Pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be a scary prospect to businesses that haven’t used them before or have stopped using them. If not managed correctly, they can consume a business’s marketing budget in an afternoon. That’s how volatile they can be. At the same time, especially through PPC ads on Google Search, they can bring in more business than anything else.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about making sure your website appeals to Google’s search algorithms so your website’s pages appear first. But what appeals to Google most? Money–the same thing that appeals to every business. With PPC ads, you can conceivably pay your way to the top spot if your site already meets certain criteria, but if it doesn’t, PPC ads on Google and other sites can still get your site seen.

Sometimes this is the way forward, and sometimes, it is not. We at ENX2 Marketing want to help you understand all the different factors you should consider so you can decide whether PPC ads are best for you.

How Do PPC Ads Work?

The basic explanation of PPC ads is in the name, they are pay-per-click. This means you pay as people click on your ad, but to say that’s all would be misleading. Depending on the platform you want to advertise on and the way you secure ad spots, how much you’re paying per click changes. The top spot and premium ad times for the most important ad platforms–Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn–don’t just go to people who pay standardized pricing for preferred times. They’re much more complicated than that.

Google Ads

Google Ads uses a multi-layered system. First, your business must choose a keyword to bid on. Google is not going to find and give you the best keywords for your business, you have to research and choose them. They offer tools to help you find the right keywords, but they don’t do that for your business. 

Now, remember that Google has a reputation for providing useful information and relevant searches. Their business model thrives only because people get results that prove that to be true. Because of this, not every business can take the top spot. If your business doesn’t meet credibility standards based on your website content, functionality, and current SEO, you won’t get the top spot. You can bid more on a keyword than your competitors and still not be number one. This may seem unfair, but that’s how Google protects its business model first.

Something to note is that bidding on keywords is like bidding at an auction. Your bid is how much you will pay whenever someone clicks on your ad from that keyword. That will set off red flags for most business owners because it’s easy to imagine how out of control that ad spend can be. While there’s so much to gain from Google Ads, there’s also so much to lose.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads appear far friendlier to businesses when compared to Google. Facebook Ads require you to develop and pick targeted audiences for your ads. This grants you more control over who you’re marketing to and empowers you to increase the likelihood that the person you’re advertising to is a person who would click on your ad and help you meet your marketing goals.

Facebook, though, is still a PPC ad platform. In fact, it offers different clicks you can pay for. You can pay-per-like, per-download, and per-impression. Whether or not you pay by one of these metrics rather than a normal, pure click, is based on your goal. If you’re trying to get your brand out there, you’re trying to get impressions and likes. But if you’re going for interactions, you want to pay-per-download. You would pay-per-click when the end goal of your ads is to bring people to your website where you can make a sale. 

These options allow you to better and more accurately track your success and then pay for it. With Google, no matter what you’re going for, you’re paying when they click. If you’re going for impressions, you may be saving money on Google where you wouldn’t for Facebook, but your success wouldn’t be as easy to follow.  

The most important difference between marketing on Google and Facebook is that Google will bring you far more clicks than Facebook. There are nearly twice as many active searches on Google every day than there are active users on Facebook–3.5 billion searches to 1.59 billion daily users.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads are more similar to Facebook Ads than Google. They give you options to help you find a target audience. The difference is that LinkedIn lets you pick your objective–awareness, consideration, or conversions. Awareness can be equated to brand recognition where you’re vying for impressions; consideration is where you want interactions and clicks; conversions are the farthest push where LinkedIn users are clicking on your ad and completing the marketing funnel.

LinkedIn is also more like Facebook Ads in that you have the options to pay-per-click, per-impression, or per-send. 

  1. Cost-per-click (CPC): You pay every time someone clicks on your LinkedIn Ad. This is the preferred method if you want to quantify how many people are going to your site and landing pages. 
  2. Cost-per-impression (CPM): You pay for every 1000 impressions, which means every time someone views it, with this model, which is perfect for quantifying brand awareness.
  3. Cost-per-send (CPS): In this system, you pay for every message you send directly to  LinkedIn users’ inboxes.

What does make it similar to Google Ads, is that they have a bidding system. That may not make sense at first. If you’re developing a target audience of your own, how would you have something to bid over? Well, you may have a target audience, but odds are someone else’s target audience crosses over with yours. You need to bid to make sure that you’re being seen more often than someone who you should consider a competitor.

Work With an Agency That Understands PPC Ads

An experienced marketing agency can guide you through the process of how to use and weigh the costs of PPC ads. Unlike most other things, there are things we cannot handle for you. You have to decide on the budget and whether or not it’s worth it, and we will provide you with a plan, ad content, and strategies to make it work. 

When it comes to PPC ads, it’s your money, and we’re not going to take it and waste it. ENX2 Marketing is an agency that wants our clients to succeed, and understand why they’re succeeding so they can keep doing it. Contact us soon for help with PPC advertising.