PPC campaigns can provide an excellent return on investment and generate high quality leads for your business. If you are considering a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign with either Google or Microsoft, it’s important to understand what you’re getting involved with before you spend a single dollar.
Dozens of variables are involved when optimizing ad campaigns and while full understanding of all of them isn’t needed to launch a campaign, the more you understand, the better your campaign will do. Let’s look at some ad types, acronyms, and terminology so you can start on the right foot.
Types of PPC Campaigns
The first decision to make is what kind of campaign you’d like to run. PPC campaigns fall into six categories, each of which focuses on a different goal.
- Website traffic
- Product and Brand Consideration
- Brand Awareness and Reach
- App Promotion
Your campaign choice depends upon your campaign objective.
- Search campaigns – Serves text ads on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to generate sales, leads, and website traffic.
- Display campaigns – Serves ads on the Google Display network to generate sales, leads, website traffic, product and brand consideration, and brand awareness and reach.
- Shopping campaigns – Serves Product Display Ads to promote products.
- Video campaigns – Serves video ads across YouTube and the Google Display network to generate sales, leads, website traffic, product and brand consideration, and brand awareness and reach.
- Smart campaigns – Serves automatically generated ads on Google SERPs, Google Maps, and across the web to generate sales and leads.
- Discovery campaigns – Serves ads on YouTube, Gmail, and Discover to generate sales.
The Acronyms of PPC
PPC uses a lot of terms you need to know to understand your response data, such as:
CTR – Click Through Rate
CPC – Cost Per Click
CPM – Cost Per Impression
CPE – Cost Per Engagement
CPV – Cost Per Video
This number tells you how many times users click on your ad after it’s shown to them. To determine your CTR, simply divide clicks by impressions.
Usually reported as average CPC, it tells you how much you pay for an ad. To determine CPC, you divide the amount paid by the number of clicks received.
This is the average cost per thousand (or mille) impressions. Display campaigns for brand awareness use this metric most often.
This is the average amount you’ve paid for each ad engagement.
This is the average amount you’ve paid for a video play. To determine the average CPV, divide the cost of all video views by total video views.
The Terminology of PPC
Now that we’ve reviewed the acronyms of PPC, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used PPC terminology.
Impressions – An impression is counted every time your ad is served.
Interactions – An interaction is counted when a specific ad action is taken. A text ad or product shopping ad interaction would be a click and a view would count as a video ad interaction.
Conversions – Conversions occur after ad interactions. So after someone clicks on an ad and are taken to a web page, the action completed on the web page is the conversion, whether they fill out a form, make a phone call, or place an order. Conversion actions can be created in Google Ads, Google Analytics, or are Google hosted.
PPC contains several kinds of ad formats and nearly a dozen different types of ad extensions used in PPC campaigns. The most popular ad formats used by our clients are:
Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) – First introduced in 2016, Expanded Text Ads offered twice the amount of text information than previous Google text ads. Although ETAs are being phased out by Google and the creation of new ones is limited, expanded text ads are the standard in Google and Microsoft ad campaigns. They consist of three headlines and two description lines. Several enhancements can help improve an ad’s CTR including:
- Ad display path – This can be changed to create a better understanding of the ad’s landing page.
- Keyword Insertion – This allows ads to utilize any keyword in the ad group to allow for more display flexibility.
- Extensions – These can be created and added to your ads to enhance user experience. Ad extensions have also been proven to improve ad CTR.
Display ads include image, video, rich media, and text ads. Image ads can be created in a wide variety of sizes which have several subtypes.
Among the options are single-image display ads, Gmail ads which are displayed in the Promotions and Social tabs in standard Gmail accounts, and Responsive Display Ads which can utilize up to five videos, 15 images, 5 logos, 5 30-character headlines, one 90-character headline, and 5 90-character descriptions, along with other enhancements.
The Google Display Network consists of more than 2 million websites, YouTube, mobile apps, and Gmail, and reaches 90% of Internet users. Ad targeting is based on factors including demographic information, a user’s interests, and users who may have already visited your site.
Video advertising is growing rapidly with ads being displayed on YouTube, in apps, and streaming services. Campaigns are broken down by goals, subtype, network, and formats.
Ad formats and display network are determined by campaign goal – leads, website traffic, product/brand consideration, or brand awareness/reach. Video formats include bumper ads, skippable in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, outstream, and video discovery.
PPC Ad Management
As you can see, PPC management requires a lot of knowledge, and it can easily become overwhelming. Fortunately, our certified ad management specialists are well-schooled and experienced in knowing how to optimize existing ad accounts and launching new campaigns.