In this episode, Photographer/Designer Keith R. Stevenson sits down on a comfy couch with ENX2’s Senior Paid Search Specialist Robyn Snyder to learn about the power of pay per click marketing strategies and how they integrate with the suite of digital marketing solutions at ENX2.

Keith R. Stevenson: Hello, and welcome to 5 Questions With ENX2. My name is Keith R. Stevenson, photographer and designer, and a newcomer to the world of digital marketing. I’ve got a lot of questions about the ins and outs of the business, so I’m sitting down with a member of the ENX2 team to pick their brains and learn more about this dynamic industry.

My guest today is Robyn Snyder, Senior Paid Search Specialist at ENX2. Thank you so much for joining me today, Robyn.

Robyn Snyder: Thank you, Keith. It’s great to be here.

Keith: I’m sure you heard the show before. Basically, the format is that we ask five different questions, and sometimes I throw a little bit of a curveball your way to see if you’re paying attention.

Robyn: Allrighty.

Keith: All right. First thing, when I first walked into being a person at ENX2, there were a lot of acronyms thrown at me.

Robyn: Yes.

Keith: And one of them was PPC. And you were introduced as the PPC specialist. And I had no idea what that meant. So what does PPC mean?

Robyn: Understood. It simply stands for pay per click, meaning that when the user clicks the ad, the advertiser is charged for that click.

Keith: So, why would we want to do that?

Robyn: Why would an advertiser want to do pay per click?

Keith: Yeah.

Robyn: Well, there’s a lot of different benefits for pay per click and it’s really flexible. It can be used for new businesses, with established businesses, it’s a quick way to drive traffic. So, if somebody has a new website or a new page, and they want everybody to know about it, it’s like hanging your sign outside your door when you open a brick and mortar store. It will allow people to find you and in a relatively short period of time, so it will start driving traffic for your page or website.

Keith: You gave all the little ideas about how to make that more understandable. So I guess you already sort of touched on it — the second question here is what benefits can a business receive by having a PPC campaign? Like you said when you’re just starting off, you can put your sign out and get things going that way. But what other ways?

Robyn: It’s nice and flexible. Again, small to large businesses can use it. If you are a business that targets, perhaps, service-based industries…

Keith: Service-based like…

Robyn: Lawyers, doctors, plumbers, intangible items that are service-based. You can also use it for ecommerce, tangible items. Candy stores, bakeries, clothing stores, anything that you can physically put into a cart at a store, think of that online and anything that you put into the cart online. So it’s flexible for lead generation or ecommerce and it is also flexible for whether you are selling business-to-business, or whether you’re selling business-to-customer, the end customer.

Keith: Fantastic. That explains a lot. This third question here, is this strictly like a Google-based thing or span other platforms or other search engines or such?

Robyn: That is an excellent question. And the landscape has changed quite a bit over the years. One thing that hasn’t changed is Google is still king not only with content but with PPC. So Google is not the only search engine, there is also Yahoo and Bing that have their own platforms. Although they sort of have a partnership, and I won’t go into the weeds on that, and that has transformed over the years. But Google has 65 percent of the market share. And Yahoo/Bing, probably pulling 25 percent. And then there are some other third-tier level ones.

Keith: Like Ask Jeeves.

Robyn: Yes. Little ones like that.

Keith: Because that’s what I remember from my early days on the internet. Ask Jeeves and DuckDuckGo. And there were some really weird ones like Gopher…

Robyn: Yes, there is a variety of those smaller ones. Which have their own benefits but they comprised the remaining 10 percent of that market share. But Google, although not the only one, is certainly the biggest with 65 percent of the share. And that’s been consistent, pretty consistent with my time with PPC over the years, over a decade.

Keith: Wow. Well, I look across the desks here and I see Logan and Mariah and some folks doing social media advertising. How is this different from the advertising they are doing that way?

