Paid Search

What is PPC Management? How to Succeed at Pay-Per-Click

Anyone can run a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign. Just log into Google Ads, pick a few keywords, set a budget, and check back in a few months.

Easy, right?

The problem is that most people can’t run a highly successful PPC campaign.

For that, you need a lot of expertise — how to choose high-performing keywords, how to reach your target audience, and how to continually optimize your PPC marketing campaign. And you have to keep track of changes to the ad platforms and the market.

If those skills aren’t in your wheelhouse or just don’t sound like a good use of your time, consider working with a PPC management company.

Keep reading to learn what PPC management is, whether you need it, and how to get it.

What is PPC management?

PPC, or pay-per-click, is an advertising model in which businesses pay for each click their ad gets. You probably see these ads all the time at the top of the Google SERP or on social media.

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The most popular PPC ad network is Google Ads. Google Ads is responsible for a lot of the ads you see across the web, including:

  • Text ads in the Google search results
  • Image ads on websites
  • Video ads on YouTube
  • Ads in apps
  • Shopping ads that appear at the top of the SERP

There are also other PPC ad networks like Microsoft Ads and Facebook.

PPC management is the process of managing your entire PPC strategy and budget. It can be done by an in-house team or by an agency or specialist.

Most Businesses Struggle Making PPC Generate Positive ROI

Since 2009, we have helped hundreds of businesses rung profitable paid search campaigns.  Now it’s your turn!

Why is PPC important?

74% of brands and 79% of agencies say that PPC advertising is a huge driver for business.

It’s not surprising that it’s so popular — it has a low barrier to entry, and it gets results.

Paid search drives 15% of website traffic. That’s still secondary to organic SEO, but it’s a significant piece of the puzzle. And that number doesn’t include other types of PPC, like display or video ads.

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SEO has a great ROI, but you won’t see those returns for a while. It can take months for search engine optimization to significantly boost organic traffic. Meanwhile, you can get your PPC campaign up and running right away.

Putting PPC into the mix is also important because it allows for precise targeting. You can choose to show your ads to people who search certain keywords or who come from specific demographics. You can even target people who’ve previously visited your site and bring them back to you.

PPC campaigns are easy to track and analyze, providing you with a great source of insight into your customers. Seeing which ads lead to more traffic and conversions can inform your SEO and other marketing efforts.

Paid search ads and search engine optimization are complementary techniques. Imagine a typical search results page: you often have to scroll past a PPC ad or two before you hit the top organic result.

If your company is the top paid result and the top organic result, you’re dominating the SERP real estate.

Does your business need PPC management?

While anyone can create PPC campaigns, doing it successfully takes expertise. PPC is a complex process involving things like keyword selection, ad creation, A/B testing, performance tracking, and bid adjustments.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does anyone in-house have extensive experience with PPC ads?
  • Do you currently have the manpower to manage PPC campaigns daily?
  • Do you have top PPC tools, or can you afford them?

If you answered no to any of the above, you need a PPC pro (or several) on your team.

You could hire a full-time PPC specialist to work at your company. The average salary of a Paid Search Manager is $70,619.

Or you could contract with a PPC management agency. An agency gives you access to a whole team of PPC experts. And the cost is based on your budget and your needs rather than the going rate for a salaried employee.

Most Businesses Struggle Making PPC Generate Positive ROI

Since 2009, we have helped hundreds of businesses rung profitable paid search campaigns.  Now it’s your turn!

What does a PPC management agency do?

Successful PPC management has three main factors: campaign creation, optimization, and reporting.

A good PPC company will have expertise in all three.

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Campaign creation

The PPC management firm will work with you to create advertising campaigns that drive the right kind of customer to your site. This involves a great deal of research before the ads are created.

Keyword targeting

The cost of clicks on a keyword is driven by demand. A very popular keyword might have a high search volume and a high price, while other keywords are cheap but don’t bring in enough traffic.

Effective keywords target your ideal customer without breaking your budget.

A good PPC agency knows how to research your customers and the competition, use keyword planning tools, and choose keywords that give you the best ROI.

Landing page selection

Choosing a landing page for your ad is important. You want to avoid paying for clicks from visitors who will bounce off your site right away. The best landing pages are highly relevant to the ad’s audience and have great calls to action.

Writing ads

Ad copy is usually only a couple sentences, so it’s easy for amateurs to be hasty about writing it. However, it’s one of the most important factors in a PPC ad campaign.

PPC management experts can write ads that not only compel clicks but encourage users to convert.

Campaign setup

The PPC company should work with you on making initial decisions, such as choosing targeting options or a maximum cost-per-click bid.

Those who are new to PPC ads can usually figure out the steps to setting up a PPC account, but making optimal choices can get confusing. Your PPC management agency can help with advanced tactics like dynamic remarketing, or showing ads for products that the user has looked at on your site in the past.

