You have a product or service that you want to sell, and you know you need an online presence to keep up with your competitors. You also know there are a lot of ways to market and advertise online these days. How do you get started?
You’ve likely heard of Pay Per Click (PPC), and you may or may not be familiar with Remarketing and Display advertising. These types of online advertising all have something in common: they target searchers who already know they want to purchase your product or service, making converting them into your new customers a much easier task. The harder part seems to be getting your ads in front of the searchers that want to see them, but this can be effortless as well if it’s done the right way.
Pay per click (PPC)
PPC ads, sometimes called cost per click (CPC) ads, are the search engine results that show up at the top and right side of the page when a person searches for something by entering keywords on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and dozens of other search engines. PPC ads also appear in prominent spots on websites and blogs if the owner of that domain chooses to implement paid advertising for third parties through paid advertising platforms.
The important part is that PPC ads show up in response to keyword searches. A Google search using the keywords “baby diapers” returns PPC ad results for diapers.com, honest.com (selling organic baby diapers), and Target (who sells baby diapers and related products). And it doesn’t stop there. If the searcher bypasses the paid ads and clicks on a blog that has published an article discussing baby diapers, the blog may contain PPC ads as well, all from merchants selling baby diapers.
So what if the searcher doesn’t click on the PPC ads, as in the previous example? This is the beauty of PPC advertising. The business that owns the ad doesn’t pay for their ad’s listing in the search results. The owner of the ad only pays when the searcher clicks on that ad, sending that searcher straight to the website selling diapers. Pay per click is named as such because the owner of the ad only pays for that ad when it directly drives traffic to their website.
Other benefits of PPC advertising include the ability to track and analyze ad results. PPC ad owners have access to information such as the number of times an ad appears, the number of searchers who click on it, and the number of clickers who follow through with a purchase. Ad owners can adjust the content of their ads and the keywords used to find them accordingly, to increase the number of clicks they receive. They can also use this data to remarket to the clickers who don’t convert with a sale, bringing us to our next advertising topic.
Not everyone who visits your website makes a purchase. But that doesn’t mean you’ve lost a potential customer for good. Remarketing allows you to target ads—pay per click and otherwise—specifically at searchers who visited your site. These ads are delivered to your visitors after they leave your site as they continue to browse other websites, both immediately and in future search sessions.
Your Remarketing ads aren’t the same ones that brought searchers to your site in the first place. Remarketing ads are tailored to your visitors to encourage them to come back. A Remarketing ad may contain a call for action or offer a deal. If your website sells tie-dyed t-shirt kits, you might create a Remarketing ad that contains a promo code offering a discount at checkout. But not just anyone can receive this discount. Remarketing ads aren’t delivered to people who’ve never been to your site.
As a searcher looking for tie-dyed t-shirt kits continues to surf the web, they see your ad prompting them to reconsider your product. You’re also offering them an easy avenue back to your site with one click, rather than asking them to find you again. Finally, your ad simply serves as a reminder for busy people who may have forgotten about tie-dyed t-shirts altogether and moved onto something else.
Display ads, also called click through or banner ads, are a lot like online billboards. They serve many of the functions of traditional advertising, including an attractive design and text with images that urge the viewer to choose a particular product or service. But display advertising online is targeted to the viewer based on Internet use, including their past searches and other websites they’ve visited. Display ads are very deliberate in nature and are delivered by ad servers to an intended audience.
Display ads are similar to PPC ads because the owner of the ad pays for that ad when someone uses it to click through to their website, but they differ from PPC ads in the searcher targeting methods. Your banner ads are shown to searchers who’ve shown an interest in your product or a related product in the past, and are placed on third party websites that may or may not be relevant to your business. Display advertising can also be used as a form of Remarketing to target past visitors.
Display ads work because the people that see them are already interested in your product or service. The ads simply give them easy access to your website so they don’t have to search for it, because you find them first.
These three methods of paid online advertising are great options to consider for your company to increase online presence.