Back in my early days of running websites and trying to forge a living online, I stumbled across PPC in the form of Google AdWords.
I liked the idea of driving traffic to a website nigh on instantly. That was until I ran a few of my keywords through the old Keyword Tool and saw exactly how much the estimated CPCs were: upwards of £5 per click!
I broke into a cold sweat because I knew all of my biggest competitors were using PPC, I just didn’t see how it could be profitable and I knew right there and then that my sites were going to fail.
I just couldn’t afford to pay £5+ per click.
Paid search marketing has many names, wears many guises and works alongside many other nebulous terms.
Search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-impression (CPM) search engine advertising, sponsored listings, paid for placement, and that’s before you get to services provided by the search engines themselves – Google AdWords, Yahoo Bing Network.
It’s a lot to wade through.
As a relative newcomer to the digital marketing world, I've decided to begin a series of 'beginner's guides' to uncover what is meant by certain terms, trends and technological advances in digital; being both a travel guide and a personal investigation.
Last week I covered Native Advertising, this time I’m going to take a look at paid search. If you’re an expert in the field, this article may not be for you, however please feel free to leave any advice or guidance in the comments below.
The 2012 holiday shopping season was one for the online retail records and that led to a very merry Christmas for Google, which reported its fourth quarter earnings yesterday.
All eyes were on the search giant, which failed to deliver in the third quarter, much to the disappointment of Wall Street.
But there was no disappointment this time as the company delivered $14.4bn in revenue, a 36% year-over-year increase, and earnings of $2.9bn, up from $2.7bn in the same quarter a year ago.
Despite the fact that social ad spend is expected to double by 2016 and analysts are increasingly bullish on native social ads, search continues to be the go-to channel for advertisers looking to drive ROI.
The record-breaking holiday shopping season is making that abundantly apparent. While sales driven by social referrals have thus far been miniscule, early analysis of Black Friday sales data by search and analytics consulting firm NetElixer finds that search ads are killing it.
Paid search CPCs in the US were around 50% cheaper on smartphone than on desktop in Q3, according to data from The Search Agency.
CPCs on smartphones stood at 31 cents compared to 49 cents on tablet and 59 cents on desktop, meaning the level of discount offered on smartphone is roughly the same as Q3 2011.
This is despite the fact that smartphone ads apparently have a much higher CTR than both computers and tablets.
The Search Agency’s report, which is based on client data from search engine advertising tools, shows that smartphone CTR has increased from 4.48% in Q3 2011 to 5.71% in Q3 2012.
Women may like Facebook more than men, as evidence by the fact that approximately 60% of the social network's population is female, but for marketers looking for consumers who like their ads, targeting men may be a more effective and cost-efficient approach.
That's according to a new study conducted by marketing software firm Kenshoo and Resolution Media which looked at 65bn Facebook ad impressions and 20m clicks over the course of the last year.
While mobile is presenting some tough monetization challenges for companies like Facebook, it's increasingly looking like a boon to others.
Google, for instance, is seeing spending on mobile search ads skyrocket, and it's working hard to improve its mobile ad offerings. In many cases, its efforts appear to be showing signs of success.
Thanks to the incredible popularity of the world's social network, soon-to-be-publicly-traded Facebook is top of mind for advertisers both large and small, many of which have been pouring more money into Facebook advertising campaigns.
But how are those Facebook ad campaigns treating advertisers?
Facebook offers a 45% cost-per-click discount for ads that link to another Facebook page rather than an external site, according to research by TBG.
This has led to brands building a presence within Facebook so they can benefit from these lower costs.
Last week, Google (as well as announcing SSL encryption for search) introduced perhaps the most significant changes to its PPC algorithm for some time.
Google has changed the proportion of quality score weighting to make landing page relevancy more important, a moving away slightly from of click through rate (CTR) as the primary metric for an ad's success.
I've been asking some PPC experts about how the changes will affect brands and advertisers...