PPC Traffic And How To Maximise Its Use

Paying for traffic might seem like a bit of an insult to content writers, but in this world of competition and overcrowding on the internet it can be the only option to get noticed.

ppc image

(Image “Ppc Button Indicates Pay Per Click And Advertising” by Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net)

As well as getting traffic, PPC campaigns are a form of digital advertising.

For online businesses just like any other business type, making an investment into marketing and branding is part of the development process.

So having just spent a week of running PPC ads across three websites on Google Adwords and Bing Ads.

After a while I began to notice a few other things beginning to happen to my site traffic. And so I decided to write about them here, and I look forward to hearing your own thoughts on this topic.

Purpose of PPC

Most people assume that the purpose of running a PPC campaign is to get sales, but this is only ONE way in which it can be used.

So what are some of the other ways of using PPC?

  1. Analysing landing pages and  conversions  – PPC can be a great way to see if landing pages or keywords attract traffic at all.
  2. Increasing subscribers – the more relevant visitors you can get to your site then these will be interested in your other material including updates and newsletters.
  3. Promoting your website – although we are interested in clicks, a lot of people prefer to click on an article rather than an advert.  But PPC can be used for branding purposes so that your audience will recognise your website when they come across an article.
  4. Increasing traffic – following on from the point above, traffic can increase both organically and through the ads because of the preference to click on articles. The key is recognition, people have become familiar with your site through the advertising campaign.

In other words PPC campaigns are an important way of investing in your business and marketing your products.

 

Cost of PPC – It Doesn’t Have To Be That Much

PPC campaigns can be a bit daunting when you first start out, especially on Google. This is because there is a lot of traffic and you can quickly acquire a lot of clicks (at a price).

By selecting your ad wording carefully you can keep costs down and be careful to monitor your ad dashboard on a  regular basis.

Although I have stopped the main larger PPC campaign, I am now running a small background campaign across two sites to monitor the overall effect on site traffic.

The dashboard view below shows how this can be done very cheaply for a very small scale campaign.

Bing dashboard PPC

An example of a low level background campaign on Bing

Over the day this might achieve 15 clicks across 2 sites and cost about €2 depending on which ads have been clicked.

 

Using Additional Calls to Action With PPC Traffic

PPC is not just about selling products, there are other calls to action that you might want readers to your site to do. These can include;

  • supporting campaigns,
  • signing petitions
  • subscribing to lists,
  • sharing your site on social media
  • becoming an affiliate to your company
  • taking part in a survey

 

PPC Case Study

So how did my PPC campaigns perform, well below I identified three main ways that my sites benefited from this additional targeted traffic, in addition to clicks through onto product sites and sales.

These were;

  • Email subscriptions
  • Organic searches and number of impressions in Google
  • Organic traffic increase

 

Expanding Your Email List

The biggest unexpected advantage of sudden PPC traffic was the increase in email subscriptions.

This helped to illustrate two things for me, firstly that the right traffic was reaching my site and secondly my email collection system was working effectively.

One of the things that I learnt before running any campaigns, is how important it is that you are –

increase email lists through PPC

(Image “3d Man With Envelope Having Chrome At Symbol” by renjith krishnan, freedigitalphotos.net)

  1. sure that your site is optimised for promoting articles on social media and
  2. that visitors have the option to sign up to your email list.

Whilst many people find popup forms intrusive, a well placed reminder or option at the end of an article, or as you scroll back up the page, is an ideal place.

This gives people time to consider whether they want more information from your site.

This website is connected to AWeber who manage all my email subscriber lists, across a number of websites.

I have found them the most useful after having tried a number of others over the years. Subscribers are sent a confirmation email to be sure they want to receive your newsletter or whatever you are offering, and an automated news update can be set up for your subscriber list.

 

Increased Organic Searches

increased organic searches with PPC

(Image “Internet Blog Shows World Wide Web And Worldwide” by Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net)

One of the interesting changes that I noticed, but can’t prove as being linked, is the increase in organic searches.

In my Google Webmaster Console the organic click rate went up by about a third.

Now this has been up and down ever since the last Google update last month. So it is possible it is on the way up anyway having taken a dramatic dip in recent weeks.

But if you don’t believe in coincidences it would seem as soon as I started paying Google for ad space, they also increased my organic impressions and I received more clicks.

 

Increased Traffic Outside of PPC

traffic from PPC campaign

Traffic rose significantly during the campaign period

It is probably to be expected that traffic numbers  increase during a marketing campaign. That certainly happened for all the sites I used this time, as this graph shows.

However, what was interesting is that the traffic increased beyond the number of clicks. This could be because;

  • people were clicking on articles rather than the advert,
  • or that the increased visibility through the PPC positioning improved organic click through rates.

Either way as well as paying for traffic there was unpaid traffic that also came.

This might give some consolation to SEO advocates, because it showed for me how the two can work together. Firstly to raise awareness of a site and then have plenty of SEO articles ready that are ranked highly.

 

Conclusion

PPC campaigns are not easy to run effectively, but they are certainly a key part of running an online business.

There is no doubt that during the period of the campaign I saw a number of positive changes occur, and this would be expected if your campaign is organised correctly.

What is more encouraging from a content marketing perspective is that organic and SEO traffic also increased. It felt as if the websites were being given a general boost from the ad campaigns.

So if you have been delaying in taking the PPC step or were holding out for a bigger SEO result, then take note that the two can work together and support each another.

Further Reading

There are a few other articles on this site that may be of interest, which focus specifically on boosting traffic and increasing conversions.

I hope you enjoyed this article and if so please share on your own social media channels, thanks.

Marie

8 thoughts on “PPC Traffic And How To Maximise Its Use

  1. Kim

    Hi Marie, I’m glad I came across this, you have answered a lot of my questions about PPC.
    In fact after reading this I think I’m going to give it a try. I really like the fact that it has helped in increasing your email subscriptions. And an increase in organic traffic would be great.
    Kim

    Reply
    1. Marie

      Hi Kim I know a lot of people hold back out of fear of PPC costs and the technicalities of developing ads. Kyle on Wealthy Affiliate has a great video if you are a member Introducing PPC in the Bootcamp training and it is a great place to start learning.

      I mentioned in a previous comment that I was also going to develop more materials on this topic so be sure to sign up for the newsletter and get these articles as well.

  2. Aless

    PPC is a really important way to increase traffic, and traffic and content is what a profitable website revolves around. It’s like giving away your PC and leave it for 2 weeks only to find something better when you go back.
    It’s paying now to receive later, and more, in my opinion, apart from the part that it gives more Google love to our websites.

    Reply
    1. Marie

      It is definitely an investment although I wouldn’t necessarily leave it unattended!

      Having said that it worked well for me when I wasn’t able to produce as much content, because I could develop landing pages and ads instead and then just tweak and amend them according to the CTR and cost.

  3. Cole

    Very interesting article on PPC. I have found that it can be difficult to find PPC options that are affordable. I have experimented with Facebook but I feel like the return on investment is often not worth the cost, clicks are expensive and you need to run lengthy campaigns to actually get conversions. Are there any alternate PPC services that you recommend? I am looking for something that is doable with a small budget that results in decent conversions. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Marie

      Hi I have found the most affordable option is Bing, sometimes the cost factor is really in the art of designing ads that convert well but don’t target highly competitive keywords that cost a fortune.

      I am going to write another article on designing ads to achieve this so why don’t you sign up for the newsletter and you will get notice when that article is available.

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