Paid Search (PPC)
When I first came to Lemonade Stand and entered the world of digital marketing, I had absolutely no idea how Google Ads and Bing Ads and the like actually worked. I always imagined that companies just paid Google and the more you paid the higher you would be on the search results. That’s not exactly how it works though.
If you’re in the same boat that I was, then hopefully this article can help broaden your understanding of pay-per-click advertising a little bit as well as give you some insight into what this kind of service might cost you when an agency performs it for you and what factors of your business might affect that cost.
PPC will best serve you if you are hoping for really quick results and if you have a marketing budget to back that up. It is a bit more expensive than other marketing services, but it does produce rapid results if done correctly.
How Does it Work Then?
So how does it actually function?
Well, for this example, I am going to talk about Google Ads. Other paid-search platforms do exist, but Google is by the far the largest one.
So, you want to run some ads on Google? First of all, what does that even mean? There are a few parts to Google. One part of that is trying to have your website rank organically through good SEO. If you are interested in that service, check out our article on SEO! The part that we will focus on here, are the ads that pop up at the top of the search results when you search something in Google.
I just ran a search for “childcare near me.” The first two results that appear have a little “Ad” before the actual link to the website. That right there is a Google Ad. The remaining results appear in order based on which website has curated the best SEO. So, if you want to be in one of those first few spots, you can pay Google for that!
But how do you make sure that your ad appears under the correct search criteria? This is where it is a good idea to involve an agency or someone who knows quite a bit about Google Ads. Initially, you need to set up what’s called an ad campaign within your Google Ads account. There, you will create your actual ad as well as apply settings and other things similar to SEO for a website to make sure that your ad appears when people search for your business industry. It can get pretty complex within Google Ads, but if done correctly, you can get some very quick results!
Pricing: Ad Spend
Now, let’s talk about what might affect your cost! The biggest factor playing into the cost of PPC is the amount of money that you would like to spend with the ad platform (i.e. Google, Bing, etc.).
This is completely up to you! You could pay as little as $10/month or up to a few million each month. The results will scale with how much you are spending, of course, but it really is up to you.
So how does pricing work with Google then? Well, Google will charge you on a per-click basis – meaning that, every time someone clicks on your ad, you’ll be charged an amount determined by Google based on your industry and search criteria.
As an example, Let’s say that your ad costs $0.50 each time that someone clicks into it. Now let’s say that you set a max budget of $100/month with Google. You will not be charged $100 up front. You will only be charged when someone actually clicks on your ad. Once your budget is reached, your ad will stop displaying on the search results page. This basically translates into, 200 people can click on your ad, and you will pay Google $100 each month.
Depending on the industry you are in and the competition you are facing, each click can increase in cost, so you will probably need to increase your budget. Keyword and market research will need to be performed to determine what that cost will be.
Pricing: Management Fee
The other side of the total cost will be the fee that is paid to your marketing agency for creating and managing your ad campaigns.
This fee will increase with the complexity of the campaigns that you are running as well as the competitiveness of the industry you are in.
The structure of this fee will vary from agency to agency. Some might have a flat fee for all PPC services. Others might have their fee as a percentage of the total ad spend (mainly because a larger ad spend generally correlates to a more complex campaign). Other still might have a tiered system that could also be based on certain floors of ad spend budget.
Because of these various structures, it is difficult to say what this management fee might be, but you can at least expect the fee to increase with the factors mentioned above.
Should I run PPC ad campaigns myself?
Google Ads is incredibly complex and continues to become more and more complex. Unless you have an ample amount of time to dedicate to learning the ins and outs of Google Ads and what will make a successful campaign, I highly suggest that you defer to an agency to manage this service for you.
If you are interested in PPC services for your company, we would love to discuss it with you!