Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has been around for over two decades. Over that time it has changed dramatically from an expensive and impractical form of online advertising to one of the most powerful marketing channels available today. Every company that offers PPC marketing in Arizona, PPC management in Arizona or PPC services in Arizona knows that using this form of advertising is one of the most powerful ways to promote a client’s website. But how has PPC changed over time and why is it such a powerful marketing channel now? The PPC experts in Arizona at Cloud LGS reveal all in this article.
How PPC has evolved over the years
It all started in July 1996 when Planet Oasis launched the first documented version of PPC on a desktop application. Later, Open Text Index started selling ads in their search results. These were called preferred listings. At the same time as this was happening, Google, the global leader in online paid advertising, was only starting out as a research project at Stanford University.
PPC advertising started to explode. More than 400 brands actively participated in PPC advertising with click costs ranging from $0.005 to $0.25.
GoTo.com changes the game in 1998 with a simplified version of online advertising. The company also introduces the bid system which lets advertisers bid for positions in searches. Because of the more competitive nature, advertisers started paying a whole lot more for clicks.
GoTo.com revamps their tool to allow advertisers to set real-time bids for keywords on individual keywords. This was also the year that Google started offering online advertising on its search engine.
At the turn of the millennium, Google introduced Google Adwords to give advertisers a self-help tool to assist with their campaigns. At this point in time, Google used a CPM billing method, rather than the CPC method they use today.
GoTo.com gets a rebrand, changing to Overture. During 2001 Overture had partnerships with Yahoo, MSN and a host of other search engines that meant it earned $288 million in ad revenue.
Google changes things up even more in 2002 with a new payment option that uses factors like ad relevance, CTR and landing page quality to provide a fairer cost to honest advertisers.
The overture was acquired by Yahoo for $1.63 billion. Google also made an acquisition this year, buying Semantics. It also launched AdSense, allowing advertisers to place ads on other websites and webmasters to earn a share of the costs.
Google is by far and away the largest search engine with over 80% market share. It has annual revenues that are close to $3 billion.
Google makes a staggering $800 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. It also takes steps to prevent click fraud on ads and introduces Google Analytics.
Google acquires Youtube for $1.65 billion. A young social media site, Facebook, partners with Microsoft ad center to start running paid ads on its site.
Facebook advertising evolves to allow advertisers to target users based on demographics and interests. Google acquires Doubleclick for $3.1 billion. Google launches a new tool called Adwords Express.
Google suffered a massive fall in share price, with stock plunging from 707.95 to 247.30 over a 52 week period. It showed that search advertising wasn’t as recession-proof as people thought.
In an effort to focus more on mobile search, Google acquires AdMob for $750 million.
Microsoft search is renamed, Bing. The site teams up with Yahoo to publish on their network. At the same time, Google launches Product Listing Ads and remarketing.
Cost per clicks continues to rise in 2011, with some insurance-based terms costing over $50 per click.
Mobile search becomes more important than ever. Over 25% of clicks are from mobile devices in December. Google surpasses $50 billion in revenue.
PPC advertising on smartphones is up by over 100%. Google continues to innovate and ads the option to turn off certain devices in ad targeting.
Google incorporates call tracking into Adwords campaigns to promote mobile search.
Google introduces structured snippets into search results. Call only campaigns are introduced allowing users to directly call businesses from search results.
Google removed right sidebar ads and added an additional paid search spot. Google introduced expanded ads and a new interface for Adwords.
The value of the top organic spot was shown to have decreased by 37%, putting a bigger premium on paid ads.
Why PPC is a powerful marketing channel?
As you can see, PPC has developed a lot over the years. But one thing hasn’t changed. Since its inception, PPC has been a very powerful marketing channel for any business to take advantage of. Here’s why it’s still so powerful today.
New additions make it more flexible and useful
The very first PPC ads weren’t amazing. If someone clicked on your ad, great. If they didn’t, fine. But there was no way to personalize the ad enough for different businesses or to find the lead later on online. Thanks to the evolution of PPC that has all changed. All of the updates rolled out by Google now make PPC much more viable for virtually any kind of business.
Take Product Listing Ads, for instance. Before, online stores could still promote themselves, but it was hard to promote specific products. Now, thanks to PLAs, e-commerce stores have an amazing way to pay to promote all of their products online. These are offered completely separate from normal keyword bids and give shops another, more useful string to their advertising bow. Had it not been for the creation of PLAs, PPC may not have been as useful to shops as it otherwise is.
