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.
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?
- Analysing landing pages and conversions – PPC can be a great way to see if landing pages or keywords attract traffic at all.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 –
- sure that your site is optimised for promoting articles on social media and
- 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
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
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.
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.
There are a few other articles on this site that may be of interest, which focus specifically on boosting traffic and increasing conversions.
- Techniques For Increasing Organic Search Engine Traffic
- Using Long Tail Keywords For Better Conversions
I hope you enjoyed this article and if so please share on your own social media channels, thanks.