Digital Marketing

How Much do PPC Ads Cost?

how much do ppc ads cost

The short answer is that PPC ads can cost you as little as $1 per day to $1,000,000. Any set budget will generate clicks to your website. However, there are many factors which influence just how much PPC ads can cost you and your business.

The five factors which influence the cost of PPC ads are:

  • Advertising channel – social or search
  • Keywords competition
  • Website quality
  • Bidding strategy
  • Quality score

But first, lets start by answering what PPC ads are, how you as the advertiser is charged and why PPC has become so popular during the lockdowns across the globe.

What are PPC ads and how is the advertiser charged?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. This means that you as the advertiser are only ever charged for your advertisement when a user clicks on your ad and visits your website. PPC removes the risk and inaccessibility of more traditional routes of advertising where budgets upwards of $500.00 are used with the risk of little to no return.

PPC rose to fame for its ability to give the advertiser the power to dictate where their ads appear and how much they want to spent. PPC tends to take the shape of either search or paid social advertisements and its not uncommon to run advertisements across multiple channels.

Lets look at those five costing factors in more detail.

1. Advertising Channel

PPC advertising hit the mainstream in 1999 when Google introduced Adwords, now known as Google Ads. Today, there are generally three routes to PPC:

  1. Social advertising – Facebook, Instragram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat
  2. Search advertising – Google Ads, Bing Ads
  3. Marketplace advertising – Etsy, Amazon advertising

Over the past 24 months, search advertising has generally become the more expensive option for advertisers, with marketplace ads not far behind. This can vary though depending on your industry which is why it’s important to AB or split test between social, marketplace and search ads.

ppc ad options
Social PPC spend doubled during the lockdown as consumption of online media exploded.

Our recommendations is to run identical ads on each channel and give at least a week to decide which channel offers the best return on investment, then simply increase the budget of the channel which offers the best return.

2. Keyword Competition

It’s pretty simple this one, and applies largely to Google and Marketplace channels. The more advertisers bidding for a keyword the more competitive and therefore expensive that keyword becomes. Similarly with social PPC advertising, the more advertisers targeting your audience with the same interests, the more expensive your ads will become.

The value of your product service will also influence the cost of your keywords. For example, B2B businesses looking for clients worth a value of $1000 or more can expect to pay more per click than a businesses selling handmade cards at $5 a card.

3. Website Quality

This one particularly impacts the cost of your Google ads. This is because Google search’s one mission is to provide its users with great websites which are easy to use and allow them to get their job done as smoothly as possible. Google got a knack for this in its early years and thus became the dominant market leader.

This essentially means that Google will charge you if your website if it is bad quality.

But what influences a websites quality, and what does Google want to see?

  1. Fast to load – even more important now than ever with more mobile searches being made than on desktop.
  2. Easy to navigate – attention spans are shortening and minimalist websites are becoming the norm, so make your potential customers life easy.
  3. Offer multimedia – reading is so last year, and we all consume information in different ways so accommodate for that: try and include text, images and video on the landing pages of your ads.
  4. Clear call-to-actions – options are not necessarily a good thing, the user wants to be guided through your site to complete their task, so make your buttons and links nice and visible and give them real purpose.
making ppc cheaper
It shouldn’t take a team of people to navigate a website – keep it simple and think of your website as a guided tour with the goal of getting the visitor to their target as quickly as possible.

4. Bidding Strategy

PPC advertising has become easier to manage then ever before thanks to the introduction of machine learning into the various platforms. Once your ads are live, the platform learn to understand which visuals, keywords and bid is the best match for maximum return on your spend.

However it doesn’t always work out that way, the machine after all doesn’t understand your industry as well as you do.

When it comes to bidding, there are generally two options:

  1. Manual
  2. Automated

Manual Bidding

Manual bidding takes more time and generally requires more maintenance and management from the advertiser however it places you in control. With a manual bidding strategy, you decide how much you want to spend on certain keywords.

This works particularly well if some keywords generally produce higher spending customers than others. You have the ability to spend more on those higher value keywords and generate more better quality leads.

Automated Bidding

Incredibly efficient and time-saving, which often suits the start-up or small business owner more. With automated bidding, the platform will learn from your results and will set bid amounts based on the likelihood your ad will convert.

However, these automated systems are still improving and you won’t always experience more positive results than a manual bidding strategy where you are in control.

Quality Score

Quality score is all about the quality of your ad compared to your competitors. Platforms such as Google and Bing will reward high quality ads by reducing the cost of your clicks.

How do you improve the quality score of your ads?

Improving quality score is all about consistency. Google wants to see a consistency in the language and words used in your ads and landing page. The more relevant your ad text is to your keywords and landing page, the better your quality score becomes.

what is quality score
Google simply wants to show relevant websites to relevant searches.

So make sure your landing page is unique and optimised to include the keywords in your campaign, make sure you’re using the most popular keywords in your ad text and be sure to group your keywords and ads into separate ad groups. The idea is to avoid having large ad groups with a bunch of varied keywords taking the user to one landing page.

So now you know how much PPC ads cost, and what influences the cost so you can make your ads generate a great return on investment.

If you’re still unsure about PPC advertising and would like some advice be sure to get in touch with us or check out one of our training courses.

And of course, to learn more about how we can get your PPC ads off the ground, visit our PPC advertising services page.

Written by Aled Nelmes for ThisIsUs.Digital.