The advent of remarketing has also helped PPC to blossom. Remarketing campaigns allow you to get the most out of your PPC budget by serving additional ads to a user who clicked on your PPC ad wherever they are online. So if they didn’t convert the first time with you, you are able to get a second, third or even fourth bite of the cherry. This wasn’t possible a few years ago meaning that once budget had been spent on a user that was it. Now your budget gets a second life. This is crucial as PPC is the only marketing channel that allows this. No other channel, online or offline, allows you to follow up with leads for a very small fee completely automatically. It puts PPC in a world of its own.
New providers allow you to target users anywhere
Thanks to the proliferation of PPC platforms, advertisers can now reach users almost anywhere. You may think of PPC and just think of Google. Or maybe you think of Facebook, too. But there are dozens of other platforms out there such as Outbrain, Taboola and Quantcast that let you reach customers on a huge number of sites. PPC may not have been so useful if it was limited to Google. But thanks to its growth and its widespread availability, PPC is such a powerful way to reach almost anyone almost anywhere online.
This means if you have a very target buyer persona, you are going to be able to reach thousands of customers that fit your match anywhere online. You don’t just have to wait for them to come to Google, these new platforms let you go out there and find them. Greater targeting options also make for more cost-effective campaigns as you are likely to not pay for wasted ads or clicks from irrelevant targets. This cost-effectiveness makes PPC even more powerful as an advertising channel as you can take huge steps to optimize your budget spend.
No barriers to entry
One of the best things about PPC marketing is that there are little to no barriers to entry. As long as someone has an advertising budget and access to the internet, there’s nothing stopping them setting up an account and advertising in minutes. Initial budgets can be as low as a few bucks so literally anyone can start advertising.
The number of potential customers is huge
Unlike offline marketing channels such as newspapers which offer a small and limited number of potential customers, the number of customers that can see your online ads is almost limitless. The only limits are the ones that you impose on them at the campaign creation stage. That means if you want to reach everyone in America, there’s a good chance you can with PPC ads. It may cost you a lot, but the opportunity is there if you want to take it. At the same time, you can use the targeting offered by providers to hone in on your target customer in a way that other marketing channels don’t offer. If you don’t want someone to see your ad, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to set up your campaign to stop them from ever seeing it.
It is unbelievably measurable and trackable
Adwords and other PPC platforms give you an amazing set of data that let you see exactly how your budget has been spent. Not only can you see where the money has gone, you can even track whether or not that user converted. This is perfect for advertising managers who are responsible for large budgets or for small business owners who just want to know that their money is being well spent. In a lot of cases, data is updated in near enough real time allowing you to make changes as you go. Should you wish to split test ads, you can compare the results instantly to determine which ad is best. Essentially, you have all of the data you could ever need at your fingertips.
How to take control of PPC marketing
If you want to make the most of PPC marketing and reap the huge benefits that it offers, you need an in-depth and effective strategy created by PPC experts in Arizona. It’s crucial to use a strategy that will get the most out of your advertising budget and one that is tailored to your business. PPC is such a big world now that standard or off-the-shelf tactics won’t work. Everything you do needs to be tailored in a PPC management Arizona service that makes sure campaigns are specific to your business and products. In the past, it was much easier for business owners to run PPC campaigns themselves. But now they really need help with PPC marketing in Arizona by using a digital marketing company that offers PPC management in Arizona. If you don’t use PPC experts in Arizona, there is a very good chance you won’t get the success you deserve.
Before you begin your journey with PPC, consult a company offering PPC services in Arizona. They will be able to make sense of the wide world of PPC and suggest channels that are suitable for your business. For instance, if you don’t run an online store, there is no point running Product Listing Ads.
But PPC won’t stop evolving either. Google or Facebook or any of the other platforms can change their offering at any time. If you aren’t staying up to date—and why should you? You have other things to focus on—you risk losing money and getting left behind. By partnering with a company offering PPC marketing in Arizona, however, you can be assured that you have experts looking at your campaigns every day to make sure they are working hard for your business. PPC can be hard for a business owner to manage, but hiring a PPC company in Arizona is an easy and sensible decision to make.