Optimization

Managing an ad campaign isn’t a set it and forget it situation. One of the biggest reasons to work with a PPC management service is that they don’t just create ads; they continuously monitor and optimize them.

Quality score analysis

The quality score of a Google ad is Google’s rating of its quality and relevance. It depends on factors like:

  • CTR
  • Keyword relevance
  • Landing page quality and relevance
  • Ad text relevance
  • Account performance history

A higher quality score can lead to lower costs and a higher position for the ad. Your Google Ads management team will analyze quality score factors to keep your ads as inexpensive and as effective as possible.

A/B testing

Getting the best results from ads requires a lot of testing. You can test factors like the headline, the body text, the keywords, or the display URL.

Monitoring and reacting to traffic and user trends

Your PPC campaigns are an endless source of user data. Your PPC company can put it to use. They’ll continually revise your ads based on metrics like which ads are getting clicks or whether the clicks on a specific ad result in bounces or conversions.

Keyword performance monitoring

You start with a list of keywords that seem competitive and relevant, but they won’t all achieve the same success.

Your PPC service will monitor which keywords are driving conversions and which should be replaced.

Bid adjustments

Based on your ROI goals, bids should be altered based on the keywords that get the best conversion rate.

Reporting

You may be turning the daily management of your advertising over to a PPC firm, but you should always have visibility into how your campaigns are going.

A good agency will provide regular reports or access to online dashboards so you can see what’s happening.

Here are a few types of data you should receive from your PPC management company.

Ad spend insight

You should know where your money is going.

The right PPC partner will provide reports on how your search budget is being spent and what you’re getting in return.

Conversion data

Conversion data tells you which ads and keywords are driving transactions for your business. This is not only important for optimizing your PPC ad spend, it can also be used for SEO and other marketing activities.

How much does PPC management cost?

The cost of PPC advertising is individual to each organization’s needs. How much you spend will depend on your goals, how aggressively you want to focus on PPC ads, the ad types you want to run, and the competitiveness of your market.

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Some industries simply cost more. The highest average cost-per-conversion is in the computers and electronics industry at $101.40, while the lowest average cost per conversion is in the auto industry at $26.17.

Your PPC specialist can help you determine how much a business like yours needs to spend to see results.

Unlike an in-house PPC team, you pay a PPC company based on your intended investment in paid ads. The PPC management agency’s fees are typically calculated at a percentage of total spend plus a minimum monthly retainer.

So how much do you need to spend to see real results?

The answer, of course, is that it depends. But on average (excluding the management fee), regional campaigns should have a monthly ad budget greater than $750, and national campaigns should be greater than $1,500.

How to find the best PPC management company

Your PPC needs are unique, and a good agency will work with you to create a unique strategy.

When you’re shopping around for a company to manage your PPC ads, consult the list of PPC activities above. Your ideal agency will be able to talk to you about how they manage the various aspects of campaign creation and optimization.

Successful PPC agencies have gotten results before and should be able to provide you with case studies. All industries are different, so it’s especially good news if they’ve worked with companies like yours before (although industry research is also an important skill for PPC experts).

Ask the company what kind of PPC tools they have at their disposal. Access to top-of-the-line analytical and SEM management technology is a key reason that PPC management services get better results for less money.

Transparency is essential. Look for a company that will provide regular updates and reports.

PPC Management Case Study: Allure Bridals

The bridal industry is extremely competitive. Companies like Allure Bridals are fighting for search real estate with other retailers, designers, and publications.

While Allure was already benefiting from successful SEO, they wanted to complement it with paid advertising. HigherVisibility took over PPC management from another agency.

The existing campaigns were underperforming. Ad spend was insufficient to cover rising CPC costs, and the existing ad copy wasn’t getting results. The interaction and conversion rate of the ads had declined.

HigherVisibility started by analyzing these past campaigns and crafting a new PPC strategy based around Allure’s trunk show events. New tactics included:

  • Limited time and exclusive ads
  • Remarketing campaigns to target brides that expressed an interest in the events
  • Video ads to drive higher engagement
  • Elimination or deemphasis of low performing keywords
  • Ad copy optimization

HigherVisibility increased Allure’s ad interactions by 45.5% and CTR by 25.4%, while decreasing the cost per conversion by 7.4%.

Conclusion

PPC advertising has a great ROI if you get it right, but it’s complex and time-consuming. For many companies, attempting to run PPC campaigns in-house isn’t worth it.

A good PPC agency is affordable and works toward your organization’s unique objectives. To learn more about what you can expect from PPC management, talk to an expert.

Most Businesses Struggle Making PPC Generate Positive ROI

Since 2009, we have helped hundreds of businesses rung profitable paid search campaigns.  Now it’s your turn!

Is your traffic declining? Are you not generating enough leads or sales? We’ve been growing businesses since 2009, let us do it for you!

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