it remains the fasted way to get attention and build traffic in the short term.
In all likelihood, search engine marketing and pay per click advertising will be your best options for creating immediate, short term traffic online.
Pay per click advertising, or PPC, is the most common form of online advertising. Its popularity and success is driven largely by the reporting and accountability built into it. Traditionally, the expensive part of most advertising is the media. Space in the newspaper, mailing costs for direct mail, billboards, posters, thirty seconds on television, they all carry significant costs regardless of whether the campaign succeeds or not.
With pay per click, you pay when someone actually clicks on the advertisement and visits your page. A provider’s ability to generate revenue is directly connected to the success of your advertisement. As a result, specific metrics and tools are often made available to help you create online advertising campaigns that generate the needed clickthroughs.
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is pay per click advertising provided by search engines. It enables highly targeted advertising by displaying your ad to people who are already interested in your product or service. Success in search engine marketing depends on your ability to design and optimize an effective advertisement, select the best keywords, and make a strategic bid.
For most SEM, ads are put into competition with one another for placement in the search results. Your placement is based on your selected keywords, how relevant and effective the search engine decides your ad is, and how much you are willing to pay for a click. Competition can be fierce, and with SEM accounting for almost 40% of all spending in online advertising, there is a lot of competition and a lot of money involved.
Pay per click advertising and search engine marketing drive traffic. Making sure they drive the right traffic at the right cost requires PPC management.
Most SEM platforms include all the tools and education an individual needs to run a basic campaign. All you really need is time and a willingness to experiment and learn. Advanced campaigns, however, are the ones that quickly deliver real results and make the most of every dollar spent. They require expertise and experience. Properly managed, a PPC campaign can be optimized and integrated with other online marketing activities to attract and convert the right traffic at the lowest cost. A hard lesson is learned for many in PPC advertising after spending money to drive traffic only to discover it’s the wrong kind of traffic.
Are you ready to pay for online advertising depending on how well it works? If you want to make the most of your online advertising, connect with us to find out more.