Robyn: Great question. So, social media advertising or social media paid ads do work on a similar basis as paid per click ads, where if the user clicks the ad, the advertiser is charged. So, perfect example and I have actually purchased things that way, I’m on Facebook, I see an ad for a cute pair of shoes. I click the ad and I end up buying the shoes. Those are social media ads. They work on that pay per click basis, but they’re managed through different platforms, through social media platforms. So Facebook, LinkedIn, all those. There are also promoted posts you can do, there are various different things that are paid aspects in social media marketing. But not all social media marketing is paid. Whereas with PPC, all is paid.

Keith: I see, ok. So basically, the meaning is pay for click. So every time a person clicks an ad, it means someone is getting paid for that search result?

Robyn: Someone is getting charged for it. So if I’m Target and I have a PPC ad up, and Keith clicks that Target ad, Target is charged for that click.

Keith: Ok, so if I click my competitor’s ad over and over again, does that mean my business’ ad will show in its place?

Robyn: Nope. Number one, don’t do that. Number two, Google or any search engine really is collecting your history and trying to show you the best results and give you the most relevant experience. So when you click on an ad, that’s actually a trigger to the search engine that that ad was actually relevant and useful to you. So you might actually see those ads even more, not seeing your own ads if you’re trying to run up the competition’s charges, you might see that ad even more.

And another factor is all the search engines have very robust systems, software, and people in place that are looking to detect unnatural patterns of clicks like that, to avoid fraudulent clicks and any kind of malicious activity like that. It’s not 100 percent.

Keith: Yeah because I can see like someone setting up a cottage business where they just have a machine that just clicks ads over and over again that increases their relevancy and stuff like that. But they have algorithms and people watching. So like, “Oh this guy clicked this ad 5,000 times an hour. It’s obviously not good. It can’t be real.”

Robyn: It’s not perfect like anything but, as I said, the systems are pretty intricate and it’s a combination of technology and actually human interactions that detect those things. And then, should that happen, and say Target, for example, had a competitor doing that, and they detected it and they found it, Google or the search engine would credit Target back for the charges. So those types of things are monitored pretty frequently.

But a lot of people think there’s a lot of click fraud out there. And it’s certainly a concern, but for small advertisers, usually the systems and the people in place are picking up on that and credited anything back that maybe, sort of low quality.

Keith: Ok well, I’ve gotten through my five questions. I’ve learned a lot already.

Robyn: Great!

Keith: What would you say is something that you wished your clients knew about PPC? That maybe they don’t understand right off the bat. What is the one thing that, gosh you just wish they understand this one thing that would make life much easier?

Robyn: I would say that PPC is a great way to drive traffic quickly, as I mentioned. Whether you’re an established business or not, it’s still a pretty nimble way of marketing. However, that’s driving to the site so if we put it into the analogy of the brick and mortar store, that’s getting people to walk up to the door and hopefully through the door. What they do after that is dependent upon the site or the page. So it’s important to have the full picture when considering what marketing to do and ensure that that store or that page, wherever the person is going to land when they walk through the door is optimized. You can have a great PPC account, but if the site or page is poor, you’re not going to have a lot of success with that ultimate conversion. The things go hand in hand, some people look at them in a siloed way, and that’s not going to produce success. You have to look at it more holistically.

Keith: So it’s kind of like how we do it here at ENX2. Shameless plug. Because we all work together — between Mike and Phil working on websites, and you working on PPC ads, and then we have the other Michael…

Robyn: And Wendy and Jeff…

Keith: Doing the SEO, for the search engine optimization to bring it all together. And then of course Nick and myself helping to create graphics to drive traffic and to make sure the whole package is there.

Robyn: Absolutely. And social media as well, it’s important to have that interaction, getting people engaged. Each piece of the puzzle has its own objectives and goals. But no piece of the puzzle will do well independently just standing on its own.

Keith: Well that’s a fantastic way to end this. Thank you so much, Robyn.

Robyn: Thank you!

Keith: It’s been a delight.

Robyn: Always!

Keith: Sitting on our brand new couch, decided to put it to use. I’m not sure who our next guest is going to be. But please, if you enjoyed the podcast here to like it on any podcast app that you use and tell your friends about it. Until then, my name is Keith R. Stevenson and this has been 5 Questions With ENX2. And thank you so much for joining us.

Robyn: Bye!